Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Visit to Valle Hermoso

admiring the beautiful colors and designs of sweaters in Valle Hermoso

Last week during our trip to Santiago, my sister Jennifer organized a group outing to a quaint and picturesque little town appropriately named Valle Hermoso (meaning "Beautiful Valley.") Along with its neighbor La Ligua, these are known as the "sweater towns" in Chile - and a visit there does not disappoint!

we were blessed with a bright day of winter sunshine

Rich colors and unique designs make each small shop worth the time to explore. We found everything from ponchos to parkas - even handmade purses, headbands, keychains - and to Eva's lasting delight, tiny knitted garments for her favorite stuffed kittens!

Eva with friend Andrea and her kittens

The lone boy among over a dozen women, my nephew Matias seemed quite content to tag along with his cousins and friends. His favorite purchase of the day was a boys' headband that reminded him of Uruguayan soccer player Diego Forlan (or "Forlancito" as he is affectionately nicknamed in the Rubin household!)

Isabel with cousin Matias

My goal for the day was to purchase a sweater for Eva and Isabel, as I have spent the first half of winter admiring the new styles available in Chile this year. In fact, just before our trip a friend of a friend brought back a suitcase full of sweaters from this very town to sell. The prices are great in Valle Hermoso, and the workmanship excellent, so it is quite easy to re-sell for almost double what one might pay there! In the end I was delighted by my girls' choices. Eva and her friend Andrea purchased pretty matching sweaters in pink and blue.

Eva and Andrea, "twins" for a day

Isabel chose a lovely long sweater in blue with yellow accents, and she has been wearing it ever since! Many people have complimented her on how grown up she looks in it, and of course that makes her day. :)

Isabel modeling her sweater the next day

In addition to the girls' sweaters, I was able to find a long black sweater for myself and the last three sweaters in one particular design which just happened to be in the right sizes for Owen, Ian and Alec. So in the shopping department, it was definitely a successful day!

However, best of all the day included shopping but also time spent with sweet friends. Not only were several of our missionary colleagues present with their daughters, but also the Chilean pastor's wife from our former church in San Bernardo with her twin girls and another dear Chilean friend we'd missed seeing on our previous visits to Santiago. I was even able to catch up with a friend from seminary days, who along with her husband and children arrived two years ago to serve with a sister missionary agency in Santiago. We drove together the two hours on the way to Valle Hermoso and were able to do lots of catching up.

our kids were all smiles on this trip

In the four years that we've lived in Chile this was my first visit to Valle Hermoso and I'm sure that if it were not for my sister I would still be waiting to go. So thanks, Jenn (and Mark, who watched the kids at home!) It took a lot of effort and planning, but it was a beautiful day. I know my girls will remember it always, and so will I.

1 comment:

Terri Fisher said...

I'm SO jealous!!!!!!! Glad you had fun!