Friday, December 2, 2011

Little Penguins

Mom and step-dad visiting. Penguin visit done! More fun activities on the agenda. Will report back with more photos soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Porvenir: Regional Produce Capital?

On our two recent trips to Porvenir, I was surprised to find that the fruit and veggie place we frequent had watermelon, cantaloupe, and peaches - all three of which were not yet available in Punta Arenas. CRAZY!  I immediately bought a watermelon for Olivia because she had been craving one for months.  Unfortunately, it cost a fortune. I won't dare say how much but let's just say I basically paid for that watermelon's plane ticket down from Santiago! The cantaloupe was perfectly ripe and juicy and even Victoria tried a peach
We also bought some "longaniza" (sausage) from Chillan. You can, of course, get this in Punta Arenas as well but our supplier in Porvenir seems to bring the yummiest ones.  It's the same supplier as the fruits and veggies. They bring their produce from the central market (La Vega) in Santiago every week. I love that the local Mom and Pop shop in Porvenir has their act together better than the big grocery store chains in Punta Arenas.
I never thought I would be GOING TO Porvenir to get special foods! I guess there are a few things I miss there...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ferry Cuties

My two travelling babes on the ferry to Porvenir:

Second Ever Porvenir Thanksgiving

As Fernando continues to be very busy with king crab season, we ventured back to Porvenir to be with him again last week and through the weekend. This allowed me to host another Porvenir Thanksgiving, just like two years ago, with virtually the same guests and same menu, except this time my father in-law cooked the turkey!

Here's a shot with all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes - stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli salad and cranberry sauce.  I'm pretty sure that besides the mashed potatoes, the only other time these dishes have been consumed in Porvenir was two years ago at my Thanksgiving!


I made the cranberry sauce using dried cranberries which I was surprised to find in a dried fruit and nut store in Punta Arenas. It turned out great. Also, my cornbread is always a huge hit (sour cream and butter make it heavenly!).


Here is Victoria with her grandparents, pretending to enjoy the cornbread!


Pumpkin pie doesn't go over well with Chileans so I opted out of making a traditional Thanksgiving dessert and went full speed ahead with a flourless chocolate cake. YUM YUM!  Olivia helped me make it the day before. I told her we had to wait until the next day to eat it. When she woke up the next morning, the first thing she said was, "Now it's time for the chocolate cake!"  Hence the piece missing...

And one more close-up of the cake cause I'm pretty proud of myself!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back in Porvenir

King crab season peaks in November so Fernando is very busy in Porvenir. Last weekend he had to head back there on Sunday morning so we got dragged decided to go with him. This was my first time back since leaving in March. We were supposed to come back on Tuesday but the wind was so bad that we didn't dare cross back and risk a puke fest (has happened before for both Olivia and me...). So we ended up staying until Wednesday. We had a good time once we got there. I can honestly say that one of the hardest things about living in Porvenir is getting there. It is SO isolated and having to deal with a 2 hour and 20 minute ferry ride (and seasickness) makes it a hard sell! 


 Setting off, here is a cruise ship docked in Punta Arenas, one of the first of the just starting tourist season.


Olivia had fun looking for animals in the water through a little hole she found. No animals though! And soon after, the fun ended because we both started to feel sea sick.


The main thing to do with a three year old in Porvenir, is go to the park, weather permitting. Here you can see the weather was permitting...barely! Winter coat and hat on a *spring* day.


Bundled up baby with Papa. I love the look on her face!


"Hanging out" at another park the next day. The weather was slightly better (no winter coat...).


Fernando and I managed to escape for dinner at, by far, the nicest and newest restaurant and hotel in Porvenir, called Barlovento. I had the steak. It comes on a hot stone and you cook it yourself. They also have lamb, Chilean sea bass and king crab, all of the local delicacies.


And here's one of the girls with their La-La (grandma). Olivia is eating these gingerbread cookies we made (with two eggs, only brown sugar and minus the ginger, cloves and corn syrup). They turned out great and were still chewy the next day. Yum!


Heading back on the ferry, hanging out in our car, Victoria surfing the net on Papa's iPhone.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cafe del Inmigrante

You might remember me lamenting time and time again about there not being any cafes in Porvenir. Well Punta Arenas, while hardly a coffee-lover's haven, has a couple of nice cafes. The one by the water is very small but cozy and well located. Another one we discovered is called Cafe del Inmigrante. It is also quite cozy and I love the decor. They have a large offering for "once" (pronouced own-say) which is afternoon tea (sandwiches, coffee, tea, cake). Here are some pics!



Olivia attempting to eat her chicken salad sandwich which in fact came with two sandwiches!



Hoping to get back there again to try more of the delicious cakes!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spring Day

Yesterday it was sunny and *almost* 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside so Olivia and I went for a walk. We soon realized that the wind would be a nuisance so we headed back to get a hat for Olivia. So here she is in the Olivia Spring Collection 2011, Patagonia Style:

And here she is with the largest dandelion I have ever seen!

