Saturday and Sunday June 22 and 23: Dani and I woke up at the hostel around 8:30 and took our time eating breakfast and getting ready for the day. We navigated through the streets of Lima and found our way to the beach, where we planned on taking surfing lessons! It was a dreary day, only around 68 degrees, but we didn’t care. We easily found the surf Peru tent and signed ourselves up for class. We were given a wetsuit and struggled to put it on (i put mine on backwards the first time of course). We also got a type of water shoes to wear. We met our instructor who made us run laps and do stretches on land before teaching us the proper surfing technique. After about 20 minutes of lessons, we got in the water with our boards and began paddling out to sea. It is total upper body strength to get yourself up and over the waves and out to a far enough point. My instructor then turned me around when we reached a good spot and when he saw a good wave coming, told me to paddle and then stand up. Much to my surprise, I stood up, kept my balance and rode the first wave with ease. I was shocked because I had been watching other students fall time and time again and was expecting myself to do the same. After a grueling paddle back out to my instructor, I rode another wave in, this time with more grace and ease than the first. I did that another 20 or so times over the next hour, never falling once during my session, riding them farther and farther each time. I was pleasantly surprised by my abilities because I had expected to fail miserably at surfing. The instructor and owners of surf peru were also extremely pleased and could not believe that I had never surfed before. I am going to try and surf again and see if my luck will continue. Maybe having a low center of gravity is good for something after all! After our lesson, we walked out onto the pier and got a good look at the Lima shoreline. I am happy I got to swim in the Pacific Ocean and see the breathtaking view of Peru’s coast. I wish it hadn’t been so cloudy and foggy so I could have gotten a better picture!! We headed back to the hostel for a warm shower and to repack our suitcases (because mine weighed a whopping 59 pounds the day before). After a few hours of getting ourselves organized, we headed out for lunch and to explore Lima. After walking past tons of authentic Peruvian restaurants, we decided on…. Subway! The little piece of America in the middle of Peru looked way too good to pass up. After some more exploring(attempting to tire ourselves out for the flight), we settled down in Cafe la Paz to relax over a cup of coffee. It was incredibly fancy and only 5 soles (or $2 dollars). I am going to have awful sticker shock when I return to the USA. Around 7, our taxi picked us up and we headed to the airport. We had a nice 45 minute ride through Lima’s poorer districts. After thinking we had gotten kidnapped multiple times, we reached the airport, which is nicer than many in the United States. My bag weighed in at 23.6 kilos (or 54 pounds) and was by some miracle checked without a hitch. I was given as aisle seat on the plane, not my favorite. We navigated our way to the gate and after a half hour delay (typical Peruvian tardiness), we boarded. After a meal and our initial ascent, I attempted to sleep. It was the worst 5 hours of sleep I have ever gotten, but it made the plane ride fly by. We got another small snack before arriving in Newark and going through the rechecking, immigrations, customs, and security process all over again. I must have shown my passport 18 times! Dani and I then made our first American stop at McDonald’s. I had an egg mcmuffin followed by a Dunkin donuts coffee and some donut holes. It was heaven! (and I don’t even like egg mcmuffins… or donuts). Soon after, we parted and I boarded my tiny bombardier for Pittsburgh (window seat this time!) The flight flew by and I was overjoyed to see my city below me as I looked out the window. We flew over downtown and the point and I became filled with excitement at the thought of using the word “yins” again. I am so happy to be back in the comforts of my country, city and home. However, I would not trade my experiences and 3 weeks in Peru for anything. I will wrap up with a conclusion post in a few days after I unpack and recover from my marathon days of travel!