Final week in Lima, Thanksgiving edition. While it was weird to be away from family, it was a special holiday spent with Parea (and a bit DIY, read below!). In the spirit of Thanksgiving and eating, I compiled a few bucket lists for eating and drinking in Peru. This has been the first city where I’ve actually been able to and had the desire to try everything, so here it is…

Peruvian Thanksgiving feast

Food bucket list:

  • Ceviche– raw fish cooked with acid and served with onions/peppers, a must.
  • Aji de gallina– creamy chicken dish
  • Lomo saltado– steak stir fry
  • Chicharron– fried pork rinds
  • Causa– yellow potato ‘sandwich’ filled with avocado, mayo, chicken (usually)
  • Juane– Amazonian, tomatillo-like dish
  • Chifa– Peruvian/Chinese fusion food, surprisingly common, get the fried rice
  • Cuy– guinea pig, served whole
  • Anticuchos– cow hearts
  • Chifle– plantain chips
  • Papa reina/rellena– stuffed potato
  • Pollo a la brasa- like rotisserie chicken
  • Lots of quinoa everything
  • So much more for you to discover on your own…

Drink bucket list (have already mentioned some, but for consistency):

  • Pisco sour– Pisco and egg white
  • Chilcano– Pisco and ginger ale
  • Chicha Morada– a purple corn drink
  • Inca Kola– a yellow soda that tastes kind of like bubble gum, I’m not a fan but try it!
  • Masato– a jungle drink that begins with, yes, human spit

Final Lima notes:

  1. Football is a religion here as well. Before 2018, the last time the national team qualified for the World Cup was in 1982. In 2018, the celebrations were so explosive when they qualified that they set off earthquake alarms. The president declared a national day off the next day. LOL.
  2. I’ve mentioned that Lima has a less than ideal public transportation system. What they do have are local vans that drive all over, packed with people. I feel bad for not trying it, but supposedly get on, pay 1 sole, tell them when you want to get off. They have rough routes, but informal stops for sure. Lima also has a ‘metro’ that runs north to south on a main road and has its own lane. A good idea in theory, but also VERY crowded.
  3. There’s a Peruvian dance where women dance with handkerchiefs behind their backs, while men try to light it on fire. Look it up, funny and harder than you’d think apparently.
  4. One neat thing you may notice around Miraflores and Barranco is a knife sharpener. A man with a wheel-barrow like machine walks down the street playing a ringing noise. People can come out with their knives and he will use the machine to sharpen them.
  5. In other, unrelated, funny news, Bolivia has no coast but they do have a navy, so they ‘borrow’ coast from Chile. Lol.

Reasons this year’s Thanksgiving was a bit DIY:

  1. Hmm Peru doesn’t celebrate this holiday, to start. Christmas decorations have been in full swing. On the bright side, stores were open when we forgot things. Peruvians also do not seem to make pie. I really wanted to make GF pumpkin pie.
  2. Canned pumpkin? Not a thing. I looked it up on Google and someone said ‘I think the closest pumpkin is in Publix in Miami, FL’. LMAO! Sooo apple pie it is!
  3. Pie pans? Not a thing. Rectangular pie it is!
  4. Baking powder? Real hard to find. Baking soda? In the pharmacy aisle.
  5. Measuring cups? Not a thing in our apartments. Used a Purina Cat Chow measuring cup with two different lines for each measurement.
  6. Rolling pin? Not a thing in our apartments. Tall cup it is!
  7. Our oven doesn’t have marked temperatures. You got your 1, 2, 3, and 4. Perfect!
  8. Final product? Actually decent apple pie! (And cornbread). A miracle really.
  9. Turkey? RY supplied it, from an American vendor we found with the city team. They smoked it spatchcock/butterfly style, was actually really good!

Final (partially eaten) product


After a year best 8-mile run, I spent the day with Parea at one of this month’s (HUGE) apartments. Peeled a lot of potatoes, did a lot of cleaning, but also a lot of eating and a lot of appreciating the amazing group I got to be with. Of course also called home for the classic ‘hello, hello, hello everyone…*can’t hear each other*…ok byeeee’ video call.

I have an immense amount to be grateful for this year, not the least of which is this around-the-world journey I have been on with twenty five of the best people. Stemming from some difficult things happening to dear friends recently, I am extra thankful for health and happiness. I am thankful for my family supporting me from afar and for technology for keeping us together. And yeah, can’t be thankful enough for Parea. They have become people to laugh with, cry with, and live the heck out of life with. We went around and did the classic ‘what are we thankful for?’ circle and top of mind was ‘I am thankful for two more months of RY’. It has not been easy, but at the end of the day, man, I love this adventure.

Thankful for this squad…

…and this squad

Taking off tomorrow for Colombia! Month 11 bring it on!

…as a follow up, this transition was the messiest of the year by far. First time missing a flight! Our first flight was delayed to Bogota, where we missed our connection to Medellin. The customs line was INSANE, took us at least an hour to get through. And turns out re-ticketing flights for 18 people isn’t easy! After landing in Bogota before 8pm, we didn’t take off until 12:30pm (3 hours later than planned) and arrived at our apartments around 3am. Yikes! On the bright side, Avianca was the first airline to serve me a gluten free meal!! What was it? Fruit tray with a side of fruit and a side salad. Substantial.