Greeting & Buenos Dias to Everyone!
So sorry this is late; Only 4 days after Buenos Aires I scheduled another 3 week trip to a remote location with spotty electricity/internet and I accidentally LOST a large portion of my Trip Report, operator error. (SAVE often!) So, while I re-do the second ½, here is Part One before I lose it. This is actually my 1st Trip Report. I always enjoy reading others and thought I'd make an attempt; and I especially want to thank everyone on the Forum here for ALL of your very generous support and advice and even the pleasure of Your Company! Starting off, that would be the Extra "Good" on this trip to Buenos Aires, and the "Good" are SO many, The "Bad" was our occasional Luck at restaurants, and the "Ugly" describes my injured back about 1/2 thru & my husband's bit of Traveler's Sickness.
We started this trip with Rewards/Miles seats, and were fortunate to have purchased upgrades at the gate to Biz and thoroughly enjoyed United's new flat beds on the flight. Say Yes!! Flat Beds are a VERY good Thing! As we slept like babes, we were actually flying over the Equator, during a Full Moon, while experiencing a complete Lunar Eclipse! I was so comfortable I didn’t notice how active the tiny hairs on the back of my neck were, hmmm..... I'm not devoted to Astrology but maybe I should have checked our Horoscope.
No doubt about it, the #1 Good Thing would have to be, after all the Chaos surrounding apartment selection, soon growing very comfortable with www.apartmentsba.com and they became my "Easy" button for everything, EZE airport pick-up/returns, etc. We absolutely had a smooth-as-silk experience, check-in-check-outs, financial arrangements, deposits returned, e-mail's answered promptly; hat's off to Mike Koh, who appreciates his company's good reputation for customer service and that seems to be an active company policy. It clearly showed.
Tied easily for #1 would have to be the apartment itself- unit AX7. It is stunning, even more comfortable than the photos communicate. It's very stylish & beautiful, decorated with unique art about Buenos Aires. We joked about buying a Mask at the flea market to cover the face of a very tired Tango dancer in the dining room, she never seemed to cheer-up! LOL! The 3 contemporary baths were all marble and the kitchen was a stone and chrome dream, (with a dishwasher! MY requirement on holiday); all very new while still maintaining the older architectural elements of the building. The true king sized-bed was very firm, but comfy and we used the second bedroom as our "closet" to spread out. Both bedrooms are in the back of the apartment, with 2 more flatscreens w/cable in English, and being on the 9th floor with sound-proofed windows we enjoyed the elegant, downtown Recoleta location with plenty of peace & quiet. We were very pleased with our digs for the 10 days!
On Wednesday, our arrival/first day, we really struggled with jet lag. Even though we were fully H2O hydrated and only 1 hour different in time zones, the 11+1/2 hr. non-stop flight had a hammer effect on us, maybe it’s the l-o-n-g time under air pressure, both our ears and heads ached. We napped, continued drinking H20. Later, we found our way to the Disco grocery store, where we had the most fun trying to communicate with the staff. I finally scored big saying "NO MOO" when searching for soy/rice milk with laughs all around and exactly what I was looking for. Fortunately, I didn’t have to resort to Pantomime level! Everyone has a very generous spirit! We made sandwiches and napped again. We ended up going around the corner to Rodi Bar for a nice, warm roast chicken and beef dinners on a chilly night, first of many meals there. Afterward, our plan was to see Kevin Johannson perform, but I'm SO sorry to say we were still Zombied-out and called it a day. Huge mistake! We regret not dragging ourselves in any condition now. Oh Well...Se La Vie... How do I say that in Spanish??
The next morning (Thursday) we went to the 11 AM Recoleta Cemetery tour in English. The lady was VERY informative, entertaining, and colorfully talkative but painfully s-l-o-w paced; after 2+1/2 hrs we had been to 4 crypts close together and Evita was still miles away, our feet and backs ached so we had to tip-toe away mid-tour for lunch, vowing to return another time. We also needed to go back for pics because I left the apt w/out checking the small camera battery, so we ended up on tour w/no photos.
Back to Rodi Bar, our new local fast-food joint, for some warming minestrone soup and salad. After lunch we taxied over to Av. Murillo where my husband found the exact leather jacket he was looking for at a great price, I found a delicate reversible jacket and arranged to have the sleeves shortened for pick-up the next day and a tiny blue purse that cleverly folded and snapped. I really do not enjoy "Shopping" per se, but I do enjoy buying things I'm thrilled with without having to put a lot of time & effort into it; I'd prefer to "snap" my fingers and it all be done, so my shopping on holiday usually turns out to be more opportunistic than deliberate. So, within an hour we were back into another taxi feeling pretty good about our leather goods as we drove thru afternoon traffic along Av Santa Fe for miles of Zapatos, Zapatos, re-assuring myself I have a whole week to visit the shoe & boots shops, plenty of time...
