Monday, November 24, 2014

We’re back from an enjoyable trip to the USA…

….and would like to tell you about it, but first an update on our hoped-for chocolatada in San Bernardino in December. We’re very close to being able to sponsor a full-blown food, candy, clown and toys chocolatada for both pronoeis in that village. Neither pronoei has the space for a joint chocolatada but the primary school located there has plenty of room and has all but promised to let us use it. We’ll hear for certain some day this week. Our target date is Saturday December 20. We’re only a few donations away from providing those 48 kids with a day they will remember for a long time. We need to start shopping for toys now, before prices go up. If you can help us please visit the Promesa Peru webpage. Thank you. Okay…on to the trip to the USA.

We began with a few days in Miami where we spent quality time with Dino and Sara Luisa; friends we hadn’t seen in four years. When not with them we visited beaches and just generally looked around. From Miami we drove ‘alligator alley’ to Ft. Meyers and then Interstate 75 to Clearwater Beach. I was last there 35 years ago when a friend and I drove our motorcycles from Wisconsin to visit. I was looking forward to showing the Adams Mark hotel to Maribel, with its tiki shack on the beach where my friend and I had consumed vast quantities of Piña Coladas.  That didn’t happen because Adams Mark isn’t there anymore. In its place is a construction project. We enjoyed 3 days of relaxation; walking the beaches, taking photos of the sunset from Pier 60, eating at the many fine restaurants, and doing other touristy things like cruising on the gulf looking for dolphins (there are 5 or 6 tour operators - we chose the Sea Screamer).

From Clearwater Beach we drove to Cocoa Beach, mostly for the purpose of being near to the Kennedy Space Center. Cocoa Beach is completely different from Clearwater Beach in that it is not tourist oriented at all. There’s not much happening at the Cocoa Beach pier, and nothing to see when walking the beach. Merritt Island provides a lot of shopping opportunities and we did take advantage of that.

We spent an entire day – from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Kennedy Space Center and could have used more time. There is so much to see and do if you’re interested in the history and workings of the space program. For us the highlight was viewing the Atlantis space shuttle. The shuttle, rockets, spacesuits etc are so much more impressive in person than in photos.

We finished our Florida adventure in Miami with two days of marathon shopping at the Westland, Dadeland and Dolphin Malls. We had sunshine every single day. The Lima to Miami and return flights on LAN airline is about 5 ½ hours… a little lengthy for me so as an experiment we chose to stop in Bogota Columbia on the return trip. That broke up the flight into two 3 hour segments, which was good, but the 7 hour layover plus being limited to the ‘international connection’ section of the airport was too long. We won’t do that again.

It always feels good to get back to Chiclayo. With our internal travels in Peru and occasional trips to the USA we’ve got the best of both worlds.

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