Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nov 24

Today we decided to visit Casa Rosada - The Pink House. It's kinda like our White House, but pink. Unfortunately, tours of the house and the adjacent museum were canceled because they are undergoing renovations for next year's centennial celebration.

Instead we found a wine bar where we could sample a couple of Argentine wines. Out of fear of being able to fit stuff in my luggage, I only purchased 1 bottle of wine.

Nicole took me to a restaurant on the 19th floor of a building. Great views. Expensive food. It was our most expensive meal - 65 pesos each. Actually it wasn't that bad, only $17 each.

We wandered through town and visited another wine bar. More fun to look and taste than to buy!

It was INCREDIBLY humid today. In the subway station I felt like there was no oxygen. Just when I thought it couldn't get hotter, the doors to the subway train opened. It was like stepping in to a hot box! I appreciate the DRY heat of Redding.

We had our daily dose of ice cream and then went home to make dinner and watch a movie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nov 23

Nicole and I shared a coffee at an upstairs cafe. That, along with some pastries, was this mornings breakfast.

We took a bus to the Recoleta area and visited the Recoleta cemetery. Doesn't sound too interesting, but it's actually a famous cemetery where all the wealthy and famous are buried. The tombs are laid out in way that resembles a city street network. Hundreds of tombs, closely spaced, and very intricate. Some look like miniature gothic cathedrals, others like greek temples. Very impressive!

We met up with Nicole's friends and visited the MALBA museum (modern art). They were featuring work by Andy Warhol, "Mr. America".

After that we went for our daily dose of ice cream. It was a smaller, non-chain, store, but the flavor choices were numerous.

I attempted to impress Nicole at home by making some sort of meat with vegies for tacos. Three probles: we were short on time, her apartment was not equipped with a sharp knife, and the meat I purchased was more of a roast and couldn't be cut into small pieces. In the end it was a healthy meal. Just not what I planned for!

We dressed up and headed out to a local favorite: La Bomba. It's like the drummers of Marketfeast gone professional and about 100 times as many people attending! Lots of "hippies" selling things such as jewelry, pipes, and brownies! Insane amount of energy at the dance. We had a blast.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov 22nd

We awoke this morning on the bus to a wonderful breakfast. First class breakfast consisted of: 2 sugar croissants, a package of dried toast, a stale dinner roll, and coffee. Yum. Again, white starchy food is the mainstain down here.

We arrived to Buenos Aires around 11 am. Although it was cloudy, the humidity was close to 70%. Quite a difference from what we'd been experiencing.

After showering and unloading our goods at Nicole's apartment we took a bus to San Telmo. On Sunday's they have a MAJOR street fair. Probably about 30 blocks long. It gave us another chance to buy authentic Argentine souvenirs.

We joined several of Nicole's friends and shared a wonderful Peruvian dinner. Then spent the night relaxing at home.

Nov 21

Today was our last day in Bariloche. We spent it touring around the city and enjoying the sun. BUT - it was COLD. Even though we were cold, we stopped and had the best Helado (ice cream) in Argentina. It was so amazing. I think that ice cream is a way of life down here. I was glad to be a part of it!

We left town at 3pm. We splurged and rode "first class" on the bus to Buenos Aires. The upgrade was worth it. Our chairs reclined to about 170 degrees and we had a foot rest. Plus, we were given the option of whiskey or wine with dinner. We chose the front seats, so we had the opportunity to watch the beautiful landscape. The "luxury" seats helped make the 20 hour bus ride seem not so long.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nov 20

It was a sunny - but windy - day. Everything is much prettier in Bariloche when the sun shines. We decided to take a ferry out to one of the islands in the lake. Turns out that all the ferry boats were full. I guess everyone had the same idea on a sunny day!

Instead we rented a car for the day. We decided to drive an hour to Villa la Angostura. It was a wonderful drive along the shoreline of the lake. The scenery was amazing: tall mountains surrounding the edges of the lakes. Snow capped mountains in the background. The poplars were almost fully leafed out.

The town of Angostura was like something from Disneyland. Maybe the area near the bobsleds. We had an great lunch. Roasted lamb. I don´t normally like lamb, but this one left me wanting more! I think it´s the way they slow cook it over a fire.

We drove back to Bariloche and visited Cerro Otto. It is at the top of a mountain and is the base for a ski lift. The view was incredible. It was a bit spooky taking photos with the wind whipping around us. I had to hang on to the camera! Can't wait till we get back to post those photos.

After that we drove to Hotel Llao Llao - a government owned hotel and apparently the most famous hotel in Argentina. It was a beautiful hotel - at least from what we could see from the outside. We were NOT allowed in. We couldn´t even drive up to the hotel. There is a race or derby going on in the area with lots of british looking old cars. The racers were staying at the hotel and their cars were on display. We did get to walk around the cars and take lots of photos.

Tonight´s menu: pasta with red sauce. Yum. Someone asked about carne. Apparently this is the only place in Argentina that doesn´t load you up with carne. I wish the Atkins diet was big down here! I think I might die from all the carbs!!

Nov 19

Very RAINY day.

We decided to do inside stuff because of the weather.

We visited a local museum.

I had my picture taken with Olaf and his son. VERY cute - I even got to hold the baby. Wish I could have spent more time with them. I had to pay 10 pesos to have my picture taken with him. They were part of the town square St. Bernards!

We toured several chocolate stores. We had a few samples and finally purchased ONE item and shared it!

Took the bus to a local brewery - Blest. We had a seven beer sampler and some pizza. It was cool to see them bottling the beer. One guy filled one bottle at a time. Another guy put labels on, one at a time by hand.

We had time to kill before dinner. This was opening day for the movie New Moon. 10 pesos to get in. I wish I had my camera to take a picture of the theater. Look a little worn! The girls in the theater were obviously CRAZY about this series. Lots of screaming teenagers!

Our free dinner was a lot better tonight. Chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, and bread. Plus I was able to purchase very cheap wine. Actually for $1 per glass it was pretty good!

Thursday, November 19, 2009