August 18, 2010

Old meets New

We are constantly shifting between the Old and the New - and it can get interesting. Adding a new child AND a new language, makes for some confusing parenting. Today, I called Chicken Nugget by Chicken Little's name, and also gave her instructions in Spanish - not surprising that she ignored me, but they all do. If only I could keep them and their respective languages straight, things might be a little easier.

Also today, we moved from the New World to the Old World. We had to check out of the Hilton for 3 nights because there was a big conference coming in. There was a scary moment yesterday, when I realized, we actually didn't have reservations anywhere....for tonight. I was a little nervous just taking the girl at the Hilton's advice, since she kept saying her friend worked there, and I needed to remember there were a lot of stairs. And only a double bed. But the only other room available in the city was close to $400 a night (no wonder it was still available), so we went ahead and booked it, sight unseen. The Chicken came out in me for sure - the Hilton was just so comfortable and easy - very American. However, a scary 10 minute cab ride away from our room at the Hilton resort by the ocean, with it's wifi, and scanner and conferences is a quaint little world that I believe gives Venice a run for its money. We checked into the Casa India Catalina, and it is hard to explain how amazing it is. There is no hot water (well, there is a heating element on top of the shower head that is supposed to heat the water, but actually just gave AMP a nice jolt), and the wifi works in only the two corners of the room, and then sporadically. The stair railings in the pictures should give any parent a heart attack and we think there is a missing stair up to our sleeping loft.

But all of that aside, I don't believe I have ever stayed in a cooler hotel. There are giant wooden doors, with no outside handle-one of the three employees has to let you in. Every frame of every door, every countertop, the benches - all are made of rough hewn wood. There is amazing Spanish art on the walls, and a peacefully pool in the center of the courtyard - perhaps to peaceful for our children to disturb. We are on the top floor (seriously, the China suitcase was stuffed and the poor guy had to drag it all the way up!) We have a small kitchen, a sleeping loft upstairs, and a beautiful balcony. AMP and I came to the quick conclusion that is this room, in this city, is retirement heaven. As I type this, I can hear the horses clopping past our window.

When we arrived today at 1:30, we quickly dropped off the bags and ran out to get lunch for the kids. The simple lunch restaurant on the corner, with no menus, and barely any English, might have been the best meal for the price that AMP or I either one have ever had. There was barbecue brisket (stupendous), barbecue chicken (AMP's top pick), rice and blackeyed peas (this southern girl was in heaven), fried plaintains, and the best chicken soup I have ever had. Poor Pollo stuffed himself - not only was it amazing, but he goes crazy when we get him real Colombian food - not pizza, like the other two want. I have made AMP vow - no more pizza for a week - and that is crazy talk coming from me! So finally, after two weeks in Colombia, we have found the best food, for next to nothing. We are both in heaven! Out with the New - in the with the Old! Except we are going to keep both the Old and New Kids.


Enghee said...

I am so glad you got to experience some of the makes it so much more authentic! I have heard that Cartagena is amazing, my mother rants and raves about it. She was just in Colombia two weeks ago. I will have you all over for some Spanish food when you're all settled in, but, it will never be half as good as what you're getting there; my skills are not up to par...then there's always that Colombian restaurant in Central Falls! Miss you guys, will see you soon! ng

JAH said...

You should continue staying there! It sounds (and looks) amazing! I've always loved experience what the locals eat/do...What do we like to say, what's old is new - and in your case, old town is new to you! Enjoy!