March 19, 2005

I Have Returned!

Edit: I have days 0-3 posted! I'm sure I'll finish the entire trip before the end of next week.

Day 0 (Friday)

My mother, my aunt, and I drive to a hotel a few miles away from the Houston airport. While driving my mother's Navigator I accidentally drive on a curb while travelling around sixty miles per hour. I don't think my mother has ever woken up so quickly.

We arrive at the hotel and go to sleep.

Day 1

We wake up at a hideously early hour and travel to the airport. I should point out that my aunt has had both hips replaced. She is stopped by security every time we attempt to board a plane on this trip. We have a two or three hour plane ride to the Atlanta airport. We have an eight-hour layover in Atlanta.

At the airport, we meet my uncle's partner, Will, and begin to go around the city. We go to eat at one of my uncle's favorite places to eat. It had a tropical decor (complete with parrots!) and a variety of exotic foods. We all had hamburgers. When leaving, we witness a lady almost get decapitated with a small windmill. The metal windmill fell off of its post and passed within a couple of feet of the woman's head.

We then drive to an art museum in Atlanta. The museum did not have a large variety of art, but they did have an impressive collection of an African-American artist from the 1960s (I think).

We spend the rest of our eight-hour layover at Will's house. While there, we were introduced to Rita and LG. Rita is pictured below. Remember her. She will come back into this story later.


We return to the airport around six in the afternoon to prepare for the nine and a half hour flight to Buenos Aires. I did not get much sleep on this flight. I remember that the movie shown was Shall We Dance? and that I actually watched it because I could not sleep.

Day 2

We eventually arrived at the Buenos Aires airport. My uncle was supposed to meet us there. We waited for him at the exit to which we were directed. We waited some more. We kept waiting. We waited. He finally finds us. It turns out that our flight did not take us to the normal terminal because all of the gates at that terminal were full.

We took a taxi to the apartment we were renting for the week and deposited our luggage. We then began our time as "tourists." We covered quite a bit of the city on this day.

One of our first stops was the "Casa Rosada." This building is basically a giant office building for the Argentine government. One of the first things I noticed about the building was that it had a large number of blockades in front of and near it.

Pink HouseProtestBarriers

We then travelled to the equivalent of a giant flea market. Apparently, this flea market takes place every Saturday and Sunday in Buenos Aires. We did not buy anything, but we did see a number of entertainers attempting to squeeze money out of the tourists. I saw more people trying to earn money by dancing the tango than I can count.

After the flea market, we went to eat at a popular restaurant, the name of which I can not remember. We ate outside underneath the shade of a gigantic tree.

That is one tree. One giant tree.

After eating, we walked a short distance to a giant ten-acre cemetary packed with crypts. I literally mean "packed." Excluding a few narrow walkways, there is no empty space in the cemetary. Many of the crypts are only a few feet wide.

This is the entrance to the Recoleta Cemetary. The Recoleta contains the crypts of some of Buenos Aires' most famous people. For example:

Evita's CryptEvitaPlate.JPG
This is the crypt in which Evita is interred. Supposedly, flowers are always on the door of this crypt.

Evita's crypt is an excellent example of a well-kept crypt. Many old crypts in the cemetary look as if they were recently added. Unfortunately, not all crypts are that well-maintained. The following photo is of a small statue that had fallen off of the inside wall of an old crypt.


If anyone is interested in seeing photos of the more famous crypts, I have a book about the cemetary. I also took a large number of photos of the cemetary.

After the cemetary, we went to another large flea market. While here, I purchased two small paintings from a local artist. My aunt also bought my older cousin (the one that is married and has two kids) a painting.

We returned to our apartment for a short time. We then went to eat. We ate at a closer restaurant this time. This became our favorite restaurant during our stay. We returned two more times to eat at it. After eating, we returned to the apartment and collapsed.

Day 3

We woke up (relatively) early in order to catch a boat to Uruguay.

The boat we took across the seventy-mile wide river was rather nice. It could travel about seventy miles an hour, had a larger version of airplane seats (without seatbelts), and had its very own snack bar at the back. I think it could seat a couple hundered people.

We went to Uruguay in order to see "Colonia." Colonia is a UN protected "World Heritage Site." I do not know exactly what that means, but I am assuming that no scyscrapers will be built there any time soon. Most of the city looked quaint, for lack of a better word.

We took a taxi to the "old wall" of the city to pass through the old gate. The gate is pictured below.

See that curve the top left of the wall? That part was supposedly knocked off during a siege. I say supposedly because I only know what my uncle told me about this place.

Once through that gate, we walked through the ancient part of this town. There were streets and buildings dating back to the 1600s. A large wooden plaque on the side of one of these buildings had a quote fron Don Quixote in old Spanish.

We had lunch in Colonia. I think that the food we had at that restaurant was the best food we ate during the trip.

We continued exploring the town until about four or five in the evening. We had to return to the dock in order to ride back to Buenos Aires. The boat ride had the same "entertainment" on the way back. "Entertainment" should be read as "boring series of commercials in Spanish."

Once we returned, my mother wanted to watch a movie. She wanted to watch Alexander. However, since it did not play for a few hourse, we watched Meet the Fockers instead.

On the way back to the apartment, we took a detour in order to through a mall. I'm not sure why, but we did. The mall had a large mural on its center ceiling, but this mural was not worth the trip.

Posted by Randy at March 19, 2005 09:49 PM | TrackBack