Monday, October 17, 2011

Buenos Aires, Argentina...

We made it home safe and sound!  Another continent to add to the list of "been there!".   It was a quick trip, we never had time to leave the City.  What a city is it!  It has a population of about 3 million.  Argentina has a female president ~ Christina Fernandez de Kirchner and she lives in Casa Rosada!  (The Pink House) in Buenos Aires. 
"The Pink House"
How cool is that?  Elections are soon.  I'm backing Christina!  We know she's running as we watched people putting up posters supporting her like crazy. 

                                            The changing of the guards. 

  Evita's Wedding Dress and Wedding Portrait!  (even though Jay wouldn't let me 
   sing, I did sing silently to myself when I saw the dress!  don't cry for me....)

We arrived at 11am in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, couldn't check in to our hotel until 2pm, so we wandered around ~ very tired Americans...  On Thursday I wanted to see a Palace, so we walked to Casa Rosada only to find we couldn't go through it.  Thursday night we were your typical tourists and went to an Argentine Tango Opera.  It was really fun (I know touristy but hey we're tourists!).  I love watching Dancing with The Stars so much that Jay thought it would be fun for me to see a real Tango show.  He was so right, it was fun.   Amazing!  I'm going to really be able to rate the dancers now that I know what a real Argentine Tango looks like!  It is nothing like on DWTS.

We had until 5pm on friday to wander.  I was so looking forward to seeing the southern sky while we were down there.  I wanted to see how different it was, or if you could tell you were in the southern hemisphere.   Unfortunately we didn't leave the city.  It was either clouds or city lights that prevented us from seeing stars, so on friday we decided to go to the planetarium to see if we could catch a show.  We walked until I couldn't any longer and we took a cab once we were halfway there, only to find the it was closed for remodeling.  Oh well! 

Jay had to work Friday evening and all day Saturday.  Saturday morning I sat at a local spot and drank  cafe con lache.  Oh how I love cafe con lache!  It was almost as good as the cafe con lache that Jay's Mom makes.  After sitting and people watching for a while, I hit some local shops and came upon a street celebration....

Oh such fun!  And so, here are some of my favorite shots from the trip.

Our hotel room view!
Before our trip, I spent a lot of time looking at Buenos Aires photos other people have posted.  I challenged myself not to duplicate what I saw.  Wednesday was a very grey day.  It was raining all day.  They even had some sleet. Thursday was cloudyand rainy on and off.   Friday the sun came out and there was a very pretty blue sky.  I was able to practise shooting in high bright sun...

Traffic!  Lots and lots of traffic. Notice ~ no real lanes.  The really crazy thing is the left turns from right lanes and right turns from left lanes.  Amazing. 

On our way to the planetarium, Jay and I walked to United Nations Square. This was the one thing I had seen a picture of and wanted to see in person.   It is made of stainless steel and aluminium.  It represents a flower.  The petals open each day and close each evening.  It is controlled by a hydraulic system and photo-electric cells.  It's name, "Floralis Generica".  It is beautiful!

We also saw lots of dog walkers.  I tried to count, she had at least 10 puppers.

People had told us that meals all consist of beef and more beef.  We did find that to be true.  This is the sweet little family owned resturant that we ate at.  The beef is family raised. as well as the wine they serve is from their own winery.  The meal was to die for!  It was delicious.  Below is a shot of how they cooked our meal.  Each meal was served on the dishes you see in at the top of the photo with hot coals to keep it warm.

Buenos Aires is beautiful.  The architecture incredible.  I was so intrigued by the contrast of old and new.

... and then the palm trees... to know me is to know I love palm trees.  I will not bore you with all the pictures I took of palm trees, but here is one of my favorite shots...

It was spring when we got there.  We learned that the climate is more like that in the Carolinas rather than NY.  I had packed all wrong.  I think I packed for summer and was so proud of myself for not overpacking, until we got there.  Oh well.  I did have comfortable walking shoes.  Good thing.

 Well Sadie girl was well cared for.  She had Josh during the week and Mike, Mark, Marci and Jimmy on the weekend.  From what I can tell, she was spoiled!  I approve of that.

Well thanks for reading.....  Visit soon.    


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buenos Aires ~ October 13, 2011

Planes, trains and automobiles.  I should know that long distance travel involves planes, trains (buses actually) and automobiles and lots of them for long periods of time.  I should have remembered that from our trip to Mt Fuji. 

It was a looong haul getting here!  We left home at 11 am on Tuesday, flew to Newark, NJ.  (I think we flew over Housewive's houses~ saw some pretty impressive ones from the air).  In Newark, we took 2 buses, (not one ~ but TWO) from our first plane to the plane we had to transfer to.   Then we flew to Dulles, (that's Dulles, not Dallas).  We had a four and a half hour layover there!  Oh my..... 

We boarded our plane at 9pm, took off at 10pm..... and flew.  This is the first time I have flown internationally in 10 yrs.  I didn't realize that "First Class" now has beds!  Oh yeah!   "First Class" passangers have their own little cubical with a comfy chair that turns into a bed!  No, we did not fly first class.  We flew economy.  "Business Class" is not quite as luxurious, but their chairs also turn into beds.  Then there is "Economy +".  "Economy +" gets 5 extra inches, no beds.  Then there was us ~ Economy.  The worst part about it, is they made us walk through the other areas before getting to our economy (sardine can) space.  It worked, at the end of our flight, we decided to try to upgrade to "Economy +" on the way home.

