Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Sunset in Austin
We were remiss in getting this posted but arrived back in the USA at the end of February.  We arrived in Austin Texas and although we had had a wonderful time traveling around the world, we all felt excited and happy to be back in the good ol'USA.  We stayed at my parents' house in Austin and all of us were happy to see them.  My parents welcomed us with open arms and ended up spoiling all of us with great company, food and fun activities.  First off, my parents treated Justin and I to a romantic Valentines date at a wonderful restaurant, Truluck.  They had made us reservations, gave us a gift card and even spent the evening with the kids .  This was an extra special treat since Justin and I had not had a date night for the entire time we had been traveling.  The food was fantastic and the company was amazing.  During the rest of the visit we were all treated to a day at Austin's Park and Pizza.  This is a great area that has go karts, bumper boats, mini golf, laser tag, and amusement rides.  We all had a blast.  Justin slaughtered me in mini golf, much to my surprise!  We also went to a bounce park, where the kids had a great time jumping and bouncing.  They even tried the mechanical bull!  We ate at delicious places and my mom cooked the most amazing meals.  There really is nothing like your moms own cooking, and my mom is a fantastic chef.  High on our list was to go to a barbeque place called Rudy's.  We had all been talking about Rudy's for at least a month, and I will say that it did not disappoint.  During our visit my nephew, Thomas, had his 30th birthday.  My mom cooked the most delicious Moroccan  couscous with lamb and chicken.  It was so wonderful to spend the evening celebrating his birthday and visiting with my sister Nathalie, her husband Jeff and my niece Victoria.  It was great to catch up and share our adventure. 

Joel is intense in his go-kart!

During our visit, Justin planned on taking me up to Waco for a surprise visit to Magnolia Farms.  I am a huge fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their show fixer upper.  We, and I mean I, had a great time looking through their shop and visiting the silos.  They have a cute garden and even a fun play area for the kids.  We also took a drive over to their first shop and  went past the Harp Design Co.  During our lunch break, one of the restaurant staff told us of a house that was soon to be featured on a new episode of Fixer Upper, so after lunch we made a bee line to it and snapped a few pictures.  While in Waco we also took a tour of the Dr. Pepper museum.  This was a great day for me with being able to see things associated with my favorite show and favorite soda, win, win all around.   

Caroline at Magnolia Farms Store
House in Waco under renovation by Magnolia

Dr. Pepper Museum

Eden by the Dr. Pepper Man

Justin had also scoped out a place called Hamilton pools.  This is an easy 15 minute walk down to an amazing grotto where you can swim.  The kids tried to venture in but all of them except Eden, declared it too cold.  Eden on the other hand had a blast playing in the water.  Caleb, Joel and Danielle decided to explore the grotto and had fun building a fort with some logs they found lying around.  The grotto had a really pretty waterfall and Joel and Danielle went to stand under it. 

Hamilton Pools

Danielle Under the Waterfall

Eden testing out the water

All in all we had a truly wonderful time in Texas.  It was great not only spending time with my family but also being back in the United States.  

Friday, February 12, 2016


Making sandcastles at the Bahia Principe beach
We arrived in Cancun at 3pm and it took over 2 and a half hours to clear immigration, get our luggage and go through customs.  I was so surprised to see just how crowded the airport was.  At all of the airports we had gone through, this was by far the slowest process and the most congested.  We had planned on getting a rental car so once outside of the building we started looking for the guy that was supposed to meet us and take us to the rental car site.  20 minutes later we found him sitting in a corner talking to a couple of buddies with his sign in his lap.  If it wasn't for this other nice guy that could obviously see we were looking for someone and started to shout the name of the company, I'm certain we might still be looking for him.  Once we got to the rental agency they informed us that we were required to purchase a very expensive insurance that made the price of the car about 5 times higher.  At this point I was, you could say, a little cranky, and when another worker approached us and said they could take off $200 from the cost if we went to listen to a presentation about  vacation clubs, I just about lost it.  I had them take us back to the airport and Justin found a super shuttle to take us the 1 drive to our apartment in Akumal, which made it about 8pm when we arrived. 

We had found an apartment on the property of an all-inclusive resort, Bahia Principe. Our apartment was not all-inclusive, but we did get the use of one of the pools at one of the resorts and the beach with chairs and umbrellas.  We settled in the following day taking a cab to pick up groceries and headed to the pool.  We decided, after checking out the resort grounds that, in fact, we did not need a car.  They had shuttle services to get around and if we wanted to go anywhere else we could get a cab.  

