Day 364-365 of 400: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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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.
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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!

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