Sorry I've been missing in action for a while, but I've been driving around the state of Florida for the past week. On Wednesday, I traveled to South Florida to have lasik surgery on my eye. My astigmatsim came back in my right eye and I needed it ZAPPED to see distance again. On Thursday, I could see again … Thank God!!!
Then traveling back to central Florida for one night. Yesterday I headed toward Tampa to meet a ver special BLOGGER PAL, PK Hrezo… ALWAYS a great time with Pk. I've been fortunate to touch base with her on most of my trips down here. BUT, yesterday was special because I am contemplating moving to South Tampa after I sell my condo in Chicago.
PK was a fantastic host. We traipsed around Hide Park… which is BEYOND special. Hopefully I'll be able to swing one of those sweet bungalows! We had a latte an we were lucky enough to hit upon a Christmas parade on BIKES…. Thankfully none hit me. LOL.
Afterwards we drove around the Davies Islands and then she took me back to my hotel. It was a wonderful few hours with a special writer friend. There is NOTHING like talking writing with a FELLOW writer IN PERSON!
Today I'll be heading home… a very LONG drive. Hope to make Southern Kentucky if all goes well.
But, now it's time to share more about my trip to Bogota …
I found this city quite interesting. With a population of TEN MILLION, one is really AMOUNG the people. They are EVERYWHERE!!!! Kind and inquisitive, this gringo could really see the Indian roots of these sweet people. In the three weeks I was there I had only saw ONE other person with blue eyes and fair skin like myself … and that was my friend's sister-in-law, who is from another city in Colombia.
Heads turned everywhere I went. The children in particular were most intrigued. As I had mentioned before, traffic is one living nightmare. A person could actually walk faster. I'm not kidding.
But what I found the most fascinating is the mix of architecture. In the old part of the city, mission style stucco buildings grace most of the extremely narrow streets. Sadly, most are run down and full of graffiti. This does not only happen in our inner cities. A tourist must be AWARE in these sections. I was warned not to take pics with my new iPhone 5 because it would be ripped out of my hands. I was so disappointed… especially in the AMAZING wooden churches build in the 16-1700's. And no picture taking was allowed. But let me just tell you the gold leafed icons sparkled brilliantly against the rich dark wood aged for centuries. Truly breath taking. During this festive season, wood carved nativites held center stage. Stables were recreated just like one would imagine seeing at the time of Christ's birth. Colombia is a very religious country and Colombians all feature nativites as part of the holiday season.
Even the modern, high-end malls have stunning nativity displays. Luckily once I headed for the north and more exclusive end of the city, I was able to take some beautiful Christmas display pics… This is the Hacienda Santa Barbara mall… is reminiscent of a colonial era home. Terrace on multiple levels it is by far one of the MOST UNIQUE and STUNNING shopping centers I have ever been to, and believe me I've been to a LOT… all over the world!!!
Their outdoor and open indoor Christmas displays were truly amazing. Let me know what you think!
Yes, this is PART of the mall!
One of the many stunning Nativity scenes ….
Camel ride anyone? …
They certainly love their camels…
Well, the rains interrupted the rest of my picture taking…. and although December is NOT the time to visit Colombia because of the afternoon thunderstorms and evening rains, a visitor will be AMAZED at how green, lush and surpassingly similar to FLORIDA Bogota is… Yes, you read correctly. Add mountains along with the hibiscus, roses, bougainvillea, and PALM trees and you will see Bogota.
I hope you enjoyed a Bogota Christmas. Have an awesome Monday everyone.
I plan to return to Chicago by Tuesday. Please send positive vibes and prayers that I get home safely. Snow is predicted for Indiana and Chicago on Tuesday. So I hope to get through.