09.22.2008 - 09.24.2008
My alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. on Monday morning. I was so comfortable, but excited enough to come out from under the blanket. A half hour later, we were on the road heading towards Bozeman. I love driving in the early morning hours, before dawn even comes. The quiet empty roads and dramatically slow entrance of the light of day make me feel peaceful and inspired. Before I knew it, we were on the plane in Bozeman. The flight to Denver went by quickly and held an amazing surprise. We must have flown mostly south from Bozeman and then east across the northern mountains in Colorado, because a half hour or so before landing in Denver I looked down and saw pockets of yellow everywhere. Being able to view the aspen from the plane on this clear, late September day was awesome and I will not forget it. After a few hours of layover in Denver, we were en route to Chicago. I managed to sleep some during this flight, but by the time we landed, I was exhausted. (already)
The 28 hours in Chicago, were good, busy and sad. Monday evening, Roxy, Mark and I had our last night together in Oak Park. We ate at the Mayan restaurant near the house, sitting outside in the beautiful humid evening with fire and candlelight surrounding us. The food was incredible and my prickly pear drink was the first margarita I have actually ever enjoyed. The next morning, I gave Roxy a hug goodbye and shortly after, Mark, my sister and I headed to my new apartment to move in all of my stuff. After a few more errands and double checking our packing list, we were off to the airport. By the time we got on our Miami-bound plane, I could hardly keep my eyes open.
As we neared Miami, I concluded that my travel pillow may prove to be my wisest trip purchase. I'm a little blurry on the details of the Miami airport, but I know that once we reached the gate for Lan airlines, someone was making an announcement in Spanish that included our names. Thankfully, we figured out all of the details. It may have been after midnight, but I was still able to appreciate the luxury of Lan. We had remote controls, individual screens with a variety of tv, movies and music to choose from, a free and very good meal, pillow and blanket and quite a bit of leg room. I fell asleep watching Oceans 11, but probably only slept for an hour or two of that flight.
Upon arriving in Lima, I was pretty much a zombie. Somehow, though, we managed to navigate the Lima airport and find the gate for our flight to Cusco. Once we boarded the plane, I was about to drift off to sleep when we took off and mountain peaks started to appear. The mounains here are breathtaking. At one point I saw a glorious peak poking up through the clouds. All of a sudden, we descended into Cusco, dropping quickly while also making a 270 degree turn. With all luggage accounted for, we stepped outside of the airport in Cusco and found our taxi driver waiting for us. The trip up over a mountain from Cusco to Pisac was beautiful, with amazing mountain views and a combination of terrain and foilage. Once we arrived at Pisac Inn, both Jen and I collapsed on our beds and slept for several hours....