Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Machu Picchu-The Adventure of a Lifetime

4 generations at Machu Pichhu
My Mama and Me

We had the tremendous blessing of having my mom (Patti Grigg) and my grandmother (Marie Shipp) come and visit a few weeks ago. The trip was an utter and complete whirlwind with Liam's birthday, me getting ready for my trip back (I flew out the same night they left) for surgery and getting to go to Machu Picchu!

When my mom and grandma mentioned the possibility of coming to visit us, my grandma said we should all go to Machu Pichhu-one of the seven wonders of the world. At first I thought she was out of her mind but then the more we talked about it the more it became a reality. For some reason there was something in me that REALLY thought it would be awesome to get to take my grandma, who has seen all but 2 (one of which was Machu Pichhu) wonders, there myself! Well....after about 4 weeks of planning (did I mention that I almost got to the point of HATING Machu Pichhu before I EVER got there because it was so freaking hard to PLAN!!!) and my grandma offering to pay for the majority of the trip, it was a done deal. Lee, myself, our 3 kiddos, my mom and my 84 year old Grandma were not looking back, it was DO or DIE. Ok, so I never thought the die part was going to be such a real thought, HAHA. No, not really.

So let me describe how we got there and PLEASE remember who all were traveling with here, use your imagination...
We took a plane to Cuzco, taxi to hotel, went out to eat that night but Grandma and Sofia were having some trouble with the altitude and we had to give them oxygen shots. Next morning we had to be out of the hotel by 5:45AM to catch a train, the van could not fit down the small alley to the hotel so we had to walk down to the van on an uneven cobble stone street while lugging our luggage, holding on to my grandma and all three kids IN THE RAIN. One word...circus. The train was a 3.5 hour trip to a small town called Aguas Calientes. We lugged our luggage and everyone down another road to our hotel cause oh wait... there were NO cars in this town, it's all by foot. This would be no problem if we were traveling alone but my grandma as tough and healthy as she is has a bad hip (more on that hip later...) and we didn't have a stroller for Liam. No worries, we made it work. We get to our hotel and find our little guide. He walks us to go buy tickets for the bus up to Machu Picchu (at this point it is 10am and I feel like I have been through an ENTIRE day already). We then all cram on the bus and head up to Machu Picchu, a 25 minute ride. We get there and have to walk quite a ways to get to the ruins.
When we get there I have to admit it was incredible. We walked around and listened to the guide and then my grandma sat in this little area where she could look out over the ruins while we trekked up with all 3 kids and my mom to the top of the ruins. I literally thought my arm was going to FALL OFF! Liam was in a backpack but his legs started falling asleep so Lee man-handled Maddox and Sofia so they wouldn't fall off the ruins while I carried Liam. This part was not that fun. The kids were like "where are the llamas??? We want to see some animals" Not sure they gave a flyin flip that they were in the midst of an amazing place. They were getting hungry, were super tired from getting up at 5:00AM and were just wanting to see a few animals! They were really excited though to get to say they had actually been to Machu Pichhu:) after it was all said and done.

So without every detail, that was our amazing adventure. This would not have happened if it wasn't for my grandma and we are so thankful. She is an amazing women and it was an absolute blast for me to travel with her. When we would complain or talk about something with a bad attitude she would just say "oh... were all gonna die anyway!" We would all just die laughing. She has the best one-liners EVER!!!! It was also SO sweet to watch my kids interact with her and get to spend so much time with her! They got to know her so well and I (or my kids) will never forget the awesome week spent with 4 generations (of missionaries for that matter, how cool!) Liam still asks for Gigi ALL the time!

When we got back we had a slight little mishap. My grandma fell down our stairs in our home. She cracked her head open on the corner of a door frame and I will NEVER forget that sound. While my mom held pressure on her head (did I mention she bled like a stuck pig?!?), Lee ran and got a taxi and Sofia called an intern to come over really quick to watch the kids. It all happened so fast but mom and I were in a taxi with grandma in about 4 minutes and off we were to the clinic. Did I mention my grandma is a complete HAUS! She stayed awake the whole time and did not panic at all. She let us take pictures of her on mom's phone and didn't stop with her one-liners. I was in the front seat trying not to throw up while the cabby was driving like a mad-man.
We got her in the ER and stitched up with a cat-scan within 20 minutes. We asked her numerous times if anything else was hurting and she said she was fine other than a large knot on her head....
Fast forward to 5 days after my surgery in San Antonio (a week ago.) We get a call that my grandma is being transported by ambulance because of severe pain in her hip. My heart sunk. All I could think about was that fall on our stairs. Come to find out that little lady HAD fractured her hip that day! It finally gave out on her after walking on it for almost two weeks and she was in excruciating pain. She had a partial hip replacement the next morning and today she is doing awesome. So.... the Peru adventure lives on. HAHA

Mom, Gigi- Thank you for an amazing trip that we will NEVER forget. It was so special for us to all get to do this together and it was worth every penny, every sweat drop, every hour of sleepless nights and every breath lost:) Love you ladies!

PS More pictures to come (internet is acting crazy)


Charla said...

So glad you guys got to go to MP! And very glad your grandma is ok. I know this doesn't help you now, but if you guys ever come back up here, let us know...we know people and can hook you up :) And we have a guest room. Hope everything else is going well!
:) Charla from the Cusco Team

Alisa said...

So glad to hear Marie is doing ok, and what a wonderful trip, really! I can just hear your grandma saying "We're all going to die anyway." LOL. Love your family!