Viña del Mar & Valparaiso
Woke up Sunday morning to a text from Claudia asking if I would like to see Viña del Mar & Valparaiso.
I had no clue what any of these Spanish words were were but immediately said, "Yes, I'd love to!" I quickly googled them and realized we were going on a road trip so I packed some snacks including some olives, cheeses and some cold cuts and met her out front of my apartment on Ave Nueva Providencia.
When she pulled up to pick me up and when our eyes connected, my heart skipped a beat - she continues to have that effect on me since the first time I saw her.
The drive to Viña del Mar is about 1 hour from Santiago, I got the sense that speed limits were merely suggestions in Chile based on Claudia's driving. We were going really fast, so fast that when we turned one of the many sharp corners as you enter the city, the olives and cheese and meat flew across the car - many of these pieces were not recovered until weeks later!
Claudia and I walked along the shore line, across the bridge and around the corner to the famous reloj de flores, the entire time talking and sharing stories. She explained a lot about the culture and traditions then showed me where her parents got married, a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean. We went to the Sheraton for lunch but after 30 minutes of no service, we left to go to a quaint spot down the road - we got in for a late lunch, all the customers from the entire restaurant whcih consisted of about 3 rooms, were all crowded into one room watching the soccer on tv, this was a common thing to see during World Cup. We had an amazing seafood platter - it's kind of weird, but I can vividly remember every detail from this day.
Claudia has a way of making me feel extremely comfortable when I am around her, everything just feels natural - like everything is in it's place and as it should be. After lunch, we went to Valparaiso as the fog started to roll in from the Pacific. We walked up and down some of the narrow, curvy streets and explored the city wherever a funicular would take us. We joked that the fog was enchanted and cast a potion on the two of us - it actually seemed like a good explantation for how we were both feeling at that time.
We drove home in the dark and I played some music for her from my phone. We were connecting in so many ways, in our many shared interests and the way that we look at life and its endless possibilities.