Crossing off the List

April was a big month for The List!

20. Take a Spanish refresher course 4/6/11

I had taken several years of Spanish, both in junior high and high school – but then I screwed it all up by studying Italian in college.  I even took it a step further by spending a semester in Rome my sophomore year.  When learning Italian, I found it absolutely necessary to forget my knowledge of Spanish.  I know that there are people out there who can learn new languages in a weekend while still retaining previous language knowledge, but I am no Tami Hardoby.  Somehow in the years since graduating college, and, subsequently my study of Italian, the two languages married one another in my head, creating an entirely new language: Spatalian.  I can understand both languages fairly well (after all, they DO share a Latin root) but have a little trouble separating the two when it comes time to speak.  I’ve always wanted to resurrect my Spanish capabilities so I borrowed my sister’s Rosetta Stone and before my trip to South America I enrolled in and completed a Spanish refresher course at the Spanish Language Center of Chicago.  Gracias, Groupon.  Allora, estoy continuando estudiar con Rosetta Stone.  Tambien, mis amigas y yo vamos a ver las peliculas en espanol.  There’s your proof, I’m a rockstar.

5. Hike to Machu Picchu 4/21/11

More on this one later, just a photo for now to prove it.  Originally it was to be the Inca Trail but, due to some scheduling mishaps with our trekking company (they bought permits for the wrong month – oops!) we instead hiked the Lares Trek.  Still made it to Machu Picchu up some obscene number of steps and still climbed Wanya Picchu, up even more steps.  My butt has never been in better shape.

6. Visit Patagonia 4/29/11

Again, more on this one to come.  We spent five amazing days in Chilean Patagonia at Torres del Paine National Park.  It was the end of the season (we literally caught the second to last boat out of the park) so it was quiet and we had the place to ourselves.  And the colors.  Fall reds and yellows next to snow capped mountains and aquamarine glacier lakes… Stay tuned for more photos!

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