Friday, January 29, 2010

MA to LA to BA

It's mid-January, 2010...time to leave New England's harsh winter....

and head to Argentina again (this will be our 3rd trip in as many years), but we go via southern CA.

First stop - San Clemente, where we spend 3 days with our friend Rick, who takes us on leisurely drives up the coast to Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.

We eat at seaside restaurants, walk the beaches and the boardwalks, watch the surfers and the sunsets. What a great way to chill out – we love it here!

Next, we head north to Huntington Beach, connect with Joan and Larry (great friends that happen to also be close relatives) and resume sightseeing...more boardwalks, beaches, and new restaurants.

We also spend a day in the Santa Monica hills at the Getty Museum...16,000 tons of Italian travertine stone, paintings by some of our favorites (Sargeant, van Gogh, Cezanne) and Depression-era photos by Dorothea Lange.

To top off the week, lots of David's family arrive from all over the US for a family social function. It's great to see so many family members together for such a happy occasion. Leah, our niece is the star of the event!

January 20, 10:00 a.m. we land in Buenos Aires. In no time, we go through customs and, within the hour, check into our apartment, where we will spend the next 3 to 4 months. I am sketchy about the time frame, as we have no return ticket...that's because David will not go back to the northeast until it gets warm (it's all about the weather).

We're renting the same apartment as last year. After some “cosmetic surgery” by the owner, it doesn't seem quite so “tired”...perhaps it's because it feels “familiar” this year, and we really like the location. So here we are...feeling, for the 1st time, like BA is not a vacation destination but, rather, our winter home. And, to that end, we anticipate that our blog will be updated a little less frequently than in the past 2 years...just managing expectations!

It's hot...very hot. High 80's to low 90's most days. Today it's going to be around 104 F... but dry. Absolute heaven for David – T shirts and shorts. After a week, his Spanish is coming back to him and he practices with accommodating Argentines every chance he gets. It's unusually empty here. Portenos (those who live in the city) have headed to the beach resort of Mar del Plata for vacation so the waits at restaurants and the lines in supermarkets are short and move quickly.

A typical day may include...

...a leisurely breakfast at the Melody Cafe, which we frequented last year. The two Gabriellas still work there and its really nice to have a breakfast “local.”

...lunch out with friends. We're only here a week and already we've discovered 2 new restaurants and revisited some old favorites. at local markets for bottled water, Malbec, fresh produce (the tomatoes, avocados, and white nectarines are especially good), stuff for dinner (which we've typically been eating at home), and lawn chairs to take with us to the park.

... but not ready to sit in the park's way too hot, so we head off to Rick's to swim (really just relax in the pool at Rick's apt. building)

Most of our friends from the states are already here, or will be arriving in the next few weeks, and we will be catching up with our Argentine friends soon. So our community is strong, we are doing well, and we will keep you posted as life happens.

Hasta luego.>