Friday, April 4, 2014

Peru - Lima (our last day)

(almost a month later I'm finally done blogging the trip!)
Our last full day in Peru was Friday, March 14th, and we woke up in Cuzco. By this time we were all pretty exhausted from the constant getting up early, traveling to a new place and adventuring around the country. We were able to "sleep in" a bit and enjoy the hotel breakfast at Torre Dorada before heading to the airport for our flight to Lima.
There was a little confusion over our hotel bill but Martin was super helpful as usual and then drove us himself. We asked him if he had any tips for tours in Lima and he called a "friend" who said he could pick us up at our hotel at 12 and take us around for a great price. I don't remember what the exact quote was, but it was pretty cheap.
We made it to Lima and after trying to get Mike and I on an earlier flight home unsuccessfully, walked across the street to our hotel. There is ONE hotel by the airport in Lima and it is literally attached to the airport. Every other hotel is a pretty good distance away. While the airport hotel is nice, this fact allows them to overcharge A LOT. Janna and Kevin had a red-eye flight leaving that night so they didn't need a hotel and in the end Mike and I had decided to just pay the extra money so we were nice and close for our 7am flight the next morning. (I was really glad we did the next morning, plus the breakfast was amazing!!!)
So we left all our bags in our room and went down and met Eduardo (I think that was it).
He had no accent when he spoke English and was very charismatic. He had a driver, told us it would be about twice as much Martin had said, but they would pretty much be our personal taxi service for the day so off we went with him.
We drove around the plaza de armas and some other main parts of Lima (We opted not to get out and walk around so these are all from the car. Jana took some their first day in Lima when they were with Kevin's old missionary companion so I will get those from her later)
Eduardo ended up not being much of a tour guide and just hung out with us for a bit before being dropped off at another hotel to meet up with another tour group. Oh well, we still had our driver and we were off to the Gold Museum.
random robot guy in the street :-)
The traffic was terrible because it was Friday so it took awhile, but eventually we made it to the Museo Oro del Peru and we were excited to check it out!
I thought this little blurb on trip advisor described it very accurately: "This private collection, assembled by Miguel Mujica Gallo, contains a wide assortment of pre-Columbian gold handicraft, weapons, ceremonial objects, jewelry and gold from both the Incas and pre-Inca civilizations. Although the museum’s collection is not very well organized, it is fantastic in quality. The museum is located in a residential suburb 30 minutes driving from the Lima airport. It`s pieces are truly breathtaking and make one happy that the conquistadors did leave some of the treasures whole and not melted into gold bullion to be shipped back."
We paid (a not very friendly worker :-) to do the audio tour and although at times it was a little hard to follow since the items were numbered in random order, it was interesting and there were TONS of things to see. We started running out of time so at the end we just walked through without listening to descriptions, but there were some truly magnificent pieces...I think the mummies were everyone's favorites. They didn't allow photography inside the museum unfortunately (and I was not about to break the rules at this place!).
Our last stop was to the coastal region of Mira Flores. It is a more touristy shopping area and had a feel like the California coast. There were way too many restaurants to choose from and we aren't sure we made the best choice but it was still good and it was fun to eat over the beach. I finally tried some ceviche and the flavor was amazing...I was just a little nervous eating fish not completely cooked, but I'm alive :-)!
We hurried back to our taxi to start the drive back to the airport and catch our last glimpses of Peru before heading home.
traffic, packed taxi buses and the hugest Coca Cola sign I have ever seen outside the airport
We hung out with Janna and Kevin for awhile before we headed to bed and they headed to wait at the airport. It was SOOO much fun to share our adventure with them! They were the perfect travel partners. Hopefully they feel the same :-)!
Some last pictures with Janna showing off some of the awesome poses we saw others doing along the way. Janna is one of my favorite people and I'm hoping they end up in Houston eventually :-).
The next morning we filled up on breakfast and started our journey home. When we went through customs in Miami they had these kiosks where you scanned your passport and then had to have your picture taken. Mike went first and I was totally dying laughing and giving him a hard time about his picture but then when it was my turn mine was terrible too. The thing was SO delayed, so after smiling for what seemed like 5 minutes you start to think the machine is broken and that is when it takes your picture.
FINALLY we made it home to these cuties Saturday night and it was soooo good to see them. Preston had the absolute cutest reaction ever and was obviously thrilled to see us, Addie was happy to cuddle up and Ella didn't care and just wanted to keep hanging out with Hope :-).
We owe my mom a HUUUUGE thank you for keeping up with these crazies for an entire week. They went to movies, went to the zoo, ella had swim practice, Addie and Preston went to art camp a couple days and the house was spotless with the laundry done too!!! Ella also got to have a sleepover at Kayley's (Oliver LOOOVES Ella and she loves that he does) plus she got to spend lots of time with Hopie and Addie got to spend a fun day with her buddie Ellie, plus the day we left they all got to play at Emily's with Brooklynn and Ian which is one of their favorite places to go. So thank you to all involved :-)!
a few pics from Kayley of their fun...
and lastly, Mike wearing his Peru souvenir at church the next Sunday

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