Thursday March 8, 2018 Off to Buenos Aries, Argentina

I left you yesterday with a trip to Buenos Aries from the airport in Bariloche.

It was quite confusing for us, as the gate was constantly changing. Not only that, but I had lots of people watching going on. From gentleman with serious mustaches, to the man in the denim joggings, there was lots to observe. And, considering that I could probably enjoy watching paint dry, that is not saying much.

We flew Business Class again. This was something that our travel agent advised us might not work out okay. Aerolineas Argentinas is notorious for changing planes and also cancelling flights. Then we would have the problem of possibly not getting a seat in business on the next flight arranged. We were lucky and all flights on our trip worked out smoothly. One again we had the Business class lunch, a ham and cheese sandwich and a very dry Dulce de leche cookie plus some peanuts. We washed it down with warm Coca Cola. Soon we were back to Buenos Aries and the domestic airport. We were picked up by our driver and taken to the hotel we stayed at when we first arrived in Buenos Aries, the Hub Porteno. It is in the Recoleta district, a very upscale part of town. Would you like to see our room? Of course you would! It was the same size room as the room the last time, the linens were a bit different. I was smart this time, and did not leave my sunglasses on the floor when I was unpacking them, and then thinking that I lost them in the car.

Steve and I were going to have a free day on Friday before our evening flight home. I got help from the front desk in making reservations to tour the Opera House. This is where Marcus and his wife had an arranged first date. I told him that it was just like in one of my romance novels! Then we were going to go see the Synagogue.

But first we had dinner reservation at RojoTango.com. I need to get ready for my evening with my handsome husband. Here I am all dolled up, ready for a night on the town, but hoping to be back in the room before midnight. I think the dress showed just the right amount of cleavage and the right amount of leg. I was studying a lot of instagram pictures and was trying to get my arm on hip and feet pointing forward to achieve maximum slimness. Plus, I was trying to keep my eyes open, as usually I am laughing too much, and my eyes squint up. And you thought my beauty was effortless. Ha Ha! This gives you just a hint of the evening ahead of us! Red lights, and madness! Just kidding, it was a just a dinner show! This was a still shot from the website. There are a lot of pointed toes in the tango. Our seats were way up close, the dancers were practically on my toes! Here we are, Steve looks sharp, i look a little shell shocked1. We started off with a glass of champagne, and then a different glass of wine with each course, of course! This was our first course. Shrimp and potato salad with pickled cucumber. A very interesting and tasty choice. Steve had the salmon and goat cheese. I had the beef tenderloin. Steve had the bittersweet chocolate marquise.

Of course I had the cream of passion fruit mousse with almond crumble.

During one of the intermissions I went to the ladies room. Care to take a peak? It was hard to find! These were the doors. I needed help to figure out how to open them! Once inside there was lots of marble and metal! Here I am! This was the door of the stall. Marble, mirrors and silver. I think I won’t copy this style for the new bathroom in our house in Lake George! The room was very red, and dimly lit. What did you expect? The tango show was in a hotel. The hotel boutique had lots of outfits, you might want to buy in case you had your luggage stolen, or just didn’t have the right outfit to wear. We just had friends with us this past weekend in Lake George. It also just happened to be Americade, a big motorcycle rally. I think that my friend M would have looked smashing in one of these jackets!

Yesterday I forgot to ask questions. Today I won’t.

Do you ride a motorcycle?

Have you ever been to a tango show? I know LA, one of my followers has. In fact her hubby MA, even took picture of Carlos, one of the performers. We were expressly told not to take pictures, although some of the other guests at the show did. I BEHAVED!

Do you hate your cookies dry as dust?

Here is one of the performers in the show. Carlos Copello. https://youtu.be/YqIjM8ZkJNc

He was phenomenal, a little bit too old for me, but man did he have moves! I think the Tango is the sexiest dance that there is, how about you?

Sunday February 25, 2018 We depart Buenos Aires!

