Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Hyatt Regency Santiago

A long week.

Santiago is an amazing city. I've only spent time at the Hyatt, with a little time at a local restaurant for dinner last night. But its appearance is a cross between Vancouver and Los Angeles. Vancouver for the modern buildings, green parks, and huge mountains literally adjacent to the city. Los Angeles for the smog, traffic and weather. Difference: the mountains are 20,000 feet tall and population is smaller than Los Angeles.

They have a drink here called Pisco Sour which is kind of like a liquor lemonade, very very good and not too sweet or tart. Very yummy. Last night at dinner I had a red wine known as "Carmenere" which apparently was brought from France to Chile, but was destroyed by a virus about 10 years ago. It now only exists in Chile and is a cross between a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Delicious. For lunch I had the "Pastel de choclo" - a corn pie, which is a Chilean specialty. It is basically red meat, chicken, mushroom, onion and olives topped with corn bread and cooked in a crock. Delicious but quite heavy. Food and drinks: very good here!

The Hyatt Regency is a spectacular circular glass building with a floor to ceiling atrium that is 20 stories tall; there is also a rather vast garden and pool area behind it that makes it look like a resort, it is beautifully manicured. Neat hotel - the planned renovation will be spectacular, I saw the new rooms and they will be sleek, modern and simple. Love it.

I am fading fast. The weather is supposed to be good the rest of the days, and I get tomorrow afternoon and all day Friday to myself before I return to Chicago. I definitely want to come back here on vacation!

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