Well I am back home in the United States. I still cannot believe that my study abroad experience is over, the time flew by! It all seems like a dream, I can't believe I was in Argentina just a few days ago. I thought I would give you all one last update of my trip. Since my last update I had about a week left in Argentina. During my last week or so I had finals of course, nothing to scary! Definitely more relaxed than finals here in the US. Some fun things that we did was we went to Teatro Colon. A world-known theater, known for it's amazing acoustics. We went and saw an orchestra perform and it was beautiful. At the beginning of the performance the composer comes out to talk and he literally just talked, had no microphone and was not yelling. We were on the fourth balcony and we could hear him perfectly. This showed, more than anything else, the amazing acoustics the theater has. Also, the theater was gorgeous. This was the only big thing we all did in our last week in Argentina. Other little things was we of course went to the open air market. It was a beautiful day and I got to listen to an acoustic guitarist, I sure am going to miss little things like that. We got our last minute gifts to bring back home. We of course lived up the night life for our last week in Buenos Aires. Went to many bars and boliches, it was a great time every time. Oh! One thing that was extremely fun was going to a bar to watch Argentina play in the World Cup game. Argentina goes crazy over futbol! The city looks deserted from the streets during futbol matches because everyone is inside watching the game. It was so fun going to a bar and being able to watch the game with a lot of people. It is different than here, that's for sure! Other than that not much happened my last week in Argentina. Besides finals and going out for the last week that I am "legal" not much happened. The week flew by and all of a sudden my room was packed and we were waiting for the car to pick us up to take us to the airport. All my flights went very smoothly and both my flights actually landed early! After many hours of traveling I landed in Chicago and was greeted by my amazing family then spent the day in downtown Chicago. I have definitely adjusted back to life here, didn't take long! The first two days all the English I was hearing surprised me every time and I kept wanting to speak Spanish to people. Now I haven't been having these issues. My trip to Argentina was one of the best experiences of my life and I want to study abroad again. My advice to any college or soon to be college student- study abroad. This experience is once in a lifetime and everyone should take advantage of it. Thanks so much for reading my blog, I will start back up the next time I travel. Gracias, besos a todos <3
Hola a todos! I have just realized it has been more than three weeks since I updated my blog- time sure is flying by! I only have 10 more days until I am home- So hard to believe. Nothing too out of the ordinary has occurred since my last update, I haven't done any traveling but have been still exploring the city of Buenos Aires. May 25 was La Dia de la Revolucion (Revolution Day) This day marks the start of their fight for independence. There is a huge festival in La Plaza Mayo to celebrate the holiday. Some friends and I decided to go and check it out- and oh my goodness was it an experience! The amount people there was absolutely unbelievable- I have never see so many people in my life. Trying to walk a block was extremely difficult and took awhile to accomplish- there were millions of people everywhere. There was music playing, stands selling food, and banners flying over head. It was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. Another thing I visited since the last update was the EX ESMA. This is the location where many of the disappeared people of the dictatorships in the 70's were held. They were military buildings and are now a museum for those to visit and remember all those were killed or disappeared during these years. We saw many of the flyers that were put up by the family members of the disappeared- it is said that close to 30,000 people disappeared or were killed during this Dirty War. Visiting this place was very interesting and moving. It is hard to people this could happen, especially only 45 years ago. We didn't get to go into all of the buildings because we didn't have a reservation but we did get to see some. Some other things that I did these past few weeks was of course buy many things at the open air markets- we have a routine of going every single weekend. I of course been eating my way through Buenos Aries. Last week we went to a churro place where they had warm churros filled with dulce de leche- I think I died and went to heaven, they were to die for! I have been of course been living up the nightlife on the weekends, and no worries I am still going to school. This week is the last week of classes and next week finals start! I cannot believe I only have 10 more days here. The time has absolutely flown by, yet at the same time I feel like I have been living here for forever. It is a bittersweet feeling that I will be going home so soon. My life here has been one busy life but an extremely fun one and I have met so many great people. Well, honestly I can't think of anything more to put in this update. I know I am forgetting things, if I remember I will put them in my next update. I will probably have one more update until I am home! Thanks for reading! Chau for now! Besos
