Make It Through Monday - Family Vacation to Patagonia, Chile

I'm going to tell you about our amazing family vacation to Patagonia for my Make It Through Monday moment, powered by Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts but I do feel I need to warn you that neither my words nor pictures will be able to truly capture the beauty and wonder that is Patagonia, Chile. I will sure do my best though! My dad Jeff, mom Marta, brother Derek, sister-in-law Stacy, and my husband Jaime and I all spent this past week in Patagonia, Chile and it was absolutely amazing. The landscape of Chile is breathtaking and we had so many incredible experiences. We flew into Santiago and got to experience the city for a couple days learning about their culture and exploring this big city. We also got to eat at a completely local roadside restaurant and go whitewater rafting which was so fun. I'll have to add the rafting pictures at a later time once we get them emailed to us. After just a couple days in Santiago we boarded a plane and headed to the Lake District and did some hiking around there which was just beautiful. I have a feeling I'm going to use that word a lot but that is the landscape of Chile. Every where you look you see just pure beauty.

The following day we headed to Chiloe Island where we got to see some penguins as well as experience a home cooked meal from a family that lives on the Island. They invited us into their home and explained all about the meal which is called curanto. Curanto is a local social event built around a feast of shellfish, meat and potatoes that is cooked in a covered pit. That was by far the best meal we had and it was so interesting getting to talk to the family and learn more about their culture. From there we headed to our final destination of Punta Arenas where we'd spend the remainder of the trip.

The first day in Punta Arenas was a big day! It involved us trekking the famous Torres Del Paine. I'm not exaggerating when I say we hiked 10 hours which was about 19 miles up and down this mountain. I go to the gym pretty much every day and I still struggled as the terrain was hard. In some areas it was a little sandy which was hard to walk through and in other areas it is super steep and you're climbing over huge rocks. The distance and long time spent hiking alone was tiring just thinking about it! Going down was almost harder than going up as you could see just how high up you had really climbed. In the end it was absolutely worth the sweat and sore body because the view of the torres (towers) was breathtaking. There was not one moment where I thought it wasn't worth it. The second day in Torres Del Paine National Park might have actually been my favorite. We did more hiking but this time it wasn't so steep, just a little hilly, and we got to see the guanaco (similar to the llama) in their natural habitat. It was unreal how close we were able to get to them and they never even ran away. Chile as a country isn't big into hunting so my theory is that they knew we weren't really predators so they just stayed put until we left their area. Also on that day we had indescribable views of another landmark in the Patagonia area which were called the horns. Again words and the pictures below really don't capture 100% just how amazing it was.

On our final day we experienced the Grey Glacier. It was so windy that day we were worried that the ferry wouldn't be taking people to the Glacier but we got lucky and got to go. I'm so glad it was possible because seeing the Grey Glacier was so cool but experiencing the ridiculously crazy wind was even cooler! I'm talking like 80-100 mph winds. At one point I was leaning back so far but the wind was so strong I stayed upright. Hopefully you can see a bit of that in the pictures below. It was amazing seeing the true scale and power of this glacier.

I'm still in such awe I was able to experience such a wonderful trip with people I love so dearly. Words cannot express how grateful I am. Our guide Andres from Classic Journeys was incredible too. I can't say enough great things about him. He's from Puerto Montt, Chile which was actually one of the stops on our vacation and my biggest disappointment was that we didn't get to spend more time in his town. I would have loved to explore that city more. He was so knowledgeable and really made the vacation that much better. I highly recommend visiting Chile and checking out Classic Journeys if you decide to go.

Although I was gone for a whole week it doesn't mean I've forgotten all about all my favorite things back here at home like Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts! They've got rows and rows of cards, an amazing candy counter and gifts galore for every single occasion. Having a party for the 2020 NFC Championship game on Sunday? Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts has all the party supplies, decorations and more to help cheer on the Green Bay Packers! Of course Valentine's Day is coming up soon too and they're here to remind us to not wait until the last minute. If you do though just head on in and their staff can help you out! Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts is located on the corner of Silver Spring and Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay!

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