Monday, July 29, 2013

School days Buenos Aires

 School in Buenos Aires has been very different than school in Aruba.  Aruba was great with the sun, sea and sand in our backyard, but most of school was in the classroom or around our house.  In Buenos Aires there is so much to see, so there have been outings almost every day for Ava.  Cafe's for journal writing, parks for physical activity and exploring, museums for science and art.  Anything you can think of to supplement a Kindergarten/1st grade education. Here are some shots from Pam, Ava's teacher, while they have been out exploring....

Japanese tea garden

Around San Telmo - Argentine characters

Reading quietly in the cozy English bookstore

Hipster in making

Ice cream party as a school reward

Face painting for the 4th of July...that kind of turned out scary

Row boat in Palermo parks

Natural History Museum

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Coffee culture

Dave and I love coffee. Well, Dave loves coffee.  I was pressured into liking it.  I never used to drink it at all, but when Dave got sick for 2 months and I was 7 months pregnant, I needed it.  I know, seems like a strange time to start drinking coffee, but trust me, it allowed me to get through each day.  60 days of no sleep, pregnancy and almost single-motherhood required it.  Now, a bad habit for a few months, turned into a bad habit altogether.  I like it.  I can't help it.  I don't like bad coffee.  And, I should clarify, I don't like drip coffee so much, but I like espresso and milk...perfect milk with micro-foam on the top (art or not). I like a nutty, smooth espresso, not bitter, burnt or over-pulled.  Yes, I have become a bit snobby about it.  Turns out, San Francisco is a great place for this kind of coffee - Ritual (my favorite), Blue Bottle, FourBarrelSightglass, and more.  There is no shortage of good (GREAT!) coffee.

Now, to Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires has a HUGE coffee culture.  People LOVE coffee.  They love it so much, they will drink horrible coffee.  Everywhere. It is all horrible. But, the cafes are excellent, inviting, and have great food.  But, it is a bit strange when the centerpiece of the cafe sucks.  Especially being in South America and all.  There are two exceptions we have found (and I am told these are pretty much the only exceptions) - Full City Coffee and Coffee Town.  We can attest - these places have amazing, thoughtful, specialty-trained barristas (straight from Colombia) and amazing house roasted coffee.  They could compete with San Francisco any day.  We are SO happy we found them. The rest of Buenos Aires needs to take notice.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tigre - visiting the delta

Recently we took a train ride to Tigre, a small town on the water outside of Buenos Aires.  We had been there before a few years back, but we spent most of our time on the water exploring the delta.  This time around, we wanted to visit the famous markets.  It was another gorgeous day - seriously, I love Buenos Aires winter!  Just the right amount of chill in the air to make it crisp and fresh, but so often it is sunny.  

The short 45 minute train ride drops you off walking distance to everything.  We strolled along the water following the signs to the markets and admiring all the gorgeous houses, fountains, boats and more. Arlo stood looking at the water through the railing for about 20 minutes and would have stayed longer if we let him.




We stopped for a nice, little lunch after checking out nearly every place in the markets it seemed.  The place we settled on ended up being fine and Arlo was able to hang out in this area and walk around and wave to people.  One of his favorite past times.  I love watching people's surprised faces when he give them a little wave and nod.  Here is the wall he was hanging out on charming passerbys.

Ava just sat and enjoyed her lunch

And afterwards, we rode the carousel in the markets - Arlo's first time actually!

And a quick visit to playground before catching the train back to Buenos Aires at twilight.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Recoletta and Nachos

 We spent an afternoon at the Recoletta "Please Touch" museum.  The kids loved it, though I must say I like the Children's museum at Abasto Shopping center better.  This museum was similar to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but honestly, you can't compare. Outside of the museum is beautiful - which is where the pictures below were taken.

We noticed a Hard Rock Cafe next door and if you know me, you know I hate cheese ball restaurants, and am especially not a fan of chain restaurants. But, in a place where nachos are few and far between, Hard Rock Cafe nachos are a win.  Especially in Dave's book.  We enjoyed the nachos and a few other American culinary delights like wings, potato skins, onion rings.  Only the best.  It was actually super fun though :)


A visit to the zoo

We made a trip to the Buenos Aires zoo recently - Arlo's first trip to a real zoo.  He went bananas - it was the craziest thing he has ever seen.  He was like, "how are these crazy animals all over...and they are real!" It was so fun - especially since they have random animals just walking around the zoo all over, which would never fly in the US. You can also feed the animals, which would also never happen in the US - of course this went over super well with Ava and Arlo.  Arlo even tried the food (gross!); testament to his crazy snacking habit. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon at a traditional city zoo, that happens to be very old and historical. Many of the buildings that house the animals are over 100 years old and are so gorgeous.

We are really enjoying our days in Buenos Aires and have established a nice schedule on the weekends - wake up, go out for brunch, come home for rest/Arlo's nap, then head out again to a park, zoo, museum, markets, shopping, dinner.  It makes for great days and lot of exploring.

Many zoo visits around the world will be in our future, I am guessing.  I didn't get many shots of the animals, but the cute kids were more appealing to me.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Recoleta Music Festival

We did some exploring in Recoleta and happened upon a wonderful music festival at the Centro Cultural. I may not have stressed it before on the blog, but Arlo is a FANATIC about music.  Any time he hears a beat dropped, he is making his moves.  He has some pretty sweet moves for a 1 year old.  He can also work a crowd pretty darn well.  We sat and listened to  a guy with his guitar and after every song, Arlo was clapping and cheering more than anyone.  He sure knows how to make a performer feel good.


There was a pretty awesome tree to play on at the festival - it was overrun with all the kids there!