A school of fish right near the beach

We took a few days and kicked back enjoying the amenities at the resort, even buying an all-inclusive day, just to see what it was like.  At one of the 4 other complexes there was a cute water park that the kids really enjoyed.  They even had a couple of organized games that all of the kids took part in and each of them came back with a t-shirt for placing in the top 3.  Joel and Eden as a team even came in first in the brownie decorating contest.  During our all-inclusive day we got to eat all of our meals at the buffets that they offered.  Unfortunately, I was expecting a lot more Mexican food and they only had a small sampling.  I did notice quite a bit of inebriated people walking around so we decided to stay closer to the water park in the hopes of avoiding them.  We also got to see an impressive dolphin show.  All in all, we had a pretty fun day.  

Danielle and Eden at the water park
It is impressive how high these dolphins get above the water

We also spent one of our days visiting the ruins in Tulum. After the advice from a couple of friends we ended up having a 15 minute drive to these ruins as opposed to a 2 and a half hour drive to a different area.  We were definitely not disappointed.  The ruins themselves are situated right on the edge of the ocean and the view was gorgeous.  The ruins were pretty interesting to see.  We had a really fun time exploring each of the buildings.  This had been a real huge interest for Joel.  During the whole trip he would say, "I can't wait to the Mayan ruins," and I am happy to report that he was thrilled to have gone there.  I should mention that there are A LOT of iguanas and these other rodent looking animals called coati and agouti roaming around.  I did not enjoy any of those and unfortunately for me in the ruins at Tulum we needed to pass through an entrance in the wall that somewhat resembled a tunnel, which had an iguana in it.  I freaked and almost said I would just wait for everyone near the wall but when I looked around I saw several huge iguanas and an agouti  run past, so through the tunnel I went, really, really fast.  The kids thought it was hilarious and I also spotted a smile on Justin's face, at least someone thought it was funny.  By the way, we did encounter all of these creatures around the resort.  In fact, the coati's seemed to get their meals from the many trash cans around, yuck.  

At the entrance of Tulum ruins
Joel in front of the temple
The coastline below the Tulum ruins

 The beach from the vantage point of the temple

On our last full day in Akumal we went to a lagoon called Yal-Ku to snorkel.  This place was recommended to us by the manager of the apartment.  I have to say it was a blast.  It is a combination of fresh and salt water and the lagoons are filled with so much fish that it felt like we were swimming in a tropical fish tank.  There were these huge rocks in the middle of the lagoons and all of the fish hung around that area.  The kids had a great time not only swimming with the fish, but they also had found these underwater tunnels that they swam through.  We all had a pretty spectacular time.  After Yal-Ku, we headed to a restaurant on the beach called Lol-ha to have a late lunch.  We had our fill of AWESOME Mexican food. Caleb, having become a rather adventurous eater ordered a varied platter of food that he had no idea what it was, but declared that it was all delicious.   After lunch, we walked the 25 feet to the beach and went for a snorkel.  I had read that this beach in particular was great for seeing sea turtles.  Well, they were right because there were tons of them.  Caleb, Joel, Danielle and I even saw a sting ray!  I did think it was funny that huge groups of tourist were paying ridiculous amounts of money to have a guide show them where the turtles were, when all you really needed to do was stick your face underwater and swim around for a couple of minutes.  I will say one thing we have learned along the way is that in some instances a guide or tour in not necessary.  We all had a perfect time at the lagoon, restaurant and beach and for me personally this day was my favorite in Mexico by far.  

Snorkeling at the Yal-ku lagoons

The path to the lagoons

Lunch at the Lol-Ha in Akumal

Danielle getting her hair braided

Another highlight, was that we rented a golf cart for a day.  Although we were not supposed to let the kids drive, we did, shhhh.   Justin took them out one at a time, gave them each a lesson and administered a driving test.  From this we do know who we will need to worry about and who we know will do just fine when it is time to get a driver's license.  I'm pretty sure those of you that know our children can predict this also.  Before turning the cart in I went for a spin in it myself with Caleb.  We ended up taking a tour of a couple of links of the very fancy golf course.  Justin later informed me that we are not supposed to be out there when we are not golfing so that we did not disturb the golfers, oops.  I told Justin we probably only disturbed one guy while he was trying to putt and I needed to reverse a couple of times to turn around. (While reversing the cart beeps).  Oh well, if his game was messed up by that, how good of a golfer is he?

