Saturday, July 5, 2008

Amigos Argentinos

Planning on spending my day wandering through the city, I set out with my mapa and guidebook and started heading down Avenida de Mayo only to be approached by an Argentinian man. He offered to show me around the city, in a non-creepy and incredibly helpful way, so after much consideration I decided to take him up on the offer. I mean, honestly, if he was really sketchy I could decide to leave at any moment. Also, his not knowing any English was a plus, it gave me a chance to practicar mi español!

We first headed to Retiro, my original destination. This small park with a monument of San Martín (el liberador de Argentina) should not be confused with the pure beauty of Madrid´s Retiro. We then wandered down to Puerto Madero, which is the newest part of BsAs. Sebastian (my new Argentinian friend) loved this area, although many residents of BsAs don´t even consider it part of the city, considering it´s lacking any history and is full of high rise apartment buildings. After this, we proceeded to visit his friends in one of the new apartment buildings - a girl he knew from his barrio north of BsAs and her Italian boyfriend. After grabbing a cafe at their house, we hopped in the taxi and took off to San Telmo. San Telmo is considered one of the oldest parts of the city and still has cobble stone streets, however it is not nearly as pretty as it sounds. There was trash and dog poop everywhere, transvestes in bars, and grafitti along almost every wall. Again, we stopped for coffee at El Federal, one of the oldest cafes in BsAs. Grabbing coffee seems to be the thing to do here, as we grabbed coffee three times over the course of the day. We again grabbed a cab to Recoletta, where they have the most amazing cemetary I have ever seen! Nothing is underground, thus coffins are placed in family "houses" in the cemetary. I finally decided to head back to the hostel, a full day of speaking Spanish exhausted me and I wanted to think about whether or not I should join them clubbing that night alone. They were very nice people, I just didn´t want to give them the wrong idea by spending all day and all night with them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bienvenidos a Argentina!

Well I finally arrived to Buenos Aires after a 25 hour day of traveling. I sat next to a lovely girl on the plane who is visiting her grandparents here and gave me her phone number. I wouldn´t exactly say we have similar lifestyles, but nonetheless it was nice to meet something in case I ran into trouble. I took a chartered bus from the airport to a main terminal in the city, then a private car drove me to my hostel. The man who drove the car chatted with me and let me use my shaky Spanish, then proceeded to ask me to get a drink with him but I was too oblivious to understand what he was saying. Not realizing it, I told him I´d call him when I needed a ride back to the airport.

After a little mix-up at the bank, I moved into my room at my hostel. The hostel is wonderful with plenty of people also traveling by themselves and an incredibly helpful staff. It is one of the largest one´s I´ve stayed at, but many people disagree explaining that it´s rather small. I crashed the second I got on my bed, despite las manifastaciones going on outside between the "Pink House" (like our White House) and the congress building. Upon waking I strolled around the hostel by myself and enjoyed the rainy weather. I went out to dinner with a group of lovely people also traveling by themsleves- one from New Zealand, one from England, and the other from Australia. We chatted it up with the taxi driver, had amazing steak and wine and now are back at the hostel enjoying the patio and good company.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Forgot My Llama

This past weekend, Chelsea, Heather, Kate, and I went hiking at Denny Creek. The trail head said only people and llamas were allowed- I can honestly say I've never heard of taking a llama hiking, but hey! you never know!After running into two hikers who said there was too much snow to get to the natural rock slide (our original reason for going), we decided to take a different route to Jefferson Falls. It felt like a mini-hike and we all wanted to do more so we decided to try the trail along Denny Creek.Luckily we were able to find our way through the snow by following foot prints and mud marks and finally made our way to the natural water slide. The water was FREEZING and just putting our toes in was unbearable, however Heather and I decided that we may as well do it- I mean it would honestly have been a waste to get all the way there and not do it. We both just bombed it and were all shook up once we got to the bottom, however it was fun nonetheless!

I'm back home now, getting ready to head out tomorrow for Argentina! I'll keep you posted while I'm down there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Unfortunate Excitement of the Afternoon

Chelly and I had a wonderful day. We took Kellers to a BEACH in Seattle! I know you're probably thinking, Wait, Seattle has beaches?! But I tell you, it's true! Granted they're not nearly as beautiful as California beaches in your typical long-stretches-of-sand-and-waves type of way, but if you consider being surrounded by trees behind you and looking across the water to a beautiful mountain range gorgeous, then Seattle's beaches are just that!

I got home and was doing little things around the house when I heard a horrible noise outside, sounding like at least two cars got into an accident. After scrambling for my cell phone and running outside, I found this. If you notice my dark gray Volvo in the top picture and wonder why my car was lucky enough NOT to get hit like I did, I will tell you what the dear old lady from up the street told me, "Darling, you have really good karma!" I watched as about four fire trucks, three ambulance, two police cars, and four fire department SUVs rushed to the scene. They had to literally saw the top of the white car off and use eighteen firemen to get the two victims out from being stuck inside. I felt like another person adding to the chaos after about 20 minutes of watching, so strolled up to the Queen Anne Library to return my overdue cook books. Tonight I'm heading out with all the girls despite my horrible sickness involving the stomach flu and a head cold, which I graciously blame Best Friend for.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blogging for Burgesses

After Miss Alyssa showed me her lovely blog and Kelly convinced me she didn't know enough about my new life in Seattle, I decided to make one of my own. I'm sure many adjustments will be made, I'll slack off writing as I become busier, and I won't share all the juicy gossip on here, but nonetheless it will appease the loves of my life :)