Doug had been watching the availability of frequent flyer seats in business class from Dallas to Santiago and saw that some seats opened up on the flight on December 30. We had originally planned to leave on the 31st, but we were packed and ready to go, and so -- why not?
The flight went smoothly and we landed in Santiago on the morning of December 31. It's summer here, and oh, this place is gorgeous in the summer! The temperatures are in the 80s and it's not humid at all, so it feels lovely outside. We checked into the hotel and changed clothes, then headed over to one of our favorite local restaurants, Tiramisu, when has fantastic pizza.
And after that we spent some time hanging out on a local playground, one Carter has played at many times before. But it's been cold every other time he's been here!
Doug and I sat on a bench in the shade and watched him and realized: Wow. We're here. We're really doing this, for a whole year. Our phones weren't working yet, so we could do nothing but sit there and watch Carter play, and it was a strange feeling to be disconnected. We've spent so much of the last six months planning and stressed out and trying to cover every detail. It was very strange to just sit there and realize that we had nowhere in particular to go, nothing in particular to do.
We thought it might be fun to spend New Year's Eve in Santiago instead of on an airplane. We thought we could go out for our traditional New Year's Eve dinner of teppan yaki, and there's even a great teppan yaki restaurant in walking distance of the hotel. But it turns out that in Santiago, they roll up the streets on New Year's Eve. Everything is closed -- every restaurant, every bar. Apparently people stay home and go to private parties! We finally found a single open restaurant, which added a 50% surcharge to the bill. It was full of Americans who were apparently just as desperate as we were. It was a good dinner, but crazy expensive.
After that we spent our evening in the hotel room. Doug had bought some wine for us earlier in the day, and we watched a movie and just hung out. Carter finally passed out around 11:00.
Everything is closed today as well, so we'll be eating room service, going to the park, and maybe swimming in the hotel's pool later. Serious sightseeing will have to wait another day, but honestly, that's okay.