The Political Side of Things in Buenos Aires

Argentina, Buenos Aires, travel, photographyMaybe it was because I’m a Pisces, or perhaps that I lived in Florida in 10 years, or just that I love the beach, but when our all-knowing travel guide asked us to guess what this shape represented, I guessed, “a fish?” Luckily, my fearless travel buddy, Kirsten, was a bit more on the money: “a lady’s head?” Sure enough, this was one of the famous head scarves, the symbol of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. The brave women started silently marching near the presidential palace, Casa Rosada, every Thursday during the Dirty War of the 1970s and 80s, a war which scared even the bravest men into silence. With the names of their missing children embroidered on their scarves, they demonstrated for justice, despite so many people “disappearing” for doing much less. Most recently, the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo have worked with a government team to use DNA testing to return many of the kidnapped/re-assigned children from the war to their biological families. It’s a fascinating story from a horrific time. So far, less than 50 of these (now grown) children of war have been re-introduced to their families, but hundreds have been identified. As far as I know, none of these children have given an interview about whether or not they left the parents who raised them despite now knowing that those parents knew they’d been ripped from their biological moms and dads, how that felt. I’m on the lookout but have been unable to find anything on-line. Please send me a link if anyone knows anything! Here are a few more photos of the capitol.

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Tango’s Carlos Gardel in Buenos Aires

Argentinians love them some Carlos Gardel — so much so that a neighborhood-sized shrine exists just for him! Possibly the most famous person in tango history, Gardel died way before his time in a horrible Buddy Holly-esque plane crash. His house has been restored and opened as a museum, in the Abasto district of Buenos Aires. For me, walking through the surrounding streets and finding all of the portraits of him painted on windows, walls and elsewhere became like a puzzle, and his flowery lyrics fun to try to translate with my intermediate Spanish. It might be tourist-y to some, but I loved the history lesson — and also the colorful filete style of painting that adorns the area. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it…

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B Roll in La Boca in Buenos Aires

Speaking of weddings, last month I had the absolute pleasure of attending the “I dos” of friend Andi of My Beautiful Adventures and her Argentinian husband, Lucas, in Buenos Aires. These world travelers posed for their engagement photos in the city’s famous La Boca barrio. I tried not to get in photographer Kirsten Alana‘s way, but I did snap some B roll footage of the happy couple. Two local kids ran after Andi, giggling, and tons of tourists stopped to watch the shoot. It really did feel like we were with an A-list star!

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I’m an Expat, and I’m the “…” Guy

San Telmo, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWith more and more people traveling and itching to taste life in faraway countries, expat communities all over the world are growing rapidly. And with it, a booming industry of entrepreneurs making their livelihood off finding a niche, something missing that out-of-towners crave. My very first night in Buenos Aires, my friends Cathy and Ayngelina told me about all of the small businesses owned by expats there, people who became known as the “this” guy or the “that” guy. Personally, I thought that the woman who started making tortillas was pretty genius… But on my last day in Argentina, I had the pleasure of meeting the “salsa king,” or at least that’s what certain expats call him. When my travel buddy Kirsten came back from the San Telmo fair with word she’d met the guy who made hot sauce, I of course set out to go meet him. “Him” turned out to be “them,” Mark and Kevin, Ya Ya Bean, two friends from Washington, D.C. who had decided they missed spicy foods. I tried their salsa, and I have to say that I’d be proud to take it home to Albuquerque, where people can be quite snobby about their salsa. The business partners started La Boca Roja after traveling to Patagonia to live and work on an organic farm. Next time you’re strolling through San Telmo on a Sunday, stop by and say hello. (They also deliver locally.) They couldn’t be friendlier!

One Trip, Four Hotels

Buenos Aires, ArgentinaSome people think it’s a pain to move hotels once you get settled into a new city, but I pack really light and like seeing different neighborhoods. On my recent trip to Argentina, I stayed in four Buenos Aires hotels in two weeks. Scoring a discount for being a “lonely” traveler (I have to assume they meant “solo”) was just one of the highlights.

La Recoleta

My first stay ended up being cut short, since we arrived in Argentina a day later than expected. I don’t have much to stay about my first hotel, the Dazzler Libertad, in the La Recoleta neighborhood, but it was great to have a room reserved so I could throw my bags down after such a long trip and pass out. Continue Reading »»

When a Layover Goes Bad

As far as I’m concerned, my trip’s adventure begins the second I arrive at the airport. There’s just something about being in a bustling airport, especially in Las Vegas with its rows of (usually occupied no matter the time of day) slot machines, that makes me feel like anything is possible. And hey, it usually is. But sometimes, you end up spending a bit more time in transit than you’d like. After years and years of tears and calls to Mom and lost luggage and who knows what else, I’ve accepted that when you travel as much as I do, these things happen.

So when my Buenos Aires travel buddy, Kirsten, (this is us in Argentina after a good night’s rest) and I got stuck with a whopping 24 hours in the Atlanta airport, we took it in stride.

Hey, we hadn’t seen each other in a few months, so anything we did would’ve been fun. And what’s not to love about a surprise stay at the local Comfort Inn? Argentina could wait!

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