- I met an interesting couple on the flight down to Peru that are from Cardiff-by-the-Sea (it's a small world). He is an English teacher in Oceanside and for some reason reminded me of my dad. Might of had something to do with the gray goatee, the bald head :o), and they laid-back surfer attitude. They were on their way to Cusco and didn't really seem to know what they were doing, so I gave them the lowdown and recommended a few places to eat. He was also interested in possibly having dental work done somewhere in Latin America so we traded emails and I gave him my assessment of Peruvian dental care. I heard back from him the other day that they totally loved Jack's (Who doesn't? Or so I've heard...) and had a good time in Cusco, despite it being really cold. Anyway, they cashed out of their house in SD at the peak of the real estate bubble and purchased some property in Costa Rica and are planning on retiring there. Sounds like a good idea to me!
- Ryan got married - religiously! They had their wedding in a nice church followed by a reception in a tent (similar to our's, but different shape, etc.) at an Air Force club. I had a great time hanging out with Ryan's old buddies, all of whom I had met one time or another throughout the years, and of course his wonderful family. Erika and I had a lot of fun at the wedding and danced our shoes off (shocking!) and enjoyed some of the tasty beverages that were served up.
- Surgery! Erika's mom made it through her plastic surgery with flying colors and, despite not being allowed to leave the hospital yet, she is doing great. We spent a few hours at the hospital every day and hopefully she will be home and recovering soon!
- Shopping! Erika and I went to a jacket market in downtown Lima and scored some sweet long baby Alpaca wool jackets for the winter! We paid a total of about $100 for both of them. Unfortunately, due to my size being unusual for Peru, I had to take my jacket to the tailor to get the arms extended and to make it fit my body better. It's worth the extra $15 to make sure I'm warm for the winter.
- Concerts! I had my first experience at a major concert (~30,000 in attendance) in Peru. We saw a Dominican bachata band that we like (Aventura) play a great show, even if I didn't understand anything the singer was saying. Just like rappers singing about life in the hood, the lead singer ("Romeo", which totally fit his character) sang about things that might be considered "typical" for Dominican men like cheating on your girlfriend/wife, how to be a gentleman when you tell your girlfriend/wife you cheated on her, and how to tell your best friend that you are cheating with his girlfriend/wife :o) . But he was quite a showman and we had a great time, even if our feet were about to explode after standing up for about 5 hours by the end of the show.
- Concerts :o( Despite the show being great, I had my first experience at someone trying to rob me! I was standing in line waiting to get into the venue (with thousands of others, it was not very well organized) when I suddenly felt a super hard jerk on my arm backwards. Someone was trying to steal my flippin' watch! I turned around, dealt a swift capoeira Armada com martelo kick to the guy's mandible (maybe it was more like this), leveling him and stepped on his neck until the police rushed over and arrested him. And then I woke up from my stooper and turned around, shocked, looked at the guy (who of course pointed to someone else) and ran to catch up to Erika and tell her what happened, massaging my wrist the whole time. Of course there were no police in the area, despite the mass of people. I was freaked out and worried about my wedding ring, her wedding/engagement ring and watch, etc. Of course, she wasn't as concerned since this is not an unusual event in Peru (she's had three watches stolen and her wallet stolen twice) and said "I told you to be careful". Needless to say, I gave her my watch to protect it and was glad that she was the one handling all the money during the trip.
- Michael Jackson :o( RIP. I always wanted to see him make a comeback and it's sad to know that he went out the way he did and hard to believe that he isn't around anymore. I honored his passing by buying a $2 illegal DVD of one of his concerts. Aventura tried to honor him by singing Billy Jean during the concert, but it was horrendous and they got half way through the first chorus before stopping. How do you not know the words of that chorus??