Cusco, Peru is a tourist’s dream. It has innumerable tourist sites that are billed as don’t-misses. It is situated in a beautiful valley with soft, green mountains rising all around. And Cusco has an excess of things to buy! What more could a tourist want?
After several months of visiting don’t-miss tourist sites, we have become overwhelmed, especially with people pushing you to buy their tour or nick-nack. Luckily for us, Cusco was better than just tourism. We had more than all a tourist could want; we had a little balance. We didn’t see all the sites, and, to Juleen’s dismay, she still couldn’t buy everything she saw. So, what kept us in balance the five days we were there? For the first time in almost seven months, we crossed paths with good, genuine, old friends.
Andy and Lacie are friends from our time in Chicago. Lacie taught at the same high school as Joe and was also a Teach For America corps member. Her husband, Andy, is a brewer…yes, of beer. Of all of our good friends, Lacie and Andy are undoubtedly the most-cited. They’re lives rotating between being winter-time ski bums and white-water rafting guides, plus Andy’s beer expertise, make them an easy and notable reference in most conversations. (Sorry Zach, Cooper, Charlie, Hobbs. We like you too.)
As you might imagine, then, with Lacie and Andy the past few days have been absolutely great. We’ve eaten great food, frequenting the same six soles (just over $2) vegetarian restaurant for lunch and reveling in Andy’s and Lacie’s cooking at night. We’ve shared stories galore, connecting our lives further with each tale of an increasingly familiar family member or friend. We’ve drunk decent beer and afternoon coffees. And we’ve toured a bit of our current confines, Cuzco, Peru, the city of Incan grandeur and ensuing conquistador pillage. Combined, then, it has been a glorious few days in a place that, given its touristy over-kill, could have made for an inglorious stay.
Thanks Lacie and Andy!
We’d be remiss if we acted like Cuzco was the first time friends saved the day. Special thanks, too, to Se Ho Kang and Eric Wetzel and family for having the same positive effect on our week-plus in Lima!