Monday, December 13, 2010

Week Six Daily Journal

Friday, November 5
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Antares beer sampler - yum!
We moved into our apartment!  We got settled and then went to a place down the street for pizza and then took the subte downtown to the Indian Embassy.  The Indian Embassy doesn't just offer visas, it has a special program called Cafe con Visa.  So we enjoyed a coffee while we filled out our paperwork (and then filled it out some more- who knew you needed to write your address not only where it said "address" but also vertically along the left hand side of the paper?).  We chatted with the visa guy for about half an hour and learned about his experiences working in the consulates all over the world, raising a family in Argentina, helping his daughter with her college applications, etc.  By the time we got out of there it was like 5:30 and we headed home and then went to Antares, a micro-brewery in Palermo Soho.  We did a beer sampling and shared some of their special fries.  Then we attempted to go to Little Rose for sushi but they were totally booked all night so we took a cab to Hollywood and went to Dashi, where D got a stir fry and J got a small sushi plate.  In an attempt to avoid the roll pieces that had cream cheese in them, she subbed in a tuna roll which turned out to be canned tuna fish.  Other than that, the sushi was pretty good and we entertained ourselves by watching the other diners eat the most massive boats of sushi ever.

Saturday, November 6
Buenos Aires, Argentina

We spent the day getting settled in our apartment -
dropping off laundry, going to the grocery store, checking out the gym. We had breakfast at a nearby divey place that we had heard had great medialunas- and they were indeed really delicious.   Lunch was at another local place that we read about on a blog but was pretty mediocre.  At 4:30 we headed back to our old hotel to get picked up for the Bocas Jr. v Argentinos Jr. game (see post Gooooooooool!).  After driving around Palermo for an hour the bus finally headed downtown for a stop in an especially gross bar for pizza, beer, and purchasing Bocas Jr gear, before finally taking us to the game. Despite our standing room only seats it was lots of fun and the Bocas fans didn't stop singing and cheering once, even after Bocas lost 2-0.  Leaving the stadium we passed by rows and rows of police fully decked out in riot gear and surmised that perhaps it was actually a good thing that we bought the 300 peso tour rather than just a 40 peso ticket.  The bus dropped us off at a polish but in San Telmo and we spent a few hours hanging out with our new friends.

Sunday, November 7
Buenos Aires, Argentina

We spent the day exploring the feria (fair) in San Telmo (see post Sell Your Junk Here).  It was packed with antiques, people in outrageous costumes, a tango band and dancers, empanada hawkers, handmade jewelry, junk for sale, and lots and lots of tourists.  That afternoon we joined (and worked out at) the gym.  Actually, it was the evening - the gym is only open from 6-9 pm on Sundays.  Definitely would not fly at NYSC.  We ended up at a taco joint for dinner (meh) and then headed over to the amazing house Sal and his friends rented and hanging out there till late in the night.

Monday, November 8
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Lynda and Steve arrived today!  Sadly, they arrived without Lynda's luggage, and to a cold and rainy city.  We had a long, delicious lunch at La Cabrera and spent the rest of the afternoon resting (them after their overnight flight, us after our late night).  Late that evening we went to dinner at BoBo, their hotel.

Tuesday, November 9
Buenos Aires, Argentina

La Biela
Today we explored Recoleta, the ritzy "upper east side" area of BA.  We had coffee at the famous cafe La Biela, and walked around the 'hood before lunch at a joint specializing in northern argentinean food and shared some tasty (although not by Salta standards) empanadas, salad and humitas.  Later we stopped at Freddo for ice cream.  We visited a church that housed an order of monks and had the cemetery where Evita (and lots of other porteño elites) were buried in ornate mausoleums.  It was really cool, and i especially liked the small hobbit-like mausoleums covered in moss and ivy.  Later that night we went to dinner at Cabañas las Lilas - definitely the most expensive and NY-like steakhouse, it was also really delicious.

Wednesday, November 10
Buenos Aires & San Antonio de Areco, Argentina

A much needed nap
We had thought that there was a major gaucho celebration today in San Antonio de Areco, but it turned out to be just some boring closing ceremonies.  So instead we decided to spend the day at an estancia and drove the 90 minutes or so to Estancia el Ombu (see post Oscar the Groucho).  After a very fun day, we drove into San Antonio de Areco where we visited some artisan shops, a chocolate factory, and a very interesting silver museum and workshop where we learned about gaucho culture, saw old gaucho gear, and toured the silver workshop, a family operation.  By the time we got back to BA, returned the car and made it back to Palermo we were exhausted and bailed on any sort of dinner (except for Dave, obviously, who got a giant ham and cheese crepe from our neighborhood crepe place).

Thursday, November 11
Iguazu, Argentina

Dave, Jorge and Steve
at the Argentine monument
Today we headed to Iguazu Falls!  Our flight was rescheduled/delayed, and when we finally arrived at the Panoramic Hotel it was after noon.  We had an overpriced and slow (but tasty, at least for J) lunch at the hotel of empanadas (S&L), lomito (D) and grilled veggie quiche (J) and then made our way to the park.  We did a Grand Adventure Tour (skippable, except for the boat portion that takes you under the rapids) and then explored the lower circuit.  The waterfalls were spectacular.  Jesse, Lynda and Steve enjoyed lunch at a truly terrible buffet while Dave walked part of the upper circuit.  On the way back to the hotel our driver Jorge took us to the spot where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet.  Each country had an ugly monument in the colors of its flags, erected when the borders were settled.  For dinner we went to La Rueda, which some people had told us was the best meal of their trip.  It was good but nothing special.  We felt sorry for those people and the other crappy foods they had been eating.

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