Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Friends in April

This April we were lucky to have our friends Maura and Amanda visit. We decided to show them a few of our favorite things about Chile: Wine, Mountains, Friends and Fun!

We began the trip in Santiago where we raced and enjoyed the nightlife.

We travelled to the coastal city of Valparaiso. We stayed in a very colorful hostel right in the hills and spent our days walking in the city. Amanda shopped constantly and Maura was our action photographer. We took a trip to Pablo Neruda's house to learn about his collections and poetry.
Streets of Valpo

Pablo Neruda's Casa
We also took a semi disastrous trip to Vina del Mar and Con Con to find empanadas. What we ended up finding was long walk in the middle of no where and a 50 minute bus ride. Finally we ended the day drinking wine in a little empanada stand and it turned out to be one of our favorite nights of the trip.

After spending a few days in Valpo we headed toward Cajon de Maipo a nature resort in the Andes mountains. On the way we stopped at Vina Concha y Toro for a wine tour and tasting.

Upon arriving the the mountain resort we participated in a zip line and hike to a waterfall. The zip line was great and the hike was fun, but when we arrived the waterfall was more like a drip. Still the scenery was breathtaking and it was great to show our friends some of the magic of Chile.

After spending the night in an amazing cabin we went horseback riding though the Andes. It was terrifying and spectacular! The views of the mountains in the sunlight as we rode our horses made us really feel alive!

It was so wonderful to share this time with our friends and we hope they loved Chile as much as we do!

Marathon de Santiago

Arden ran his first full marathon, yes that's 42 k or 26.2 mi in a staggering personal best 3:52 min, through the streets of Santiago, Chile, on a brisk but sunny April 1, 2012.  Amber and friend Maura, in from Washington D.C. for the week, dominated the 10k, while fellow OU bobcat, Amanda Panda, in from Jersey, destroyed the 21k half marathon in preparation for her full first full marathon in May.

Amongst the 10,000 fellow racers spread out over three distances, we knew finding each other would be difficult and agreed on a meeting point and an approximate finish time based on Arden's 4 hour goal.  So as planned, Amber and friends gathered at the finish line (point A) at the 4 hr mark, Amber inside the track waiting to run the last 100 meters with her weary husband, all three unaware that Arden had crossed the finish line 8 min earlier and was currently hobbling towards meeting point B in the nearby plaza.  After an hour of waiting and wandering, Arden returned to meeting point A just in case and found Maura and Amanda, cameras locked and loaded, and poor Amber, worried sick but still waiting anxiously for her wounded soldier.  We took a few action shots and headed home proudly sporting our new Santiago Marathon t-shirts and copper medals of participation.  
That evening we met up with Arden's Mexican training partner, Uriel, and his Japonese friend Kyomaru, for an International night out at a famous bar called "The Clinic."  Great food, strong drinks, and conversation in English, Spanish, and Japanese made for a memorable evening.