We had a really great time in Mexico, and both Justin and I agree that  we would definitely come back, especially since it is not too far from Colorado.  Next stop Texas, USA!

These Agoutis were running around all over the place
That's a big beetle

Eden liked the new dress she got in Mexico

Caleb, or should I say, Luchador El Demonio Azul

Friday, February 5, 2016


Panama City Skyline
We decided to take a quick trip to Panama so that we could see the Panama Canal which was something Caleb really wanted to do.    In addition, Caroline would have a an excuse to play Van Halen's song "Panama" over and over again.  After an uneventful flight we arrived at Tocumen International Airport.   The hotel we were staying at graciously provided transportation for us.   On the drive over we noticed that Panama City is very modern with many newer skyscrapers dotting the skyline.   Our driver was quite aggressive weaving through the traffic.   The most memorable however was his technique in approaching a toll booth plaza.   We had a few of these, and each time he would seek out a lane that didn't have any cars waiting even if it was 5 or more lanes away.  If the crazy swerving wasn't enough, the gate would raise once it recognized the car through the electronic tolling system.  The driver had obviously done this often such that he had it timed so that the gate would open just before the car would have it.  For us sitting and watching, it seemed like for sure he was going to just blast through the gate without stopping.   We made it each time, but the gate wouldn't even be all the way vertical yet when we were passing through.  I wonder if he has ever hit it.  

We struggled a bit communicating in Panama given that we know as much Spanish as most people we encountered knew English.  That's to say not much.   Google translate helped immensely here.   We considered taking a bus to the canal but read that there were some areas that weren't safe to be walking around.   We didn't want to inadvertently end up in one of these areas so we decided to take a cab.   Actually, we tried Uber for the first time.   It worked out great.  Putting the destination into the app avoided miscommunication for our intended destination.   Also, we didn't have to negotiate the price down from the high tourist rates many cab drivers try for.  The payment is just fixed based on the time and distance.   I actually wish I would have used them previously on the trip.

The Panama Canal has it's visitor's center at the Miraflores Locks.  This is a double step lock near the Pacific side of the lock.   We were able to watch a large cargo and tanker ship make its way through the locks.   It is cool to see such a huge ship get lifted up in this water elevator.   The ships are pulled along with these mechanical "mules" that run on tracks on both sides of the canal.    We could see in the distance the construction area where they a building a new set of locks to accommodate even bigger ships.  We learned about the history of the canal through the visitor's center.  A few facts that I thought were interesting:

• The French had originally been the ones to start constructing the canal but after several years they abandoned the project.  The United States finished it in 1913.
• The United States relinquished full operational control of the canal to Panama in 1999.
• The canal is 48 miles long, most of which is through artificial lakes.  
• The canal saves 7800 miles for a trip by sea from New York to San Francisco.
• There are 3 sets of locks to get the ships up 85 feet and back down again to cross the Continental Divide.

We also learned of a website called MarineTraffic which the kids really liked.  It provided the geographical location of all the ships and information about the vessels.   Caleb enjoyed looking up the boats that were passing though and figuring out how much they weighed, etc… 

View of the Canal out to the Pacific Ocean
Large Freighter passing through the canal
Caroline, Danielle, and Eden at the Canal

Near the Miraflores Locks

Lock Gates Closing

The ships get pulled by the silver "mules" on the tracks adjacent to the canal

Group Photo

After visiting the canal we went to Casco Viejo, which is the old town in Panama city.  The streets are paved in red brick and many of the buildings have great character.  There is a lot of restoration occurring to preserve this area of town.  After exploring this area and having a meal we headed back to the hotel.

We departed back for the airport the next morning.  It was a short visit but I'm glad we did it.  The Panama Canal is an impressive feat of engineering and it was good to see it firsthand.

Casco Viejo

Lunch at a restaurant in Casco Viejo

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dominican Republic

Nice palm trees at Cap Cana
We took a 5 hour flight from Peru to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.   Once off the plane, we were instructed that we had to pay a $10 US dollar arrival tax per person.    It had to be in US dollars.   We weren't carrying any US cash.  I thought this was strange that it wasn't in their local currency, and that this apparently applied to everyone even if they weren't US  citizens.   I asked where an ATM was and they pointed me to the one and only money exchange booth.  Basically we were cornered into using this service as there were no ATMs and no competition for the money exchange.   As expected, the exchange rate was ridiculous.  They charged a 22% fee to get $60.  The $12 currency exchange fee isn't that much money but I hate the fact that it is set up to rip off incoming tourists.   Not exactly the way to welcome visitors in my opinion.

