Thursday, February 22, 2024


 We had a wonderful final stop in Atlanta, did the obligatory Southren eating at Waffle House 

and The Varsity - What'll ya have?  They opened in 1928.  Ring any bells?

We spent Presidents Day with the local fella.   It's an impressive museum with lots to see.

With a recreation of the Oval Office as it was during his term

Including a replica of the Resolute Desk which was a gift from Queen Victoria to Rutherford Birchard (did any of us ever know what the B stood for?)  Hayes in 1880.  Built with oak timbers from the HMS Resolute, a British Artic exploration ship, it has been used by most presidents since then.  
You could look up the details if you really care.

Tuesday we survived Atlanta traffic and boarded the last flight.  Five and a half hours is a long time to sit still with only crackers and cookiess for distraction.  Our car was in Gig Harbor and we returned to a dead battery and a visit from AAA. 

 Is that a fitting end to a trip that began with two cancelled 737 flights?

After five weeks and three days, seven airplanes, six hotels, one cruise ship, and several cabs, ubers, buses and vans, it's so good to be home.  The laundry is finished, the mail stack was workable, and the hot tub will be warm enough to luxuriate in tonight.  Home is good!  

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

I like to be in America!


It was a wonderful and oh so interesting trip, lots of adventures and memories, but America is still the very best!  We left the hotel in Bariloche Tuesday morning at 8:30 (thank you, Willie, for sharing your Uber skills), flew to Buenos Aires, had a very long layover because the American ticket counter didn't open until around 4:00 (most of the flights on every international airline seem to leave between 7pm and 3 am) and we couldn't even try to get into the American lounge until we had checked in.  You already know what they told us about the one-day pass.  Nope, sorry, go sit on a hard chair in the boarding area for a few more hours.  Once again the 787 Dreamliner was a super flight, even though we both slept most of the time, (except for a pretty good dinner and a fruit/croissant/yogurt breakfast) so Boeing and American scored more points.  I'm grateful that Al sprung for Premium Economy so there was a bit more room to move and actual linen napkins, food on real plates, and a bathroom you can turn around in. First Class might be in our future when that lottery ticket comes through but this will do for now.  

Then another flight to Atlanta, - I'm pretty sure we walked at least 3 miles in airports - where we will spend several days enjoying the company of Chrissy and Nicholas and their friends.  Probably more South America thoughts will pop into my tiny brain and I will share them along the way, especially now that wi-fi is good again so I'm ready for email if the mood strikes.   Thanks for coming along.  

More Patagonia - the real thing, not just the clothing company.

We took a bus tour for different views of the Not Lake Tahoe, and the Andes, rode the chairlift to the top, and thoroughly enjoyed the glory of Bariloche.  More ice cream, more dinners, more beauty.  

There are so many companies that we know are American and dozens of other International names we all recognize.  It's such a small world and kind of comforting to see familiar things. 

Also interesting how people are basically the same everywhere.  Same clothes, same shoes, same behavior, same logo tee shirts, same tattoos, same babies in strollers, and same cell phones.  Many of the people speak English and are eager to be helpful.  Lots of them say that their English is poor but the longer we chatted, the better they became, just in minutes.  Those who don't have much English will quickly type out the information, hit translate and flash their screens with the answer.  And flash those beautiful smiles with the gorgeous brown eyes.  Once in a while there is a blonde pigtailed little girl, making it all the more interesting.  When will you go see for yourself?  


Afternoon cocktails - can life get any better?  

The best G & T I've ever had.  Certainly the prettiest.  The gin is distilled in Bariloche so we'll never be able to recreate it.  Darn.

Sunday, February 11, 2024


 Saturday we (Al) stood in a long line to buy bus tickets for the gondola up a mountain, then another long line for the bus, then another long line for the actual gondola, and - guess what - another long line to eat in the rotating restaurant.  The food was disappointing, but the views, even through the scratched and dirty windows, are incredible.  

They have a small art gallery devoted to our Italian pal Mike, minus the Sistine Chapel. 

Makes Al look really puny, but equally impressive in his own way. 

It wouldn't be a good day without dinner.  Smoked trout with buratta, perfectly crispy fries (I ate too many) and what Al declared to be the best salad he has ever eaten. 

