My Machu Picchu Dream Come True!

Since I was in High School and first learned about Machu Picchu, from my Spanish teacher, I’ve wanted to go to Peru.  She was Peruvian and had shared with us about her people, culture, and history. Being raised in a proud Mexican-American family, I was fascinated with this other group of Latino history. Life went on… but I always thought about Peru, and especially Machu Picchu. I figured it was one of those places that I put on my bucket list and go to before I die. Whenever someone asked, where do you want to go? I would always without hesitation answer Machu Picchu.

Imagine my surprise when it became a reality before I was ready to visit the Almighty. We originally had planned on going to Germany for Oktoberfest in Sept 2015. We landed up buying a house and had to cancel that trip. Then, our very good friend told us she was going to Peru for Thanksgiving in November. That’s when we invited ourselves on her trip home. We had to jump on the opportunity to experience Peru. I have to admit, other than our wedding, there was never a trip I was most anticipating in my life.

 

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My Machu Picchu Dream Come True! We arrived in Aguas Caliente!

 

We landed in Lima on Friday. We flew to Cusco on Monday. I took the pills to help me acclimate to the altitude, which I highly recommend. We also drank plenty of Coco de Mate, which helped me immensely. We took the 2nd train to Machu Picchu on Tuesday morning. It was a 3hr, slow train ride to Aguas Caliente.

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My Machu Picchu Dream Come True! Welcome to Machu Picchu!

Aguas Caliente is the town directly below Machu Picchu. After getting to Aguas Caliente, we had to buy bus tickets to get up to Machu Picchu. Then, we had to go to the Tourism office for our admittance tickets to Machu Picchu. Yes, it would be easier if it was in the same place, but it’s not. They only accept cash, which is also important to know, as my husband had to find a cash machine when we found out they don’t accept credit cards of any sort.

 

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My Machu Picchu Dream Come True! Welcome to Machu Picchu!

 

After that experience, we had to wait in line for the bus. There is only one station for this. The winding bus ride up the mountain is about 25 minutes. Everyone is excited and scared to death going up this narrow and steep mountain. It’s even scarier going back down.

 

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Welcome to Machu Picchu!

 

I think I prayed the whole way down the mountain. Alas, we arrived at the entry of Machu Picchu, and we didn’t see anything initially. They have a station where we could stamp our passports with a stamp of Machu Picchu, which has become my favorite stamp on my passport to date. We were approached by several tour guides. We found one that spoke in English, as we were with a non-Spanish speaking friend. He was an accredited tour guide, knowledgeable, patient, and knew where to take all the best pictures. He was well worth what we paid him. I felt he enhanced our experience because he was able to walk  us through and explain everything to us about the history and the Inca Empire.

 

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My Machu Picchu Dream Come True!

Machu Picchu is truly magnificent. There are really no words that could accurately describe it’s majesty. It has breathtaking views in whatever direction we looked.

 

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My Machu Picchu Dream Come True! Team JP Travelers In Love.

 

 

I’m truly thankful my husband and I experienced this once in a lifetime experience together. It taught me, it’s never too early to pursue my dreams. Life is short. Life is unpredictable. It was not only an adventure of a lifetime but a spiritual awakening in knowing anything is possible. I felt on top of the world at Sun Gate. Now, excuse me, while I go update my bucket list and proudly scratch off my number 1. Mission accomplished.

 

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My Machu Picchu Dream Come True! Look Ma, I’m on top of the world!

I’m living proof that dreams do come true!

 

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TBT

This time 2yrs ago, we were at the start of our honeymoon at Secrets Maroma Beach Resort In Riviera Maya Mexico. It was divine! With this crappy weather in Houston, I’m just going to stare at these pictures a little longer… where did you spend your honeymoon??

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Secrets Maroma Beach Resort

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Secrets Maroma Beach Resort

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Secrets Maroma Beach Resort

What to do in NYC in a weekend.

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What to do in NYC in a weekend – That view…

New York! New York! Is, indeed, fabulous. My 1st trip to New York City was in October of 2013. We stayed in Times Square. We saw a Broadway show. We walked through Central Park. Which, is breathtakingly beautiful with all the leaves changing colors in the Fall. It was all a tourist dream come true.

