When winter starts to get long and we haven’t seen the sun in months, we hop in the car and drive to Cieneguilla. This city, while only one hour from our house, is technically considered the country and is home to one of our favorite places in Lima, the restaurant Mesa de Piedra.
Mesa de Piedra has 3 different sites (our favorite being 2). How it works is that admittance is free but all adults are required to spend a minimum of $20 on food and drinks. This is not hard to do. :) In exchange, there is live music, traditional dancers, a swimming pool, horses and playground equipment. Most importantly though, there is sun. Some days I’d pay $20 just to soak in the sun for a few hours.
Their specialty is Pollo a la Brasa or Grilled Peruvian Chicken. It’s a family favorite and always goes quickly. After lunch Nia usually starts to melt and we head out to do some activities on the grounds.
I don’t know if she was extra brave because Grandma and Grandpa were there, but for the first time ever Nia decided to ride a horse! We’ve tried 2 times before with no success, so this was quite exciting.
Grandpa, having grown up on a farm with horses, was overjoyed (as evidenced by his facial expression above). I think it’s a toss up as to who enjoyed it more…
It ended up being a 10 minute ride, which was just about ideal for her attention span. Very reasonable too at only $3 a ride.
Next up was dancing, so we went back to listen to the band play traditional music. I should mention that we were the only ones dancing and that, as usual, we made quite a spectacle (Mr. Nick generously offered to stay with our items at the table).
In no time at all Nia had attracted a new Peruvian friend and they went to town dancing together. It was adorable, if I do say so myself.
Nia’s obsessed with being a big girl lately and so she was simply gaga over this 3 year old who had taken to her so strongly. It was amusing to watch because it almost seemed like the little Peruvian was a big sister trying to protect her (note the choke hold below). Whatever it was, Nia ate up the attention from her older wiser friend and it also inspired her to behave better since she wanted to impress her friend. Win/win all around, wouldn’t you say?
We’ll be celebrating Nia’s actual birthday today and taking them to a few more places in town before heading out for Cusco and Machu Picchu on Thursday. Should be a full and exciting week!