Argentina Trip report

Old Jan 12th, 2015, 02:57 PM
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Argentina Trip report

Since we had an epic (and wonderful!) trip, it will probably take a few entries for me to share the delights of our recent visit. We left right before Christmas, had (planned) two nights in BA before travel to the Northwest for 6 days, returning to BA for a week's apartment rental with a friend, and finishing with a couple of days in the Pampas.
As you might gather from my parenthetical above, our trip down was eventful--American Airlines had not properly checked the plane before taxing out to the runway, and we were grounded while a light in the galley was fixed--told this was absolutely essential though, amusingly enough, it was fixed quickly once they summoned someone from the local charter airline's maintenance crew (hmmm). As a result we woke up at 4AM and hung around the airport until all was fixed, arriving in Miami just as our plane to BA was taking off. With cajoling, we were able to get AA to put us on a LAN flight so we missed a night in BA. BTW, the LAN flight was far superior to our AA flight home, food for thought next time we book a trip as LAN is more reasonable.
But back to the action, we decided to head into South Beach for the afternoon once we had the alternate plane booked. It had been almost 8 years since our last visit and Sobe is looking good. Lunch at News Cafe, window shopping on Lincoln road and late lunch at our favorite Sagamore hotel greatly improved our spirits, plus I scored a new frock for the NYEve party we were attending in BA.
The folks at the Mine Hotel had arranged pick up at the airport, so our drive in was uneventful. Is it just me or do the rides into a new city alway seem to take very long. No matter how I hold the map I can't every get my bearings on my first foray into a new city. And despite Verizon's earlier assurances prior to leaving, my Verizon phone never had service in Argentina. We were pretty whooped at arrival so opted for a shower (yea!) and a rest at the Mine prior to venturing out for window shopping and a look at Soho, plus provisioning.
One of the most fun things was finding plug adaptors--no matter how much research we do beforehand, we never seem to have the exact right equipment. Argentina has slanted plugs which our European style adaptors did not fit, but we found a small electronics store near to the hotel and were good to charge. A brief lay by the pool before dinner made us mellow after provisioning (and changing money, we got a great tutorial on spotting counterfeits).
I think the theme of the trip was, though, serendipity. Since we had our son with us, and we were attending a very dressy (black tie) NYEve party, we found that he needed a new shirt to wear with his dinner jacket. No luck in Miami, no time before we left home. But wow, we found TWO options within a block of our hotel. It was great fun to watch how attentive the staff were in fitting him. Not to be bested, my husband's dress shoes had needed resoling for several years--that too was handled overnight! in Palermo. Wow! No longer do I need to sweat and worry about preparation if I come to BA, since all is available and easily handled there
After shopping we walked to the Musee Evita Peron, well worth the visit to understand her life and impact on Argentina. We so enjoyed being warm and in a lively district with cafes, shops and parks. The variety of the buildings and 19c-early 20c architecture is attractive (despite the ubiquitous graffiti). Walking that night to our restaurant the crowds were abuzz with pre-Christmas shopping. We had a good meal in a very stylish spot (sorry, need to look at the receipt--I think Casa Cruz). The boys of course wanted beef but I had the salmon empanada. And the wine, wow, what wine there is in Argentina--Malbec that night which we relished.
Our flight mid-day the next day was uneventful, the in-town airport is quite modern and since it is by the water, gives another view of town. Car rental was equally uneventful and easy, and we arrived in Salta at Legado Mitico Christmas Eve midday. This is the definition of a charming and atmospheric boutique hotel. We had booked two rooms, our superior room had a fabulous balcony which gave us a view of Christmas Eve fireworks and a place for drinks and Christmas caroling that night. Upon arrival we did further provisioning at the local large grocery store--another zoo of Christmas shopping and a great source for wine and cocktail fixings for us during our sojourn in that part of Argentina.
Then on the main square of Salta, which is just charming, swarming with the Christmas crowds but mannerly, surrounded by various museums, the Cabildo (now a museum), and the Cathedral, as well as cafes. We checked what was open (the Cathedral) and decamped to a local cafe (Van Gogh, on the corner) for great people watching and lunch for our son.
That night we ate at one of the good restaurants on Balcarce, a set meal that included the local cocktail (tasted like a strawberry daiquiri to me, not sure it was truly local) and many courses, all well prepared.The best part was being with other Saltenos as there were mostly locals there, all dressed and with their families. totally charming way to celebrate Christmas Eve. More later
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 06:10 PM
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Really nice report, Nantravel. Please continue......
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 04:32 AM
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Great reporting, nantravel!

Anxiously waiting for the next chapter...
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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Following along too...
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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Looking forward to more.

I am about to give up on AA aside from award travel: the food on my last flights (to/from LHR) was quite inedible. BTW for that trip I had a new month-by-month non-contract with T-Mobile and recommend it.
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Old Feb 4th, 2015, 07:57 PM
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Enjoyable read, thanks much.
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Old Feb 8th, 2015, 05:57 AM
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Good info and a great read. More please, as soon as possible.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 07:37 PM
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Nantravel: Glad I've found this. It will help me reminisce about our trip a few years ago, to ARgentina, which also included a week in Salta.

Thanks, and waiting for more.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 04:42 PM
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I hope Nantravel will return. I would love to hear about the rest of the trip.
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Old May 30th, 2015, 07:13 AM
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Funny about the airplane lightbulb .. I think there are quiet a few dim bulbs involved with the airlines.

I just wanted to comment on the Evita Cafe mention. I can't tell you how many times we were there, with and without the dog and I do wish I could run over there right now for some cafe y medialunas in that garden.

Are you wanting to go back yet ? do you miss it ? : )
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Old May 31st, 2015, 10:26 AM
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Re: the Evita Café today. Sorry to tell you, Scarlett, despite the lovely lunches we shared in their garden, the food is not the same, today. We went twice this summer 2015, and it was inferior to the last several years. And, to add insult to injury, they no longer serve their Cidra !

I do find this a very good TR....and I, too, would welcome more, nantravel, --- just sayin'
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Old Jun 6th, 2015, 06:05 AM
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Marnie, I can forgive mediocre food but no cidre .. chau !
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Old Jun 11th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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My husband only drank Malbec so he would have still enjoyed it .
Pup liked hanging out at the tables back by the staircase .. we would meet friends there for Brunch on weekends, food being good or bad, the atmosphere was always so lovely.
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