Peru Day 9-Lima

The ninth day of my trip to Peru was also the last full day of my vacation with my mom. As is always the case with the last day of a vacation I woke up feeling a little bit sad (in fact I feel kind of sad as I write this blog since even my writing about my trip is nearing an end).

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But I was still excited to go out and see more of what Lima had to offer.

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Once again my mom and I were lucky that our hotel room included a breakfast buffet to go along with our room rate. This was the best of the three breakfast buffers we had while in Peru. There really was a little bit of everything to choose from.

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I filled up, which was good because we had another jam packed day of walking ahead of us.

After leaving the hotel we heading towards the two main squares of Lima, our ultimate destination was the San Francisco monetary and church. The night before when my mom and I reached Plaza San Martin (the plaza the was built to mark Peru’s 100th anniversary of independence from Spain) we had stumbled across an LGBT right’s festival. On the morning of our ninth day we once again stumbled across a major event. There was some kind of parade going on.

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This was the third event we just happened to luck upon in Peru without planning it. In Cuzco there had been the festival of the sun.

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Then in Lima there was the LGBT rights concert.

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And then the parade…I felt very lucky to experience some very legitimate Peruvian culture in that way.

We had no idea what the parade was for but we waited and watched it for about half an hour.

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Eventually we decided to get going so that we could see more of Lima. We later found out that the parade was for Pope’s Day. Since Peru is such a catholic country this parade was big deal. So big in fact that the parade went on all day long.

As we continued past Plaza San Martin we enjoyed the street that we were on that had lots of shops.

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It reminded me of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica or the 16th Street Mall in Denver.

While we explored we happened upon a church and went in to check it out.

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Once we reached the main square of Lima, the Plaza de Armas, I needed a break. All of the hiking and walking of the trip was catching up to me not to mention standing still and watching the parade had left my legs feeling very sore. My mom and I went into a local fast food restaurant to have a soda and rest. That also gave us the opportunity to watch the end of the Mexico vs. Holland game in the round of 16 of the World Cup.

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After the game was over we headed out to explore some more.

We wondered around the Plaza de Armas. I LOVED the European architecture and atmosphere.

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We also were intrigued by the President’s residence.

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I actually got my picture taken with one of the guards (sadly the picture came out blurry).

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I was looking for a few more souvenirs so we went into several shops. After getting what I wanted we began to make our way towards San Francisco, all the while enjoying the various sights of Lima.

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I had made a list of several things that I wanted to see in Lima when I went through the travel book before our trip but the number one thing I wanted to see was San Francisco.

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It was the one thing I would regret not seeing in Lima if I didn’t go. It did not disappoint. It was really cheap to get into and we were on a guided tour. It reminded me of some of the things I’ve seen in Europe. There was a very obvious and large Spanish influence (of course, because it was build when Peru was still a part of Spain). I did get to see two things that made it special for me though. The first was the library. The library was huge and reminded me of the library the Beast presents to Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”. The difference was this library was very old and you could smell that amazing musty smell old books had. I did not want to leave that room because it was unlike any other room I had ever been in…but the tour had to go on. The other amazing thing on our tour of San Francisco was the catacombs. Even though there are catacombs in Europe I haven’t been in any of them. I absolutely LOVED the catacombs, but my mom found it creepy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures on our tour.

After our tour of San Francisco it was time for lunch. We picked a place across the street from the church. I had been hearing great things about the ceviche in Lima and when we sat down for our last lunch in Peru I had planned on ordering it. Then I saw saltado, a dish I had fallen in love with back in LA. As much as I wanted to try ceviche in Lima I wanted to have saltado while in Peru even more so saltado it was. While we were eating we watched the first part of the Costa Rica vs. Greece match at the World Cup.

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Upon completing our lunch we did a little more exploring. My mom wanted to see a Bullfighting stadium. I wanted to see it too but I was a little leery of the area it was in. As we got closer to the stadium I began to feel a change in atmosphere.

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As much as I wanted to see the stadium I didn’t want to put us in a situation where something bad could happen to us with just a few hours left in our vacation. I told my mom I didn’t feel safe so we turned around.

We slowly began to make our way back towards our hotel.

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We went in the San Francisco church since the church itself wasn’t open on our tour.

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We had a long way to go and as we went through the Plaza de Armas one last time we found that at long last the parade for Pope’s day was winding down.

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We also saw that Costa Rica was going to a shoot-out with Greece. I was texting with my husband, who was rooting for his Central American neighbors, and I wanted to see the end of the match. So my mom and I stood on the side of street with a bunch of other people to watch the end of the game. Once again I was struck with the intensity of how much Peruvians love their football, despite the fact that they haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 1982. I also felt very Latino, I felt like me and all of my Latin brothers were pulling for Costa Rica. It was a great moment to stand on a street of Lima when Costa Rica advanced to the quarterfinals of the Word Cup for the first time.

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I am so glad I got experience that.

Once the game was over we headed back to our hotel. As fate would have it we happened across a building that hosts AA meetings. As I mentioned early in my blogs my mom is recovering alcoholic and drug addict and she is also a counselor at a rehab facility, so it seemed like fate for us to just happen to stumble across that building and sign.

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When we got back to the hotel we had to get packed but before we could do that we had to figure out what to do about dinner. We weren’t really hungry yet but we knew we would be. We ended up going with Subway. It wasn’t an adventurous choice for our last meal but by picking a sandwich we picked food that we could take back to our room and eat when we wanted to eat. Ironically, the meal we had at the American chain was actually the most difficult to order. For days I had been very confident in ordering food in Spanish but since Subway offers you so many choices I really struggled.

Once back in the room it was a matter of wrapping things up. Peru had treated us well but our time was up. Our flight from Lima to Mexico City was scheduled to leave at 7:50 am that meant we once again would have to get up very early. So we got ready, ate our Subway and tried to sleep.

I didn’t want to sleep. I had sacrificed so much to make the trip happen and I didn’t want it to be over but it was over and eventually I did fall asleep.

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