Hola, Argentina!

LOCATION:  Buenos Aires, Argentina
WEATHER:  Hot.  High 93

We arrived, sleepily, in Buenos Aires about 8:30 this morning.  Here is a selfie of us in the (almost full) airplane when we arrived.

The immigration line was long, but moved along pretty well.

The airport is about 25 miles out of town, so I had arranged a shuttle service for us.  I had read that there is no public transportation system to town.  Sure enough, in the Arrivals Hall, someone was standing with a sign “Karmen Reid”.  I don’t think this has ever happened to me.  I felt so “special” somehow.  We waited with two other couples for a 3rd.  George had to go to the bathroom.  OK.  The 3rd couple arrived, and the shuttle lady said, “Let’s go1”.  I said George was in the bathroom.  OK.  10 minutes later, the shuttle lady said, “We really have to go.  Who are we missing?”   I said George was in the bathroom.  Another 10 minutes….the lady said…”We cannot wait any longer.  The shuttle driver is blocking traffic”.  I said that George was still in the bathroom.  By this time, I was getting a little worried.  One of the guys offered to go into the men’s restroom to see if he had drowned.  He found George, and so off we went.  Whew!

Our little boutique hotel is located off the main thoroughfare that goes through the center, highlighted with one tall skyscraper with an etching of Eva Peron on it. 

The street in front of our hotel is torn up, so the shuttle driver couldn’t get us all the way here.  He parked and he guided us here. 

Even though it was only noon, the hotel let us check in early.  There is just a 3-hour time zone difference, so we really didn’t have jet lag, just a blah feelingn from trying to sleep on the plane.  We rested a bit then hit the sidewalks to stroll around. 

We needed some Argentinean pesos so went in search of an ATM.  The first one did not have any money in it.  Nor did the 2nd.  The 3rd, 4th, or 5th.  We had experienced this once before in South America.  Apparently the ATMs run out of money on the weekends, and it takes the banks a day or two to reload them.  When this happened to us before, we thought that our cards weren’t working.  This time, we knew the issue.  So, we found a little cafe that accepts Visa!  I had an empanada (beef) and an IPA – prounounced eeepa.  Cute!

We gave up on the cash, and returned to the hotel.

DINNER:  Argentina is famous for its grilled meats.  There is a really authentic-looking grill-type restaurant near our hotel that we scouted out.  Argentineans eat VERY late.  Some don’t get dinner until midnight or 1:00 AM!  Most families eat around 10:00 or 10:30.  Restaurants open around 8:00.  We managed to wait until 8:30.

The restaurant is very cozy, with almost all locals.  The waiters (all older gentlemen) greeted and hugged customers as they arrived.  The menu was pages long.  George had their beef specialty of the day – a big hunk of steak (sorry, Alexis) grilled just right.  I had a grilled chicken thigh, probably the best, moistest chicken I have ever eaten.  We split a platter of lettuce salad and a huge pile of French fries.  Of course, this was all paired with a vino tinto from Argentina.  Cheers!

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