Friday, May 28, 2010

INSANE FOOD ALERT!!!!!



We went with some Argentine friends to Via Flaminia, a gelateria (ice cream shop) in the suburbs.

Rather, gelato shop; gelato being much softer than ice cream ...

... all the better to make INSANE, 2-FOOT-TALL, Magic Shell-type-hardened-chocolate covered ice cream cones!!! They are INSANE!!!!!! And not on the menu, so you have to be "in the know" to get their special ;)

Click the video to watch Neil's being made!

As Neil says at the end,

"YUM!"


video

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Can't Believe I Forgot This Picture

From last weekend. So love him as a dad.


 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Blue Eyes

I'm loving Nile's blue eyes, where did they come from?! Daddy has them but I thought my brown eyes would squash that? Nice genetic trick, though I'm a little concerned her eyebrows may never be found ...

I think she's adorable!

And not that I'm complaining AT ALL; quite the contrary. I hope her eyes stay this color or at least do something interesting -- I think my brown eyes are so boring.



Smiling at Daddy.



I also love her pointy little chin :)

Marcelo's Island - A Short, Illustrated Story

Gastón invited us to his friend Marcelo's island.


So now Nile has been in a car, on a plane, in a boat ... we will have to take her on a train soon.



We rode in Marcelo's speedboat about 20 minutes to the island. The island is in Tigre, off the coast northwest of the city and at the confluence of the river and ocean.
Gastón, Marcelo and some other guests had spent the night on the island and made the trip back to pick us up for the day.

Capitán Marcelo.




At one point we could see the Buenos Aires city skyline in the distance.

As we approached the island, we were greeted at the pier by Marcelo's dogs, Cocoa ("Co-CO-ah") and Alfonsita, a.k.a. "Foo-fee."

Foo-fee is Cocoa's mother. She has borne 60 puppies in her life, and has a very strong maternal instinct. She displayed it toward the cat, trying to get it to nurse on her (!) and when I was nursing Nile, she stood protectively by me, barking at Cocoa to get him to take his solicitations for petting elsewhere.

Also, the wind had been up during the night and had brought the tide so high that it had flooded the yard.

Jose, the groundskeeper (above), walked Nile across first to entrust her to the care of the waiting houseguests.

He returned with a pair of rainboots and we each took a turn wearing them to wade across to the house.

A couple hours later, the water had receded to reveal the yard.

Marcelo (and Cocoa in the background) surveying the grounds.



The garden has this pretty fountain imported -- like many Argentines themselves, including Marcelo's family -- from Italy.


The property has the most beautiful flowers, true "late bloomers," as it is nearly winter here in the Southern Hemisphere.

"Solanas" is the name of Marcelo's place.

The backyard was still flooded, but it eventually drained before we left.

One thing you don't know about me (except for you, Mom and Dad) is that I have an uncanny ability to find four-leaf clovers in virtually any clover patch.

Nile slept ALL DAY. She would seem semi-conscious like here, where she is smiling, but she kept her eyes shut. She is so sweet. And portable, for now :)




Jose prepared the asado (bbq) in this nifty mud oven. It is not the typical Argentine parilla, which is more of a grill. Marcelo made this oven himself with mud from the earth on his island mixed with ash from the parilla.

LUNCH TIME!!!!

Just when I thought we had the most delicious spread in front of us ...

... Jose added this huge tray of awesomeness to the table. The meat you see with the rib bones is a cut called "asado," (confusing because "asado" is also the name for a bbq in general). Let me just say that  "asado" was the most AMAZING meat I have EVER tasted. It was so flavorful and totally tender, cut-able with a fork. It had a lot of fat on it that just melted in your mouth! I mean, I was consciously eating chunks of deliciously flavorful, oily fat, that were SO amazing, I am dreaming about it right now.

The ducks swam around as late afternoon slipped away to evening.

 We said goodbye to Cocoa.

 
And Princesa, the cat.

Night fell early.

The ducks were asleep.

We sped, noisily, reggaetón blaring, through the night toward the lights of the city.

 
The boat was put away and we went home.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Day I Went Back to Work

The day I went back to work.

Monday, May 17.


I took this picture of Nile before I woke her up to feed her.

