After a year and a half in Colombia the fam finally came to visit!! ...well part of them anyway. Six family members abroad at one time might have been a bit much to handle, so my dad and oldest brother, Joe decided to come this January. Neither one of them have traveled outside of North America, so not much international travel experience, let alone travel to Colombia. Joe speaks some Spanish, based on what he remembers from high school, and my dad speaks none.
Needless to say, I did a lot of prep work for their trip and tried my best to explain the various steps along the way for their arrival. Thankfully, they arrived safe and sound in Cartagena, Colombia after a long day of travel from Minnesota. We spent four awesome days in the old city of Cartagena and then three more days in my home city of Cali. They were able to experience a lot of Colombian culture as well as get a taste of what my life is like here in Cali on a daily basis.
I loved being able to share everything about this awesome country with them and I think they both left with a better idea of why I have chosen to live and work here for an extended period of time. Even Joe said when he was leaving that he thought I made a good decision to take the job in Colombia! I couldn't agree more :)
Here is how we spent our time:
Day One - Joe's first trip to the Caribbean! We found a small, not-too-busy section of public beach for a mid-morning dip to ward off the heat of Cartagena.
There are vendors everyone trying to sell you things in Cartagena....to the point where it gets kind of annoying after some time in the city. These two men in particular really wanted my dad to buy a hat - he did end up buying a Panama style hat eventually, but not this day.
Church of St. Peter Claver, patron saint of a church in St. Paul where my dad and I sometimes go for mass when I am home.
The boys checking things out.
Joe in the Plaza de San Pedro Claver
A classic photo of Joe with a statue of a naked lady reclined by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
My dad loving the toothpick that he found all by himself after I told him I couldn't remember the word for toothpick but forbid him from trying to ask for it at the bar in English. He was pretty proud. :)
Watching the sunset over the Caribbean.
Finishing off Day One with some Pizza en el Parque, where you order the pizza at a window and then they bring it to you in the park...propped up on a stool. Delicious!
Starting out Day Two with some caffeine at Juan Valdez.
Castillo de San Felipe - one of the grandest Spanish forts built in Spain's original colonies and home to a giant Colombian flag.
Family pic with the Colombian flag.
Street dancers at sunset in one of Cartagena's many plazas.
Starting out Day Three with the brother on Playa Blanca AKA White Beach full of turquoise waters and fine white sand!
One crazy boat ride and lots of waiting around later we were ready for some Coco Loco's - rum filled coconuts :)
Joe swimming away!
The perfect pit-stop on a trip back to Cali - Bogota Beer Company in the Bogota airport!
...chronicles of our time back in Cali to come shortly!