I went to South America! That thought in itself makes me feel so happy!!! After our engagement Nick and I went on a series of adventures it seemed like! We woke up on Christmas morning, let Ari open her presents and then went to three different family member’s homes to celebrate Christmas and of course share our news! Around 2 pm we took off on a flight to Florida. The next day Ari went with her grandparents while Nick and I drove to Miami. From Miami we flew to Peru and I must say Peru is beautiful!! On one side I saw mountains and with the turn of my head I saw ocean on the other. At the airport in Peru, there were men playing traditional Peruvian music and it made me smile because they seemed so happy to be with one another and so in love with their music.
Soon enough it was time to board the flight to Argentina. We landed in Buenos Aires and then took a cab to a smaller airport, from there we went to Mendoza, Argentina’s wine country. Mendoza is beautiful and the food was fantastic. Nick was excited about all of the wine and of course the meat. I was really interested in the Argentine culture because I have met a few people from Argentina who actually turned out to be Italian! I wanted to see how the Spanish and Italian culture blended in this far South American country. Here’s what I noticed about their food (besides the infamous quality of their wine and meats).
Their pizza has a ridiculous amount of cheese on it. An American would definitely appreciate their generosity with cheese. Yes they have pastas and many kinds with lots of different sauces. They love pumpkins in this country! I love pumpkins too so I was more than content. If you’re going to get a side dish that isn’t french fries with chimichurri, it’s probably going to be a small roasted pumpkin (or other squash) or a pumpkin souffle. They like to cook their fruits there! Oh my gosh… so yummy! Roasted and/or poached pears, lightly grilled pineapples! Ah, I want them everyday!!! Nick fell in love with empanadas and had to have them with every meal. If you go to Mendoza you must go to the restaurant 1884. Visually and aesthetically ‘on point’ as the kids would say these days.
The food? Amazing, and the portions are huge! We could not finish our food and I barely had room to eat any of the delicious gnocchi that we ordered.
In Mendoza we mostly just ate. We did walk around the city a bit but my favorite part was driving to the vineyards to see the mountains.
The night we went, there was a lightning storm. Imagine a beautiful sunset behind vineyards nestled in mountains with lightning flashing. It was one of those nights I just wanted to hold on to in my memory forever. It gave me that feeling of being infinite but ephemeral at the same time. God made such a beautiful world. I will leave it at that because it’s hard to explain the visceral magnitude of it when I see such natural beauty.
The next morning guess what? We were on another plane back to Buenos Aires. When we first landed I remembered why I did not like living in the city. It was very busy, loud and I felt claustrophobic especially with so many people asking to exchange money (which is illegal in Argentina). We quickly left that side of town and went to quieter and calmer streets. Over the next couple of days we saw some beautiful architecture, that looked heavily influenced by Europe. My favorite building was the French embassy! We strolled around an area called Palermo that had a bunch of boutiques and cobblestone streets (my kind of neighborhood). We also walked along the outside of the botanical gardens and the zoo. I wanted to go in but we ran out of time! I did see these little guys running around! I had to take a second look because I remember thinking, “did I just see a little dog or a rabbit?!?” It’s amazing all of the animals in this world that we don’t even know exist! It’s a Patagonian Mara.
We also saw a tango show. I love the tango there are so many emotions in the dance, it’s feisty, passionate, romantic and sexy. Nick has the tango show photos on his phone-sorry! We also went to a large park that had a cemetery in it. This was no ordinary cemetery. It was filled with beautiful above ground tombs from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. I’ve never seen anything like it and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to play hide and seek in there on a Halloween night! We also spent New Years in Buenos Aires at Puerto Madero. It’s their water front. They have a lot of restaurants there and that night they had a firework show. People lit fireworks wherever they pleased that night and I was terrified one was going to hit us! Luckily we were fine and with all of the walking we did in Buenos Aires in their hot summer heat I’m pretty sure we burned off all of our calories from Mendoza. I was happy to come home to our family but it was also wonderful to just spend alone time with my now fiance.