It's been about two weeks since my mom--now an international traveler and fresh bread snob--came to visit us in Peru. Here she is with Sergio and his parents, Raúl and Delia:
During her trip, I got to be a tourist for awhile. Together, we trekked in Colca canyon...
...visited the floating islands in Puno (sorry mom; this photo was too good not to share)...
...stared in awe at the costumes at the Candelaria celebration (see blog post with video), toured the Recoleta monastery and Founder's Mansion in Arequipa and enjoyed at least 76 hours in bus travel together.
Unfortunately, there was no Machu Picchu visit due to the disastrous flooding in Cuzco, but my mom's quite the explorer in her own right.
She spent a day shadowing Señora Delia in the bakery (and blogged about it) and checked out the Santa Catalina monastery (see Oct. post), among other things. Sergio's dad took us to the Avelino for a day of mercado shopping.
We visited Arequipa's yarn factories and shops, where she bought plenty of alpaca threads and got to work on a shawl for Sergio's mom.
Of course, Peruvian cuisine is a tour in itself. Mom got the recipes for kapche de habas and chicha morada. She tried for herself various treats from the Perez Fuentes bakery, Inca Kola (see Oct. post) lúcuma ice cream (see Dec. post), Sunday's only abodo de chancho (see Oct. post) and alpaca steak, seen here:
She also fell in love with rocoto, aji and their various spicy pepper cousins:
Another important part about traveling is being an ambassador for your own culture. Mom definitely did that, if not through her kind and open nature, but through American cooking.
Sergio's family had pizza, hamburgers, fettucini alfredo, fajitas, as well as some family dishes like Grandma Lois' Swedish meatballs and breakfast biscuits and honey. Obviously, it wasn't so bad for me either to have some American comfort food.
It was wonderful to have you around, Mamá. Thanks for being the best U.S. Ambassador to Peru ever.