Thursday, May 15, 2014

Christmas in Chile, Part 3 (Final Part!)

So, about 5 months after the fact, here is the final word on Chile. This post is going to be more about sites we visited than about family, though it's hard to separate the two out from each other. Again, it will be very long, and again, feel free to just cruise through pictures if you wish.

One of the first things we got to go see was La Iglesia de San Francisco, a very old and very beautiful church in Santiago. The courtyard was huge and beautifully kept, and the old wood benches were actually impressively comfortable - maybe because they were so worn smooth. Here are some pictures there:

We also went to La Iglesia de Los Domenicos, which has a mini-village on its property where vendors make their livings by selling Chilean crafts and novelties - everything from traditional sewn clothing and traditional or more modern knit wool clothing, to traditional pottery and other dishes, to leatherwork and woodwork, to food and drinks, to jewelry (including a lot with silver and lapis lazuli, since Chile is only one of two places in the world where you find this beautiful blue stone). There was also a lot of copper, including the decorative copper plates very common in Chile. You will never guess what we found etched on one of these copper plates - the Salt Lake City temple! I expected to find some with the Santiago temple on it, but when we walked into one shop and saw the SLC and Mt. Timpanogos temples sitting there we were amazed! Of course we had to get the one with the Salt Lake temple on it since that's where we were married. The vendor was very excited for us - she didn't know a lot about it, only that there are enough Latter-day Saints who come around shopping that it's worth stocking a few wares with LDS temples on them. :-) We did a lot of our shopping there for gifts for others, and for gifts for ourselves! ;-)

Here are some pictures with us there:

We went to Valparaiso (the first port on the west coast of North and South America!) and nearby Vina del Mar. Here are some pictures from that trip:

After this we celebrated New Year's Eve, back in Santiago:

 I wasn't in the most celebratory mood, since my poor baby was pretty sick that night... :-(

...and then we visited Tia Carmen and Tio Claudio's family again:

And then we went to Pichidangui - more time on the seashore! - where there is a retreat for military personnel:

 (churros filled with manjar - kind of like dulce de leche - and then dipped in chocolate. Amazing!!!)

On the way back, one of the last places we got to go to is called La Ligua - a smaller town where vendors specialize in clothing, especially in knit clothing. A lot of the things for sale there are wool, including from alpaca, and the prices are amazing!

I took pictures of all the goodies we got there spread out on our couch after we got home: (the first three are things for Ellie, whether for now or for in the next couple of years. The last two pictures were things for me and for Kent.)

Once back in Santiago again, after spending just a little time back at the apartment, we also got to eat at one of the military clubs:

On our last Sunday, after going to church, we also attended part of a Catholic mass at the cathedral and explored more of Santiago:

It wasn't easy to leave :-(

(Disclaimer: I know I still need to update the posts I've done about Chile a little bit, for instance with corrected Spanish spellings complete with accents, etc. So these will hopefully be updated a little more in the near future. But, for the most part, here it is! Our trip was such an amazing experience! Sorry it took so long everybody!)

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