After a terrible night’s sleep for Steve (it seems I snore ALL night long-and the bed was lumpy) we woke up too late for Steve to hit the gym. Oh well.

While changing my clothes and packing the suitcase I found my sunglasses in their case on the ground right where I must have left them! The floors was a brown wood, the same color as my sunglasses case and it all blended in. Honestly who looks for their sunglass case on the floor any way? I told you if I bought a pair of sunglasses I would find mine!We had breakfast at our hotel, hubporteno.com. See the tree trunk on the left? It’s a ficus tree, and it grows right through the ceiling!Steve still looks a little bit grumpy as he was only on his first cappuccino.There was lots to choose from on the menu. The cappuccino was very tasty, not much foam art here!Steve had his second cappuccino so he was feeling a lot happier, and had almost forgiven me for snoring so much!Steve had the chocolate croissant. We are used to having the chocolate inside, here it is served on the side so you can go hog wild if you want to! Steve only had a little bit as it was very HEAVY! I am not sure if it is the type of butter that is used, or the flour, but this could probably break a toe if you dropped! Just kidding, it wasn’t quite that hard. Steve had scrambled eggs with sausage. This was the most interesting presentation of eggs that i have ever seen. I thought at first that he had ordered oatmeal!

I chose waffles again, they were served with dulce de leche on the side. I asked for fruit also. The duce de leche is SO SWEET! I would dip my fork in, and then spear a bit of the waffle. After breakfast we waited for our driver. We waited in the downstairs bar. I had quite a bit of excitement the previous night. Steve went downstairs to get an Irish whiskey. My phone is set up to give me alerts every time a charge is made. My phone alerted me to a $100 charge at the hotel! I got quite excited, as dinner was only about $52 at the Brick House, how could a simple drink cost so much money? No, no I was told, it was only 100 Argentinian pesos. No, No, I said, look at the charge on my phone! Well next morning I found out that the $100 charge was just a default room charge in case we were naughty guests and destroyed the room, like some American movie stars on a bender! Phew. Here is Movie Star Steve waiting patiently for our driver, trying not to fall asleep!Then it was past the high rises, the polo field, and the flowering sculpture to the airport. The airport was right near the Rio de la Plata. Sunday morning all the guys line up to fish. No one appeared to catch anything, I think the guys just didn’t want to go to Mass!We had no problems getting our boarding passes and going through security. We thought this was our plane just outside our gate. We were wrong! We boarded a bus and were driven to our plane. I should have remembered that we were not flying LAN but Aerolineas Argentinas! We were the only ones in Business Class. Here we are. Bad hair day, but my lipstick is on. I think I might need to use a little lip liner to give more definition to the lips. My eyes are always half shut when I smile, Steve is always has his “where am I supposed to look ? expression”! It will be fun to see pictures when we are 80, will we still have the same loopy expressions? You can see a few of my grey hairs here. Steve’s grey swath has gotten wider, and we were laughing about that. HE STILL HAS LOTS OF HAIR! He was at a meeting the other day, and only two of the guys had hair on their heads! GO TEAM STEVE!Adios Buenos Aries! We will see you March 8! Next to the airport it looked like the airplane junk yard. Hopefully our planes won’t need any spare parts! Here is a great picture of Buenos Aries. You can see the airport on the left. The horse race track in the middle and the polo fields across the way. There also appears to be a beautiful golf course. Perhaps Steve will play it next year. Here we are much further up. There are about 3 million people who live in Buenos Aires, the area comprises about 78 square miles. Our flight was going to be a little over two hours which means that we got lunch! A ham and cheese sandwich, peanuts, coke and a cookie. The cookie was filled with Dulce de Leche. It was very sweet, but very dry at the same time. It reminded me of a Fig Newton. Our flight was to San Martin de los Andes. We would be staying four nights at Tipiliuke Lodge. That mountain is Tipiliuke, which means upside down heart. It was so named by the Mapuche, indigenous people of Patagonia. We have arrived! We just need to wait for the steps to arrive!

