Sunday, November 30, 2008

Igauzu Falls

After our first week in Buenos Aires we spent two nights (and essentially three full days) in Igauzu. Due to its far northern location on the border with Brasil and Paraguay we flew up there. Since we were flying, and the flights weren't cheap, we stayed longer than we should have. For those of you considering going, save money on food & lodging and just go for one night. I promise that you can do everything that you'll want to do in no more than a day and a half. Also, the town is about twice as expensive as everything else in Argentina.

We did love the place we stayed. John, at Secret Garden Igauzu, is an amazing host. The breakfast (toast and homemade jams) was awesome, the coffee was great, and the nightly (required) chats over drinks and apps were lively.

The falls were also beautiful, though crowded and had bad food. Go early in the day, pack a lunch, and do the boat ride under the falls. It's short, but fun. And you do get soaking wet. Wear a swimsuit!

One of my favorite things about the falls was the amazing variety of butterflies. Also, they were very tame and willing to hop on for a photo op...
One thing that we didn't do in the area is to see the falls from the Brasilian side. Americans need a visa to go, and you have to get it in advance. We actually tried to sneak over with a driver we trusted but were denied and our poor driver got questioned at the border! Apparently going renegade style usually works, but not so much for us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Buenos Aires

I was asked if, despite all that went wrong, I'd still recommend Argentina as a honeymoon destination. And the answer is yes. In fact, I'd love to go back. I read somewhere that Buenos Aires isn't like New York or Paris where the reasons to fall in love are obvious and being spoon fed to you. That was true for me. As I became more comfortable with the city, got my bearings and such, I really started to warm up to it.

In the nine days we were there were did some amazing things. And ate a whole lot of amazing food. For the first week we were there we rented a loft that I could not recommend more highly. It was in San Telmo, which we found to be full of things to do and some amazing food--we loved Los Loros and Cafe San Juan in particular.

If you are in town on a Sunday, both the San Telmo Antique Fair and the Feria de Mataderos are worth checking out.

Day trips to Tigre (up the delta) and San Antonio de Areco were also fun, though it should be noted somewhere, before you make the two hour bus trip, that nothing in San Antonio is open on Tuesdays (not in the guidebooks or on their tourist website). It was still pretty to walk around though. And Tigre was one of our favorite parts of the whole trip.

The last two days we spent in BA at Home Hotel in Palermo. It was great. Great food, great dj on Friday nights, great garden/pool area (they were showing Totero on the wall behind the pool when the dj was playing!). We loved it and would highly recommend it as a place to stay or brunch.

Lots more pictures on flickr, for those of you interested.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy to be home

We arrived back in the states last night, and while there is some part of me that still wants to be on vacation mode, I am actually really happy to be back.

Let's just get all the crazy things that happened on our honeymoon out of the way first, so I can tell you all the cool things we did and how much I love my husband...

-The first night we were there, we decided to go out, but it turned out that the club we were trying to go to had changed nights. We were walking to get another cab and were robbed at GUNPOINT by three 12 or 13 year olds. They took my camera, some money, and P's cards (which was an issue because my cards have no money on them and are basically useless).
-The robbery led to me being slightly panicked when we were out at nighttime and so we didn't end up going to any clubs or out dancing, which I'm actually okay with, but was a huge reason we went to Argentina in the first place!
-Unlike everything else in Argentina, cameras cost about three times as much as they cost in the states ( exaggeration). Buying a new one was important to us, but ate up a lot of the money we planned on using for other things, especially since we were down to my money at that point.
-We kept trying to go to things only to find out we'd gone on a not so ideal day (like the time we took a bus two hours to a town we really wanted to visit only to find out that the town is basically shut down on Tuesdays). Guidebooks should really mention that sort of thing.
-I was hit by a relatively fast moving car while standing at a corner. It wasn't bad--they hit my arm and dinged my leg--and I walked away with bruises but not anything worse, but it was scary.
-We were in Iguazu way way longer than we needed to be and couldn't get an earlier flight back. We tried to sneak into Brazil or Paraguay to give us something new to do, but were rejected.
-P got sick right as we were leaving. He didn't feel good when we got on the flight from Argentina to Houston, but as soon as the plane was in the air he tried to go to the bathroom and throw up. They wouldn't let him, so he came back to the seat and as I was trying to find him a barf bag, he threw up all over me and my stuff and his pants and everywhere! Seriously it was splattered across the window and in the seatback pockets and all over the place. And then we on the plane for 10 hours with it like that and my bag still smells a bit barfy. Fun!

There were other little things, but that about sums up the craziness that happened on our honeymoon.

Oh! Except that it could have been worse. A few days after we left the loft in San Telmo, the apartment next door burned to a crisp! The girl living in it had covered the entire inside of her apartment with paper (which explains the constant taping noises we heard through the walls) for an instillation art project and she stupidly decided to use her paper covered stove. So the people currently staying in the apartment are having to sleep on the floor of the apartment owners (which isn’t really so bad as they are great people). But happy it didn’t happen to us!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Go vote while I'm on a plane!

We leave for Argentina tomorrow (don't worry--we absentee voted a few weeks ago--Go Obama!). I am crazy scared of flying, and this is not a short flight (4 hours to Houston and then 10.5 to Buenos Aires). But, I've got drugs and my very supportive husband, so hopefully everything will go swimmingly.

I'm very, very excited to spend a few weeks exploring. We are going a few different places...9 nights total in Buenos Aires (staying here and here), 2 days in Igauzu (staying here), and 4 nights in Mendoza (here, plus two nights on the overnight bus which is fancy and totally unlike American buses).

The people who own the loft we are staying at our first week in Buenos Aires have been extremely helpful in suggesting things to do and are going to meet us on Wednesday to give us a tour of the neighborhood with a personalized list of stuff they think we might like to do.

I'm taking my camera and an extra memory card so I'll post tons of pictures when I get back (and I'll resume my wedding recap).

Have a lovely few weeks!