So this is Christmas

Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires Argentina by Natalie Parker
I’m not one to visit cemeteries on trips even if they are tourist attractions and famous people are buried there.  But a friend of ours who was traveling with us to Argentina and Antarctica was very into it, so Mr. P and I went along to El Cementerio de la Recoleta. We were about done with our visit.  On our way out, we passed this huge poinsettia bush.  I never realized before that I’d never seen a pointsettia growing in the wild (or just not in a pot in a Walgreens or on an ESPN set during Christmas).  I stopped to take many photos. It was our first time traveling during the Christmas season.  I’d grown up with a Dad who had to work on Christmas Eve and open a store early on the day after Christmas, so any traveling in December, much less in the southern hemisphere, was odd. It was such an oppressively hot day but it finally felt a tiny bit like Christmastime. Merry Christmas everyone!

Buenos Aires Snapshots

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

We traveled to Argentina on the way to Antarctica.  One year later, I’m sharing my snapshots with you.

One has to be in the right state of mind to truly appreciate a city.

I just decided that.  Or that’s how I’m going to diagnose why sometimes a city doesn’t tug at my heartstrings when everyone else says it’s ahhhhmazing.  I hope no one minds me saying that or admitting that — not all travel posts have to be gushing.

Buenos Aires is a cool city but it didn’t quite hit the mark with me.  Maybe it was the heat — they had a record number of scorching days when we were there.  Maybe it was people trying to take advantage of me as a tourist.  Despite that, I still enjoyed my time there and would like to visit again someday.

This was our first time in South America.  We spent two days in Buenos Aires on our way to Antarctica.  In addition to really wanting to see the city, it’s always a good idea to add extra time before an Antarctic cruise in case your luggage gets lost (but that’s another post).

First things first: ice cream.  There are tons of heladerías everywhere and I can get behind a culture that loves ice cream.  The heat while we were there was almost unbearable.  Plus Mr. P loves dulce-de-leche-anything.  This meant at least two ice cream trips a day.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

Buenos Aires is described as the Paris of South America.  There were some hints of Parisian architecture to be sure.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

But it definitely still felt South American.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

We thought this was a duck but it’s a penguin!  It’s a pitcher that our table wine was served in.  They were very popular in Argentina in decades past.  I wish I’d picked one up while we were there!

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

Speaking of wine, we had lots of excellent Argentine wine.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

Evita was everywhere.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

My friend convinced us to go to the Recoleta cemetery to visit her.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

You know I love me some public transit.  We didn’t ride the subway on this trip because cabs were cheap and it was too hot to be underground.  I did snap this photo though.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

La Casa Rosada — the Pink House, aka the President’s mansion like the White House in the US.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

Argentine chorizo at a choripan stand.  They split it down the middle and put it on a bun and it is ahhhhhmazing.  The locals were amused that we knew what choripan was and where to find it.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

An old theater that was turned into a bookstore.  This is something I saw on Pinterest and when I found out it was in Buenos Aires and we were going to Buenos Aires, I made sure we stopped by.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

At night, having a drink before heading to dinner.  The locals eat very late so when in Rome . . .

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

After two days, we headed south.  Stay tuned for some snapshots from Ushuaia.

Previously: Argentina in Yellow.  See all of my travel related posts here.

Buenos Aires 2013 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

Argentina in Yellow

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

We left for Argentina almost a year ago.  It was really a stepping stone to a bigger adventure.  When we got home, we were still reeling from the experience of being in Antarctica.  I shared Antarctica pictures with you but my time in Argentina was quickly pushed aside as I started the new year, new classes, and looked ahead.

I was coding my travel archives a couple weeks ago and realized I hadn’t said anything about Argentina.  I’m thinking about it now and how beautiful the weather must be.  I’m starting to forget what it felt like to be in the oppressive heat with rolling blackouts.

When we visited China, I experimented for the first time actively capturing one color: red.  If you don’t naturally take photos of random objects and default toward the “big shots,” this is good practice to break out of that mold.

In Argentina, I picked yellow.  Here is what I found:

This is one of the first pictures I took, when we arrived in La Recoleta in Buenos Aires.  I think I picked yellow at that moment or soon before.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Most taxis are black and yellow.  Traffic is a mix between first and third world, meaning they mostly obey traffic laws but it can get hairy.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

A bench outside an ice cream stand in Palermo as we went for what must have been the fifth serving of dulce de leche ice cream.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

I was trying to get the Starbucks sign with the traffic signs here.  Everything is a mixture of new and old.  Sometimes the differences can be quite stark.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Picking up some maps of the city before stopping for an ice cream.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Remembering an amused taxi driver taking us to La Costanera so we could find choripan (more on that in a later post).  We wanted real street food and we found it.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

I stopped everyone for this shot as we were rushing back to the hotel (after an ice cream pit stop) so we could catch a flight south.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, “El Fin del Mundo” or end of the world as they call it.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Right at the foot of the Andes, it looks a bit like a ski town.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Getting a remis to our hotel.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Beautiful flowers outside the hotel lobby.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

And finally, standing on the shore of the Beagle Channel.  We’d sail through it the next day on our way to the seventh continent.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Stay tuned for more Argentina photos leading up to Christmas.  I’m planning a roundup for each of the two cities we visited.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Paper from Argentina

Argentina Paper by Natalie ParkerWhen I finally got home from Antarctica (after spending some time in Argentina), I really wondered whether getting this paper was worth it.

Was it worth carrying the roll out of the shop in over 100-degree heat and 80% humidity?

On the last day of our trip so I had to carry it around until our 11:15pm flight?

When I left it on the check-in desk at the airport and had to run back and get it?

When I had to carry it when I ran through customs, through security again, up an escalator without my shoes, and onto the plane that they thankfully held for us?

Hanging onto it while we were dealing with a lost suitcase when we got back to SFO?

I finally unrolled the paper last weekend and thought, man, was it worth all that?

Yes.

Most definitely, yes!  I had forgotten how awesome this stuff was when I bought it!  This came from a shop called Papelera Palermo in Buenos Aires.  So many cute paper products!  They even make some of the big sheets on site!*

I got this great speckled blue and this fantastic roll of gold.  I’ve been looking for just plain gold for a while.  I either can’t find it or it’s too expensive.  Now I have an entire roll of great, warm gold!  And it was less than $10!

I had my Spanish-fluent friend repeatedly confirm that this stuff was acid free and that was that!

Now I want to put gold in everything.  I have quite a few layouts that I need to post here before you’ll start seeing it show up.  I can’t wait to use it!

*Mr. P stood for a while watching the guy make the paper in the back of the store.  Really it was because that’s where the air conditioner was.  He and our friend only promised to let me have all the time I wanted in the paper store as long as it was air conditioned.