Thursday, September 21, 2017

Peru, Part 1

I realize I'm about 2 months behind posting about this trip! Honestly, there are so many pictures, how do I choose the "best" ones? Every moment of this trip is gold to me.

But let's back up for a second.
Back in November, Somewhere Devine was announcing their new expedition. I told Brett, "If they're going to South America, we're going, no matter what!" Previously, they've gone to Fiji and Thailand. While those places would also be amazing, and I hope to go there someday, South America has just always been at the top of my list. And going with an organized group of people is really comforting for me, never having traveled to a different continent before.

Well, they announced the trip was going to be in PERU! I couldn't even handle it. My heart was racing. I had to go. I got Brett's {small} approval, and I signed up that evening!

We didn't tell our families for quite a while. Probably because we were scared/nervous to ask them to babysit our kids while we were gone for 8 nights. They all chipped in though, and it worked out perfectly!

OKAY. Now to show some pictures! (Most of these are mine, a few were taken by Somewhere Devine and Kylie Fly)

Getting to Peru was QUITE the adventure itself! On our plane from Miami to Lima, we were stuck on the tarmac for 5 hours! It was raining like crazy, with lightning. The lightning was delaying us big time. I ate almost an entire bag of peanut butter balls from Costco.
Luckily, we sat next to our new friends, Morgan and Emma. Who we now call our daughters. Because they randomly started calling us Mom and Dad. haha!

After the plane took off, they finally gave us some food to eat. My first airplane meal! It actually was pretty good!

We only had a couple hours to sleep that night, before our flight the next morning to Cusco! We met the rest of the fabulous group, and drove to the city of Pisac.

We stayed in the cutest hotel ever for the next 3 nights.

And had a delicious breakfast each morning.

Exploring the city of Pisac was so fun! And so easy to get lost! All of their streets look the same, with this gutter going down the center. Every night, we'd explore the streets trying to find something promising to eat for dinner.

The first night for dinner, we had the best empanadas, in the cutest top floor restaurant.

Hot chocolate is not as tasty in Peru. It's so bitter, you have to add TONS of sugar yourself to make it taste somewhat better.

One night, we took one of these taxis back to our hotel. It only cost 2 soles, which is about 70 cents.

The stars were INCREDIBLE!

The next 2 days, we did some service in a little village above Pisac called Amaru. It was at about 14,000 feet I think.
They welcomed us by showering us with flower petals...
and giving us a pretty necklace with flowers on the string. And I can't remember what the flowers represent, but I promise it was something cool!

Then they dressed us all up in their traditional clothing.

This is Gregorio, who organized our activities in Amaru for us.

We painted school rooms, and their playground.

We built a dam to help with water erosion. Those rocks are bigger than I think this picture is showing. It was hard work!

The young girls would gather up certain plants, and serve them to us at lunch to put in our hot water. I'm not a huge fan of tea, but Brett really liked it!

They fed us a fantastic lunch each day.

Our last day at the school, before we said goodbye, we had the opportunity to give gifts to the children. Brett and I brought little packs of gum. The kids loved it. I had a bunch left over, so I started giving it to the adults. I think the adults loved it even more! They were grabbing handfuls!

Another girl in our group gave all the little girls CTR rings. I thought that was such a neat idea!

This boy was our favorite. You could tell he had such a passion for soccer. Carried his ball with him everywhere. Brett would play with him whenever he had free time.

One evening, we drive up up up in the mountains to go on a small hike to see alpacas! I swear, this place had to be around 18,000 feet! It was HARD to breathe!

But doesn't this place look like you could be in a Lord of the Rings movie? Ah, I just absolutely LOVED that place!

This little stream was "holy" water. Something about before it goes into the lake, it is holy for some reason. So we all reached in and put the water on our foreheads to "bless" ourselves. Man, I wish I had a better memory sometimes!

Dogs everywhere. In the city, on the hike, on the road. No matter where we went, there were dogs of all kinds. Some were SOOO cute, others were....not. ha! But this one, I could've taken this one home for sure!

Our last night in Pisac, they showed us how they dye their yarn, and taught us how to do some textile weaving.

Whew! That was a lot. I'll continue the rest another day!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

June & July Stories

I don't even know how to summarize June and July. There are so many memories we made as a family. It has been one of the best summers of my life!

Except for this first part:
Teagan had some intense cavities happening, and had to get 2 crowns. Doctor Gardner is such a fun dentist, and he did such a great job!

Putting Teagan to sleep was so sad. I feel so bad when kids don't fully understand what is going on. This is just a couple minutes before she fell limp in my arms. They had me set her on the table, then rushed me out of the room.

She slept for 4 hours after we got home. She was so groggy and tired!

She will happily show anyone her silver teeth!

We've been doing a lot of yard work this summer. LOTS! The kiddos are always out there with us!

The triathlon came and went so fast! I beat all of my times from last year, so I was a happy lady!

I won a trip to Nashville, here.

This bear was due for a haircut. Boys hair grows SO fast! I want to start cutting his hair on my own soon, but he won't sit still for me just yet. He does better for strangers!

We've made it to the lake a few times.

We've resurrected an old tradition of going to Betos for dinner every time after boating.

We said goodbye to one missionary headed off to Chile. (Collin, Robyne's boyfriend)

And we said hello to another missionary coming home from Armenia. (My brother, Bridger)

We celebrated the 4th of July with a neighborhood parade.

And then a city parade.
Both of which were....meh. I need new ideas for family traditions on Independence Day! Should I just start taking vacations to celebrate?!

Teagan started swim lessons next door, and learned the "back float." (with help)

We took a trip to St. George and Las Vegas, back here.

We took the trip of a lifetime, and went to Peru with Somewhere Devine. I will post more about that soon!