Friday, February 27, 2009


Buenos Aires Fashion Week culminated tonight and I got to attend my first-ever fashion show!!!!!!!! I was so stoked to go to the exhibition center where designers were showing at booths and beautiful people were out in force, but the tickets to the runway shows were sold out.
GOOD THING I had the Mother Lode camera hanging around my neck -- I don't usually do stuff like this -- but I saw the loooonnngggg line of ticketholders going into the Wanama runway show,
and I bypassed to the head of the line and asked the security guy (in Spanish, nonetheless) how much tickets were. I DID NOT say I was with the press, but he looked at my camera and said (in Spanish), "For the press, it's free." So I was like, "hmmm," and said I had friends with me -- he asked how many, I said "two," and I motioned Neil and our friend Venai over, and he let us all in!! BOO-YAH!!!!! We were sooo incredibly psyched to be there (of course I was thrilled, but yes, my two dude companions were, too). My heart is pounding remembering it. It was so awesome.
Wanama, anyone? I'd never heard of the line, but I LOVED it!!!!! I've always wanted to go to a runway show!!!!

I took all the pictures you see here. Special thanks to the bomb camera and whatever it might lead security guards to assume about my profession.
Our friend, Venai

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our House ...

These are some pictures I've taken since we got here. We've moved things around a bit since I took these and we're expecting four enormous crates of our own furniture and decorations (and clothes, blessed clothes!!!) to arrive on a ship next Friday. I'll have to post more pics, or the requested video tour, once we get things all set up.

After living in a studio apt. for a year, I am most amazed at the fact I can go a whole week or more without going into some rooms. Also, as much as I love Neil, it's nice to have some space and room to do our own things if we want. It's really weird to "lose" him in the apt., calling him and hearing his voice, but not sure which room he's in.

There are a lot of things I could say about Buenos Aires. Our neighborhood, Belgrano, is mostly nice apartments and some beautiful old mansions tucked between. There are several embassies (but not the U.S. Embassy, that's about 10 min. away) around us (usually in the big mansions) and it is a very upscale neighborhood. It does have a very "European" feel to it -- lots of cafes, lots of people dining out, lots of people enjoying the parks -- Argentines sure know how to use their parks, they LOVE any park space -- LOTS of people walking dogs. EVERYONE has a dog, and there are several common breeds: mini poodle, maltese, Yorkie, beagle, Lab and Golden retrievers, cocker spaniel, Weimeraner, German Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog ... OK, that's more than a few types, but really it seems like a limited amount of breeds here. I mean, I've never seen a pug or a dalmation here. People also don't clean up after their dogs, so the sidewalks can be filled with land mines. Fortunately, the "porteros" or porters (?) who manage the buildings are out every morning washing the sidewalks. I mean, our portero takes a squeegee to it after he washes it. This is unfortunate for water conservation.

Pics now, more about B.A. later.

This "park" is directly across the street from our building. It's really just on a street corner, and there are a couple benches right at the corner, behind the lady walking her dog, which seems like a very awkward place to actually sit and hang out, but there are ALWAYS people of all different ages talking, kissing, playing guitar, drinking (yes, you can drink in the streets) etc. in this "park." They LOVE their parks here.

Here is our building. There is one apt. to each floor in our building. Our apt. is the 5th floor.
Sorry for the redundancy, but this is so you can see the cobblestone street.
Here's the lobby. There is always a portero at the front desk, or standing outside in this case, who unlocks and opens the door. Always. 24/7.
The elevator goes up to our floor and opens to a little vestibule with our front door.
Immediately inside the front door to the left is the powder room.
Here's the living/dining room. Neil has been using the floor space to take private breakdancing lessons twice a week. Luckily he goes to a gym for his jiu jitsu class. And he has Spanish lessons at the Embassy. He has really been taking advantage of this situation, which makes me happy.
Past the living/dining room is the kitchen and eating area -- currently the intensive Spanish study area.
And then the kitchen. The big box was our air-shipped stuff. For future reference I will send more stuff that way -- it got here within 1 week!
The kitchen goes out to a back balcony, adjoining the LAUNDRY ROOM and the "maid's quarters." I am SOOOOOooooooooooo happy to have my own washer and dryer after a few years of not having one in my apt.

Neil arranges the fruit all the time into interesting configurations. That phone on the wall is a video intercom to the front door outside the building.The back balcony by the laundry/maid's room. OK, we don't seriously have a live-in maid (she just comes once a week ;) but even if we did, I wouldn't make her stay out here.
Looking out to the buildings behind ours.Looking down to our building's patio.
The "maid's room," which is occupied by the washer and dryer.
The "maid's bathroom." There is actually a shower in there, almost over the toilet.Heading back in through the kitchen. We have this thing called a "dishwasher." I still haven't used it. Old habits die hard.The guest room. We've since switched it with the office, since this room is where the internet hookup is.
The office, now the guest room. There is a balcony, beside the laundry room balcony, that runs the length of these two rooms.
The hallway looking out from what is now the guest room, toward the master bedroom.
The hall bathroom for the guest room.
OK, SO I DIDN'T TAKE ANY PICTURES OF OUR ROOM YET but I will. It's basically a big square with some dressers, a chair, bed and nightstands in it. It has a separate area with built-in closets. It has a normal bathroom with an Olympic-sized garden-style Jacuzzi tub. Seriously. You don't believe me. I'll post pictures.

This is the front balcony that runs the length of the building, outside the living room and our bedroom. The table and chairs are outside our bedroom. There are sliding glass doors and these nifty, pull-up wooden shade things.

Sometimes we eat outside! Buen provecho!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

FEBRUARY 12 Neil and I celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary over the President's Day/Valentine's Day long weekend by getting away, in the very Argentine tradition, to an "estancia." Estancias are huge estates built in the 19th and 20th centuries by wealthy Argentines who came from Europe and brought the architecture and estate lifestyle with them. Think "Pride and Prejudice."

Estancia Villa Maria was sooooo awesome, I never wanted to leave. Except they had so much amazing food -- too much -- I was too full to eat, but it tasted so good, I couldn't say no. It was getting out of control, so good thing we had to leave.

We saw the Buenos Aires temple on the way there, about 40 min. from our house!
Inside the estancia gates, the drive is lined with eucalyptus trees and the scent is amazing.
Approaching the back of the main house where we stayed.
Our room. Neil sitting for his portrait.
Bidet, anyone? No, I didn't try it.
We tried mate for the first time. Pretty good with LOTS of sugar.
The hall outside our room.
The main doors at the front of the house.The guest house and estate dog.
The amazing dinner we had our last night. Each meal was 3 or 4 courses; this was the second "appetizer." SOOooooo good.
The asado, where they cook the barbecue-style meats. Our first lunch there, they used the little black metal boxes you see in there to serve a variety of barbecued meats at the table. I ate blood sausage and intestine. I don't want to talk about it.
The stables!!!! We went on two horseback rides while we were there, escorted by a gaucho.
Fantasma and Clarita. The horses, not us. Although Neil and his horse were both white with the same color freckles.Riding the horses was my favorite part of the trip. That, and the food.
Hey guys, wait for me. Somehow I couldn't get my horse to run. I think it knew who was in control.
Bye, horsies! Thanks!!
The gaucho chased them back to pasture.