It was Rodrigo's mom. She was inviting the three of us to come to their cabin for 'once' (pronounced [ohn-se], as in 'eleven' in Spanish). 'Once' is sort of like British tea time, only with a Chilean flavor, and it is very customary in Chile. She also wanted us to pick up Leandro and Uncle Nanu, who were going to watch the house while we were away.
Though we still had a lot to do and it was late in the day, the last part of that request was a necessity, and since we were already in the same area where they were, off we went for 'once.' I have to say, Jorge was a real trooper, showing a lot of patience trying to find this resort, which was inland and upwards a bit. After several wrong turns, we finally made it.
The resort was actually a beautiful, quiet place located on a rustic hillside and nestled with lots of tiny cabin-like houses. It seemed like a vacation spot for the well-to-do, with manicured lawns and all of the houses painted in a uniform pristine white color. Rodrigo's family had rented one of these and once we found our way into the resort parking lot, we found them rather quickly.
In all, we spent about an hour with the family, with mom serving us the typical 'once' of cheese, ham, bread, and blech, tea! She chatted away about nothing and everything at once, and my only respite was a tour of the grounds by dad, which was nice!
By the time we were ready to leave it was already getting dark and cold and since we had a long drive in the morning (12 hours worth!), we knew sleep was essential, but getting much of it was going to be next to impossible. We dropped Rodrigo, Leandro and Nanu off at Jorge's and then he and I headed back to mama's to shower. It was already close to midnight.
By this time, I'd already had a couple of visits with Jorge's family, so I was totally comfortable and actually enjoyed myself with his mom, his sisters Maria Eugenia and Erika, and her daughter Massael, who were all wide awake and chatty. Two showers and a couple of cups of coffee later(Chileans LOVE their coffee!), we headed home to pack and try and get some shut eye, but not so fast!
Now I thought I was disorganized when it came to packing for a trip, but watching these two made my head spin! Chaos...utter chaos! I smoked a few cigarettes, checked my Facebook, called home, and sat with Uncle Nanu for at least two to three hours as Jorge and Rodrigo got their things together. By the time they had finished, it was around 3 a.m., and we then sat down for a glass or two of wine before heading off finally to sleep. Jorge had set the alarms for 5 a.m.! Christmas? What Christmas?
Check out the rest of this crazy, chaotic Christmas in El Tabo below:
A Christmas Morning Surprise
Christmas Lunch and a Visit to Patricio's
A Road Trip to Algorrobo
Stay tuned for some more of my Chilean Adventure coming soon.