Peru. Oh, how you moved me.

 

My dear friend, Javier, is Peruvian. We became fast friends. In fact, I love him like family. He knows this, I know this, true love. He spent time with me teaching me his go-to authentic recipes. Lomo saltado, ceviche, and seco de pollo, just to name a few.  He stressed the importance of the aji amarillo, which he always shleped back in his suitcase each time he went and came back. It was like gold to him. A piece of his home. A hug in a sense.

 

We can all relate on some level. I'm almost certain that the sight, the smell, and the taste of these "home cooked" dishes bring him right back to his country, even on another mundane Monday in America. I get it. Dishes that (from first bite) inspire you to take the second, and third, and fourth bites -- begging you to lick plates and, that's just what I did.

 

It was from that point on that I grew an appreciation for the culture and a deeper love for the food -- It reminded me that no matter where you end up in life, you always bring a piece of home with you. This time, though, I had to see what he was missing -- what I was missing. So, I decided to take the hike. Not only for the culture and food, but also to see my beloved friend and the many nostalgias he often misses.

 

After several glasses of wine and a little soul searching, I called my girlfriend, Carly, who agreed instantly and the plan came into motion. With our tour guide already reserved, I started planning. Obviously, Machu Picchu was at the forefront. One of the New Wonders of the WORLD, how could we not go? We extended our trip from 7 days to 10 days to accommodate, hesitantly leaving our daily obligations behind. Work can wait and, after all, travel is what we work for anyway, right?

 

We flew into Lima. The capital. Where all the food lives. Or does it?