Part 2: Tourist in my own country

It’s a big world out there it would be a shame not to experience it…….

Day 5: Another uneventful plane ride with Sherry, which pretty much adds up to win-win for everyone involved.  Yes world I can have a trip involving airlines and no drama ensues.  Though that statement seems to be the exception and not the norm.

Back in Buenos Aires by mid-day and we are off to visit the Recoleta Cemetery and Cathedral, which is about 7 blocks from the front door of my apartment.

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Of course one needs substance to survive an afternoon of sightseeing so a quick stop for empanadas, pizza and beer at one of my favorite local spots Romarios pizza.  The day is exceptionally beautiful so it is nice that this restaurant has outdoor seating. 

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The cemetery itself is incredibly old and filled with the most amazing and beautiful mausoleums; which read almost like a history book of Argentina’s who’s who among the powerful, influential, rich and famous.  Bigger is better is the mantra of the day unless you are María Eva Duarte (aka Eva Peron).  You could literally spend hours here and at each turn be enchanted by something unexpected.

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On Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year there is a fair in the park and public spaces surrounding the cemetery and cathedral.  Feria plaza francia is one of my favorite ferias in the city of Buenos Aires it is filled with artisans selling their wares that span the range of junk to beautiful handcrafted works of art.

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Dinner was at a local closed-door restaurant near my house and one that I frequently take all my out of town guests to Casa Saltshaker.  The food is always good and very interesting but the highlight of the meal is sharing a communal table with different people who span the globe.  The experience of sitting down to a meal and not know who your dining partners are or where they are from makes the evening very fascinating.  This night our international table consisted of:  Uruguay, Canada, UK, Australia, USA and me USA/Argentina.

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Closed door restaurants or “Puertas cerrados” are some of my favorite places to spend an evening out in Buenos Aires.  The concept of small intimate spaces in the privacy of the chef’s home surrounded by an eclectic mix of people from all over the globe at a large communal table is my idea of a perfect evening.  I really love the experience and for the most part the food is beyond excellent.  I have noticed that over the past few years the size of the closed door restaurant concept seems to be changing to larger spaces with more smaller tables (not all of them but some).  Hmmmm….then aren’t you just a restaurant at that point in time??!!  Again I understand we all have our preferences and the food at these establishments regardless of size or table setup is still beyond amazing.  Everyone just needs to figure out what they are comfortable with and what works best for them and go with it.

Day 6:  Crossing the Rio de la Plata to Colonia, Uruguay.

Look at this…adding another pin in the travel map even a new country.  Getting to Uruguay from Buenos Aires is really not that complicated (Unless you are Delta Airlines but that is another story for another day).  The easiest way is to take Buqebus across the Rio de la Plata and in less than 90 minutes you have been transported from Argentina to the colonial Uruguatian city of Colonia del Sacramento.   “Looks like I got this map stuff under control” hahahaha it is all an illusion.  WARNING (Cuidado) be careful following me we may end up in another country.

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The city itself sits on the river has a few sights, shops and restaurants and is a very calm way to spend an afternoon.  OK I just thought Buenos Aires was the most expensive city in the world.  Nope.  Colonia is charming and quaint and I am glad I went but it is seriously expensive.  $81USD for a lunch of 1 appetizer, 2 bowls of soup and 1 bowl of pasta with 3 drinks is a bit much even for me.  We aren’t talking about any Michelin 5 star restaurant just a normal one with good but not great food.  But in every new place the fun lies only in the fact that you went, you discovered and you learned something.  The fact that you had the desire and courage to explore the unfamiliar isn’t that what makes every journey worth it?

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Additionally, there really isn’t enough to do in the town to warrant more than an afternoon here so back across the river to Buenos Aires we go again on Buqebus.

Here is where the excitement of the day lies ….Duty Free and Reese’s peanut butter cups even the party size bag.  Right now I can hardly contain my excitement. Whoa wait a minute 19USD for that bag hmmmmm…..lets see the alternative oh wait there are none so I will for sure 19USD on the 5lb bag of Reese’s.  Somedays you just need to have USA junk food regardless of the cost.

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Day 7:  Mataderos Fair

Took this afternoon to spend time a bit outside Buenos Aires in Mataderos at their weekly fair.  This fair is actually attended by many more locals than tourists and is much more an authentic experience:  street food, artisanal beer and local traditional folklore entertainment now that is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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 Day 8:  Tango Show

Unfortunately, this day I had to work.  My dads saw the city on their own and that evening we all went to a tango show with dinner.  The tango show, We are Tango, was a small more intimate authentic show.  I found this show on TripAdvisor.  I am not really sure what I would do without TripAdvisor when traveling it is like my bible.   In Buenos Aires you have two types of tango shows one like the one we attended and the other at larger venues more Broadway/Vegas like.  I don’t think with either one you can go wrong it again is a personal preference.  The dinner was good and the show was very nice.  I really prefer small more intimate spaces where you can interact directly with the performers and the people you are dining with so for me this was a great fit for my personality type.

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Day 9:  Today is the day that my Dads are returning back to the US and it is someone’s birthday.  Isn’t it fitting that I have new cooking skills and fantastic new cake pans thanks to my Dad’s bringing them to me from the USA.  Yep, you guessed it I am making a cake complete with from scratch chocolate buttercream for the birthday boy.  Look at how good that cake looks right now and it tasted just as good I only need a reason to bake a cake well on second thought I only need to think I have a reason to make a cake.  Pastry heaven exists today in my kitchen.

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A late lunch at one of the small cafes near the apartment, Croque Madame, which has been a reoccurring place of many long breakfasts with friends and late vino dinners with friends, family and puppies, before heading to the airport.  No need to be sad Thanksgiving is only a short time away.

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Before I forget I should thank my dad for all the pictures of our time together because apparently I can’t be bothered to take them on stay cations.  I can say that spending time in Argentina just being a tourist was a great way to really appreciate the place I live for now.  I loved sharing it with my family and friends and am looking forward to the next chance I get…….?Bariloche Miriam I think so? 

 


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