Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our last 24 hours in Argentina

Did I forget to mention that we spent Valentine's Day in Uruguay?  We usually don't go above and beyond when it comes to the holiday--by the time we've celebrated Christmas, Joe's b-day, and our anniversary, it's a bit much.  But I have to admit, I didn't mind taking it to the next level this year :)  It was a lot of fun.  Argentina is known for their meat.  So when we got off the ferry from Colonia, we grabbed a taxi and had it take us to a fantastic restaurant to finish our Dia de Amor. 
 Cabana Las Lilas was in Puerto Madero and it was incredible.  Mariah was dying that we were going out to dinner at 10:30 at night and restaurants were hopping with people.  Something we have gotten used to seeing after being down here for a while.

 Loved the cow they put in my meat to let me know how cooked it was :)  And the rumors were true.  You could cut it with a spoon!
 I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow that night.  "Do you always travel like this?!"  Meaning, do we pack as much in as we possibly can...I laughed and realized that we do fit quite a bit in down here.  I don't feel like we can be too lazy on our trips down here-- there are way too many new things to see and experience!!! Yes, I might be a little overkill, but we know when to sit on the beach and relax.  I'm not that bad!!!
 The next morning we found a little cafe for breakfast.  Once again, the people watching was fascinating.
 Like this guy, sitting next to us, with the shirt unbutton to the belly.  Why even wear it? Classic.

 When we were finished with breakfast, we slowly made our way to the famous Recoleta cemetery.

 One tree.  Insanely enormous.

 Once again, I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to this cemetery.  I had only been told that seeing it was a MUST.  When we walked through the gates, I was astonished.  It was like a city within a city-- full of mausoleums, vaults, monuments, chapels, palaces... to house and honor the bodies of some of the most influential families in Argentina.
The bigger and more expensive, the better.  The alleys felt like a labyrinth that we could easily get lost in.  We hired a guide to take us around and it was a wonderful idea.  She was able to tell us the secrets and the stories and the mysteries of the cemetery.  Very worth it.
 Each one so different from the next...

 This was the very first coffin in the cemetery.  Wow, how things sure changed as time went on!

 Some actually had little chapels inside of them to hold mass.  Look at how tall!!!  Joe and Chris had to crane their necks to try to see to the top of this one!

 And when you looked in the windows or through the gates, you could actually see stairs the descended underground--and floor after floor after floor of coffins that were housed in these structures.

 "Don't Cry for Me Argentina!"  We couldn't stop singing it.  Here lies Eva Peron.

 Some of these things were simply huge!  It was unbelievable!  It kind of reminded me of the Egyptians and the grandiose pyramids to house the Pharoahs bodies...they went to such great lengths for the bodies!!!  I'm simple I guess.  I'm glad we don't feel the need to go to such extremes to house our bodies after we die!!  Our bodies are nothing without our spirits.  I'd rather work on making sure my Spirit is in the right place instead of worrying about working on a grand masterpiece to house my coffin.

 We witnessed a cute, little old couple entering the cemetery to visit their loved ones.  We heard them put their big key in, turn the lock and go inside.  I guess it was surprising and a good reminder to me that this is still first and foremost, a cemetery!  And even though thousands of visitors pass through to see it, families still come to pay their respect.
 Some of the alleys weren't very wide :)  Thanks for the demo, Mariah :)  

After we visited Recoleta, we headed back to the hotel to gather our things so we could go to the airport.  What a trip!  The taxi came to pick us up, and we happily got in and were talking away.  There was a ton of traffic, and we worried (only slightly) that we might not get to the airport in time.  It did seem like it was taking a lot longer to get there than when we initially arrived a few days earlier.  Thankfully we had allowed for plenty of time.  We finally got to the airport and thanked our driver and ran in to check in.  We showed the lady our tickets and I heard her say in Spanish, "We don't have that flight time here.  That is at the other aiport."  THE OTHER AIRPORT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We didn't know there was another one.  And why did the taxi driver not ask us which one we needed to go to?!  When we probed a little deeper, we found that the other airport was 40 minutes away.  We were going to miss our flight.  I started to panic and immediately felt the need to pee.  As we listened to the lady explain that our tickets were the non-refundable, cheap kind, we started to worry that we were going to have to pay a fortune to get flights changed on the spot.  We stood there forever and I kept whispering to Joe if she had told him anything.  He would just quietly tell me, "Not yet."  They finally sent us over to talk to the manager, and before we knew it, they were taking our tickets and checking in our luggage and we hadn't been charged one peso!  They were changing our flight to one that was at the airport we were standing in...just a couple hours later.  PHEW!  And there was our hiccup on this trip.  As we told the Robins, there always has to be at least one.  We got in at 2:30am and were so happy to crawl into our beds that night.

When Monday came, we hit a few of the markets to get some special things for them to bring home.  I happened to mention that she would NEVER see me in a certain type of hat.  I just didn't like them.  "You mean a fedora?"  I had no clue what they were even called.  I should have never opened my mouth.  After plenty of little chistes whenever we saw one, suddenly there she was, buying us matching fedoras.  What can I say?  This may have been the only time it will have rested on my head, but it was worth it for the picture and the 16 years of friendship that we've shared :)
Absolutely loved our time together.  THANK YOU Mariah and Chris for coming down and spending such QT with us.  Chalking up a few more wonderful memories with you two was so worth it :)

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