Cuzco, here we are

Day one of our vacation: wow!!!

But first things first…our travel day started with a flight cancellation. Quickly, we got rebooked…just to then find the airport in Cartagena closed due to thunderstorms. Slight panic when the flight we were on was scheduled to depart too late for our connection in Bogotá, but thanks to the lovely Avianca ladies, we got onto the first flight departing for Bogotá. After dinner in BOG, we boarded our 10pm flight to Lima, comfortably upgraded thanks to Anthony’s status with Avianca, I slept the entire flight.
Immigration in Lima proofed to be simple, not too many incoming flights at 1230am, however, the airport was packed! Lima is a hub for many other South American destinations, and lots of travelers spend the night there — as did we. If you know us, you know we didn’t camp out or sleep…we wandered the airport and boarded, roughly 4 hours later, our last flight to Cuzco.
Landing in Cuzco is spectacular, the plane flies in an turns into the airport flanked by mountains, breathtaking views!
I’m still trying to figure out how the transportation and luggage situation works at the airport…somehow a porter knew our names, I’m not going to worry if the manifest is being released or if the hotels share this information…regardless, we arrived safely at our hotel: JW Marriott. What a gem, what a gorgeous hotel, amazing staff and history.
After a quick breakfast, we slept the morning away to catch up on a few hours of sleep.
We spent the afternoon exploring, mainly aimlessly walking thru the centro historico. First stop: El Meson for lunch. Great little place, overlooking Plaza de Armas. We continued our walking tour to the Choco Museo, what a cute little museum with tasting opportunities!! After a few samples, we made our way back to the hotel, since we wanted to join the tour of the hotel.
This blogpost gives a little information about the history of the hotel and the amazing renovation/restoration Marriott did over the course of six years.
http://www.blogs.marriott.com/marriott-on-the-move/2012/10/unearthing-incan-relics-in-cosco-peru.html

My favorite: Swarovski crystals representing the sun, which had been so important and instrumental to the Inca culture.

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We ventured out to dinner and enjoyed a lovely, low-key dinner at El Méson de Don Tomás trying some local dishes, including Alpaca and Papa Rellena.

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Infused water

I’m embarrassed to say, I just now started making my own water…not sure why it took for me to turn 42 in April, move to Colombia and start the 21 Day a Fix (that’s for another time) to make pitchers filled with fruit, veggie and herb combinations!

Day one: cucumber spearmint

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Day two: strawberry basil

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There will be more. I’m now on a mission. It’s like cocktailing without the sugar and the alcohol, the strawberry basil gives me the sensation of being on vacation, in Italy perhaps…not sure if the red and green remind me of pizza. Regardless, it’s tasty, it makes complete sense to do it, especially since I am surrounded by fruit and need to drink lots of water. There’s lots of websites, Facebook and Instagram accounts focusing on infused water. So yes, I’m late to the party, but it tastes good, makes me feel good, looks pretty and is easy to prepare…

Have you infused yet? Tell me how.

FM Restaurante (4/12)

By dining at FM Restaurante, we completed the list of 5 gourmet restaurants in CTG based on this write up: http://www.colombia.travel/en/official-bloggers/entry/rainbow-nelson/gourmet-cartagena-5-great-places-to-eat-in-cartagena.

FM Restaurante definitely deserves a spot in this list in our book! There’s a saying in German that the eye participates in a meal, and the saying a picture is worth a thousand words, how about letting the pictures we took while at Adam tell the story of a culinary treat, great service and a lovely bottle of vino tinto?

I’d say, when in CTG eat at FM!

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Truly a Good Friday in the Old City

We decided to go play in the Old City for a few hours and experience “la feria de dulces”, definitely worth a visit, both for the eye and from a culinary perspective!

Dulce de Leche and Coco de Leche

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Additionally, we indulged in fresh coconut

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And some traditional sweets

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It was a fun way to indulge and experience another slice of CTG.

National grilled cheese month

Just a quick post and picture in celebration of national grilled cheese month.
If you’re reading this, check out the contest among the Loews Hotels.

Go vote for what looks the most appealing to you — or vote for Loews Madison, the hotel I worked for while living in WDC.

http://loewshotelsblog.com/grilled-cheese-local-ingredients/

My lunch was a grilled mozzarella/pear sandwich…
(Not from the book in the picture, but since seeing the book gave me the idea for today’s lunch…)

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Have you had yours yet??

El Balcón (4/5)

While spending a day in the old city a few weeks ago, I had walked by El Balcón, both a Bed & Breakfast and Bar/Restaurant. As the name indicates, it has a very cute balcón overlooking Plaza San Diego in the Old City, our usual Saturday night playground.

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There are only a few tables, some balcony seating as well as a handful of seats at the bar. The menu is straight forward, a variety of dishes representing a variety of influences/cuisines.

We ordered a Gazpacho and Calamares to start, followed by the Langostino special and Cazuela (seafood casserole). We finished our delicious meal with a maracuyá mousse with some chocolate drizzle — heaven in a cup!!!
The service was lovely, the food amazing, and it top it off, our waitress bought us each a glass of wine since we had none left to go with dessert. Yes — we will be back, not just because of the free wine, that just added to he wonderful experience we already had.

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