Escape to Cusco

If you have followed the Wawas in Peru instragram account you know that Marco and I were able to escape to Cusco this weekend just the two of us. It was a child free weekend and it was relaxing and rejuvenating. It also helped ease the sadness of not being able to spend the weekend celebrating my best friend’s wedding in Punta Sal, to the north of Peru. Marco and I decided it was better not to risk the chance of getting Zika (which has been proven to cause birth defects) so we ultimately opted not to go.However, we wanted to take advantage of the availability of my mother in law this weekend so we bought tickets to Cusco and made our escape.

After work on Friday, Marco picked me up and we headed straight to the airport. We were able to park our car in the army base next to the airport because Marco knows someone working there right now. Our plane was an hour late but it was not problem. We got to our bungalow and got ready to go out.

I was so happy to have a cup of hot coca tea as soon as we got to our bungalow. The cold dry air was also amazing and my hair was gloriously straight and static filled again.

Dinner was at La Feria, my friend Elizabeth and Erik’s newest restaurant that is located right on the Plaza de Armas. It is a traditional Peruvian food restaurant with some wonderful drinks like lemonade with coco and airampo, a seed native to Peru. It was delicious. We had ribs with a garbanzo and potato sauce. We also enjoyed some coca tea and causa too. They provided us with a delicious crema volteada as well. It is a cream cake with coconut shavings on the bottom. It was all so delicious and the service was on point. It was the best service I have ever received in Cusco. I don’t say all of this because it is my friend’s restaurant either. It was really wonderful. The prices were in the mid range but we found the ribs to be perfect for the two of us to share. We also just got to Cusco and the altitude tends to diminish the appetite. (Apparently not so much for me because I literally ate my way through the weekend.)

After dinner we headed over to Ruinas Street to see if our favorite picarones place was still functioning and it was! We indulged on four big picarones that were moist and delicious. Afterward we made our way down the street to Museo de Pisco where my buddy Claudio was playing. It was a fantastic. They played some Buena Vista Social Club, some Mexican salsa, some Venezuelan music and some Peruvian as well. They invited people up to play including two cajon players that were amazing.

It was really nice being there in the low season because the place was full but it wasn’t packed with people standing. We were comfortable at the bar and able to enjoy the music for a good hour before retiring. I was impressed that we made it to past 10pm.

Saturday was jam packed with meeting up with friends. We met up with Elizabeth for breakfast at Jack´s and it was delicious as always. I had the veggie gordo and ate everything except the bread. The altitude did not stop me from stuffing my face. We were also accompanied by Paulo Greer, an explorer and historian who is probably the most knowledgeable person on Macchu Pichu to date. He always has a good story and he told us how he found out that a stun gun will stop venom from killing you if you use it quickly. How cool is that?

Elizabeth and I caught up which was wonderful. I adore her and I can´t wait until we move to Cusco again so we can spend more time with each other and our kids can meet each other.

After breakfast I headed to the Healing House to see Niki and meet her baby Django who turned 6 months old that day. I was lucky enough to find a healing house employee who was on the phone with her and took me over to their magic store and Alcheme cafe. They had a soft opening three days before. It was perfect. I got to catch up with Alvaro as well who I gigged with a lot at hotels around Cusco.

 

After that meet up I headed over to Magisterio where Asociacion Qantu relocated and chatted with Flor for a little while before heading to lunch. The new place is two former teachers´ house who moved to Lima when their daughter got into the conservatory. It is a bit smaller than the other place but it works. It is located in a pretty hustling and bustling area too.

For lunch Marco and I found each other again. He went to do some shopping on his own while I met up with my friends. We headed to Larapa to see Michael´s place. They moved a little while before we were in Cusco last three years ago. It is nice and spacious and uses lot of sunlight which I love. His son Gabriel got home and we headed to a roast chicken place called La Granja. It hit the spot and we were happy to feed our friends. I owe Michael a lot. He was the first person I met in Cusco when he picked me up from the airport that August day in 2010. I joined his band and his daughter Angela got me the job teaching violin eventually. A whole series of events would not have happened if it had not been for him and I am forever grateful. I may not have met Marco had I not been in the Guardians with Michael.

After lunch Marco and I headed back to the bungalow and took a nap before getting up and walking around the centro historico. We stopped for some ice cream and a place called El Arte and we had dinner at El Encuentro, the vegetarian restaurant we used to frequent a lot. They have an 8 sole dinner menu. It was a broccoli dish that wasn´t the best but the soup was wonderful.

Visiting my oldest friend in Cusco and former bandmate, buying an emoliente on the street, checking out Real Plaza and watching his co-workers in action during the flag raising on Sunday morning.

Since it was still early we headed over to Real Plaza in Magisterio to check out the relatively new mall. It was constructed right before our last trip three years ago but we didn´t have time nor did we care to check it out last time. We had some time to kill though and thought we might take a look. It was an average mall with all the fixings and a cinema. We thought about seeing a movie but ended up deciding against it because the line was long and there wasn´t anything we wanted to see. Instead we window shopped and Marco bought a Frozen book for Leah in Spanish so he could read it to her before bed. We have tons of English books but probably only a handful of Spanish ones. We need to work on building our Spanish language library.

We hopped in a cab and made our way back to our bungalow and watched a Spider Man movie before passing out. It was a wonderful day.

On Sunday morning we got up and tried going to Encuentro for their breakfast menu but they were closed so we headed over to La Bondiet and had an Americana breakfast instead. It was only 4 soles more than what it would have cost at Encuentro and I love La Bondiet. I have fond memories of taking my computer across the street from my apartment on Plateros and getting served by whatever attractive male was serving at the time. I am convinced that is part of the deal for getting a job there. It is no surprise that I was a bit heavier in Cusco as I tended to indulge on their treats.

After breakfast we headed to San Pedro market to buy some panchuta (big, sweet, circular bread traditional to Cusco) and cheese. I bought a tamal as well and we looked for a Totta pastry shop to buy Gabriel a slice of cake. Unfortunately, they didn´t have a box to put it in so taking it back to Lima would have ended up in a smashed cake for sure. The bread would have to suffice. He told us he didn´t like panchuta but somehow half of it got eaten the day we got back. Weird.

We stopped back at the bungalow to pick up our stuff and off to the airport we went. Fortunately, the Cusco airport is super small and while there was a long line to check in, my pregnancy came in handy and we got preferential treatment. I think those who fall under the preferential category (senior citizens, pregnant women, parents with children, and disabled persons) should use it to the max. There is a reason it was instated. I may not be showing a ton but I am definitely pregnant. I have to take advantage of it for the short months I am pregnant.

The trip home was uneventful and we were able to get home with no trouble whatsoever. I was super excited to see Leah but she was definitely more excited to see daddy. The door opened and she saw me first and yelled mommy but as soon as she saw daddy behind me she sprinted into his arms. It´s all good. I totally understand. I like to sprint into daddy´s arms too when I haven´t seen him for a few days.

It was absolutely wonderful having a weekend getaway from the kids and all of our responsibilities. It was rejuvenating and relaxing. Marco and I had so much time with each other and it had been a while since we shared as much personal time with each other. I wholeheartedly agree with everyone who says you have to nourish your marriage by taking trips and taking time for the two of you. It makes such a difference and since getting back we are like love birds.

Cusco is our city of love after all.