From October 6th to the 12th, I had the pleasure of taking my parents on a tour through my side of Chile. Neither one of my parents had ever been to South America before, so it was definitely a leap of faith for them. South America has its own unique energy about it (everyone here is usually very outgoing and friendly, although it’s REALLY important to already know what things cost). Even so, it didn’t take long for my parents to get comfortable.  I saw my dad stop to assist a woman putting up her bike, and later I saw my mom help a different woman carry a baby carriage down some steps (…and that was only Day 1!). The week also carried a host of other great moments…here are a few.

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Here you can see my mom and dad on the right and my core gringo buddies on the left. We had an awesome lunch together at the California Cantina in Santiago. This is one of the rare restaurants in Santiago that carries American football, which helped ease the de-gringofication process for my parents. My friends gave them all kinds of  choice advice including, “Don’t waste your time looking for malt liquor in Chile,” and “They don’t have Hooters here, but they do have “Cafe con Piernas” which should keep you covered.”

After meeting the gringo buddies in Santiago, my parents and I left for my tiny town Los Andes, which is situated about an hour to the north. We had a wonderful lunch with my chilean host family who thankfully didn’t divulge as much information to my parents as they could have (score one for language barriers). After that we had a nice dinner with the my fun-sexy chilean friend Leslie in her apartment (she’s lovely).

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The following day, I took my parents to my Elementary school to let them see me in action. The first thing I got to do was lead a dance to One Direction (yes, kids in Chile also love “One Direction.” It’s horrendous….horrendous but awesome.) Below that is a shot of me throwing the disc with some chitlins during recess. My dad is never one to turn down throwing a frisbee, so he also got in on the action. At the end of the day the principal walked up to me and said, “Hey, your day is great at getting kids moving….just like you!” which made me tear up (….slightly!).

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The day after visiting my school, we decided to take the tour bus “Turistik” to see 15 locations in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar in 6 hours, which was only feasible because the two cities are adjacent to one another. There is nothing wrong with tour buses, but being given only 25 minutes to explore before being herded back is kind of a bust. Still, we had a good time and they got a glimpse of Viña Del Mar— the city where I envision myself living in 2014 (any apartment within walking distance of the beach).

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Below is a great photo my mom took in Valparaiso. The houses in Valpo have a very distinct and colorful look, which just so happened to go really well with the blue and green pastels on my shirt. The picture is beautifully staged, although none of that was actually planned.

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After traveling to the coast, we returned to Santiago and visited a Viña known as “Concha y Toro.” We drank some wine, and met some people from Brazil (Brazilian women are ridiculously attractive, and most of the guys are hysterical. If I ever learn Portuguese, it will be purely for those reasons).

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On our final day we wandered  through Santiago, eventually stumbling upon a series of little exercise stations near our hotel.  My parents didn’t hesitate to jump on and get moving! Below that photo you can see me in my Play Pants, going for an elevated pull-up (ALL DAY).

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By the final day of the visit, I think we were ready to go in our separate directions, but the experiences that we shared together were unforgettable. I’ll certainly be seeing them and the entire cast of characters (family) over Christmas. After that, we can look forward to their visit to Chile in 2014!

If you have any ideas of what I could do to make a living in Viña Del Mar, let me know. Also, if you enjoyed the post, please toss me a ‘Like.’ As always, every time you leave a comment a baby ruffed grouse is successfully delivered. Thanks!