Last Christmas, our youngest daughter Lillian and her boyfriend Neil visited us in Peru. This year they went to see his family but our two older daughters visited us. We enjoyed every minute. I didn’t take nearly enough photos. Amanda and Jimmy arrived on Dec. 20 and Lyra arrived on Dec. 22. We spent Dec. 23 cooking and decorating. Christmas Eve dinner we shared with our next door neighbors the Byrne’s, who had all the family including Rodolfo, Sarah and Scott from Hawaii and Pino from Florida. Everyone brought wonderful food. Jonathan was in heaven cooking. Lyra made wonderfully decorated cupcakes and Jonathan roasted a turkey. Toto roasted a leg of pork in his wood fired oven. What a night!The table had an empty place set for Gaim Byrne, Jonathan’s good friend and oldest brother of the family, who died in 2016. We all miss him. He would have enjoyed the toast in his honor.On Christmas Day we had some family fun around our “tree” that will be planted in the garden later.My fondest wishes were fulfilled by boxes of chocolate.
The rest of the girls and Jimmy’s stay was all too brief. We loafed, walked the dog up and down the beach and Jimmy reconnected with his inner surfer–acquitting himself very well and impressing the Peruvians, all of whom have been surfing since childhood. He did us proud.
Since we are a family of archaeologists, there had to be at least one field trip, so we went to Caral, to see the reconstructed pyramids. Despite how it looks, the day was slightly overcast with some breeze so we did not roast as I did when I went last year at this time. The girls reminisced about being able to roll down the sand dunes as little kids. We believe they are off limits now. There were no footprints…. After almost two weeks, it was time for the return trip. We drove into Lima on Jan 1 early in the day (10 am) and avoided the traffic. The young people finished up their shopping at the stores that were open—-there were enough to get the job done. We ended their trip in style with dinner at “La Huaca Pucllana” restaurant, one of the best in Lima in my opinion (see Jonathan’s report on TripAdvisor). The restaurant overlooks a large archaeological site that is illuminated at night, creating a spectacular setting. It was a relatively early night. We dropped all three at the airport at 6 am for their flights back to the US. They were on the same plane as far as Miami and then headed for opposite coasts. It was a memorable holiday and I miss them already.