Monday, December 18, 2006

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday was a little cooler outside, a result of all the rain we've had over the last few days. Jim and I are thankful for the nice breezes. I guess we should enjoy all of this weather because we hear our family is freezing their patooties off at home.

The boy has been quite the fusspot lately, maybe he feels our anxiousness to get home. He started wailing at 6 Saturday morning, a full hour before he usually gets up for his bottle. We were able to stall him until 7, but he continued to be fussy all day. That afternoon he had a full out meltdown. A little scary at first because the boy doesn't really cry, and well, this is our first baby! We had gone out to the jewelers this morning (more on that in a minute) and left him with the maids. When we came back we had lunch and I went to go get him. He was sitting in a stroller with one of the maids cooing at him. When he saw me he turned beet red and started screaming. You know the kind...his mouth is wide open, his face all scrunched up and red and no sound is coming out. Oh jeez! I hustled him into our room and first figured out that he was soaked through his clothes and also *ahem* dirty. So I changed him as quickly as I could, him screaming all the while. Finally I picked him up and rocked him for a while. In front of the window. That's our trick. You want to shut him up, stand him in front of the window and he gets mesmerized. After a little while he calmed down (but had that adorable sobbing hiccup), we put some clean clothes on him and laid him down. Some tummy rubbing and he was out cold. Whew!
Now the jeweler story. Colombia is known for emeralds. Did you know that? I didn't...they mine them right here in the country. So we heard there was a guy that the hotel owner knows that could show us some emeralds for good prices. We called him up and he had a driver come and get us. We drove for about 10 minutes to a very nice part of Colombia. The jeweler was a very nice man who spoke english, originally from New York. His stuff was absolutely amazing.....and absolutely outrageously priced. Who knew emeralds were so expensive?? And not for nothing? I hate emeralds. Green is my least favorite color. So here we are in this little shop, having been picked up just to come here, and we didn't want to buy anything. I mean, even the smallest tiniest little speck of green earrings were $350. Medium sized things were in the $700 range, and the decent sized stuff (still not big, maybe 1 carat?) was like $3500. Needless to say we were mortified to leave there with nothing, and they guy obviously thought we were cheapskates. Oh well, sorry dude! We couldn't wait to get back. Of course, when we got back, the boy decided to have his meltdown. We thought it was turning into just a wonderful day...

But the day was saved by our wonderful friends E & A. They picked us up at 2:oo with their two daughters C and M, and C's boyfriend..and we went to Monserrate, something we've really been wanting to do. Monserrate is a mountain that is about 3,000 meters above sea level, and at the top there is a church and beautiful grounds. The best thing is the can see the entire city of Bogota from there. We drove to the bottom of the mountain, and took a cable car up to the top. We had the best time with them. They are alot of fun and made sure we experienced everything. We walked through the church, which had a haunting statue of Christ above the altar. There was even a wedding about to start, and we caught a glimpse of the new bride. The grounds have beautiful statues for each station of the cross. There is a section that has alot of booths of people selling souveniers and then a section where there are a ton of food vendors. Not sure what some of it was, but it did smell good

We had a shot of something that I don't remember the name of, but it's tradition to drink it here. It is a shot of Aguardiente (a clear anise flavored liquor derived from sugar cane - it will grow hair on your chest) that has all kinds of herbs packed into the bottle. Then we tried another treat that consisted of a hunk of bocadillo (a solid piece of guava paste) eaten with a hunk of mild cheese (resembled bland homemade mozzerella). Interesting!

After we left Monserrate we went to the Downtown part of Bogota. I am informed by E that she doesn't like this part of town - it's kind of skanky (my words, obviously). But we went to a very old place (80 years in fact) that serves all kinds of good food and sweets. We ordered tamales, since we hadn't eaten them yet...very good - Plantain leaves stuffed with a mixture of corn and rice with chunks of meat. We also had the best hot chocolate I ever tasted. The funny thing is that when you get the hot chocolate, they also give you a plate that had a mini loaf of bread, butter, and a slice of cheese. I was confused about the cheese until I saw C shredding it up with her hands and putting it IN the hot chocolate!! HUH??? But that's what you do...put it in there and let it get all melty and gooey and then fish it out and eat it. You know what? It was purty darned good! You also butter up your bread and dunk it into the cup. Crazy Colombians!

After the restaurant we came back to the hotel, picked up the boy (the maid almost had a heart attack that we were taking him out in the cold) and went to A & E's home. They have a lovely apartment with a nice view. E gave us a little Ajiaco (the soup, remember?) and after we had some great ice cream made by C's boyfriend's brother. YUM. After everyone cooed over the baby for a good while, they took us back home. We were exhausted from a long but very fun day.

Today is Sunday and it has been a quiet day. We went to Jeno's for Pizza for lunch today. Jim has had a hankering for pizza since we've come here. Jeno's wasn't all that bad - certainly not NY pizza, but it hit the spot. Then we walked on the closed streets to a local hotel that had an art fair, lots of nice stuff but we didn't buy anything. Then back to the mall, Jim wanted to get some magazines to read - would you believe the magazines are like $10-$12 here?? I was going to by a Martha Stewart Living but forget it!! (Expensive magazines - not a very good thing) We came home and we had a nice family nap. It's almost 6 pm now and we are anxious for the week to start so we can finish up our paperwork. We really like it here, but we are dying to come home. I want my bed, my shower, and some different clothes to wear, not to mention see all of our family and friends!

Oh great - as I am sitting here the maid came up and used the phone. Guess what we're having for dinner? PIZZA! How funny is that! We shouldn't complain though, we think the maids have really been slacking with the food lately. The other night we had some kind of gristle cutlets that were totally inedible. We think it was the snotty maid getting her revenge.

Here are some funny pictures of the boy:

That's my boy!

One of the maids had enough of him kicking off his socks, so she put them where they wouldn't fall off!


Bezzie said...

Even though you're anxious to get home is sounds like you're having a fab time. Sebastian is such a cutie! I can't wait til you do get home and can start posting "at home" pics!

Jenni said...

I can imagine how anxious you must be to get home. But, you are having so many amazing experiences. The hot chocolate story was great. I love hearing how different cultures put their twist on things.

Glad to see Sebastian has such good taste in candy bars!

Erin said...

Ahhhh, yes. I can see that you've been to see "Fast Freddy." He's infamous among the adoptive parents here in the Northland. His stuff is beautiful; however, I suspect the reason for the high prices is due to the cut he gives to the person referring you to him.

We never bought anything from him, either. If you talk to your driver, or Jorge Rico (who doesn't do kickbacks) he can likely show you someplace a little less pricey with equally beautiful things.

Also, I was going to mention that Maku is a little overrated, but that I found the most fun I had shopping was at the outdoor markets on Sunday. Tons of great photos, paintings and jewelry for a good price (and fair!) price.

MAMB said...

Such a cutie! Hope you are home SOON! I would imagine you are ready...seems like you've been gone for ages!