This is the sign for Tipiliuke. It is very small. What will this place be like? Will I meet any interesting people? Will I have any Excellent Adventures? You must wait for my next installment!

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Buenos Aires, Argentina Saturday February 24, 2018. The afternoon continues!

This beautiful bridge is Puente de la Mulerideras. It looks like a white dagger, but has cables connecting it to the walkway behind the upper railing on the car bridge that we are on. It’s very dramatic looking isn’t it?

Our next stop was a drive by the famous Floralis Generica. It is a giant flower that opens and closes with the sun, just like a living flower. It is 20 meters high! No time to stop and visit unfortunately, we have to drive by the polo grounds!

Behind these parked cars are the polo grounds, the Campo Argentina de polo de Palermo. The stadium seats 45,000 spectators. Polo is played from September through December. Can you hear the thundering horses?

The main drag is about six lanes wide. At times of off peak traffic, the left most lanes reverse direction. We were driving on Saturday afternoon so there wasn’t much traffic. Our last day in Argentina will be on a Friday. It will be fun to see how busy the street traffic will be. Or maybe not so much fun! Our next stop was the Cementerio de la Recoleta. The cemetery occupies an area of 14 acres. There are more than 6400 tombs! This tomb has room for more than 147 bodies! Victoria counted the slots one day!

The tombs have a ventilation system where the air is filtered before it is released. You can see some of the vent pipes in this picture. The things you learn following my blog!

This is the interior of a typical tomb. Room for flowers and candles on the top shelf. Then a shelf for the momma, one for the poppa, and room for many children and grandchildren down below. This was an especially beautiful tomb. Wait until you see the sarcophagus!

Now that is something! Here is where Evita lies. People still bring flowers to her crypt. Another beautiful tomb with statues. Our tour is over, lets go back for some tea and treats. Yummy cake and even yummier chocolates!We picked a restaurant for dinner that was walking distance. Steve wasn’t excited about the menu, but it had great reviews. It was in the Brick Hotel. The rolls were very hard, I am not sure if the flour used here is different or what the problem was. Steve had the salmon with creamy beet root quinoa. It was delicious.

I had the steak with whipped potatoes and creamed corn. Mine was tasty, but Steve’s was better!

No room for dessert, but they looked really good!

On our way back to the hotel we passed this hand bag store. Don’t they look like Ferrari’s? One chocolate per person on the night table.

That’s all for Saturday, Sunday we fly to San Martin de los Andes and our stay at Tipiliuke Lodge begins!

Saturday February 24, 2018 Buenos Aires

We traveled into Buenos Aires via car service. The drive took about an hour. The sky here is a brilliant blue, no smog like there was in Santiago. Buenos Aires is the capital of the Argentine Republic. It is on the central eastern part of the country and on the western shore of the La Plata river. (The muddy river that we flew over.) The architecture is a mix of French Bourbon, Spanish Colonial and modern high rises. It is the second biggest city in South America with a population of around 3 million. It is called the Paris of the South because of the architecture and the wide streets. I was last in Paris over 40 years ago, so I can’t make any comparisons.

Anyway we soon arrived at our hotel, Hub Porteno. It is a small boutique hotel, it only has about 12 rooms. We like the smaller boutique hotels, they have lots of character and are not so busy.

Here is Steve outside by the front door. The picture is a little out of sequence and he has already changed out of his long sleeved shirt from yesterday, and blue blazer is safely upstairs in our closet. Since our room wasn’t quite ready, it was after all 11 in the morning we were given a tour of the hotel. Come along.

This is the view from where we sat to fill our our reservation forms.

This is the couch that we sat on. Do you think it will become famous someday? The wooden thingie in the middle was some kind of puzzle. I thought better of taking it apart.

We were left a beautiful binder by our travel agent. I hated to open it up, but how else would we know what was going to happen, and where we were to go. Of course I wanted to keep the folder. Would it remain with us the whole trip? Stay tuned.