Throwing rocks in the water, her go-to pastime in these parts...

After a rock throwing session, she promptly sat down to make a few phone calls...the wind was not stopping her from having a relaxing sunbathing session on the "beach."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hanging Around

A typical weekend for us here in Punta Arenas involves a lot of hanging around, sometimes going to the mall or a park and usually out to a restaurant or two.  Here are some pics from a weekend a couple of weeks ago.

Olivia chillin' in the car on the way to the park. (This was just before the Pacifier Fairy made a stop at our house.) I love the crossed leg look in a car seat.

Papa and baby gearing up for a walk along the water. Don't you love Victoria's hat??


Olivia on some kind of climbing contraption next to the famous basketball courts.

The tide was low so we ventured out to the water like we have done many many many times in Porvenir but this time it was on the other side of the Strait!

Olivia quickly made friends with two girls digging in the sand. The random dog wanted to help but Olivia wasn't having it.


Next stop, a new cozy little glassed in cafe along the water (the ONLY cafe by the water). What a great view! And a great way to soak in some rays without the wind.


They serve yummy food, fresh juice and delicious "cortados" (espresso with milk).


Olivia likes coffee (weird, huh?) and tries to sneak sips here and there.


And here's the little one happy as can be (more on her brace another day).


Fernando and Olivia set out for one last run around but the wind was too strong and Papa had to carry Olivia back, shielding her from the wind.

And there you have a typical Saturday for us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Victoria is 5 months old!

Monday was Victoria's 5 month birthday! Here she is sporting a boina!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Yes, we found a pumpkin to carve for sale here! It was fun! And Olivia loves face paint!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

El Quincho

In Chile, it is common for a house to have a "quincho" in the back yard. A quincho is basically a very nice permanently installed grilling area. Here in Punta Arenas, it would be impractical to have the quincho in the backyard because let's face it, the weather sucks. So, a lot of houses here have semi-indoor quinchos, including the house where we currently live. The quincho is attached to the garage and even has it's own heater. Here is our quincho, with a bar area too!
My father in-law taking charge of the grilling:
The dining area next to the quincho:
The entrance to the quincho from the garage:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Basketball Anyone?

I know, I know. I've been slacking on the blog. I have a ton of things to share but never seem to have time to post. Here's a quick one.
Punta Arenas inaugurated a bike path/road/playground/basketball courts along the water earlier this year. (Don't even get be started about how they didn't have such a thing previously. It's a city on the water, how can you not have a road/other activities along the water?) Notice anything strange about the basketball courts?



Sure, it's fun to play basketball next to the Strait of Magellan but I hope you're a good shot because otherwise you can kiss that ball goodbye. Good planning...



Apparently, a bunch of people lost balls during the inauguration and now everyone only plays half court...!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chilean Independence Day

It's a rainy Friday. Both girls are sick and it's looking like we are going to have to cancel the BBQ we had planned for lunch tomorrow using our house's awesome indoor grilling area that we have yet to inaugurate. (Most bbq's must occur in sheltered areas here because of the bad weather.) This weekend is the Chilean independence day holiday. People normally celebrate by eating huge quantities of steak, sausages, and other meat on the grill. Hopefully we will still be able to have the party but on Monday instead.
Olivia's school put on a show in honor of this holiday. Her class acted out a legend from Easter Island. When they first went out on the stage, Olivia was standing separately from the rest of the group and when one boy walked by her she screamed out, "no!" I was mortified because I thought she was mad and not wanting to participate. Well as it turns out, actually she was the only one in her class who had a "line" in the play and was supposed to shout no at the boy as part of the legend they were acting out. Woohoo my little actress in the making! Unfortunately I did not catch her acting debut on camera but here is a little Easter Island dance for you to watch in honor of Chilean culture on this festive weekend. Olivia is the girl on the left. The three year olds' interpretation of how the dance goes may be a little off from the real dance....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy Belated Birthday to Olivia!

As I have previously shown on this blog (here and here), birthday parties are a BIG deal in Chile. Here at the end of the earth, the birthday centers are particularly popular because the weather is too cold to have a nice outdoor birthday party. This year, Olivia finally had her first officially big time Chilean birthday party with a trampoline and other jumpy toys along with junk food and ahem... coke. I am a little late posting but here are some photos from the big day.

To give you an idea of the place:


A Beauty and the Beast cake, per the birthday girl's request:


The birthday girl, jacked up on sugar and presents:


Jumping around (yes, there was a wardrobe change):


Woohoo!


By the way, my birthday is tomorrow if you want to overnight me a present...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Eternally Cold Weather

Just two days ago we had a big snow storm. Soon the snow should stop and the WIND will start. When we are done living down here, I want to move to San Diego!!!









One of Olivia's favorite faces (especially since the arrival of a certain younger sibling...):


And what is that that she is eating? It's snow with sugar!