Sunday, December 23, 2012

And so it begins, retirement's first big step out into the world to find out what happens when a uni-lingual person of a certain age decides to become bilingual.  

In this case, to learn Spanish, specifically in Chile at a school called Ecela (

I leave for Santiago on Saturday, December 29, and am currently scheduled to return on April 9th.  My first week is vacation, since it's New Year's week, and then I begin school in Viña del Mar, which is about 75 miles northwest of Santiago.

The advantage to starting here is that it's a big beach and vacation community and it's going to be Summer in the Southern Hemisphere, which means back to flip flops and shorts!  The apartment where I'm staying is six blocks from the school, which in turn is 6 blocks from the ocean. The guidebooks say that the weather in Viña's much like SF, but not foggy in the early summer. Apparently the mountains don't suck in the marine layer as well as California's Central Valley.

Viña is just north of Valparaiso, once one of the biggest port cities on the Pacific Ocean.  Today it's a World Heritage Site, and the home of a whole bunch of funicular railways.  But more about Valpo later.

I'll be living with a family of 3, Papa, Mama, and their 22 year old daughter.  I have my own room with a queen sized bed and WiFi, so I'm good to go.

After the first 4 weeks I have the option to change cities.  Right now, I'm planning on going to Santiago, but who knows?  Just found out that February has a big music festival in Viña, but there's also the Argentian wine country (Mendoza), Buenos Aires and Lima, Peru to choose from.  It's wonderful to have the flexibility to choose.

So this blog is mostly for everyone who's asked that I stay in touch, and for those backward folks who don't have Facebook.  <wink>

More later, for now, I need to figure out what to pack for this 3 month jaunt.  Oh, and spend Christmas Eve/Christmas with my sister Melissa, her hubby Terry and the dogs.  Besides the usual fun time, we're having the traditional Christmas eve meal of Mom's stroganoff, and a big old prime rib to celebrate Christmas.  

Merry, merry to all of you.


  1. Sounds like a great adventure. Merry Christmas to you as well !

  2. This is a wonderful idea! And what a great beginning!


  3. Spectacular! Can't wait to read all about it... Will you dual post en Espanol para practicar mucho? ;)

  4. HOW great! If you get a chance, put google friend connect (GFC) on here so we can follow you on our rss readers!

    1. All experienced bloggers, please help with suggestions! Gracias!

    2. All experienced bloggers, please help with suggestions! Gracias!

  5. Great Start to the blog, sister! -John