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Outside the Casa Rosada…

Crying “Eva Peron!” Needless to say, we made it to Buenos Aires.

Amazingly, despite a nearly 2 hour delay in Atlanta after a 5+ hour layover (odd fact: we flew over Tampa again nearly 12 hours after first leaving home), we actually had a completely uneventful trip… in fact, in the almost 24 hours door-to-door (home to hotel) Emerson maintained perfect composure and optimal behavior. She slept for most of the flight down and was perfect otherwise. In fact, other passengers even commented on her, and I quote: “best baby on a plane anywhere, ever.” Libby also slept well on the almost 10 hour flight. I, however, went nearly sleepless. So, I watched “movies on demand” and the “moving map” (highlights included crossing the equator, the Amazon, flying over Bolivia, etc…).

On landing in BA, we were fast passed through immigration due to having a baby (Argentineans seem to LOVE little kids). We paid our expected $420(!) for tourist visas ($140 x 3 — thanks to Uncle Sam’s ‘welcoming’ policies, Argentina has adopted a “good for the gander” fee that’s a response equal to our fees for their citizens). After collecting our luggage (from the slowest moving luggage conveyor belt in the world) and leaving customs, we were greeted by Karina and Fred, the husband and wife team who owns/operates SilverStar Car (www.silverstarcar.com) here in BA. This was ideal, as we had a safe (baby seat included), comfortable, and hassle free ride in from the airport.

We’re staying at the Novotel, which is new, clean, and centrally located. We arrived at the hotel by 11:00 and were able to check-in immediately. The rooms are on the small side but very stylish. It’s in the Congresso area on Avenida Corrientes (BA’s theatre district… by all appearances safe, but not especially charming). After arriving, we took care of E’s noontime needs and had an afternoon nap. We then went out to explore BA, mostly in the area of the Microcenter. Overall, Buenos Aires is appealing. It feels a lot like a European city, especially one that intersperses “old world charm” with soulless contemporary structures and a pinch urban blight/decay. That said, BA feels comfortable and familiar… and the people are very warm and friendly (from the security guard at a grocery store to fellow patrons in a cafe).

Libby was able to see the Casa Rosada (and have her Evita moment).

After walking around, we returned to the hotel. Since Emerson had already had a long day, we thought eating in the hotel room would be best. And, as it happens, one of BA’s best known pizza places, Pizzeria Guerrin (established in 1932), is located right next door. Somewhat surprisingly, pizza is big in BA… and not just as a charmless, chain food phenomenon. Instead, like New York and Chicago back home, BA proudly claims pizza as a part of its unique food tradition. Empanadas (baked not fried) are also big here. We tried both the pizza and empanadas at Guerrin. Libby seemed to like the pizza (which was heavy on the cheese and included onion), but I was resoundingly unimpressed by our selection. I also found a bone in my chicken empanada. Yikes! So, while many argue that Pizzeria Guerrin is supreme, I’ll pass next time I’m in BA.

Tomorrow, we leave on our cruise.

Today’s box score: +1 continent (South America), +1 country (Argentina)

One Response to “Outside the Casa Rosada…”

  1. Dick says:

    Bon Voyage. Have a great trip, good sailing and calm seas.

    I figured ou why this comment didn’t post before, same issue as I had on before on your blog,.. I can’t read. Email is a required field. Oh well, back on track again.

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