Buenos Aires – a sophisticated place to rest.

Knowing that we would be in Buenos Aires for a week, we decided that renting an Airbnb would be our best option. Buenos Aires is much more than just one downtown area and camping options are scarce. There are many different suburbs surrounding the city and hundreds of options for weekly rentals, but it is very difficult to choose when you are not familiar with the area.  We found a house in a small gated neighborhood about an hour from Puerto Madero. In a matter of minutes, we were greeted by a delightful group of people – the family of the young man who owns the house. You see, we were the first guests at this Airbnb rental, and everyone was excited to welcome us! Ezequiel and his mom, Claudia, spent the next week driving us to see some of the best sights in Buenos Aires, showing us the best places to buy a special Argentinian-made leather jacket, going out to dinner at the best restaurants, and inviting us to share family dinners with uncles, best friends, cousins, and more. These people spoiled us like no other Airbnb guest has ever experienced. We continue to stay in contact with these charming hosts and hope that someday, they will visit us in Washington.

We learned about authentic Argentinian parrillas, ate more meat than two people should eat in a lifetime and decided to remodel our own backyard when we return to include an outdoor barbeque area that will surely be featured in House and Garden. Jorge was fascinated with the technique Ezequiel used…at approximately 10 PM a fire is made in the fire pit. When the coals are ready, they are placed under the grill on the barbeque counter – a long cement structure built specifically with barbecuing in mind. Meat of every imaginable form is placed on the iron grid above and slowly the food begins to cook. As more coals are ready in the fire pit, they replace those under the grid. Just before midnight, when the meat is cooked to perfection, it is served not on plates at each setting, but on individual cutting boards. Delicious bottles of Malbec are opened, and mouths begin to water. Get ready friends, when we get home there will be plenty of Argentinian style fiestas at our house! But, beware that you will need a snack before you arrive as dinner will be served late!

Kelsey arrived to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with us, and we were so elated to see her in this far away place. I was prepared for the traveling part of this adventure and the long distances, but even with constant phone connections and WhatsApp chats, I miss my kids tremendously and it is was great to spend time just being with her. We took advantage of the time together and explored downtown Buenos Aires visiting the Teatro Colon and El Ateneo (the old Teatro Grand Splendid now remodeled as the largest bookstore in South America). We took long walks through the neighborhoods of San Telmo and Recoleta visiting local markets and the famous cemetery where Evita now lays and had lunch in Puerto Madero overlooking the Rio de la Plata and the Puento de las Mujeres.

We couldn’t pass up the chance to take the truck to one more country, so we put the car on a ferry and headed to the beautiful beaches of Uruguay. We found the huge hand statue in Punta del Este, watched spectacular sunsets in San Ignacio, shopped for souvenirs in El Tesoro, and had lunch in Garzón at a boutique restaurant that serves wine from one of the most exclusive wineries in Uruguay…it was an extravagant lunchtime experience that we won’t soon forget!

After dropping Kelsey at the Ezeiza International Airport, we repacked the truck and headed down the coast to find out what adventures would lie ahead. It was sad to leave my daughter once more, but we knew we would see her again at Christmas time. For now, WhatsApp will continue to be our friend and she knows she is always with us.

Today’s theme – Life is always better when you share it with people you love.

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