Many of the old buildings still show their stone foundations, and Christopher Columbus' house is still here.
Now, la Zona Colonial is a very touristy area, with lots of hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
There are also lots of monuments, dedicated to "la patria" ("the country," but with a patriotic connotation to the word) and its war heroes.
There are also several churches and many open courtyards between them. (I asked if the correct word for these courtyards was "plazas," but apparently that's only the Italian word. Noted.)
Regarding the title of this post ("They are Living With a Niece Who Is a Little Bit Crazy"), it's been raining a lot here and thus, my efforts to go for a run have been thwarted several times.
I asked my aunt about going for a walk before lunch today, but I don't think that I had enough time before we were leaving for la Zona Colonial, so she said to just wait. I was praying all afternoon for dry roads, but alas, in the car on the way home, it started pouring. I was still praying, though, because without working out, I start to feel sluggish and anxious. (Actually, that's an understatement. I need to workout to be functional.)
Within 15 minutes of getting home, the rain had stopped (although it was still very clearly going to keep raining), which I took as my cue to announce that I was going to find El Parque in the center of La Castellana (the area of town that my aunt and uncle live in). El Parque is a paved, 0.5 km circle, surrounding what used to be a natural pit in the ground. There are lots of trees, benches, and decorative stones around it. The city invested a lot of money into making it a nice park, with painted kilometer markers in 2004, so it is well-lit and has 24 hour security guards. It is also only a 10 minute walk (3-4 minute speed walk/run) from my aunt and uncle's house and they exercise there themselves.
My aunt gave me a look of mixed concern and annoyance, but surprisingly, she didn't tell me that I couldn't go (maybe having three sons has already broken her down...lol). Instead, she made me take a house key, the cell phone, and an umbrella. (Hence, me not being able to take the camera to get pictures!) An hour later, I returned home to find she and my uncle sitting on their front balcony.
They were obviously waiting for me and my aunt said something about getting worried and that I was "something else." I was prepared for her reaction, though, and simply told her that she had no idea the level of crazy that she was dealing with. As many people reading this know, it's sort of surprising that I made it a whole week without needing to find a gym or some sort of open area to exercise in.
I'm sure that while I was out running by myself, in a foreign country, in the rain, my aunt called my mother to say, "Your daughter is acting so ridiculous right now!," to which my mother responded, "When it comes to that girl needing her workouts, you really have no idea."
Con mucho amor,