Finding Paradise

Oct 31, 2014 by Sandy Spain

Coming Home

Well after being gone for three months it was nice to get back to my piece of paradise (Playa Encanto) within the paradise that is Puerto Peñasco. I came home to a mess after the big storm, but still so happy to be here. I guess many of us think of home as our own paradise. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and be a guest in the paradise of many others.

Different forms of Paradise

This summer I spent some time with my grandchildren in Phoenix and I have to say that grandchildren are a form of paradise for a grandmother. Other forms of paradise I was able to enjoy this summer were reconnecting with friends and former co-workers and revisiting the White Mountains and Flagstaff in Arizona to enjoy their wonderful summer climate.

New Paradise for Me

This summer I also visited three countries that I had never been to before: Brazil, Argentina and Chile. While in Brazil, I was able to see the home of the famous Rio Carnival and learn about the samba schools, walk the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana and visit several world heritage sites. Of course, you cannot go there without visiting Corcovado Mountain with the famous Christ the Redeemer statue and the tram ride up to the top of Sugar Loaf. For both excursions we had clear skies and spectacular views. The Brazilians naturally think of their place as paradise and were very welcoming to visitors.

A most impressive site is Iguazu Falls. We were able to see both the Brazil and Argentina sides and they were quite different but both absolutely breath-taking. The site was made even more amazing by a large storm that had increased the water flow eight times on the days we were there. In Argentina we were also able to visit some of the famous neighborhoods of Buenos Aires including the quaint shopping area of La Boca. There was a tango flavor everywhere and, again, the locals loved their paradise and were so very hospitable and anxious to share it.

In Santiago we were able to visit the largest shopping center in South America, OK so maybe not to you but to some us (shopaholics) that is a form of paradise. We were also able to visit the Concha y Toro winery which was more like a winery within a botanical garden – absolutely beautiful grounds not to mention the fabulous wine tastings. The reflection of the setting sun on the Andes in the background from the window in our hotel room was an awesome site. A side trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar took us back to the beach – Pacific style. Valparaiso is built on 48 hills, that’s right the whole place is up and down 48 hills – very picturesque. Again, we were blessed with warm reception from everyone. In Chile, they really expressed their appreciation for folks coming so far to visit their country.

Definition of Paradise

So I found there are as many definitions of paradise as there are people and places. We have many paradises in Mexico as well. My advice is get out there and find some new paradises to experience. But I still believe as Dorothy said “There’s no place like home.”

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