The streets and sidwalks in Bariloche are just as dangerous as the rest of this continent, yes, the water spins the opposite direction, and there are summer Back to School sales - in February.  There are countless chocolate shops, more that I've ever seen in one town, all pushing Valentine treats.  Also lots of ice cream shops, but that's to be expected in a tourist town.  What do they do during ski season?  Almost every restaurant has leather placemats with their logo stamped into it, some covering the whole table.  And only tiny bitsy cocktail napkins, no full-size linen anywhere we've been. And no kleenex, in the hotels or stores, at least not that we can find.  Maybe there are no colds in South America.       

Saturday, February 10, 2024


 The Buenos Aires airport is crazy, but a wonderful employee took pity on us and sent us directly to the special service desk.  We must have looked like we needed special service.  So we breezed through, took a two-hour flight to San Carlos de Bariloche and Al put his new Uber skills to work tfor a ride to the hotel. Thank you, Willie.  Right smack on Lago Nahuel Huapi.  Very much like Lake Tahoe. But not.  

A room with a view. 

Then the obligatory walking, walking, walking to explore, and here we are. 

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Last Day in B A

 A whole day without Teri and Willie - it's just not the same, but Al learned well and managed Uber all on his own.  We visited some museums, (all in Spanish so Al enjoyed it but I didn't get very far), had a nice lunch, enjoyed a flash rain storm, and went through the packing routine yet again.  Where did all this stuff come from?  

Some Buenos Aires observations - there are fancy shopping areas with all the brand names we see everywhere in the world, but also neighborhoods with lots of little bitty speciality shops.  Candy, farmacia, wine, cigars, trinkets, paint, hardware, pastry, fruit and veggies, bread, desserts, flowers, etc.   You could take your little wicker basket and get everything you need on one or two streets.  Many of them have the European style of metal shutters to cover the windows when they close, so the streets look kind of unfriendly and dark.  McDonald's and Starbucks everywhere.  There are what appear to be garbage collection bins that apparently go under the street because I saw a guy open the door and cram three big full bags in that little space.  Better than piling the bags all over the streets like some cities do.  

Drivers Ed must be effective because they seem to very law abiding in spite of winding down tiny streets then speeding down 8 or 10 lane streets.   

It seems like Chile and Argentina both have trouble caring for their streets and sidewalks, so it's imperative to be paying close attention to your feet (along with paying attention to the traffic and the sights and where is your hubby).  Not in construction zones, just right in the street.  Lucky I've only fallen down once.  So far. Wanna see some examples?



Time to Say Good-Bye

 Another hot and humid day, but we strolled to Casa Rosada, (the pink house) seat of the Argentina government, but didn't go inside.  

 Then a short toddle down the avenue to an amazing gaucho lunch, which basically just means cooking over an open grill or flame, like the real gaucho fellas did in the olden days.  Maybe they still do, but we haven't run into any of them to ask.  The cooks at Cabana Los Lilas seem to know what they are doing - look at this. 

That is a blob of truffle mashed potatoes - bring me more, please.

Three kinds of chocolate cake, just in case we haven't eaten enough, then it was time to sadly bid farewell to our bestie travel pals, heading back home.  How will we ever manage without Teri's kindness and Willie's guidance?  We're missing them already.  

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

My hero


Willie is a rock star! 

Buenos Aires is hot - in more ways than one.

 What a huge city!  But it is mostly clean and pretty with tons of parks and greenery so it feels friendly.  Obvious European influence, jillions of modern high rise buildings, more apartments than a normal person could count, but it seems very organized.   Of course the Hop On/Hop Off bus took us to the nice spots, and we didn't shake and howdy with all 16 million people, but it seems to be a fine city.  Except for the temp - we're lucky (?) enough to enjoy (?) temps in the 90s.  Ish.  I'm getting heat cranky, but I'm almost always cranky so who can tell the difference.  

Not an inch is wasted - if there is space for a skinny building they seem to fit one in. 

Much of our travels look like this.  Willie is a genius with his cell phone and getting us where we want to go.  We're gonna miss them when they go home tonight.  For so very many reasons. 

Evita's museum.  Did she really cook in this kitchen, like a perfect 50's housewife, not a hair out of place, high heel polished, pearls perfectly draped around her stunning neck.  They have several of her dresses on display, usually next to a picture of her in that very dress or hat.  I want to meet her seamstress.  

We walked and walked and walked (remember the 95 temp) to find the yarn district.  Yes, a yarn district.  About 8 or 10 yarn shops in just two blocks!  I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't even take pictures.  Or buy anything - imagine that.  Maybe we'll return when my brain settles.  Worse than being a kid in a candy store.  There I would just beeline to the dark chocolate and be on my way, but all that yarn left me addled.  Oh, poor me.