We went to get the rental car at the AVIS counter.  The car wasn't ready.  We were encouraged to buy an expensive insurance package to cover the car in addition to personal injury in case we injured someone else.   I figured this was a good idea but wasn't sure why he mentioned the personal injury part of it a few times.    After about an hour of waiting we got the car and were off to our condo for the week in the town of Bayahibe.

The condo did not look like what we had seen in the pictures when we booked it.   The unit was run down and in a state of disrepair.  Doors wouldn't close, there was no hot water, and tons of mold in the shower.   In addition, the internet service didn't work and neither did the television.   The attendant at the front office told us that we needed to pay extra for having more than one guest in the unit even though when we booked we told them there were six of us.  If that wasn't enough they said they needed to charge for electricity.  The meter wasn't at the source to the condo, rather something that was plugged into one of the outlets in the living room.   I'm doubtful that meter would be accurate.  The whole experience at this place felt like another case of getting swindled.  After one night, we decided we needed to find another place.  That part was a bit tricky however because we didn't have internet.    We thought if we drove into the nearby town of La Romana we could find a restaurant with WiFi and search for another place.

When entering the town we came up to a traffic light that was green but some guys in their early twenties approached to wash the windshield.   I waved them off, but they didn't listen and threw their soapy sponges on the car.  I slowly drove away and they grabbed their sponges but they weren't happy that I didn't stop to pay them even though I didn't want the service and they didn't do anything.   At a subsequent traffic light another group was sitting by the curb watching cars go by.  One of them spotted me and they all jumped up.   I guess it is easy to spot the tourists.   They started throwing things and one of them jumped right in front of me.  I swerved and I missed him, but it was nerve wracking nonetheless.  I think his intention was to get hit so that he could get a big payday though an injury claim.   Now the statements from the man at AVIS about making sure I had personal injury insurance on the car made more sense.  We passed though some areas with tons of trash in the ditches and what looked like quite awful living conditions when we finally spotted a Burger King and pulled in to the parking lot which was manned by a security guard.    He watched our car the entire time we were inside the restaurant.  

Punta Cana has many 5 star resorts that are very expensive.  Many of them at $1000 per night or more.  There weren't any options at the last minute for a place to stay on budget, so we chose a condo in a resort area near the airport called Cap Cana that was the least expensive we would find at $300 per night.  This ended up being about the most expensive place per night that we stayed with the exception of our one night in Singapore.    The Cap Cana gated resort area is huge and there had to be 50 different condo complexes in the area.    From driving around it looked like maybe half of them were closed.   There were many buildings that were abandoned even though they look like they were built within the last 10 years and were quite extravagant.    We stayed at a place called the Golden Bear Lodge, named after Jack Nicklaus as we were right on a golf course.   The place was huge.   It was an almost 3000 square foot condo with 3 decks, and a private splash pool.  I'm sure this place would have rented for more per night back in its heyday.   I'd estimate that there were 60 condos here over about 10 different buildings but we only saw one other guest here during our entire stay.   It was a bit strange having our own personal resort.  The pool was very large and we had it all to ourselves.  There was a building for a restaurant and a bar near the pool but they weren't open.   I had read that this resort had actually closed down a few years ago and had recently reopened.    There must have been a huge real estate boom here and it was overbuilt and thus many of the places weren't viable financially when the bookings dropped.   

Joel and Danielle on the condo deck with the Ocean in the distance
Given our less than pleasant driving experience in La Romana, we decided to stay put and just stick around the resort and go to the pool and nearby Juanillo beach.    The weather was great and the beach was beautiful.  There were nice big palm trees on the white sandy beach right near the turquoise water to provide shade.   Sitting there it felt like we were in a "Corona" commercial even though we were drinking "Presidente".  It was nice to have some lazy days to just kick back and relax.  We had a cannonball contest at the pool.  We even found a Spanish restaurant that had really good pintxos.  It reminded us of being back in Pamplona.

