Category Archives: music

About 24 Hours in Santiago!

After the fairly quick (under 2 hours) bus ride from Vina del Mar to Santiago, I arrived (again) at one of the several Santiago bus terminals in the city. I had already made a reservation at a hostel so, this time, I knew exactly where I was going (the taxi line) when I arrived into town.

I took a taxi to my (lovely) hostel, checked in, dropped off my bags, grabbed a map and headed out to explore Santiago.

hostel santiago

The front of my Santiago hostel

Cara, who I had met up with the week prior in Vina del Mar, was living in Santiago and taking Spanish classes. Prior to my arrival in Santiago, we made plans to meet at the starting point of a free walking tour.

The starting point of the tour was the Plaza de Armas, the central square so I made my way there and wandered a bit before Cara and I were scheduled to meet.

The tour was in English, and super informative. If I had to make a comparison, Santiago felt very much like it could have been a city in North America, in most cases.

More of Santiago’s architecture…including Pablo Neruda’s Santiago home (bottom).

Parks are a big part of life in Santiago. They felt pristine.

The other thing to note, is that because most people don’t live together until they are married, is that the parks become make out locations for couples. Example A: park benches were filled with couples like this one. Example B: Behind Cara, you see several couples embracing one another on the ground. Also, a frequent sight.

And, if you didn’t already know, sex sells. Billboards like this one were everywhere. Not sure if I noticed it more than in the US but it felt overwhelmingly naked in Santiago!

santiago ad

The day went quickly. Day turned to night. Cara and I had dinner.

Then, after some resting, we started our evening … at a club where Cumbia music was on tap. Cumbia is said to be the mother of Latin music. We were busy dancing and trying to figure out how it went, this was the only picture of the evening!


I got back to my hostel sometime in the middle of the night. The next morning, before leaving for the airport, I needed to take care of two things:

  • Check the internet
  • Visit the “American” supermarket to stock up on peanut butter.

First, check the internet. Why? Word on the street I had been told that the flooding in the Atacama Desert was pretty severe. The Atacama Desert is known to be the driest desert in the world. So, I sort of blew it off until, you know, hours before my flight to the center of it. I mean, how could a desert flood? Um, well it can. When I Googled “San Pedro flooding,” multiple articles stated that this was the worst flooding the region had seen in 11 years.


I emailed Alana and Courtney, who were probably at the airport for their overnight flight from the US to Santiago, where they would connect to Calama, the nearest airport to San Pedro de Atacama. I let them know about the flooding concerns. I confirm that my flight is a go and we’ll see each other the following day.

Second, visit the “American” supermarket. Why? As someone who is not a steak eater, I was unsure what I would do in remote, high-altitude, heavy meat eating countries. Along my travels, a few travelers had suggested getting peanut butter as a backup. So here I was … in the middle of Santiago … looking at Philadelphia cream cheese, many brands of yogurt and peanut butter that I recognized and enough candy to fill a candy store!

I purchased a plastic (wasn’t risking glass smashing when they throw your bags underneath the bus) jar of peanut butter and headed to the airport for my flight to Calama.

At the airport, of course I would see a Starbucks. The sign ‘para llevar’ was a phrase I had learned with Marisa in Mendoza …which means ‘to go’… and, in this case, made perfect sense. I smiled, knowing I understood exactly what it meant, and made my way to my gate.

para llevar.jpg


To Another Place and Time

On a recent rainy day I found myself waiting for the F train on the Lexington Avenue line at 63rd Street.

The combination of the rainy day and the deep into the ground subway line reminded me of London.

I think it was the Covent Garden station in London that was so far down into the ground. I took the steps once, but they had these huge cargo elevators to shuttle people from the depths of the earth to street level.

At the 63rd Street station there may be elevators, but what’s iconic are the escalators, and more escalators, just when you think you made it!

Kenny Chesney sings a song called ‘I Go Back’ – it’s about how something in your present ‘takes us to another place and time.’ 

I have plenty of those triggers but the rainy day and the 63rd Street F station was definitely the most recent.

What takes YOU to ‘another place and time’…share in the comments below!

Review of the Concert

Not only was it awesome – but Tim McGraw opened with my favorite song and ended with one of my other favorite songs.

It was very cool to be at an outdoor amphitheatre in November – though the temperature did drop a bit and there was a little bit of a chill in the air. But all the singing and dancing warmed me right up. And the beer, that probably helped.

The biggest observation I had with the concert was that NO ONE WAS SINGING.

I felt like my sister and I were the only ones. I shushed her a few times since NO ONE WAS SINGING.

It was nuts. On one trip to the bathroom (ideally timed since it was a song I didn’t love) I heard a few girls saying they got asked to stop singing by someone else. Thankfully that didn’t happen to us, but at least there were other people singing.

For lawn seats, it was the quietest concert I have ever attended!

The Cowboy in Me

After shocking the crap out of my sister on Friday night, I held in her next surprise until Saturday morning.

I handed her another birthday card that held four tickets to see Tim McGraw! He just happens to be playing at a casino opening in Tucson, Arizona this particular birthday weekend (great planning on my part) and J and I are both huge Tim fans.

The cowboy boots made the trip with us and will be worn to the concert tonight. It’s Tim’s first time ever playing in Tucson, which is kind of shocking since it’s cowboy country. And it will be the boyfriend AND the brother-in-law’s first Tim concert. I know they are so excited too (note sarcasm).

If you are wondering, the subject of this post is the title of a Tim song. I may be a city gal, but I’m truly a country gal at heart.

BootsnAll Indie Travel Project #indie30 Music

I have been following along BootsnAll’s 30 days of Indie Travel Project. I’m hopping in a little late but I am going to start with day three – music! Here goes:

There were several men dressed alike who were making beautiful music in Split, Croatia. The crowd enjoying their music grew and grew and one of the guys pulled me from out of the crowd and started to serenade me!

The music echoed off the walls that surrounded part of the town. We bought their CD and when we listen to it, it brings us back to a warm and sunny September day in the ancient Roman city of Split.