I am back! It has been a very busy two weeks, especially the past week. This past week I went to the area of Patagonia to the cities of El Calafate and El Chalten. The week before the trip wasn't anything exciting, honestly I can't think of anything that happened out of the ordinary last week. I had school, went to another open air market, and of course danced my way through the weekend! You all have heard the typical story of all of that so let me get to the good stuff- my trip to Patagonia! I left for Patagonia on Thursday (May 15) and got back yesterday (May 20). I went with my friend Arianah and we spent three days in Chalten and three days in Calafate. It was an absolutely amazing trip. We flew to Calafate on Thursday morning and got there in the afternoon. Our bus tickets to Chalten that we bought online said our bus left at 6:30 so we had time to wander the town and get something to eat. Around 5:30 we headed back to the train station because it was cold and we didn't have much else to do. We went up to the counter to ask the woman if there was an earlier bus to Chalten that we could get on since we were there so early. She just looks at me confused and says "um, the last bus left at 5:00... there is no more buses tonight, I don't know why your bus ticket says 6:30. We can change your ticket to the next bus which is 8:00am tomorrow morning!" So there we are in Calafate with the incorrect bus ticket, now its dark out and we have no hotel booked for that night. We asked the other two companies if they had any trips tonight and they all said no. We had no other choice but to just find a hotel for the night and leave tomorrow morning instead. We went back into town and wandered until we found a nice looking hotel for us to stay in for the night. The next morning comes and we make it to the bus station and get on our bus and we are on our way to Chalten! It is only about a three hour bus ride, and oh my goodness is it gorgeous! Surrounded by snow covered mountains and winding rivers. We made a stop at a hotel and restaurant for those we needed to get something to eat or use a bathroom. As we sat on the bus a puppy and a cat came on the bus and wanted to stay. We didn't notice them until we were about to leave! Almost left with two extra passengers! We continued on and we made it to the tiny town of Chalten, it probably takes about 15-20 minutes to walk from one end of town to the other. This town is down as the "trekking capital of the nation" and that is what we did! We found our hotel, dropped our stuff, layered up and went out to go on our first hike! The first hike was called "Lago de Torre" It was about a 6 hour hike there and back. It was a cold day but you didn't notice because all you could focus on was the beauty surrounding you. This hike wasn't too challenging, especially when comparing it to the hike we did the next day! Our first hike was a beautiful one, surrounded by mountains, lakes, rivers, trees. The end of the hike was the best part, absolutely breath taking! It was a lake with a glacier behind it. If it wasn't so cold I could have stood there for hours. It was beautiful. We then had to head back, did't want to get caught in the dark while hiking through the mountains! We made it back to town frozen to the bone and hungry! We went to a cafe and ordered some "submarinos" A very common drink here in Argentina, it's their version of a hot chocolate. They steam milk and give you a bar of chocolate with it, so you put the chocolate in on your own! After we thawed out at the cafe we headed back to our hotel to relax until dinner time. When it came to be time for dinner we bundled up and went to find a place... well that was where another problem came in. Since it is becoming winter here in Argentina, the towns we were in were having their "off season" therefore not many places were open; some hotels and restaurants were closed until September! We wandered the tiny town and just couldn't find a place to eat. Nowhere was open, we found a place with some snack so that was our dinner! We then went back to our hotel and just went to bed............................
Hello to all! Here I am two weeks later again, sorry it has been awhile! These past two weeks have been great, I am pretty settled in and have a decent routine! Last week was midterm week, so that was stressful. Many of the classes I am in don't have many grades besides the midterm and final- so it was stressful. Three out of the four midterms were in class essays... so much writing my wrist was aching when I was done! As far as I know they went well, still waiting to receive the grades back. So fingers crossed! My last post was all about the week my family came to visit and so I have had to adjust back into my day to day life without them here with me. Things have seemed more relaxed since that week. It is bittersweet! Humm.. what happened these past two weeks?Well we had our second step in our student visa process, and that sure was an experience! We had to meet at the immigration's office at 8:00 am so we had to wake up at 5:45 am to make it there on time. At 5:45 am, the city is a ghost town! Most of the people you see on the streets are probably returning from their nights out! So we hopped on the train to take it across the city. The train didn't talk too long, a lot shorter than we planned. After getting off the train we had to find our way to the immigration's office. Here is where it got interesting, we thought to ourselves, okay we have 45 minutes to find the place, plenty of time! Nope, we got so lost and ended up being late. The address that we were given was the opposite way on the road we were walking on. Let's just say we asked many people for directions and kept hearing "four blocks that way and it's a huge yellow building." You would think it wouldn't be hard to find. We went everywhere, we went to a yellow skyscraper about 10 blocks one way, got a nice tour of the whole area. Eventually, one of our CEA directors had to come meet us somewhere and take us to the building. We were too sleep deprived to be lost anymore! Once inside we were told we had to stand in a line and that took about 30 minutes then after that had to