October 23, 2011

Katie Visits Colombia!

When I hugged Katie goodbye and sent her on the way to the airport last Tuesday night I thought to myself how hard it will be to wait another 7-8 months to see her. While her and I became close friends during junior year of college, it has only really been since Katie left La Crosse to transfer to Milwaukee that we have become closest.    Our friendship began in a unique way that found us both crushing on the same boy. However, lucky for us it took all of 24 hours after our initial meeting to figure out that he wasn't worth anyone's time and we should just be friends instead. Three years later and she was visiting me in Colombia!

Her visit lasted a week and we had a chance to explore my city, Cali, at the front and back end of her time here. In between we traveled to the cities of Salento and Santa Rosa, but let's save that for another blog post.

Here is what went down in Cali...

Katie arrived on a Wednesday morning after flying all night, so she went straight to my apartment for a shower, nap and food. Luckily, Kelsi was coming home from a conference in Medellin and was there to let Katie in and take her on a lunch date!

I arrived home from school in the afternoon and we set out to explore the neighborhood of San Antonio. As one of Cali's oldest and prettiest neighborhoods, San Antonio is one of my favorite places to show people. The church is adorable, the houses are unique, the view from the church is stunning....aaaaand you know, my favorite coffee shop is there ;)

 Her first Colombian coffee at Macondo in San Antonio! So delicious.

After coffee we met up with my friends Cassie and David, who also had friends visiting, for dinner at Bourbon Street pub. Yes, we did go to a hamburger sports bar and watch baseball on Katie's first night in Colombia. So much for a cultural introduction. Oops? We ended the night with some other friends on their San Antonio rooftop before heading home early for our travels the next day! 

San Antonio rooftop get together :)

After our travels we arrived home with one day of vacation to spare, giving us some time to rest up and also spend time with Kelsi. Sunday night we got a chance to stop by the Festival Mundial de Salsa, a world salsa competition held every year in Cali. Salsa is such a pervasive part of Colombian culture and I love that Katie got to see some of the very best while she was here! 

Monday we explored the mall scene of Colombia while Katie found some souvenirs for friends & family and I introduced her to my two favorite Colombian chains, Juan Valdez Coffee and Crepes & Waffles. Coffee all around! We finished the day with a movie with friends. Katie was nice enough to go along with the whole movie idea even before I told her that no, the movie is not in Spanish, but rather English with Spanish subtitles. What a trooper! :)

 Juan Valdez lovin'.

On to Crepes & Waffles for more coffee...and crepes...and waffles, naturally.

Katie's time in Colombia finished with a day at my school. While going to work with anyone can get boring at times (spoiler alert: the life of a teacher isn't exactly fascinating), I absolutely love taking visitors to my school. I think it helps people see why I am here and why I like it enough to have stayed for three years so far. And it doesn't hurt that our school campus is absolutely gorgeous. And for how much of our lives we spend working, how much we really ever know about our friends' jobs? I think it's pretty cool when we can share something that in such a part of our lives with each other.

Katie and I outside my classroom!

Tuesday night I sent Katie back to the airport for another overnight flight to Chicago and each day since has been a bit of an adjustment to her not being here. Life is funny sometimes, how you meet these amazing people, connect with them over relationships, travel, interests, and yet you see them only a few times a year. I look back on the year Katie and I spent as friends in the same city and realize now that we were only beginning to scratch the surface of our friendship. I can't help but dream that life finds us living much closer to each other someday in the future...

Until then, thank goodness Katie likes travel and adventures as much as I do. Let's start planning a summer 2012 reunion....

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