This time, around we did none of that. This time, we stayed in Tribeca. This is what a true NYC neighborhood is made up of: small bagel shops, cafes, and plenty of bars all surrounded by early 19th Century buildings and cobblestone streets. It even had people offering us knock off designer purses and watches on most street corners. Most importantly, it wasn’t flooded with first-time tourists walking around with giant maps or cameras trying to capture everything that is Times Square. We spent our days walking through SoHo, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, and East Village. I got to see and experience Manhattan for what it really is, and it isn’t all bright lights and glitz that is Times Square and the Theater District.

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What to do in NYC in a weekend – One World Trade Center

We did manage to get some sightseeing done. Mostly things that weren’t available for us to see and do on our last trip. For starters, in 2013, One World Trade Center, was still under construction. We were able to visit the 9/11 Memorial on the ground, but not enter the building as it was not yet completed. Fortunately, it was a crappy day out. It was cold, rainy, windy, and it snowed. We paid $34 each to go up to the 100, 101, and 102nd floors of One World Observatory. Tip: if you pay using a Mastercard, you get upgraded for FREE to VIP/Express Entry, which comes in handy when there is a long line. This is a state of the art experience. The experience starts in the elevator. I won’t ruin it by saying any more about it, but it is pretty cool. On the 101st floor, there is a restaurant and bar. It was about 11 a.m., and we were ready for a beverage. Plus, it was cold out. We weren’t in a rush to go back out anytime soon. Here we were on the 101st floor of One World Trade Center. I found myself thinking about September 11, 2001. I thought about the victims, their loved ones and how the whole world changed after that. To be in the exact location drinking my cocktail, talking, laughing, surrounded by 360-degree views of Manhattan in this structurally stunning building is humbling. It made me proud as an American. It also made me feel that it was an unsaid, “F-YOU!!!” to all terrorists around the world. We are America. They may have tried to destroy us, but they never did. They didn’t break us. We rebuilt ourselves from the ground up, literally, stronger, and will always rise from the ashes. That’s what we do as Americans. Please visit the 9/11 Memorial and take the time to pay your respects, or enjoy a cocktail or two on the 101st floor of One World Trade Center. It’s something I’ll never forget.

While, I, by fortune’s favor, had the privilege of being born in the U.S.A., many people in my family did not. In fact, millions of Americans, come from other countries. My husband’s family immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900’s through Ellis Island.

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What to do in NYC in a weekend – Welcome to Ellis Island

When we last visited NYC, Ellis Island, was also closed and under construction due to damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This time, I wasn’t going to miss out on this experience.

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What to do in NYC in a weekend – Next stop… Ellis Island

We paid $18 each to take the ferry from Battery Park to Ellis Island. It also included a stop at the Statue of Liberty. It was a nicer day for a ferry ride – no snow or rain, thankfully.

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What to do in NYC in a weekend – Happy Tartan Day! Ellis Island

We were greeted by bagpipes and a woman dancing a traditional Scottish dance in honor of Tartan Day. Ellis Island is no longer a port of entry, since 1954. It is now a wonderful museum. It is modern and interactive. I learned things without feeling as if I was being taught something. I asked my husband, “what does it feel like knowing that your ancestors stood and came through here? Your American story starts here.” He said, “it’s hard to imagine and take it all in. To know what they went through.” It’s true. For most of our ancestors, it wasn’t an easy journey coming to this country. Whether it was by chains, on foot through the desert, refugees, or by steamboat, we reap the benefits of the courage our forebear’s had before us. Which is why Ellis Island, is my new favorite must see/do American/NY experience.

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What to do in NYC in a weekend

The NYC experience is unique and personal for everyone. People flock to New York City to experience something different, something new, something we’re not able to experience in any other part of the world. Whatever we may be looking for is here. This is what keeps us going back. We still have more NYC experiences to discover. I love that giant concrete jungle.

What’s your favorite NYC experience?

Throwback Thursday

NEW YORK CITY!!! STATUE OF LIBERTY! She’s just as gorgeous in person! I’m in awe of her and this beautiful gift the French gifted us. This was in October 2013. While I’m looking forward to going back, I’m not looking forward to how cold it will be this weekend. I’m used to Texas Spring now.  There’s so much left to see and do in New York! Any recommendations? Thinking of going to the Empire State Building and Ellis Island this time around.

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