ARGENTINA

BUENOS AIRES: Mar 2013

What to do for Spring break?  We went to Buenos Aires for the week.  Catch a 10+ hour non stop night flight from NY; knock yourself out; and wake up in Argentina - EASY!  No jet lag because they're on the same time zone. Confusing part - Weather is opposite to ours.  March/ April is Argentinas late Summer/ early Fall period so its pleasant weather.  A great escape from our long North Eastern winters, when March becomes a absolute drag with no sign of Winter ending, and my body needs a good dose of Vitamin D!

Buenos Aires is known to be the Paris of Argentina.  I wouldn't quite call it that!  Maybe before their economic collapse in 2001.  But unfortunately many historical buildings were destroyed around then and in exchange inexpensive profitable apartments and offices were built.  How STUPID?  Thankfully in 2008 laws were passed forbidding the destruction of buildings built before 1941.  Kind of too late though.

Although lacking in architecture, Buenos Aires is a vibrant walking city rich in Latin American flavor.  A cosmopolitan city with so much to offer from gourmet restaurants, to museums, shopping, and of course Tango.  The culture is relaxed, fun, and inviting, with an emphasis on family.  You can't go wrong visiting this great city!

We were there shortly after the new Argentinian Pope Francis had been elected.  Look at this man at the newsstand…Such pride! LOVE.



SEE + DO:

EVA PERON MUSEUM:
Are you a Evita fan?  This is the place to go to see everything Eva Peron.  The best part on show was her wardrobe collection: handbags, hats, dresses, jewelry, and shoes.  A must for the fashionistas!  Make it a lunch date - The courtyard restaurant in the museum is a lovely place to have lunch at before or after.





FUTBOL:
Attention all Messi lovers!  This would be a great place to catch a game.  We were all pumped up to watch a match, only to find out the week we were there all games were suspended due to bad behavior.  Oh c'mon - SERIOUSLY?!!  To find out the match schedule visit www.argentinesoccer.com .  I hope you have better luck then us.  Despite not being able to watch a real game we still visited the home of the Boca Juniors football team - La Bombonera Stadium.  My crazies goofed around outside!






LA BOCA:
Dodgy neighborhood.  But oh so colorful and should not be missed!  Lonely Planet guide book warning 'Don't stray far from the riverside walk, El Caminito or La Bombonera Stadium.  And certainly don't cross the bridge over the Riachuelo.'  Don't mean to scare you!






PALERMO HOLLYWOOD:
Residential neighborhood with colonial architecture, filled with bars, restaurants and shops.



PALERMO SOHO:
Aren't all SOHO's the cool spot?  This is no exception.  This is where you can find hip stores, and restaurants.  I didn't fail finding things to buy!



RECOLETA:
Best known for its Cementerio de la Recoleta - The city of the dead.  Creepy?  Not at all!  I have never seen a cemetery that large and beautiful.  You can spend hours wandering around.  The tombs carvings, details, stained glass windows, and marble statues are impressive.  Don't miss Evita's grave.  Tricky to find.  Best way - Follow the tour groups or ask for directions!








SAN TELMO:
Quaint neighborhood with cobble stone streets.  Best to visit on Sunday when they have the San Telmo Fair.  Such cool eye candy I spotted there!








TANGO:
The land of Tango!  You see it being performed everywhere.  Be ready to get seduced!  Find a Milonga (tango hall) to watch and learn the striking dance, or you can even have a dance on the street.  Milongas are open and taking place every night of the week in a different place.  Check it out when your there.



DAY TRIPS:

COLONIA, URUGUAY:
A small historical city on the water, in a different country, and only a couple of hours away from Buenos Aires.  Poor planning didn't get us here - Arrggh!  We were there around Easter weekend so all the ferries were already sold out.  I didn't think of that, and had I known I would of purchased ferry tickets ahead before we arrived.  Learn from my mistake!  Ferry schedule and tickets can be purchased at www.buquebus.com

ESTANCIA:
A whole day group tour.  We visited a country estate La Candelaria less then 2 hours outside of city, ate a typical Argentine asado BBQ lunch, hung out with the Gauchos (cowboys), rode horses and bikes.  Nice break from city life.





PLAY:
The young ones need a little play time too.

