LIMA, PERU--The guy behind me at the Lima airport baggage claim had warned me. "You just can't plan for anything in South America," he said. He shared these words of wisdom in the midst of a mini airport crisis: The Lost Suitcase. The situation snowballed as we learned that not one but every single piece of luggage on my flight had been left behind in Atlanta, leaving myself and fellow passengers clueless, baggage-less and clean underwear-less for four days. This was my first lesson in Peruvian unpredictability. The subsequent lessons have proved less harsh--and more hygenic--the most important of which has been un-learning seven years of textbook Spanish. There's a big difference between drooling over novels like Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and actually living its magical realism in the crowded, crazy streets of Lima where Peru's rich history oozes out of every eclectic store front and every crumbling colonial mansion. In the mere two weeks I have been here, I have seen things I have never seen before. The brown-clad guards decked in bullet proof vests and army boots hold tight to their automatic weapons and stand as stoic as ancient Incas.
Thomas Hutchinson is not the stereotypical scientific genius his work may suggest. A University professor of systems engineering, Hutchinson clearly disproves the myth of the pocket protector nerd as he sits comfortably in his office.
He's ba-aaaaaack. Only this time, he's grown up. Well, okay, just a little bit. He is Adam Sandler, whose bag of man-child schtick has turned him into one of Hollywood's $20 million-men, emerging in his fifth leading role in "Big Daddy." Unsurprisingly, there is not a whole lot of ingenuity to be found here, but Sandler fans should nonetheless walk away feeling satisfied.
There is an intensely romantic scene halfway through "Notting Hill," an image replete with the charm, subtext, nuance and passion that denote the best of love stories.
Some things never change. The attire for University preps and preppettes, for example, has remained untouched for decades.
While summer school students can only daydream about palm trees and the serene seas of the Caribbean, a three-hour drive for a weekend getaway in Virginia Beach is within reach. Imagine the excitement of a thriving boardwalk with local bands that play in outdoor pavilions.