We wrapped up the remaining birthday celebrations — mostly just a hug from Oscar and a song from Mads — completely different from a year ago in DC when we celebrated with a party past midnight and a house concert the following day. Still, on Sunday, Guido and Angela cooked us a superb lunch, followed by a chantilly-filled cake with a little yellow candle.

We headed to Cusco on Sunday morning, and wandered down the Avenue de la Cultura in search of a large yellow house on the corner. When Guido said he lived in a large three-floor house, I assumed he was just bragging like the first-grade boys who claim to have 10 floors, or 13 floors in their houses. But no, Guido’s house took up half the block. I think his building was supposed to house three families, because each floor is really its own apartment. And Guido has converted the rooftop into a greenhouse/dining area that perfectly showcases a view of Cusco.

Dining at Guido’s was sort of like being in an episode of Fresh Prince. Throughout our visit there were two girls our age who were… the only word I can come up with is butlers. They were the ones who answered the doorbell, set the table and brought over more food, so it was pretty much like hanging out with two Jeeves, minus the sass.

Then we sat down with the whole fam — Angela, Guido, Angela’s brother, Guido’s mother, me, Mads and later Angela’s brother’s manicurist. For the meal, Angela made ceviche de pollo — which is cooked chicken with lime juice and sauteed onions, very misleading name — and causa for Mads. Afterward, they lit my candle and sang a great rendition of Happy Birthday, half in Spanish, half English, and insisted that I blow out the candle on the count of tres. Muchas gracias Guido et al.

Las palabras del dia
Chicha morrada — Chicha is “the drink of the Andes” or something like that. It’s made from purple corn, hence morrada, and can be fermented as well.
Ceviche de pollo — chicken with onions and lime juice
Remolacha — beets
Zanahorias — carrots
Humido — moist, as in, “Angela, todos tus tortas son humidos.”
Torta — cake

September 16, 2013