PARQUE 3 DE FEBRERO:
Their version of Central Park, NYC.  Great place to let your animals loose and run freely.  On weekends traffic is closed around the ring and you can rent bikes, skates and boats.  There's also the planetarium, and the zoo.  Thats a chock full of excitement right there, huh?  Beware:  If you end up needing to cross the 12 lane pedestrian cross walk, be prepared to make a mad dash when the pedestrian light turns green!




MUSEO DE LOS NINOS:
A children's museum inside the Abasto mall.  Interactive exhibits, puppet shows, and a mini city built with landmarks to play in.  Next door is the Neverland theme park - Midget rides and arcade games.  Chucke Cheese's in Argentina!  Plenty of FUN.



EAT:
Hmmm…sorry not a place for vegetarians!  Carnivore heaven.  Got to try the juicy steaks, dulce de leche anything, and the empanadas.  We ate empanadas for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Talk about over dose.  But they're so YUM.  Overall the food in Buenos Aires was excellent, and ordering a steak is never a fail at any restaurant there.  Note: People dine very late for dinner.  The earliest seating you can get is 8pm.  But restaurants only start to get crowded around 9pm.



- CAFE SAN JUAN
A popular with the locals.  Of course the steak was great, but to be different I ordered a grilled squid dish that was very tasty too.

Av. San Juan 450
San Telmo
T: 4300.1112



- DON CARLOS
A family restaurant with no menu, serving local fare.  The owner 'Carlitos' himself stuffs you silly with whatever he feels like.  Cash only.  Closed Sunday and when the Boca Juniors play.

Brandsen Street
La Boca
T: 4362.2433



- GREEN BAMBOO
Vietnamese fusion.  Fun ambience and a delicious drink menu.  A nice change to not eat steak!

Costa Rica 5802
Palermo Hollywood
T: 4775.7050



- LA CABRERA
Famous for their grilled meat.  Top restaurant pick in most guide books.  We ate way to much here!  Portions are large so don't get carried away with ordering.

Cabrera 5099
Palermo Soho
T: 4831.7002



SHOP:
Argentina is known for their leather.  Good quality and good prices.  Walking around you will see many leather shops, and also at the flea markets.  Pick something up!

- RAPSODIA

Honduras 4872
Palermo Soho

This boutique is a mix match of local designers.  Think Calypso in NYC.  More of a modern bohemian style.  I was recommended to shop here by a local trendy mom I met at the playground.  Happy she gave me a good tip!  I got my leather fix here - a cool leather snap front shirt that can be worn alone in Autumn weather, or layered in winter.

- GRISINO
This is a local brand of children's clothing.  Cute hip stuff!  Multiple locations around town.  I'm sure you will see their stores around, so pop in.

SLEEP:

Poetry Building
Junin 1280
Recoleta
T: 4827.2772
website

Ups:
The resident dachshund Nini is super cute and friendly.  My boys fell in love!  Being in Recoleta neighborhood thats conveniently located and easy to walk around was a plus.  Extremely helpful and friendly staff.  Nothing fancy.  Good size studios, or one or two bedroom apartments, with a little kitchenette - ideal for families.  Some units have outdoor space. We had a little patio, since we were on the ground floor.  There's a mini pool on the roof top.  Next door is a bakery, across the street is a drop off laundry station, and a block away is the supermarket Disco.

Downs:
No room service, and no maid service, except 1x a week.  So all eyes on me to make breakfast and tidy up!  The pool is tiny.  But enough to dip your feet in and for the kids to splash around.



TIPS:
- Pack a pair of heels for dancing.

- Try a Supper Club or Closed door restaurant thats located in the chefs own homes.  I unfortunately read about this too late and couldn't get a table at any.  But it's all about the secrecy and suspense that builds up an appetite!

- Try Mate (Ma-tay).  It's a popular tea drinking custom they do in Argentina.  It's a very strong and bitter tea made from yerba mate leaves.  I thought the decorative gourd cups and metal straws they prepare it in is cool and brought one home as a table top accessory.  The cups come in all variations and designs.  Be on the look out for them.



Want more?  I do too!  I definitely have to go back again and visit Mendoza their wine country, and see the amazing Patagonia.  Will reserve that for when the babies are older and I don't have to be their mule carrying all their junk.  Don't cry for me Argentina!


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