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Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

Argentina is not for vegetarians

One of the things that Kelly and I love about Argentina is all of the red meat and how amazingly cheap and tasty it is.  Our typical meal includes the following:

-1 juicy, perfectly cooked steak as big as your head (Kelly and I share it and we still don’t even finish the whole thing)

-Salad/Veggies

-Mashed potatoes or fries

-Bread basket with dips

-1 Bottle of fantastic wine

All of this for $30…TOTAL, for both of us.  Back home you would spend $30 on the bottle of wine alone!

Steak

More Steak

Let’s hope Kelly and I don’t gain 500 pounds while we’re here. 

 

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It’s so great when the stars align and things just work out.  Staci, a wonderful girl that I met in my study abroad program in Barcelona in 2003, just happened to be in Buenos Aires for two days on her way to Chile.  She and her friend Gulzar would be visting a few companies through their MBA program.  We hadn’t seen each other since my going away party the second time I went to Spain over 4 years ago.  She had left Austin to pursue her career in DC and currently lives in Dallas while going to school. So random and crazy, but what a perfect opportunity to reconnect!
 
They arrived Wednesday afternoon and we made plans to meet up for dinner.  A friend of hers suggested The Standard, a restaurant that he comes to every time he visits.  Thanks Mike!  The empanadas, lamb and dessert were amazing, but the Rutini Sauvingon Blanc was the best white wine I’ve ever had!  Thanks to the recommendation from our cute waiter, Sabastian. 
Staci and Me

Staci and Me

We then headed out for a drunken night of debauchery at Congo, a nice quaint little bar in Palermo Hollywood.  We met some great guys that treated us to many cocktails and then headed home around 4am.  Kim was such a trooper! 
At the bar with a tasty mojito

At the bar with a tasty mojito

The next night they girls went to see a show at Hotel Faena in Puerto Madero.  Holy crap.  This hotel was the nicest hotel Kim and I had ever been in. It was absolutely beautiful!  Even the bathrooms were amazing!  And there was also this lovely little unicorn bar that Kim was freaking out about.  She was obsessed with unicorns as a child.  We met up with the girls after the show for a few drinks and then headed to a great little bar, Milian, in Recoleta.  We had such a great time!  Yet again, another late night.  Love you Kim!
 

Pretty Ladies

Pretty Ladies

Unicorn bar!  Can you see their heads mounted on the walls?

Unicorn bar! Can you see their heads mounted on the walls?

Lobby entrance.  This hotel was incredible.

Lobby entrance. This hotel was incredible.

We couldn't decide which camera to look at

We couldn't decide which camera to look at

The next day, the girls treated us to lunch before they left for Santiago.  We ate at Miranda, an awesome place in Palermo Soho.  Pumpkin ravioli, gnocchi….mmmm! Thanks ladies! 
Delicious gnocchi

Delicious gnocchi

It was so wonderful to be able to meet up with great, familiar people in a foreign place.  You just can’t recreate those kind of memories.  Staci…Gulzar, thank you so much and we can’t wait to reunite in Texas!!! 
the girls

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Kelly and I decided the best way to familiarize ourselves with Buenos Aires was to take a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour that stopped at various points of interest around the city. Aside from the bus being thirty minutes late at each stop, it was a great way to see the town.

The first stop on our Buenos Aires Bus tour was the barrio of La Boca, a working class neighborhood and old port district with brightly painted buildings. It is also home of the soccer team La Boca Juniors, a team that the locals are incredibly passionate about. Artists and tango dancers line the ‘Caminito’ (a pedestrian street), selling their work and showing off their moves. Kelly and I spent the morning strolling down the Caminito, popping our heads into the various souvenir shops and had a lunch of chorizo and empanadas at an outdoor parilla. Oh, and Kelly got hit on by a police officer.

