Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday Destination Dreaming # 9 (On Saturday!)

This post is most honorably dedicated to one of my favorite cities in the world -
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina.

After our 7 days in Panama (with stories to come), we flew to Buenos Aires, arguably one of the most enjoyable and fascinating places I have ever had the pleasure to explore. Back in 2002, Daniel (my now husband, then boyfriend)and I spent 11 months traveling through South America. We were in Argentina during the height of their economic crisis, which meant that the dollar had a ridiculous amount of buying power against the floundering peso. Inflation was nowhere near to catching up with the collapse of the economy, and we lived a high life in a country rich in culture, style, fine food and wine, and stunning natural wonders. Once we realized just how far our dollar would go, we decided that Buenos Aires was the perfect stop, midway through our trip, where we could settle down for a few months, rent an apartment, take Spanish language classes, do some volunteer work, join a gym, and satiate our hunger for the finer things in life. We had lots of time to freely wander through the many varied neighborhoods (San Telmo, Boca, Recoleta, Palermo Viejo, etc.), read the english Buenos Aires Herald paper while sipping cappuccinos and eating medialunas, go to Tango or Opera shows, see live music, dance in nightclubs until the morning sun appeared, sip Malbec with steak dinners, shop for slick leather boots, and enjoy the company of new friends. I could go on and on about our two months of bliss, and all the wonderful memories that brought us to our present visit.

Above photo - Last supper, circa 2002

While living there, we became friends for life with a wonderful couple - Lola and Gato. It was through their invitations to spend time together, that we learned the true Argentine way, and were welcomed from the heart by both their family and friends. We went on Mate sipping excursions in the province, played and watched soccer, and feasted on parilla. Our email correspondence continued through the years, as we both were married, and eventually became parents. Daniel and I are not the sort of travelers who visit the same places twice. We tend to believe that our vacation time is too valuable to be spent anywhere but somewhere new and challenging. Despite this inclination, our thoughts have often focused on our fond memories of Bs.As., so it was inevitable that we would break our own rule and someday return. This past visit was for a mere 5 days, but was packed full of joy and doing, seeing and eating all the things that we hankered for. In truth, our journey was a bit of a scouting mission. Besides dearly missing our friends and wanting to meet their 4-month old son, Joaquin, we also needed to see if we would feel the same passion for this city, and actually consider a relocation, and serious move far, far south. It was immediately apparent that we were under the same spell.

Above photo - Four years later

To Be Continued...


Blogger Rein Morgen said...

¡Muchacha casera chica! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I also fell in love with Argentina. It is a dream country because it mixes cosmopolitan city life with rural lifestyle of incredible landscapes. When I travelled there, all I wanted to do was to get some Buenos Aires Real Estate and start exploring the place. The Recoleta Cemetery was what I liked the most: it is open every day of the week and there is no entrance fee!

10:29 PM  

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