Before I give you the full update on our travels and adventures, let me just give you a few snapshots of a few interesting moments (this is the brief version for those of you on a tight schedule):
- There are pigeons right outside Miranda’s apartment window. There may have been some concern about the pigeons flying into the bathroom while showering. It turns out they do not want to come in the apartment, but just want to sing to us while we are home. If the internet fails us, we are considering sending home trip updates via carrier pigeon. So if you do not hear from me or Amber’s blogs for a while, just watch for a pigeon knocking on your window.
- They greet with a kiss on the cheek here. Definitely reminded me of Brazil! Some of us, no – ONE of us – is working on remembering this, and not attempting to shake more people’s hands.
- We saw kids on a field trip today. The teacher in me wanted to take a picture of them to show my kids back in the States. The “not a creepster” part of me thought this might be a bad idea. So to compromise, I took a picture, but wasn’t looking through the camera at the time, so that it was less obvious.
- It is winter here. We knew this, but didn’t fully appreciate all of the implications. 1) It is cold. 2) It gets dark early (this was very confusing) and 3) hmm… I really think I had a third point a minute ago. Oh well. oh yeah – 4) It is even colder at night. I was so cold last night that in my dream I went to the store and bought a blanket. ha!
- We are staying at Miranda’s, which is awesome, but slightly entertaining that we are attempting to sleep 3 people in her little bedroom. Her roommate laughed at us and said that he wanted to see a picture of our sleeping arrangement once we fit us all in.
- We really wanted to go to bed early last night, but Miranda insists that even if we don’t get on a Buenos Aires sleep schedule, that we at least get on their meal schedule, which means eating dinner around 9pm. She does live on Avenida Corrientes though – which is known as the street that never sleeps. The tour books told us that the people who live in this city party well into the night/dawn/early morning/when Minnesotans are going to work – I guess they are right!
- One of our biggest accomplishments is crossing the widest street in the world: Avenida 9 de Julio. While there we saw the Obelisco – which looks strikingly similar to the Washington Monument. It is where people gather to celebrate big sporting events.
- One of my favorite spots was to the coolest bookstore in the world – it is in what used to be an old Opera Hall. There, we found a movie that was made based on my life. It is called Laura. (I should probably read a synopsis online before claiming it as biographical – it might be pretty sketchy or inappropriate. There is no way to know.)
- We went on a tour with Miranda’s company: Cultour today. They taught us a lot about the history of Buenos Aires – a lot about Juan and Eva Peron. I learned so much, but will not type it here in case I am remembering details wrong. I wouldn’t want to misinform the public.
- After the tour we ate lunch with the people we went on the tour with. We ended up sitting with some guys that spoke English – 2 guys from the US and 1 guy from Germany. It was fun to hear about their traveling adventures and hostel stories, and it was fun to speak in English and not be the mute friend that follows Miranda around. Talk then shifted to things of a political nature. If you know me at all, you know I had nothing to contribute to this part of the conversation, except to share that I once interviewed to nanny for Pawlenty’s kids, but didn’t get the job.
- The sidewalks here are kind of like tiled. It is very interesting and not at all level – I have attempted to twist my ankle multiple times. I probably should have brought Tim’s cane with just in case. I want to take everything in while we walk places, but I also am needing to focus on the ground so I don’t trip and die, and watching Miranda so I don’t get lost.
- Last night Miranda had red meat and red wine for dinner for us – two things this country loves – Amber and I were pretty ridiculous trying to open the bottle – clearly not something either of us does very often. Or pretty much ever. But we also had “fancy ketchup” with our meal. Like, literally that is what it says on the package. Mostly my sister should have been there to eat with us! Perfect meal for her.
Ok, so it turns out that the bulleted list is captures a lot of our trip. So much for the abridged version!
I feel like we’ve already seen so many fun things! Some of the other great sights we’ve seen include: Casa de Rosada – it is where the president works and (fun fact) it originally was pink because it was painted with cow’s blood mixed with something. We saw the workers’ general union building (CGT) where we saw a museum/memorial for Evita. It is where her body lay embalmed until it was stolen during a coup. We went into their meeting hall and led a meeting. (or posed for a picture. it is hard to say which). We also went to a fancy mansion that looked like it should have been a movie set – that eventually when yellow fever came to visit, the fancy people went to the north and immigrants moved in. It was really neat looking.
Ok, I am feeling a bit lazy and maybe will share pictures tomorrow. Amber posted some though, so you should check them out at her blog (the link is to the right – it is called Amber!)
Time to rest up for our big day at the Estancia tomorrow! Good thing I took horsemanship at camp when I was eleven!