This is the lovely patio on the fourth floor. We were to wait here until our room was ready. You can see that Steve hasn’t changed yet. There really wasn’t a view, as there were lots of bushes everywhere. It was just nice and quiet. There was a bar, I’m not sure if it was party central at night.

I thought the patio looked really pretty with the gauzy curtains.

There was a room for a massage.

This was the gym. Steve was hoping that he would wake up early on Sunday morning for a work out before we left to San Martin de los Andes where our first fishing estancia is. Down below outside the windows there appeared to be a garden cafe. It was part of the Buenos Aries Park Hyatt. I think everyone got excited when they looked out the window and thought it was part of our hotel! Outside of the gym was a small credenza with magazines. Did you know that there is a magazine named after me? Well now you do! Growing up I wasn’t so happy that my name meant beautiful in Spanish. However, now that I am older I am happy with my name. Remember the story about the couple we met in the Galapagos? His name was Washington. The Ecuadorians love to name children after American Presidents or even products. Milk of Magnesia is a common name, and Donald Trump is also a popular name!

Let’s follow Steve into our room shall we? I must admit that is is really nice!

There was a gigantic king sized bed. Interesting chairs to sit it. This is the view from the television. Lots of dramatic curtains.

The bathroom was really big. Twin vanities, a toilet and a bidet. A large soaking tub and a shower with a rainfall head or it could be switched to six jets smashing you on your torso and legs.

Our afternoon tour Buenos Aires was not going to start until 2, so we decided to go for a light lunch near the hotel.

Steve thought it was a chain as he had seen other cafes with a similar name in the States.

There was an option to eat outside, but it was a little bit warm for us to do so. Plus, who enjoys inhaling car exhaust along with their latte?

I ordered a cafe latte and Steve a macchiato. Big difference in sizes!

It took me awhile to figure out the yellow packets were fake sugar and the pouring gizmo held real sugar. Well, maybe ten seconds, but it felt like too long.

Steve had the ham and cheese croissant.

I love waffles so, that was what I had. They felt a little heavy, and the portion seemed small to me.

Here is a close up of the restaurant name. Have you ever heard of it?

Next door to the hotel was a women’s clothing shop. It has locations in Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Dubai. I am not sure if my friend from Dubai has ever shopped there. I don’t even think that she follows my blog, but I thought of her when I took the picture. In case she does read the blog-“Here’s thinking of you kid!”

Victoria our guide and Mario our driver promptly picked us up at 2. I was a little out of sorts as somehow I had misplaced my sunglasses. We thought that I had left them the in the car that we had used on the way from the airport. Victoria called the office to see if they could be located and then brought back to the hotel by next week as we would be staying at the same hotel on our last night before we flew home to the States.

First stop was Mayo Square or Plaza de Mayo in Spanish. It is the oldest public square in Buenos Aires. Straight ahead you can see the May Pyramid, constructed in 1811, in honor of the May 25, 1810 revolution. Argentina had been part of Spain prior to that.

You can see white handkerchiefs surrounding the Pyramid. This is part of the long standing protest that has been going on at Las Madres de la Plaza. During the 1970’s many people were captured by the government, tortured and then disappeared. To protest this, the mothers of the missing wore white kerchiefs and protested in silence on the Plaza. Finally the dictator was overthrown. Our tour guide never speaks his name. Steve thinks his name is Voldemort.

This white building is The Cabildo. It was built in 1580 and was the site of the colonial administration. Now it houses government office that operate the national museums.

This pink building is the Government House. It was painted pink and is also known as Casa Rosada-The Pink House.

The whole square was under construction. It is supposed to reopen in March. No way is that going to happen! The man on the horse designed the Argentinian flag.

This is the balcony of Casa Rosada.

It is here that Evita

waved from the balcony to the crowds below.

The streets would be filled with crowds filling the street below to see her! I will have to see the movie Evita with Madonna. There has been a lot of controversy that Madonna was allowed to be on the balcony for the filming of the movie.

We then went to the Metropolitan Cathedral. This is where Pope Francis was Archbishop.

