all night i was hoping to hear:
"...when you think tim mcgraw, i hope you think my favorite song..."
but alas, no surprise appearance from t-swift was to be had.
nonetheless, it was a fun night planned by the girls for "fathers day".
$7.00 mini pizzas, blankets on the lawn, and cute husbands were all we needed.
tim mcgraw concerts also remain to be the only place dawson will sing outloud with me.

now just as a side note.
i was thoroughly appalled by the apparel of some of the young ladies at the concert.
i KNOW their daddy's didn't see them leave the house in those outfits.
maybe i am getting old and prudish,
but denim shorts with the button folded open and a bra top is just too much skin.
however i was very grateful for my prudishness and covered belly,
as we were stuffing our faces with chips & queso, pazookies and molten lava cakes at chili's afterwards.



after the lima fiasco, we headed to the wonderful city of cuzco
(you thought cuzcotopia was just a place on emperor's new groove, didn't you!)
dawson was there for the majority of his mission and knew the place like the back of his hand.
he could take us through all kinds of twists and turns of those cobblestone streets and never get lost.
i, on the other hand, was in a constant state of confusion and felt like we were going in circles.
thank goodness i have a husband who's mind is a gps system.

our first priority once we got checked into our hotel was to find some grub.
my go-to peruvian dish is lomo saltado (the only thing that i've ever actually tried),
so my only request of my husband was to find a place that had that.
(think steak and french fries with a side of rice to make it peruvian and you've got lomo saltado).

our first full day in cuzco also happened to be mothers day.
we went to church and visited a ward that dawson had been in for a long time.
he was surprised (but very happy) to see a lot of his converts STILL going to church!
i don't know why but for some reason he expected them all to be out playing soccer instead...
i don't know why it was surprising to me that church in peru was exactly the same as church in utah,
minus the fact that i couldn't understand pretty much anything that was being said.

after church we went and visited the families that dawson had been closest with.
because it was mothers day, everyone was celebrating and had gotten cakes.
at every single house we went to, we were offered cake and tea or hot chocolate.
since i couldn't speak spanish and politely refuse, and being the person that i am,
i had a huge slice of cake and tea at every single house which i of course felt like i had to finish completely.
that's 4 pieces of dry, frosting-less cake and 4 mugs of herbal tea that i had to choke down.
needless to say by the last house i was debating about puking 
and only decided not to because i didn't want to have to taste that cake and tea all over again.

^ the streets that dawson walked for 2 years.

the sweetest thing i have seen in my entire life was watching dawson with this boy ^^^
he is the down syndrome son of a woman who cooked for the missionaries, 
and dawson had gotten to know the boy, julio, from visiting and talking to him every day.
julio and his mom were too poor to have a phone or computer, so they had no idea we were coming.
they had also moved since dawson left so we had to do quite a bit of investigating to find out where they lived now.
luckily with the help of some members and random neighbors we were able to track them down.
i know we were meant to find them and visit them simply from the look on julio's face when he saw dawson.
even though it had been 3 years, it was obvious that julio remembered him.
he only has about a 15 word vocabulary but you should have seen the two of them laugh and joke together.
if the only reason we had gone to peru was to visit this little family, then it wold have been worth it.

^ julio's mom

it really was one of my favorite parts of the trip to be able to see dawson interact with julio
 and all the people he had grown so close to over the two years he was in cuzco.
they all loved "elder kent" and more than one tear was shed when they found him at their door.
it was also kind of funny to see all those little people hug daw because he was a GIANT in comparison.
i fit in much better with my hobbit-ness.

now back to the whole food situation.
i don't want you thinking that we ate horrible food the whole time.
cuz if you know me, you know i am all about GOOD food.
dawson had raved about this breakfast place called "jacks" ever since he got home from the mish,
so of course that was one of our must-go places.

those caramelized banana pancakes ^^^ were literally heaven on earth.
dawson ordered them the first time we went and i was foolish enough to order an omlette.
needless to say, i made sure we went back to jacks again so i could get my very own banana pancakes.
they were SO worth the thousands of calories they probably cost me.
i would pay at least $100 to have a plate of them in front of me right now.

we also had heard of this famous cafe that had "the world's best hot chocolate".
at first sip we were greatly disappointed because it was peruvian style, aka not sweet AT ALL. 
but once we realized we could add 20 spoonfuls of sugar and make it into american style hot chocolate,
we agreed that it was CLOSE to being the worlds best.
(ghiradelli's salted caramel hot chocolate in san fran simply can not be beat)

besides visiting all dawson's peruvian bff's and putting on the pounds, we did a little exploring.
just a 5 minute walk from our hotel were the inca ruins koricancha.
underneath the ruins is a dinky little museum that displays skulls of the incas that performed brain surgery.
very very creepy yet very very cool.
not sure if we were allowed to have free rein and walk all over the ruins but we did anyway.

cuzco also had a plaza de armas, which is the main city square.
i mostly liked the square because that's where you could find the mcdonalds and starbucks...
don't judge me.
especially because we didn't even get to eat at the mcdonalds.

^ had to snapchat of course ^

i forgot to mention the thousands of homeless dogs that roam the streets of cuzco.
i loved every single one of them.
dawson wouldn't let me play with any of them,
but i still named as many as i could and told them all kinds of nice things they probably have never heard before.
then one time i actually pet one of them, and realized that it had fleas.
dawson wouldn't hold my hand the rest of the way home.

speaking of gross things.
check out the peruvian market we went to:

^ do you think i'm ever going to eat hot dogs again?

on one of our last days we decided to take a taxi up to christo blanco,
but somehow we ended up WALKING to christo blanco.
don't worry, there were only about 10 BILLION steps to get up there.
combine that with the 11,200 ft altitude and you can guess how happy i was.
luckily i quickly got over my sweaty grumpiness once i saw how pretty it was.

this was the nicest peruvian man ^ who made up a song for us.
and then this peruvian girl just plopped this lamb in my arms.
she forgot to ask if i cared to get fleas on me, 
but she didn't forget to remind us that we could pay her to take a picture.

it really was the most amazing view of cuzco up there with all of the red roofs.
i'm so glad that dawson went to peru on his mission and loved it
(and that he didn't get called to south dakota, cuz that wouldn't be nearly as fun),
and i'm even more glad that he took me back there with him so i could fall in love with it too.