On Saturday, we drove them out into the country on winding mountain roads that afforded sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains. It was a really beautiful, but long, ride. Driving here reminds me of driving in northern New England. . .and back roads make for slow going. It's a nice ride, but a journey. Our destination was a historic site, and it didn't disappoint. We hiked up a mountain to the site, passing native fauna on the way (check out the tiny orchid, no bigger than my pinkie nail!).
An indigenous guide showed us around the spot and gave a great tour. The views were beautiful, which was a good thing, because at over 10, 000 feet, we needed to stop frequently to breathe.
(I have no idea why that giant photo is there. . .I've tried deleting it in my draft, but it's still there!) Then on the way back, we stopped at a local can't-be-missed restaurant for some great food and entertainment. This country welcomes families like no other I've ever been in. Loads of restaurants have highly developed entertainment areas for children. This one was no exception: rock climbing, sand pit, slide, soccer pitch, walking on stilts, face painting, carpentry, music jam sessions, roving bands of entertainers in costume. . .all inside the restaurant. And I am not exaggerating one bit. Miss M was a bit put out when she discovered she wasn't tall enough to rock climb. As a side note, she is measuring only 39 inches, and I keep telling her she better eat her veggies if she wants to hit that 40 inch mark before our spring trip to Disney. Thus far, despite her deep love of roller coasters, it is not proving to be a winning argument. :)
Then on Sunday we took them to a local artisanal street market. It's excellent eating, people watching, and shopping, and one of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday morning. We walked the 2-ish miles there. I forget that not everyone walks and hikes like we do. By the end of the day, we'd walked more than five miles, and our poor guests were exhausted. We took them out to play a local sport that night, though. . . which pretty much killed any chance of the waterfall and cloud forest hike we'd planned for Monday. We ended up having to stay local, but it was still fun to show them around our neighborhood.
The girls are doing well. A stomach bug has gone through all of us (again), and this one came with a fever and chills, which I thought was weird. The girls just had terrible stomach aches and high fevers, but never actually got sick. I wasn't quite so lucky. But overall, I've been feeling better. The pain in my side has finally gone away. It's been gone for a few weeks. It came back for a few days, but has now gone away again. I can't figure out what caused it, or what made it go away, but I am grateful that it's gone.
And as for my list of things to do. . .well, I'm making a bit of progress, although not as much as I'd like. The taxes are done and filed, but I haven't yet started on the books I want to make, for example. I have to get my act together. With so little free time each day, it's hard. I just have to keep in mind that the journey of a thousand steps begins with just one.