23.07.2009 - 26.07.2009 43 °F
As we entered, Argentina my dad told me that we had some cousins in Argentina. Who knew? It turns out my second cousin, Maria Elena, lives most of the time now in Buenos Aires. We had tried to contact her from Salta the first time without success. After Regina departed, we tried to contact her again. After working through my brother, my father, and finally my dad’s cousin, Alice Ann Swartz, we managed to get in contact. Alice Ann Swartz, my dad’s cousin, married a South American and moved down to South America when she was still a young lady. Brave, and cool since that gave us a branch of South American family. We first met for the first time for lunch at their apartment in Palermo, a neighborhood in Buenos Aires. They had a nice apartment with a great view of some of the parks with the Rio de la Plata and Uruguay off in the distance.
We also met their pet, Rocco, who is a monster sized Rotweiler who loves to give kisses to his dad, Hernan (Elena’s Husband).
We had a great visit talking family while they treated us to pizza and empanadas. I saw some pictures of my(our) great grandparent Swartz’s at their trailer in Dade city. (Funny because Sara has Swartz grandparents in her family, too. No relation—that we know of!) It was very interesting to see people and places we had both visited at different times. Also I saw the famous, Uncle Bill, in several of the pictures. For those of you who don’t know, he was my grandmother(Victoria Jane’s uncle) and my dad would sometimes be called “uncle Bill” by her! We spent the whole afternoon together, we visited the Chinese neighborhood ,and then went to a famous Buenos Aires café for desert . This turned out to be an enormous platter that we couldn’t finish even with four of us. We planned to meet again on Friday to see Hernan jump with his horse for the first day of the jumping contest.
The previous day we had moved to our new digs in La Boca(a different neighborhood). We visited Evita’s museum, some love her and some hater her, but hey, she’s famous right? After that we went to a tango show at Café Tortoni. The live tango music impressed us as well as the theatrical and acrobatic tango performance. The tango theater is in the basement of the café in a room that gives the impression of being in an underground cave. It is the oldest café and very traditional in Buenos Aires. Sara give a thrilling reenactment of the tango on our tile floor at the hostel and ended up slipping and crashing to the floor. She bounced back up and completed a few more moves before preparing for bed. I was very concerned, and thought she might have a concussion. She still reassures me that she was fine even though she thought she might have a bruise.
The next day we packed our things to head over to Stay at Elena and Hernan’s apartment, which they very graciously offered. After waiting for our laundry at our hostel and working on our blog, we set out for downtown to pick up Sara’s newly altered fashion pants. She also got a new coat! Buenos Aires had their biannual snow that week. I got a sweet pair of jeans for $13. AWESOME shopping. We made it just in time to leave our bags at the apartment and get to the German Equestrian Club for the competition. The competition was fantastic. We met many interesting horsey type folk. Sara spotted this beautiful horse across the field and said, “That horse is most beautiful. His coat is so shiny and the color is amazing.” Turns out that the horse was Lorenziano, Hernan’s horse. He jumped awesome even though he was hyper frisky from the cold and threw in a couple “show off kicks” during his run. We had some beer an incredible pastry and Hernan and Lorenziano got fifth!
The next day we went to the rural fair with Elena. The Rural is an impressive display of all things agricultural in Argentina. Hernan met us there for coffee before we parted ways for the evening.
Sara and I ate/drank at Lupita's and then at the Soul cafe. We enjoyed ourselves immensely while Hernan and Elena were at a friends birthday.
The next day Sara and I did some sight seeing and went to mass before going to see Hernan and Lorenziano in the 1.5 meter day of the jumping contests.
This was another in our string of fantastic days in Buenos Aires. We were very sad to say goodbye to Elena, Hernan, and Rocco that evening as we boarded the bus to Mendoza. They were great hosts in a great city, and we hope to see them again soon.