Hola de Santiago
Trip Start Sep 08, 2008
4Trip End Sep 17, 2008
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I hope this message finds you well. I have embarked on yet another adventure...this one bringing me to my fifth continent (I'm talking to you Mike!). I am spending 8 days in Latin America recruiting on the World MBA Tour. First stop: Santiago, Chile. In addition to working this year, I also have a friend joining me on the trip, her name is Erin. Thankfully, Erin's Spanish vocabulary goes far beyond mine, which we pretty much covered in the first line of my email.
We arrived in Chile on Tuesday morning and Patricia's driver Roberto,and his English speaking partner, Francisco were there to greet us. We arrived at the hotel by 9 AM, and although I had requested an early check in, it was not available. They allowed us to freshen up at the spa and then we were off on our full day tour
We stopped at the Vin Mar winery in the Valle de Casablanca. We got to take a personalized tour of the winery and our guide actually took us through the whole process. The only other person on the tour was one of their clients from Poland. He was a young guy and he worked for his parent's company which distributes wine in Poland. Since we were with a client we also got to visit the special reserve cellar, which was pretty fun. And of course, the wine tasting was the best part!
After Vin Mar we continued on to Vina del Mar. We arrived in time for a late lunch. Roberto and Francisco took us to a place near the sea which had an all inclusive price of 7500 pesos (about $15)
We drove through Vina del Mar, which took a little longer than expected. We didn't have time to get out of the car in Valparaiso because we had to get back to Santiago in time for my alumni dinner.
There are currently two Merage alum living in Santiago, and they just happen to be married to each other. They met in the program :-). Jennifer and Francisco picked us up at the Hyatt at 9 for dinner (this was an early dinner. For this reason alone I don't think I could move to South America. I don't think I could get used to eating dinner that late every night).
They took us to Astrid y Gaston, and I could not have been happier. In all of my research before the trip this restaurant was consistantly ranked as one of the best restaurants in the city
Dinner wasn't over until well after midnight. Vicky, while this definitely goes on record as one of the most memorable and enjoyable meals, it still doesn't top Rioja. :-) PS-to the rest of you, get yourselves on a plane to Denver and make reservations ASAP.
On Wednesday Erin and I took a city bus tour of Santiago-one of those classic red double deckers. I only had a few hours before I had to get back to the hotel for interviews. We managed to visit Cerro San Cristobal, Choscana (Pablo Neruda's house), the very funky Bellavista neighborhood, Plaza des Armas, and the Mercado Central (where I took way too many pictures at the fish market). I had to get back for work, but Erin stayed out for a few more hours and made her way through a few other neighborhoods.
It wasn't until I got back to the hotel room that I discovered that we had a view of the Andes! Very cool.
While I was in the lobby waiting for my interviews I ran into Tim, Corinne and Chris
During the fair our alum Francisco stopped by the table to bring me authentic Chilean pastries. He was too sweet! So were the desserts! Erin and I had them for breakfast the next day and each one must have weighed a few pounds each and were full of dolche de leche.
After the fair Erin and I joined Tim, Chris and a few other recruiters for dinner at the Thai restaurant in the hotel. Apparently there was a big football game in Chile Wednesday night and things were supposed to be a little wild outside, so everyone opted to stay in.
Erin and I shared a few curries, which were excellent. Shrimp and asparagus in a yellow curry, and chicken dumplings in panang curry, which was my favorite. Once again, dinner didn't end until after twelve and we still had to pack.
Early check out on Thursday for our flight to Buenos Aires. More on that soon...
Wishing you could all be here,