It was first constructed in 1593 as chapel made of adobe bricks. In 1752 the Main church was constructed. In 1877 the chapel of General Jose of San Martin was added to the chapel.

He was very important to the history of South America. He helped lead the revolution to gain independence from Spain. Since he was a Mason he was not supposed to be buried in the church itself, so the chapel was added to the width of the cathedral to house the body. Two guards are in constant watch over his chapel. We were lucky enough to be there when the chapel guards changed. We were told that since the casket was too big, it had to be left on an angle to fit inside!After The cathedrals we drove to San Telmo, famous for the cobblestone streets. It sure made for a bumpy ride in the car!

San Telmo had lots of cute buildings, some with two stories, others were three. Notice again the cobble stone streets. Victoria asked if we would like to go to the market. You know me, I couldn’t say no to a market! Well you are just going to have to wait until I have time to post more!

Friday February 23, 2018 Flight to Buenos Aires

We left Classified and went to our gate at Newark. There were tons of seats in the restaurants around the gate, but no seats at the gate. So we headed for the nearest gate with seats. We waited about an hour for the lines to start forming at the gate corrals. It was nine o’clock and we were supposed to start loading so I hustled us over to wait and wait and wait. People would start to butt in line and politely told the end of the line was over there. Finally we loaded up. We were going to fly on United’s New Polaris Class. Well, it has nothing on Qatar Business. They did have their line of Sak’s Fifth Avenue bedding. I remembered from the blogs that you were supposed to ask for something that tends to run out but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was.

It seemed like we had everything that we needed. Steve looks pretty happy, doesn’t he?

We got our pre departure beverages. Water for me and white wine for Steve. Also some chocolates. Steve didn’t share these chocolates either. We got amenity kits. They seemed pretty snazzy.

They were filled with the usual stuff, eye shades, ear plugs, lip gloss, tooth brush and tooth paste, and some collectible trading cards celebrating the anniversary of United’s fleet. Pack rack that I am I kept my cards and Steve’s although they were the same cards. PS Don’t let Steve know that I kept them. This was going to be our flight path. Pretty much due south for 10 hours. I thought the bed blanket presentation was pretty snazzy. I didn’t see anyone try to stuff them in their carry on bags. We got our warm nuts. I still think that no airline beats the warm nuts on American. Steve decided to eat dinner. I passed. I was pretty full from dinner and I was hoping that the ice cream sundae that I ordered would be delivered early. Of course it wasn’t, and I had to wait until the dessert trolley rolled down our aisle. Here is my sundae. The ice cream was fake so I am taking points off. I should have gone right to bed. Steve had fish for his dinner. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it. This was breakfast. I slept not so well. These seats were incredibly tight. I think we were really spoiled with our flights to South America on the Dream Liner from LAN airlines and the recent flight on Qatar. Seating was in a 2-1-2 configuration. I was sitting window, and could not go to the bathroom once Steve fell asleep. I did sleep, but not well. In the middle of the night I woke up and felt my left calf, the one that I had previously had a blood clot in. It felt tight, so I massaged it like crazy and did some toe pointing. It went away, so all was good. I was just thinking that I was going to have to go to the hospital in Buenos Aires. Steve said he had problems sleeping and his calves were tight also. I can’t imagine what the two of us would have been like flying economy. Here we are almost there. Will we make it? Of course, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog!We flew over some river, it looked pretty muddy. I hope Steve’s rivers are much clearer. We finally landed and got off our plane. This is what our plane looked like from the terminal. I didn’t tell Steve I was taking the picture, so he got ahead of me, and then turned around looking for me. Lucky for him, and for me, I caught up. He had the passports. We got through immigration and customs okay. We met our guide who had a sign that said Lucy and Linda Lant. I told Steve his nickname was now Lucy, he insisted that the sign was Lucy Linda Lant. Here is a little of the chaos at the airport. Looks like JFK to me but warmer. Now for a little video of the chaos. Our driver was getting the car while we waited. And then it was off for our 45 minute drive to our hotel in Buenos Aries.