Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Chile might not be high on everyone's vacation spot list, especially with the recent earthquake and all the aftershocks, but it is so beautiful there! The whole family went to visit my parents over Christmas break and had an awesome family reunion. Here are some pictures from our adventures. Ok fine - a lot of pictures.

There is no way to describe how terrifying this bridge is, how high up you are, or how wide the gaps are between those wooden, wobbly boards.Or how scary it is when you're taking a picture in the middle of the railroad track that you thought had long been abandoned and a train comes through. This might be my fake scared face, but believe me. I was shaking.
This is the view from our hotel balcony in Villaricca.
Volcan Villaricca
We decided it would be a good idea to hike this active volcano. Why not right?
Here we are getting cocky. Thinking it doesn't look as hard as we thought it would.
Here we are realizing we were wrong. So so wrong.
Collin and Kate decided to play a trick on Eric and never say how tired they were no matter how bad it got so E would think he was the only one hurting. So when Eric would say he was exhausted, they would say "Really? I'm not feeling it. I think it's been easy so far."

Kate (loudly): FEEEEEELING good.

Under her breath: I want to kill myself.

This game did not last long. Kate couldn't fake any kind of joy after 15 minutes.

Easily the hardest thing I've ever done.
But check out those views!!! And we're only half way up.

At this point, I was convinced this was Everest. The wind was blowing SO HARD that even with my crampons and ice pick, I would have to fight with everything in me to stay upright. Too bad I thought they were kidding when they showed us how to use the ice pick to keep from dying if you slipped. I had some close calls.
Yes that steam is from the volcano. Are we hardcore or what. Speaking of hardcore, Mama Swenson was the only Mom in our group to complete the hike. Others tried but they didn't last long. We were proud.
Papa, baby sister, lil brudder, big brother, Mama, me, Brian
Lindsay had to stay back because of the nugget (due in August)
Best part of the hike, on the way down, they put you in an ice chute and you get to luge down the entire volcano on your butt.
4 1/2 hours up.
30 minutes down.
How cute is this kid???!!!!
My nephew Sean, 2 yrs old, was the star of the show most of the trip.

He did NOT want to have his picture taken.
He wanted to DANCE!!!Chile has all kinds of gorgeous waterfalls. Waterfall #1 in the POURING rain. Please tell me you can see that my dad is wearing an H&M shopping bag as a hat.
ZIPLINE!!! Sexy harnesses right?
Waterfall #2
Waterfall #3 - this one we actually got to hike down and go under the falls. So sweet.
Does this look like we're in Lost or what? Where's Jack? Sawyer? Smoke Monster? I looked like freaking Rousseau after this thing. Haggard.I'm a little teapot, short and stout... Sean was being threatened by horseflies the size of my fist.
And a mangy, homeless, hairless, diseased dog that wouldn't leave him alone.
This is our "protect the wawa" (aka baby) stance while Sean played in the sand, completely unaware. Gotta have a stick.Family shot! (if you'll notice, Sean's still holding a stick.)