The Colorful Buildings of La Boca

The Colorful Buildings of La Boca

Me on the Caminito

Me on the Caminito

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Us Waiting for the Bus

Us Waiting for the Bus

We then set out to the swanky neighborhood of Recoleta to explore the infamous Recoleta cemetery, where many of Argentina‘s most prestigious citizens are buried, including Eva Peron. Much like in New Orleans, all of the graves are above ground and are ornately decorated, each more extravagant than the next. Kelly and I meandered through the alleys of graves, trying to find Evita’s…it didn’t take long to spot once we decided to follow the other tourists that were flocking to one particular marker.

recoleta 054

recoleta 069

Evita's Grave

Evita's Grave

recoleta 084

After our long day of sight-seeing, Kelly and I headed back to San Telmo for a chill night at the apartment. We had to save up our energy for the nights of drunken debauchery that would take place when Kelly’s friend Staci was in town…

 

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Buenos Aires! Kim and I arrived bright and early at 4am Friday morning after 10 hours of travel.  We grabbed a cab and headed to Milhouse Hostel located in the downtown Monserrat barrio.  Check in at the hostel wasn’t until 1pm, but luckily the nice guy in reception let us get into to our room early. 
  
The hostels are MUCH different in bigger cities than in Costa Rica. This one was in a large, old refurbished home, and it slept well over 150 people. The common area was nice and big and always had people hanging around.  We ended up meeting Vic, a guy from NYC that invited us to join him and group of others for dinner.  After a nice walk around Plaza de Mayo, we headed out with our new friends for a Peruvian dinner in the Congreso barrio.  MMMM ceviche! 
Us at Dinner

Us at Dinner

Yummy Ceviche

Yummy Ceviche

We then headed back to the hostel were we had a few drinks.  Kim stayed and I went with the guys to Palermo, another barrio known for its nightlife, for some clubbin.  I loved that area! After a few too many drinks and a few hours on the dance floor, Vic and I headed home.
 
Sure enough, I woke up hungover as hell and had to pack everything up to check out by 11am.  Kim and I had some delicious empanadas and coffee and went to Plaza de Mayo for a nap in the grass, which is the political hub of Buenos Aires.  La Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) is located here and is the venue for many political protests.  This is where Eva Peron and her husband made all their famous speaches to the portneos back in the day. ..you know, ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina!!!!’  Nice.  We also stumbled upon some Bolivian parade that was going on in the streets.  Everyone was dancing around in unison in some crazy ass costumes, singing and yelling…it was great!  One of the guys looked like an old 70’s pimp dancing around with his ladies. Ha! 
Plaza de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo

 Plaza de Mayo...you can see La Casa Rosada in the background
Bolivian Parade

Bolivian Parade

Nice Outfit

Nice Outfit

We arrived at our apartment and couldn’t be happier.  It was so much bigger than it looked on the web!  Cute little kitchen, nice size living area and bedroom.  It was perfect for me and Kim .  We took a walk around to get our bearings and headed to the store for some groceries. 
Our very own kitchen

Our very own kitchen

Loungin' in the living room

Loungin' in the living room

Our landlord provided us with an excellent reading selection

Our landlord provided us with an excellent reading selection

The Bedroom

The Bedroom

The next day was the famous San Telmo ‘feria’, an antique market that takes place every Sunday in San Telmo.  We were very excited to check it out and even more excited that it was in our neighborhood!  For some reason, Kim and I were having a hard time reading the map of the area, so we asked a few locals where the “feria” was located.  After we wondered around for a while, we stumbled upon a park with some tents set up.  We took a look around at a bunch of what we thought was pretty much…well, junk.  We were both a little confused and had expected a bit more from what we had heard about this market.  After about 2 or 3 hours, Kim suddenly realized we were in the wrong place!  We were at the park located right near our apartment that also has somewhat of a “feria” on Sundays. So after a few more locals’ directions, we found the REAL market.  It was awesome! There were tons of vendors, people, artists and musicians in the streets, along with quaint little restaurants and cafes. We both felt quite stupid for spending so much time in the wrong market earlier that day and plan to spend much more time here later in the week.   
 
The next day, we took on the subway system, which is pretty user friendly, and headed to the botanical gardens in Plaza Italia.  Besides all the crazy stray cats biting little kids, it was really nice.  We plan to do some more sight-seeing the next few days and meet up with a friend of mine, Stacie, that will be here for 3 days on her way to Chile.  We studied abroad in Spain together and I haven’t seen her in 5 years!  Should be good times!  Kim will be writing again soon! Stay tuned…
At the Botanical Gardens

At the Botanical Gardens

Sculpture at the Botanical Garden

Sculpture at the Botanical Garden

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