Juanillo Beach
Eden and Danielle at the Pool
Caleb enjoyed the green mussels
We have tried to get off the beaten path at times on this trip so that we could experience the countries beyond just the tourist destinations.     It doesn't mean we will always like what we see, and the Dominican Republic beyond the gates of the expensive tourist resorts was raw, dirty, and not a welcoming place where we felt safe.   It's too bad because it is a beautiful island.  In contrast, our experience in Bali was very different in that people were welcoming and had pride for their land even though they were also living in poverty.   There have been many learning experiences on this trip.   My week in the Dominican Republic made me appreciate the safety and living conditions I have at home even more than I did before.  

Near the marina at Cap Cana

The kids liked the swings on this sideways palm tree

At the beach

Kids loved having the pool to themselves

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Pacific Ocean from Mira Flores
After 20 hours of travel, we finally made it to Lima, Peru!  We headed over to our apartment in Miraflores and crashed.  We all slept in until 2pm the following day!  I could not believe that we had slept in that long.  We headed out into the sun to try to adjust to the time difference.  The kids thought it was pretty cool that since we had crossed over the International Date Line we had gained 1 day. Although, they are a little bummed that, they will now need to wait 2 whole extra days for Christmas (2016 is a leap year).  We walked around Miraflores and took in the amazing sites of the city.  I loved the view out to the Pacific Ocean with the islands in the distance.  We had a great time walking along the sea.  The city itself is situated high on the bluff, so the ocean is about 80 meters below.  With this elevation, you have a really outstanding vantage point to the north and south.  We needed to pick up our Peru rail tickets so we ended up at an upscale mall called Lacromar.  I love the way that they designed the mall so that what you see from the street is a park and the mall is actually built below so that the view is not obstructed.  At the park, they had a playground so we let Eden run around and play.  We easily found the Peru rail office and had our tickets issued.  At this point, we were all starving and asked the nice man if he had any suggestions for a restaurant nearby that offered Peruvian food.  He directed us to Tanta, which thankfully was only a few steps away.  We had a wonderful meal.  Caleb decided to try something called Causa, I ordered some Tequenos.  Both were amazing.  We found out that Causa is a cold, seasoned mashed potato terrine filled with different types of fish or eggs.  Caleb's dish was a take on that but offered up in a sushi roll style. There were several different varieties and each of them were fantastic.  My Tequenos was filled with beef and beans in a rich sauce accompanied with a pepper crema.  It was outstanding.  Justin got a beef Chifa dish that was so good all three of us ended up sharing.  The kids ordered some fun fruit drinks, kind of like a smoothie and Justin and I decided to try a couple of cocktails containing Pisco.  Pisco is a Peruvian white brandy.  I got the classic version and Justin ordered a strawberry/mint/lime flavored one.  Wow!  They were amazing.  We had so much fun at the restaurant and had such good food that we decided to try to go back so that we could try more of the traditional appetizers.

In Mira Flores
Tanta - A great Peruvian restaurant
The following day we flew to Cusco.  It was rather impressive to land at this airport.  It's pretty windy and it is right in the middle of some very steep mountains at about 10,000 feet in elevation.  We had a pretty steep and fast descent but a smooth landing.  We headed into the city center to purchase our tickets into Machu Picchu.  After that, we headed over to have some lunch.  We found a nice little restaurant on Plaza Regocijo.  Then we headed to catch a collectivo (large van, small bus) to get to Ollantaytambo.  We had wanted to take the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes but the train rails were closed for maintenance between Cusco and Ollantaytambo, so collectivo it was.  One thing I have noticed is all around the world there are different driving styles.  For example in South Africa, drivers will move into the shoulder to allow people to pass.  In Peru, we have noticed that they drive rather fast and brake really hard.  A lot of the cars' brakes squeak.  The collectivo was no different. He was passing all sorts of other vehicles along the way.  There were a few times when I thought we didn't have much room to pass until the oncoming traffic got in the way, but he made it, barely, every time.  I had wondered how many times a day he did this drive.  Once in Ollantaytambo we headed to our hotel.

Caleb on the tarmac in Cusco

Ollantaytambo main street.  They have a "Kwik-E-Mart"

The following day we took the train to Aguas Calientes then a bus up to Machu Picchu.  On the train we chose the Vista dome so that we could see the scenery better through the overhead windows.  We were very happy that we did this because you really had a wonderful view of the soaring peaks.  As you may have figured out by now, it is not a very straightforward journey to get to Machu Picchu, which is why, with the kids along, we broke it up into 2 days.  I chuckled to myself that our journey involved planes, trains and automobiles.

