We got to the Amsterdam airport and then spent the entire day traveling. The flight itself was about 13 hours in the air plus getting to the airport early, waiting for luggage and getting to our hotel in Buenos Aires. The time change between the two is five hours so between taking a red-eye flight the day before, and then all day travel today…followed by a five-hour time change…it was a long day! Once we arrived in Buenos Aires airport and had our luggage, we looked for the taxi line. They had a little hut where you give the address you need to go to, you pay them, they give you a receipt and then you wait for a taxi driver to come in and take you to his car. The guy looked at us and the address we wanted to go to and in Spanish started explaining there was a flood in the area and he didn’t know if he could get us there. We spoke minimal Spanish but someone translated to us about the weather. The driver said he would take us as close as possible, which we weren’t really ok with…was he going to drop us off on some random block in the pouring rain with all our luggage? Giff insisted he bring us to the address and we got our things put in the car.
The drive wasn’t too long but it was dark so hard to really get an idea of where we were. There were definitely some puddles on the ground but no flooding per se. The driver dropped us off at our hotel, Mira Vida Soho (www.miravidasoho.com). We checked in and as we were getting situated, Giff realized he left his cell phone in the taxi which was pulling out of the driveway. He ran after it but it didn’t stop, we searched everywhere else to make sure the phone wasn’t misplaced. His phone was the one we were using and had all our pictures and phone numbers were in it.
The hotel called the taxi company and asked them to search the taxi which they said they did and did not find a phone. We asked them to return so we could search the car…they said no, unless we paid them to come back out. We agreed and they finally showed back up…same driver…same taxi but no phone. The hotel was translating for us to the driver who was getting offended that we were accusing him of stealing the phone. To make matters worse…the taxi driver held his hand out to be paid for returning to the hotel. This was not the best introduction to Buenos Aires…our fault for leaving the phone in the car but unfortunate that it was taken. It was around midnight so we got the keys to our room and got into bed…it was quite humid and the air conditioning was broken…not ideal.
We slept in this morning but woke up with that bad feeling in our stomachs since the cell phone had been stolen and we still had another 4-5 weeks in Argentina before going back to the US. We had called the phone last night and it had rang…but then when we called it again, it went to voicemail like it had been turned off. We needed to get on our computer to see if we could wipe the information from the phone. We walked downstairs to the breakfast area of the hotel. It was a boutique type hotel, small and quaint with a cute little patio in the back of the hotel. We sat for breakfast wondering if it was going to be buffet and were pleasantly surprised. They handed us a menu, served us coffee and juice and made our breakfast. I had yummy thick french toast with fresh fruit and Giff had perfectly simple eggs Benedict.
After breakfast, we got a map of the area and just kind of walked around the neighborhood to see the area around our hotel. We have a good 4-5 weeks in Argentina so do not feel rushed and can more or less experience the culture and lifestyle here at our own pace.
Right away we noticed the neighborhood was cute, although it was the city…there were clean sidewalks and green trees lining the streets. It was called Soho and felt like a Soho or Greenwich Village type neighborhood in NYC. We took our time walking through the streets, stopping in various boutiques to see what kinds of trends and products they were selling. After a while we were getting hungry and saw a restaurant with a nice big patio outside. We ordered a couple of dishes to share, one was a blue cheese creme brûlée served with slices of ham and crostinis, we also ordered a salad. We decided to order a bottle of Malbec wine to sip on which was served in huge glasses and hit the spot for our first sunny afternoon in Buenos Aires.
After lunch, we continued walking all over the place getting a feel for the area…we ate ice-cream, tried on clothes and walked in and out of stores sometimes to shop and sometimes just to get out of the extreme heat. It was evening and we were walking towards our hotel when we saw a steakhouse or Parrilla as they call them and it looked very good. I am aware that a lot of this blog is about food but a lot of Argentina seems to be about food…and not fat-free food. Will we make it out of this country without gaining too much weight?
We sat down and ordered steak and french fries…the meal also came with several small ramekins full of different things like sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and mac ‘n cheese etc. We of course ordered a bottle of Malbec to wash our steaks down and chatted with the Brazilians we were sitting next too until we were finished.
With full bellies and tired feet, we made our way back to our hotel and relaxed for the rest of the evening in our room. Thankfully, they got the AC to work!
Published by Brandey Kabat
What I like: Dark chocolate, yoga, fresh squeezed juice, laughing, hiking, wine, travel, food, lush products, being warm, having long hair, the ritual of drinking something hot first thing in the morning…
What I don’t like: When people smell their fingers, pushing elevator buttons, confrontational situations, not being able to fall asleep quickly at bedtime…
Most random job ever: Plastic surgery consultant
As for my love life: I met my husband mid way through my junior year in college, as soon as I laid my eyes on him I was attracted to him. In fact, I made the first move which was a bit out of character but there was something about him…probably the fact that he was smokin’ hot!!
