Friday, August 16, 2013

First days in Pisac, Peru

 These are photos from our first 2 days in Pisac.  There are taken from our house...yes OUR HOUSE.  Amazing, isn't it?  The mountains are spectacular, the gardens beautiful, the farm bountiful and the general being of the place is so incredibly peaceful, it could calm any raging bull.  It is exactly what we needed after two months in a huge city.  Endless hours to do nothing much at all but enjoy each others company and breath in the fresh air....and all at 10,000 feet of elevation!

More to come about Pisac, the awesome, tiny town we chose to live in. And of course, more breathtaking photos of mountains, ruins and authentic Peruvians.

Looking at the guinea pigs at our house - unfortunately they are here because they are the national plate of Peru.  They won't be here for long :(

This is Tomasa - one of the caretakers of our house.  She is as authentic Peruvian as they come.  She speaks mostly Quechua, and a tiny bit of conversational Spanish.

Hasta luego Buenos Aires - Te quiero!

Our 2 months in Buenos Aires was amazing, too short, fun-filled, interesting, cold, hot and much much more.  We love this city and mark my words - we will be back again. It is just such an interesting mix of beautiful, gritty, hip and old.  Something about it makes me feel good.  While San Francisco has my heart for sure, Buenos Aires may have a small piece of it as well.

So long BA and hello to Pisac, Peru...a totally different experience awaits us in the countryside of the Sacred Valley.

Closed Door Restaurants in Buenos Aires - NOLA & Cocina Sunae

While in Buenos Aires, we decided to try out the "closed door" restaurant phenomena.  There are quite a few in Buenos Aires and they sell out, so we booked two before our arrival - NOLA and Cocina Sunae.

We went to NOLA to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  NOLA, yup, you guessed it, is short for New Orleans, is a restaurant run out of Liza and her husband's home in Palermo.  Liza is originally from New Orleans and her food is proof that she paid attention growing up when she ate.  It was amazing food, from the gumbo to the salad with blood sausage to the melt in your mouth pork shoulder to the delicate, delicious and fresh blueberry tartlet (blueberries picked at their aunt's farm earlier that week!).  Everything was delicious, spicy, fresh and paired perfectly with the wines picked by and presented by Liza's other half.  One of the best things about the experience?  We felt like we were at a friend's house for dinner and had amazing conversations with everyone at our communal table - a threesome of hipster guys from Melbourne traveling in South America, all super different and interesting in their own right (one works as a teacher in Japan, one is moving to Buenos Aires to open a bar and one works as an engineer at an Ideo-type human interface design firm) - a Louisiana lawyer and his college-age son traveling together for the first time after their wife/mother passed away - and a couple from England on their honeymoon who were both doctors.  Needless to say, interesting conversations were had and good food was eaten.  If I was still in Buenos Aires, I would go back again.  But since I am not, I will highly recommend it to anyone who goes to Buenos Aires!


 A few weeks later we ate at Cocina Sunae - a southeast Asian cuisine closed-door restaurant.  The owner and chef's daughter went to a toddler class with Arlo, which was a huge coincidence.  It was a completely different experience, but the food was equally as amazing.  The restaurant is in the owner's home, but is set up like a typical restaurant, so we had a private table and there was no friendly conversations with random people (bummer!  Dave and I are so good at that!).  But, we had a wonderful, romantic meal...and enjoyed the spicy, delicious Asian tastes that we have been missing so much since leaving San Francisco. Also highly recommended - especially if you need a spicy fix.  Something you can't really find in any other Buenos Aires restaurants (they rarely even have black pepper available!).


Thursday, August 8, 2013


We have been so lucky on our trip so far to have had two amazing nannies for Arlo that instantly feel like a part of our family.  We will always remember and keep in touch with Juvien from Aruba - she was a very special part of our family for 4 months.

Sandi was Arlo's nanny in Buenos Aires and from the moment I spoke to her on Skype from Aruba - I knew she was the one.  She is meant to be with toddlers.  Arlo loved her and her energy to keep up with an 18 month old was amazing.  They were out walking around Buenos Aires and visiting every playground within 3 square miles in the morning and afternoon. She was the Jewish auntie we never had.  We honestly felt after a week like we had known her for years.  We know we will keep in touch and will see her again in the future in Argentina....or back on the Upper West Side where she belongs :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Random Buenos Aires

We discovered the horse racing park - and wow!  It is gorgeous!  Ava and Arlo had a wonderful time there. They both apparently love horses.


Playing at one of many Buenos Aires playgrounds

A rainy 9 de Julio outing to Abasto shopping mall and Neverland - their indoor amusement park

Finca y Granja Narbona & area

 One of the best things about Carmelo was Finca y Granja Narbona - a beautiful property that has vineyards, a dairy, beautiful buildings and more.  They make their own wine, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, pasta and many  more amazing things.  The cheese plate was OFF THE HOOK (as Dave would say in his high voice). The Four Seasons had their amazing yogurt at every breakfast, which Arlo and I thoroughly enjoyed.  I even love the bottles it comes in.  In fact, why does American yogurt not come in awesome bottles?  I may have to change that.  We ate there two nights in a row because we loved it so much. Once with the kids, once without.  It is so dark and romantic there at night and I only had my iPhone, hence the horrible pictures.  But, I wanted to share on the blog about this amazing, magical place that I want to replicate in Sonoma!

Also, an interesting note about Uruguay - most food is local, organic, seasonal - all things we love!  No factory farms or Monsanto to worry about. What an awesome country.



This place was a cute little restaurant on the marina, but was closed (we think??).  We walked in for a late afternoon drink and the waitress didn't even look at us...and we were the only people within miles it seemed.  Oh well, it was pretty!


 Ava is pretty smitten with horses.  She has been for years now, so whenever horse-riding is available I like to take her.  We spent an afternoon riding horses in Carmelo, Uruguay, through absolutely stunning scenery.  It was such a fun way to spend time with Ava. The guide was a real Uruguayan gaucho, beret and all. His two dogs led us along the trek.  I think when we settle somewhere for a few years, we will get her riding lessons...and maybe even a horse (gasp!).  For now, we will "settle" for this.