One day shy of eight weeks old. Eight Tuesdays ago, this beautiful, sweet little creature joined my life.

I cried before I left.

Neil said, "It's just change.
"It's not bad. It's just change."

When I got to work I thought I would be OK.

Then two of my coworkers came to my desk to welcome me back and ask how I was doing; if I missed Nile.

I said, "Well, I was doing OK, and then I sat down here and I see her looking at me."

I gestured toward the door facing me, where in my all-male office they had printed a color picture of baby Nile from the announcement I e-mailed and taped it to the front door of our office suite.

I gestured toward the picture and a twinge of extreme sadness stabbed through my heart and down into my stomach.

All the feelings of separation anxiety I've ever felt came stinging back to me:

Elementary school in Md. while my mommy and home were still in Va.
Every time I broke up with Chris.
Leaving HI to move back to Va. after college.

But in the moment that I gestured and felt that sadness, right when I thought I would end up taking the picture down to avoid tearing up every time I saw it ...

I decided in that instant that instead of the picture reminding me of what I was missing, the picture would be Nile there with me.

So I said, "well, I was doing OK, and then I sat down here and I see her looking at me.
"So it's not so bad."

The guys laughed and went on.

I went on with my day, and the day after that, and it's not so bad. It's just change.


(Then yesterday I read this, which was very timely but also made me teary-eyed again.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Prosvita and Parilla


Our friend, Igor, is a Ukranian-Argentine, and is very involved in the Ukranian cultural scene here. I had no idea the scene was so big. He invited us to his group's performance, celebrating 85 years of the Ukranian Cultural Club of Argentina. It was held at Parque Centenario, and it was quite a production!







Afterward, we stopped by Siga la Vaca for some carryout. Ever since we got back to BA, I've been jonesing for some parilla (Argentine bbq)!

Morcilla (blood sausage -- don't knock it till you try it!), chorizo (sort of like bratwurst), a cut of pork, Russian (potato) salad, and a choripan (chorizo sandwich) for him. SOOOooooo good!!!

Paper Doll

We kept seeing this ad around town in Mesa:
 (sorry it got cut off)

Neil had made some jokes regarding the daughter on the left's choice of clothing for this ad ... something along the lines of getting the vote ...

And then one day I saw this:
Looks like Neil wasn't the only one who noticed!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making The Rounds

Nile has made so many friends since she got here. Well, they're sort of one-sided relationships since she's been asleep at pretty much every meeting.

We chronicled a few of her adventures.

We went to the Embassy where she has been eagerly anticipated.

Then we stopped by Silvana and Thomas' house where she took advantage of her chance to stretch out and sleep at the same time.


Which reminds me of an old picture I never posted -- Thomas is French, so awhile ago Neil and I got him this shirt from Urban Outfitters. Not sure if Frenchmen wear T-shirts.


Anyway, Silvana gave me the bad news about the lemongrass she was plant-sitting for me.

p.s. love their view!

Her lemongrass is beside mine and looks to have met the same fate. That's OK -- it would've probably fared the same in my care; I put all of our houseplants on the balcony while we were gone and wished them well. They are now all dead.

After bidding Silvana and Thomas adieu, we headed home. We txted Gastón to see if he was at our neighborhood sushi joint of which he is part-owner; he was on his way there, so we ventured out to meet him.

On the walk over we passed a new place that opened up in our absence, TeaConnection. It looks so cute! I love the wallpaper. I will have to stop by there another day.



At Itamae, Gastón gave us the royal treatment -- appetziers, sushi, dessert! Nile didn't act too impressed.
 

I don't know how he does it -- he not only has the restaurant, he also owns his own law firm and -- watch out, locals -- is headed to D.C. this fall to finish a masters in International Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS.


This was around 11 p.m., and we were not the only people in the restaurant; it was still open when we left. Sorry Mesa, AZ, I love being back in a place with some nightlife!


The dessert on the far right was a cookie confection rolled like sushi, with a rectangular vat of gooey sweet to dip it in. At first I thought, "oh yum, caramel" and then I remembered where I was and realized of COURSE, it's not caramel -- it's dulce de leche!!

It's good to be home :)