Later that evening we made last minute reservations at nearby Republica Brasas Resto, Vicente Lopez 1661, tucked in a courtyard with several other familiar-named restaurants. This was the first in our string of disappointing meals. Great decor, excellent service, an amazing glass of dessert-sweet chardonnay, but did not compliment the chicken, which tasted obviously refrigerated, re-heated & overcooked. My husband's salmon was raw & cold in the center, and he did NOT order sushi; see his Restaurant Review for more details.
Friday morning was the start of my exciting Birthday in Buenos Aires! We pampered ourselves with a salon visit where he had a haircut & dry, and I had my hair washed & dried, manicure, & eyebrows, all for $US 45.00, including 20% tips! After another nap (see the pattern here?) we taxied over to La Cabrera for our early 8:30 Birthday reservation. I have had the pleasure before, so the disappointment at an overcooked, not tender, dryer, and sadly smaller than previously served and compared to other Lomos I saw go by. I was way too hungry to wait another 30 mins for another piece of meat but it was hard to hold back the tears and I'm not trying to be dramatic, I was looking forward to a repeat experience for 18 months! My husband said it was fine, but he's never had the Great Argentine Beef before so there was no true comparison for him. Additionally, the restaurant totally ignored my husband's e-mail request to acknowledge my Birthday and was very embarrassed and apologetic when the staff came out to sing for another Birthday party. As we were leaving, a very young man in a "La Cabrera" jacket asked if everything was Good and all I could do was shrug and say "only OK". Another disappointment. And this was a Big one!
The mosh-pit advert for that evening's venue at Club Niceto at Niceto Vega 5510, frighteded us off so we headed for the Thelonious Jazz Club at 884 Jerónimo Salguero, and enjoyed Sylvia Aramayo & band enough to pick up a CD on the way out. The Birthday Party was saved! The Thelonious Club rates a "Good Thing". We usually drink vodka & cranberry juice, nobody had cranberry juice if there was any (decent) vodka, so, next choice is vodka & tonic. Unfortunately, my husband cannot enjoy wine (gurd) so I can only wine by the glass. We easily found Ocean Spray at the Disco and we never came across Argentine Vodka.
On Saturday there was no point to walking over to the Recoleta flea market early, they were just setting up as we strolled thru and after wandering around took a taxi over to the Caballito area to Plaza Del Carmen - Cafe/Restaurant, Av. Rivadavia 4502, for a very fun & festive Trip Advisor Get Together with a fine group including PuntaLugano & Charming Wife, SilviaArg & also Charming Husband. We had fun learning about the Barios of the Beautiful City and how much we all have in common with each other! We toasted each other, my Birthday, Karmalaw's Birthday, and everyone else who couldn't make it! This was, by far, the Highlight of the trip for me: I just love a Party and meeting new people. I hope the Get Together's continue, it was a fun & great experience, and an opportunity to share info about the city with like-minded individuals. The Trip Advisor Get Together rated the "Extra-Good" category! Thanks everyone!
We taxied back to the apartment since it was well past nap-thirty for us, and decided to try Fervor for grilled fish for dinner. This was another dining disappointment (see the review) and by now I think I'm seeing a pattern. The 8 PM early diners get last night's or lunch time left over’s. My grilled vegetables are always mush, to be eaten with a spoon and my entre is always also overcooked/reheated. My fish was totally dry and my husband's was much better, nice & juicy- and we ordered the same, identical things! So, it must be ME under the Dark Dining Cloud. I'm in The Culinary Twilight Zone. How can I escape this nightmare curse?? ARGHHHHH !!
So, in an effort to shake that off, we taxied over to The Confeteria Ideal on Suipacha 384 and settled into a nice table along the wall to watch the beauty and poetry in motion, so Romantic & Sensual. I could tell by the surprised look on my Husband’s face he already notices this Tango is nothing like we see “parodied” on American TV. We plan to return for a lesson in the following week, and in the taxi heading back to the apt we decided to do Tango lesson 2 times instead of 1 to make the most of the Magic, plus I brought 2 pairs of Tango shoes! We had a big week in front of us, and the Best was yet to come!
End of part one.