Sardine can aside, I do love traveling with Jay.  I love the getting there process with him as much as the being there with him.  Although I must say this is our first trip since we have been married without Tracy.  (It's going well).  ~ This trip, I decided to pay attention to why I love the process of "getting there" so much with Jay.  When I am with him, I feel like I am home, wherever we are.  Then there is the part that he focuses so much on me.  I mean he dotes on me.  If I cough, he is concerned that something is wrong.  If I look the least bit uncomfortable, he tries to make me comfortable. If things don't go as planned, he doesn't get upset, he handles it with a smile.  If things REALLY start to go wrong, he sings.   He is friendly and helpful to everyone and everyone enjoys talking to us. Even when things go really bad.  (like when we thought we lost our credit card last night). When I think about it, this is how our everyday life is.  When we travel it's hightened!  I love this man!

Okay, Argentina..... we arrived about 9:30 am Argentine time on Tuesday October 12.  We made it through customs and caught a cab to our hotel.  The first thing I  noticed (besides the cab drivers belong on a race track) is that this place reminds me of a mix between the Bronx and Puerto Rico.  That's a good thing.  I love Puerto Rico and some of my favorite people started out in the Bronx.  Like my Mom and Colin Powell.  What does Colin Powell have to do with Arentina?  Nothing ~ he is just one of my personnal heros.  He's right up there with Springsteen, Hemmingway and Micheangelo.  The other men in my life!  But I digress.  Back to Argentina.

The Bronx because of the houses and all the people!

It probably reminds me of Puerto Rico because everyone speaks Spanish, Jay does all the talking and I smile and nod.  Sometimes I say "ah ha" when people address me in Spanish.  All the billboards and signs here are also in Spanish, just like in PR.  Which is good, cause I know what they mean!  I know my Spanish sight words!   Yay ~  I'm a Kindergarden Spanish reader!

We got to hour hotel after a very interesting crazy cab ride.  I must say though, he was a very good looking dark Argentine Man.   Most roads don't have lines ~ lanes marked on them.  Jay said because no one stays in any lane, so they saved $$$ on the paint.  They can squeeze cars into the tinyest spaces. 

Once we got to our hotel and checked it, they told us we couldn't get in our room until 1400. (at leat 2pm). Two and a half hours..... we had not showered, changed or stretched out since 11am the day before.  Here we are in this unknown City left to waste 2.5 hours.  So we did some exploring.  We found the equivalent of a local farmers market.  That was fun.  It was mostly outside and it started to rain.  Has been raining here all week and is suppose to continue all week.  So the pictures are going to be cloudy and grey!.

When we changed directions we found what appears to be similar to 5th Avenue in NYC.  Great place to shop.  I did mostly window shopping.  2pm we think is was lunch time here, because the crowds were huge!  Very congested!  Like a Toyko Train.  People to People. 

Last night we ate our first Argentine meal.  It was delicious.  I have to say, they have been meeting my food needs nicely here.  I was able to get a big salad for lunch.   Dinner, I was able to get a big plate of grilled veggies!  Argentina is known for it's beef  ~ and Beef we had for dinner!  We found a great little famly owned place to eat.  The beef family grown.  They cooked it on an open coal grill.  Oh it was so good and the service impecable!    Then came our first heart stopper of the trip..... Jay went to pay and he couldn't find his credit card.  He had it earlier, but now it was gone.  Jay doesn't panic.  We did some back tracking.  Oh, we paid cash for the meal.  (only $80 for two huge steaks, a large plate of grilled veggies, a bottle of wine, a bottle of sparkling water and a beer ~ not bad!)
When we decided the card was gone and we exhausted all possiblities of where it could be, Jay decided to call and cancel it.  He tried, but for some reason, the blackberry system was down and he couldn't get through.  Good thing.  This morning, it came to me that when we checked into the hotel, the girl handed back the credit card with our passports.  I checked my passport and there it was!  Last night I only checked Jay's passport, didn't think to check mine.  Our angels are doing a good job!

Well today who knows.  It's very cloudy and is raining on and off.  We shall see what the day brings.

I can't get on Facebook.  For some reason the hotel browser blocks it.  Can you believe it?

I miss Sadie and everyonce in a while, think oh Tracy would love this!  I am loving my husband here and am enjoying this new adveture. Check back again for more updates.....

Oh wait, I almost forgot the first thing I checked when we landed here in the Southern Hemisphere of the World..... it's true, the toilets do flush counter clockwise.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Buenos Aires Here We Come!

I love traveling with my husband!   I'm not just talking about the destination part, but also the getting there part.  I don't know, there is just something about it that I love!  maybe it's him and I in a crowd of strangers and the closeness I feel?  I'm not sure, but I do love it!

Today we are heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Jay is going for work, I'm going because I can!  The traveling part is 24 hours door to door.  I'm not sure how much I am going to like it on the way home, but I am looking forward to the next 24 hours and then some.

I have never thought of or had a desire to go to Buenos Aires.  But it sounds exotic doesn't it?  Then again, I never had a desire to go to Japan and when I had the opportunity to go with Tracy, I just loved it!

Speaking of Tracy.  This is the first trip Jay and I are taking since we have been married with out Tracy....  I'll miss him!

One of my biggest worries when we travel is Sadie.  Back when Andrew was alive, I never worried, because I knew she would be well taken care of, in fact probably better taken care of then I would do. (as if that's possible!).  This trip, I am not so worried,   My stepson Josh and nephew Mike are staying with her.  I have no worries.  I feel like they'll do just as well as Andrew would have. 

So, Buenos Aires.  I have no idea what to expect.  It is suppose to be very European.  We shall see.  Since Jay is going for work, we should have internet connect, so check back for some updates on our Excellant Adventure!

                        Gotta go spend some quality time with Sadie before I leave!