Villa de Leyva: A Fall Break Wrap Up

My husband and I want to see as much of Colombia as possible, and we decided that our first mini-getaway would be to Villa de Leyva for the tail end of Fall Break. Fall Break is new to us as Arlingtonians, since our kids have always started school in September and didn’t get an October break beyond Columbus Day (some years) and Teacher Conference days.

We drove out mid-morning on Thursday. We stayed at an AirBnB right outside the main part of town. My first impression of Boyaca was calm and green. Horses, cows, chicken, and sheep wandered along the sides of the road. Our “Things to do” list was pretty short, other than explore and rest.

The first day, we arrived at the AirBnB, met our host, and headed out to the town to find some food. We ended up walking by Mercado Municipal and having a late lunch (that filled us up for dinner!) of stone fire pizza. The next day, I learned that the chef is the cousin of one of my DC running club gals!

The kids enjoyed running around the square after a morning in the car, and when we got back to the house, they lounged in hammocks and we had a quiet night.

The following morning, we headed off to Gondova Dinosaur Theme Park. This is possibly the cheesiest theme park ever. There’s fake dinosaurs, a small playground, and the highlight, a big sand pit with fake fossils for kids to dig. That alone was worth the cost of admission, and our kids dug for at least 45 minutes! Boyaca has a ton of fossils, so dinosaurs are a big draw.

In the afternoon, we found a burger place with a playground, which is basically all my kids need. Ellie had specifically requested a veggie burger with no bun (she’s gluten and dairy free), so a vegan burger without a bun was perfect!

Later that afternoon, we went back up to town for a bite to eat and to let the kids run around the plaza.

Saturday morning, we attempted a hike (to the Santo Christo) but it was way too hard for our kids. We headed back to the car and drove out to Raquira to buy some pottery. On the way home, we went to an ostrich farm. Ganja de Avestruces is cheesy. Everything has an extra price tag. You can feed ostriches AND eat ostrich burgers. Our kids loved it. They rode ponies and a bison and played on the playground and ran into a friend from Bogotá and fed ostriches. And then an ostrich seriously tried to eat Caroline’s finger, traumatizing her but causing my husband and I to crack up.

Our final evening was another late lunch at the same burger place per child request, hanging out at the house, and playing games.

Sunday morning, we peeked in a church service (our non-Catholic and emerging Spanish speaker kids couldn’t handle it.) We grabbed some food and hit the road, making a quick stop at the site of the Battle of Boyaca to let the kids run!

Chapinero Street Photography: Bogotá, Colombia.

I took a long walk with a friend from Chico to Chapinero in Bogotá yesterday, with a goal of capturing this beautiful, colorful, and vibrant city waking up.

Chapinero is as full of art as La Candelaria, and every little side street seemed to feature a mural or poster. Even the crosswalks are rainbows! My favorite scenes are colorful stairs and the blur of motorcycles, busses, and pedestrians against the bright backdrop of the city.

Since I'm Obsessed.... I Made a Book!

If you’ve been hanging around this space, you know I am obsessed with Bogotá’s vibrant street art scene. Since I’m a 30-almost-40-something mom of two kids, I don’t look like your typical street art fan. I lack edginess, and I lack a general factor of being cool.

Despite my lack of coolness, the street artists in Bogotá have been extremely gracious when I’ve met them. I have been all over the city with my camera, and I have put together a book of images to share these works with those who aren’t lucky enough to see them in real life, and as a way to save this special part of Bogotá for other temporary residents like us!

You can buy it here.