Not the cheesy movie, or the ice cream shop in NYC. It seems that, half-way deep into January, this year has started out with us–me and NG–wandering through life until we stumble on something that makes us pause. Our trip to Death Valley: planned last minute, actually, not planned at all. We had 4 days off, we’ve always wanted to go, so we did. This past weekend was beautiful, and strangely warm. Inbetween planned events with friends, we managed to take the BART downtown, where we walked around and enjoyed the weather. We also needed to buy a gift for one of our friends who was celebrating her birthday. After unsuccessfully looking for a gift, we found a street vendor selling whimsical knit hats shaped like animals–pigs, monkeys, frogs–and shaped like food–strawberries (I might still need to get the strawberry hat, for myself). The moment we found this vendor, we were instantly reminded of our bday friend. We purchased a lime green striped frog hat with hot pink mouth. Sunday, after a “recovery brunch” with another of my bday friends, NG and I enjoyed the day by going window shopping. We weren’t looking for anything, or planning on buying anything, but I did stumble across a leather jacket, market down to a third of its original price. There was one left, and it happened to be my size, so, I bought it. We got lost driving home (NG took the wrong turn), and just as we were about to pull out the GPS to determine where we were, we found an old 1960s roadside burger joint called “Beeps.’ We bought 2 number 11s. SNC00021

NG’s company requires that he take a week off during Q1 (not sure why), and NG and I had been discussing where we should go. We’ve discussed going to Michigan (family), Alaska, Hawaii again, road trip to another national park, Northern Pacific Coastline…but one impossible suggestion kept coming up–Machu Pichu.

On Monday, I looked at cruises to Alaska–none until May. Then I looked up travel deals–Ireland seemed to have some great, all-inclusive deals. But then, on a whim, I decided to look up flights to Peru…2 hours later, we were booked on a flight that would take us there over Vday weekend for just a week. Long enough to get our bearings, and see the ruins.

The tickets were cheaper than my last trip to Houston for the holidays, but of course, it’s because we are going in the least ideal of scenarios: rainy season (at least there won’t be as many tourists), and the main trail that everyone does, the Incan trail, will be closed in Feb (we don’t exactly have the time to do that anyway, so it works out).

I don’t know whether it was a series of random events that led us to deciding that we were going to travel to Peru in 3 weeks, or if its something grander and more mystical (although I tend not to believe in stuff like that).

Either way, we’re going to a place we’ve always wanted to see, one that has been coming up in conversation a ton lately, and for whatever stars that aligned, we are going.

I can’t wait to try the guinea pig.

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