Sunday, March 14, 2010

Buenos Aires Memories

When my sister and I were little, we loved the musical Evita.

We listened to the records and memorized all the songs and acted them out. I usually sang the part of Eva, and my sister did a really good rendition of Colonel Peron.

In any case, I always had a fascination with Argentina, if only for this famous political figure and her demise.

We finally visited Argentina a little while back, and it was one of the best trips I've ever taken. We didn't plan too much or research ahead of time, and the result was that we were completely surprised by much of what we found there: wonderful food, thriving Tango culture, and charming people.

Enjoy a few of our favorites memories from Buenos Aires...
We stayed in the unique Art Hotel, adorned with streaming light and mirrored walls. The hotel was an excellent value and well-situated. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a great place to stay.

One of our favorite areas was the lively San Telmo district, with street performers, a flea market, and wonderful restaurants. It was there we tried what was to become my favorite wine, San Telmo Malbec.

If you look closely, you'll see that the puppet matches the puppeteer. Even the same red socks.
Tango art in San Telmo
From our restaurant window, we glimpsed this mime on stilts in the crowd. It was surreal to watch him pick up a baby from the crowd and lurch around. We kept waiting for that baby to fall, but the mime was perfectly careful.
Tango dancing on the street
We enjoyed the food immensely in Argentina. Delicious pizzas with savory olives...
We were obsessed with one restaurant in particular, Cabanas Las Lilas. They serve the most wonderful mouthwatering beef. On our last night, we got there really late and we worried we would be turned away as it was midnight and there was a huge line coming out the door. Instead, they served complimentary champagne and appetizers to all the patrons waiting for tables. We did finally get a meal about 1:30 am, which isn't all that unusual in Argentina.
One night, we splurged on a stay at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires with a beautiful 1916 Belle Epoque Mansion (where we did not sleep as those rooms were crazy insane expensive; we were in the normal rooms which were only merely expensive, but you only live once.)

Incidentally, we did spot Robert Duvall getting into an elevator at our hotel. Apparently, he's a huge tango aficionado.
We had grand notions to take tango lessons, but due to lack of time, we settled on a memorable tango dinner and dance show. We try sometimes in our living room to reenact the graceful moves we saw there, but we usually end up just kicking each other in the shins.

Any visitor to BA must pay a visit to the famous Recoleta Cemetary, one of the most beautiful resting places I have ever seen. It's also full of many extremely fashionably dressed handsome mourners. Not us, obviously.
I also couldn't pass up the Eva Peron museum, where even the menu is designed to honor the memory of Evita...
Not a bad experience in BA considering we didn't have many plans or expectations.

What about you? Have you ever gone somewhere without much idea of what to do or see?

9 comments:

Becca Runs Sometimes said...

Do I hear another Amazing Race parody with you two doing the Tango challenge in the near future???

Mary and Sean said...

Becca,
Oh that's a great idea, but I'm a really clutzy dancer!

Meg said...

hey! thanks for stopping by my blog...it's nice to meet a fellow matador u student.
i was also obsessed with Evita! Buenos Aires has been on my travel list for a long time now!! I'm glad to hear it's just as amazing as I always thought it would be.

Mary and Sean said...

Meg,
Glad to hear that we weren't the only Evita fans! You won't regret an Argentina trip

Lydia Schradnt said...

Thanks for visiting the blog! We had a long layover in Singapore last year and decided to go on an eating adventure. We were both pleasantly surprised by what a cool and dynamic place it was. Sometimes those destinations without any agenda or expectations are the best.

shopgirl said...

Sounds like a great trip! I've always wanted to go to Argentina too - especially for the beef. I used to regularly go to an Argentinian Steak restaurant in London - sooooo delicious!

p.s. I used to sing from the top of my lungs "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" around the house when I was younger.

:-)))

Vanesa said...

Hard to believe for foreigners but a meal at 1:30am is not unusual, Buenos Aires never sleeps :)

Mary and Sean said...

Vanesa,
You can say that again! I tried, but couldn't keep up! I still loved it though...

Fly Girl said...

Don't cry for me Argentina! I used to be obssessed with that song when the ridiculous Madonna version came out. Tango and lots of olives (no meat) sounds awesome to me!

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