Our Idea of a Good Time

(Or what I did this weekend in Viña del Mar)
by Charles, Emily, and Gabrielle


  1. Go to bus station with Emily.  Wait for Charles to charge his phone.
  2. Arrive in Viña del Mar with neither the directions to or address of our hostel. (Thanks, CG)
  3. Wander around and search for hostel for three hours
    • Pet cats and dogsnothing says lost gringos like eating peanut butter with a knife
    • Stop on a bench and eat peanut butter out of the jar with a knife
  4. Leave hostel. (after we found it.  And were taken to another room because they didn’t have a key to the first…)
  5. Look for food.  Stop at a promising place called “Jerusalem.”
  6. GELATO!
  7. Stop by a storefront to watch synchronized swimming on one of the tvs they were selling.
  8. It’s 5 pm. Discuss possibilities for the night:
    • More gelato… later.
    • Watch a movie
    • Sleep
    • Note: Charles did not bring Bananagrams.  Not an option.
  9. Go to the Pacific Ocean.  Try to get splashed by huge storm waves.
  10. The rain commences.
  11. Hit up the grocery store.  Sing along to Tracy Chapman in candy aisle.
  12. Watch a movie about blind children.  Which was amazing.
  13. Oh no! It’s only 9PM (not even dinner time).  No self-respecting college-student would go home at this hour.
  14. Charles gets a haircut.
    • Emily and Gabrielle consider finding a children’s bookstore
  15. Search for restaurant. Objective: camp for a while, eat food, get warm.
  16. Stop at random excuse for a restaurant.  Eat  pizza, empanadas, coffee, and tea.
    • Toast with said drinks to our health and the prevention of colds.
  17. Return to hostel, soaked.  Toss pants in dryer.Still soaked
  18. Charles “makes friends” by sharing manjar candy.
    • He gets bonus points for wearing long johns while doing so.
  19. Climb in bed with Emily and listen to Charles’ fifteen-minute long* “ghost story” without plot, conflict, resolution, or irrational fear.

* I fell asleep for about five minutes of it.  Emily says it was closer to twenty.


  1. Wake up.
    • Wake up again.
    • Smother Charles with pillows.
    • Put on wet sneakers.  Good thing it’s still raining.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Decide to search for a rock between Reñaca and Concón from which you can see sea lions.
  4. Hop on bus.
  5. Hop off bus in generic residential area.  Move toward ocean.WHERE ARE WE?!?
    1. Good thing there’s a sidewalk.  And clear skies… oh, wait.
  6.  Fail to find sea lions.
  7. Collect sea glass and seashells.
  8.  Eat at a fancy restaurant.  Make sure to be underdressed and soaked.
  9. Catch a bus back to Viña.  Glimpse sea lions from the road.
  10. Head home.  We couldn’t stay another day; wouldn’t want to miss church!
  11. Watch the sky slowly clear as we walk to the bus station.
  12. See how Viña looks when the sun is out through the bus windows as we drive away.

So now you know how to be cool.  Go forth and spread the coolness.


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