|Happy Easter! It's strange to wake up without Easter baskets and eggs hidden around the house (something the kids still enjoyed). Though it is Holy week here, it is without the commercialization you experience in the U.S. which is refreshing. We discussed finding a local church to attend mass today, however we didn't make it happen. It appears the rain has ceased and the sun is trying to poke through the clouds. We'd love to have a day to explore Punta del Este before we head out tomorrow for Colonia del Sacramento on the other side of Montevideo. We are trying to see as many locations in the country as we can during our visit.
Bryan and I decided to walk down to McDonalds for a coffee, assuming it would be one of the few places open today. Well, we were wrong. It appears to be like any other day, no Easter hoopla. It started drizzling ever so lightly as we walked the 2 blocks to the McDonalds but the real downpour hit once we got inside. Interestingly the place was packed. It also had a cool Cafe side, similar to a Starbucks, where you could order specialty espresso drinks and pastries. Around the corner was the normal McDonalds, though the menu was very pared down. Just a few simple offerings like regular coffee, donuts, croissaints, and some simple egg and meat sandwiches.
We stayed on the Cafe side and enjoyed a Mocha Capp for me and a Vienna Capp for Bryan. Both were excellent. A nice way to enjoy the morning as we waited out the rain. Afterwards we ordered Payton a breakfast sandwich and went to the super market for a roll of paper towels and a deck of cards. Luckily it stopped raining for our walk back.
Once back we cleaned up and headed towards the water to really explore the area now that the weather was turning. We drove down the Atlantic Ocean coast of the peninsula where the wind was blowing heavily and the waves were choppy, a surfers paradise. We stopped at La Mano sculpture along Brava beach which looks like a large hand extending from under the beach sand. Next we parked and walked along Gorlero Street to wonder through the shops and pass by the restaurants. Finally the weather was clearing up and the sun was coming out. For lunch we walked to the harbor on the Rio de la Plate side of the peninsula to Lo De Tere restaurant overlooking the harbor. Our Easter lunch was awesome. Bryan had steak, Payton had a mixed seafood dish with scallops and octopus, and I had the "Brad Pitt". Yes, it was really called that and was recommended. It was chicken grilled with a honey coating on a bed of matchstick veggies. All were fantastic, made even better by the open air view.
After lunch we felt the need to work off lunch with a walk down the promenade (Rambla) to the Conrad Hotel and Casino. The walk was stunning along Mansa beach with the sun shimmering off the water. People were out sunbathing and swimming. I can see why this is a desirable place to be in the summer. At the Conrad we entered just long enough to cool off, have a peek around the lobby and through the Casino before wondering back down the Rambla towards our car for our drive back. It was much calmer on the river side of the peninsula!
Back at the apartment we relaxed, caught up on some reading while enjoying the warmth of the sun on the terrace, and a little tv. Later we ventured to e Punta Shopping mall with Payton looking for La Cigale (to replicate her awesome sundae in Montevideo) or dinner. The two story mall was packed inside...there were teens everywhere. It is apparently the place to hang out on a Sunday evening. No luck with La Cigale so we walked to several nearby restaurants before settling on Don Pepperone. Nothing special but good enough. It was a beautiful evening out with a light breeze so we didn't mind the walk back. As we walked into the apartment the Goonies movie had just started in english so we settled in, ate some freah pineapple, and broke in our new deck of cards played some Gin Rummy. Payton won, of course. A nice end to the evening.