Train to Aguas Calientes

Town Square in Aguas Calientes
Once at Machu Picchu we hired a private tour guide.  This was absolutely the best thing we did.  We got this recommendation from a very good blog that we read.  Our guide, Odes, was a vat of information.  We climbed to the top and started there.  The views were amazing!  The mountains are so unique.  Along our travels we have seen quite a few mountains and yet we had seen nothing like this.  They are so steep and lush with vegetation and grass.  I also loved seeing the Urubamba River below.  Odes explained everything about the ruins and we all learned so much.  I did feel for him because Caleb asked question after question that he barely had time to breathe.  Luckily for us Odes did not seem to mind and expertly answered each of his questions.  Justin and I were delighted at how much the kids enjoyed the visit and were so interested in all of the dynamics involved in the lives of the Incas. After our tour I asked each of the kids what their favorite part was.  Caleb said he loved how they kept track of the calendar using the shadows from the temple windows.  Joel said that he loved how they figured out such complex things with their high levels of observation and ingenuity. Danielle loved how they were able to cut and smooth each stone used to build their city.  I loved the way the city blends seamlessly with the mountain, like it emerged from the mountain itself and was part of it.  What an amazing place! It is so unique and we can see why it is considered to be a "Wonder of the World".  We were also impressed at how much Eden climbed and walked in Machu Picchu.  We needed to help her in some places and picked her up from time to time because there was a group of people behind us, but for the most part she did it all herself.  Afterwards, we checked Justin's Fitbit and it said we climbed 100 flights!  She did about 70% herself, way to go Eden!

Machu Picchu!!

Near the top

Urubamba river below
Some of the homes in the city

Main Entrance Gate

Temple of the Sun

Temple of the Three Windows

Taking a quick break

Huayna Picchu ruins near the top of the peak
Farming terraces

One of the llamas wandering around
Temple of the Condor.  This was on of the wings.

On one of the many terraces

We grabbed a light lunch at the base then headed back to Aguas Calientes.  Here we had a nice ice cream treat and walked around this quaint town.  We picked up some fun souvenirs and headed back to Ollantaytambo via train.   We did a quick visit of the ruins at Ollantaytambo.

This hairless dog (except his mohawk) was on a roof looking at the people below in Aguas Calientes

Ruins at Ollantaytambo 
The following day we took a collectivo to Cusco.  We ended up going straight to our hostel because we were all sunburned and needed a break from the sun.   I had been keeping track of the weather outlook using my Weather Channel app and the whole time it said that we would get rain and it would be in the upper 60s.  When we were in Machu Picchu it was anything but that, we had sunny skies and  the temperature was in the mid-80s.  I had prepared for rain so I forgot the sunscreen.  I felt terrible looking at my family of tomatoes.  Later in the afternoon, when the sun was not blazing overhead we put some sunscreen on and headed out to grab an early dinner.  We walked around the city, I love how it is dotted with plazas.  It was so fun to just sit down and people watch.  We saw women dressed in beautiful traditional clothing carrying a lamb or walking with their llama.  We all thought that it was super unique.  At 4am we were awaken by a bang, bang, bang.  It continued for the rest of the night. We had no idea what was going on, but later found out that it was firecrackers for the San Sebastian Festival.  Once we were out and about we saw a couple of parades for the celebrations.

Cathedral in Plaza de Armas, Cusco

Women in Cusco with a lamb

Parade in Cusco
We headed up to  Saqsaywaman, which is another site of Inca ruins.  These are a little different because of the amazingly tight fit of these massive stones.  It is incredible at how precise the fit of the stones are.  We also walked over to the statue of the Cristo Blanco and had a marvelous view of Cusco below.  It was a disheartening to see that there were literally hundreds of stray dogs wandering the streets of Cusco.  Seemed like wherever there was a garbage bag, a dog was ripping into it scavenging for food. Made me think of Bob Barker's famous quote to control the pet population and what happens when you don't.  After lunch we headed to the airport to fly back to Lima.  The following day I caught up on the laundry and prepared for our departure the following day.  But we headed back to Tanta for another fabulous meal and delicious drinks.  Did I mention the ceviche is awesome!  Thank you Peru for a unique and magnificent experience, it surpassed our expectations even with the high expectations of a must-do bucket list place to visit.

Saqsaywaman ruins

Up close you can see how tight the stones fit together

View of Cusco

Some of the doors we saw are really short! Danielle looks really tall next to this one.