Where from and where to: I grew up in NY, went to college at The Ohio State University and then headed to CA after graduation. My boyfriend (Giff) and I had a map, a borrowed van and used stuff from his mom’s basement aka a vacuum, silverware, old Christmas ornaments etc., and about $1000 each. We thought it would be a good idea to head straight to CA since neither of us had been. Being we didn’t know anyone there nor did we have a job or job interviews set up or a place to live…I would say we did it the hard way! However with a bit of help from Giff’s mom who flew out to put us up in a hotel, bought me a suit for interviewing and co-signed a lease to get us a place to live we eventually found jobs and an apartment and have been in CA for 10 years.
Our story: After moving out to CA and living together for about 3 years we got engaged. He popped the question while down on one knee on the beach at sunset after we finished our picnic he had packed of bread, cheese, shrimp cocktail and wine. He even had the ring in a box that had a light shining down on it when opened so as it was getting dark, this amazing man was asking me to be his wife as he handed me a huge rock…Yes! Yes! Yes!
In 2005 we were married (I am biased but our wedding was absolutely amazing). By the end of 2005 we were new home owners. 2006-2009- we were both happily married, attached to our 3 cats and were focused on building our careers.
Giff and I got pregnant mid year 2009 with our first baby but what should have been one of the highlights of our life was soon distracted by the news I received at the doctor’s office.
The lump in my breast that had been dismissed the year before as nothing was now being diagnosed by a different doctor as breast cancer. Thankfully Giff is a persistent person and when we went in for our ultrasound (to hear our baby’s heartbeat) he brought up the request for testing to be done on the lump rather than dismissing it based on feeling it.
The going gets rough: Things began to move so quickly at that point, it was hard to breathe. I was 30, pregnant with my first child and going into surgery to remove breast cancer. I was about to go through what would be the worst year of my life. The plan had been discussed, we were going with the most aggressive regimen possible- double mastectomy, port surgically placed in my chest, chemotherapy, drug therapy and radiation. We also had to terminate the pregnancy. This cancer was estrogen positive and the hormones were actually feeding the cancer. That little angel whom was the cause of our going into the doctor saved my life.
Giff was my rock through every step…interviewing a team of the best doctors, memorizing which medicines I needed to take and when, driving me to chemotherapy and sitting next to me while I was so scared, telling me I was beautiful when I was bald, and so many other things…words cannot express. When you say your vows, in sickness and in health…you would never guess sickness of this magnitude at this age would be in the near future. In addition to this hardship, Giff’s dad died of a complicated prostate cancer the day we came home from my surgery. I could not hold my husband as he mourned for his dad because of the pain I was in from the mastectomy. How did Giff handle all of this pain at one time? How was he so strong for me? He is amazing. Giff’s dad was one of those people whom you naturally wanted to be around…his smile was contagious, his love for life was invigorating and he listened so intently when you talked in a conversation with him. He made you feel special. We think about him often and will miss him so much.
My family and friends were also by my side…my mom flying out from NY several times to help us with cooking and cleaning and holding my hand. It must be one of the most awful things in the world to watch your baby girl be diagnosed with breast cancer. My girlfriends also flew out to take care of me and help with anything they could. Other friends living closer would come by just to sit and talk or watch movies. There were so many cards, letters, flowers, cookies, and other gifts that came from all over the country. It’s amazing to have such great people in my life. In addition to my amazing circle of friends and family, there were the strangers with whom crossed our path. Whether it was a letter in the mail from a breast cancer survivor, the anesthesiologist who called Giff during my surgery crying happy tears that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes, or our fertility doctor who promised to watch over our frozen embryos as if they were her own. There were so many small gestures that made such a big impact on our lives.
Looking at the bright side: Thankfully this was caught in stage 1, had it been caught a year prior by the first doctor I had gone into about the lump, it may have been caught at stage 0. Please learn from my lesson…insist the lump be tested – a lump cannot be diagnosed by touch. They were able to cut all the cancer out and after I finish the entire regimen including a pill I take over the next 5 years, they said there is a 95% chance the cancer will never come back.
Our exciting future: We’ve decided to re-prioritize, we are taking 400 days starting February 7th of 2011 to travel the world! We will travel to new places, eat new foods, taste new wines and meet new people. We will focus on healing ourselves both physically and mentally. This will be one of the best years of our lives.
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One Reply to “Day 364-365 of 400: Buenos Aires, Argentina”
Haaaa! ABC meat!