go to a waiting area until our number was called. There was about 10 numbers in between me and the current number so I thought, "oh this shouldn't take too long!" wrong... A total of about two hours later we were out the door. It wasn't too terrible- mostly due to the fact we were there at 8:00 (very early in Argentinean time!) So now in about three more weeks we have to venture back to pick up our student visas- almost done! The process has not been a fun one, that's for sure! Hum... what else is new? Well last week we had another holiday! So far I believe we have had three full/ regular weeks of classes since starting- its fantastic! Sadly, that has come to an end, I don't believe we have any more days off school. Well in these past two weeks I have done some shopping and a LOT of great eating. When I come home, I will need to hit the gym three times a day... This Argentinean food I just cannot resist! So other than eating my way through this city I have also been shopping my way through. All the girls reading this: I got a pair of boots for about $35... score! such a happy day. Humm... what else? Oh I have also been dancing my way through the weekends. Have visited many bars and boliches (Buenos Aires word for club). Been meeting so many people from all over the world and getting to break out my fantastic white girl dance moves :P Oh! I did do something this past weekend besides, eat, shop, and dance-
Well I am back! again,sorry it has been about two weeks since I posted last, I guess this is becoming an every other week thing instead of every week. These past two weeks have been incredible, this past week in particular. Why you might ask? Well my family came to visit me! It was so fantastic and I wish it didn't have to go by so quickly. We had 5 days of non stop activities and it was a blast. On Sunday morning I woke up and took a taxi to the airport to pick up my family, I was so excited- like a little child on Christmas Eve. They finally got here and I couldn't wait to show them my new town I have been living in. I gave them no time to rest from their 12 hour flight and we got right to it! We checked into the apartment we were renting for the week, dropped off our stuff and off we went! We went to the San Telmo open air market- my mom and I were in heaven. We did lots of shopping but soon hunger got the best of us and we stopped at a burger place. They were pretty good! One thing that was interesting was the "lemonade" that Zack had ordered... It was not lemonade, it literally tasted like a Christmas tree, so we don't know what that was all about haha. After we ate lunch and shopped a little bit more and then we headed back to our apartment to change and get ready to go to a soccer game! We took a bus to the River Plate stadium, well lets say it was crazy! Just getting into the game, there were many checkpoints you had to get by and we had pat downs... lets say mine was very thorough haha we finally made it into the stadium and found our seats- got to sit second row! It was fantastic. The crowd was great and so energetic. We all wish we knew the chants so we could chant along. The best part of the game was when River Plate scored a goal- everyone went crazy! It was so much fun. After the game we went to go find dinner. We of course went to a steakhouse- what Argentina is known for: meat meat and more meat. We had to wait for a while to sit down since we didn't have reservations but oh it was worth it. Very delicious food! Lots of steak, wine, and yummy desert (got creme brulee and tiramisu) We headed back to our apartment after a busy and tiring day. (this was just day one!) Monday comes around and we head over to the Belgrano area so I can show them my neighborhood, home, and school. My family got to meet my host parents... I had to be the translator because my family knows no Spanish and my host family knows now English. Let's just say it was a very short, basic conversation haha. We then went to a restaurant and ordered pizza. It was delicious! My family walked around while I had to go to a class to give a presentation. I am so proud, they didn't get lost! I met back up with them and we headed back to the apartment. We hung out at the apartment for a little bit then decided to walk around. We found a restaurant/bar and got drinks and I had them try a couple empenadas. We then left the bar to head back to our apartment. Monday night we went wondering around to try and find a good restaurant for dinner, we were out around 8:15 (early for Argentinians to eat dinner) and came across a restaurant that was just starting to get a little busy so we decided to eat there and oh boy did we get lucky. Some of the best steaks of our lives! We ate outside and it was a pretty causal restaurant but they sure know how to cook! After our delicious dinner we walked around to find some ice cream. We then walked home on our overly full belly's and went to bed. Now it is Tuesday. Tuesday was a busy day! We got up and I of course brought them all pastries from a bakery because that's just how they do breakfast here... Tuesday we had our street art/ graffiti tour of Buenos Aires. It was about a 2 hour tour that ended at a bar/restaurant. It was a very interesting tour and there are so many talented paintings up in Buenos Aires! Graffiti is technically illegal but you won't get into trouble for doing it so it is kind of legal.. haha Right after our graffiti tour we went directly to our cooking class. Ohh the cooking class... so delicious. The cooking class was in an apartment. It was just our family and Gary who is a chef from New York! In this class we got to make homemade empenadas, flan, and dulce de leche. All from scratch- ohh my goodness it was delicious! I want more... the empenadas- we made meat ones and vegetarian ones (had squash and corn and all sorts of deliciousness!) The flan was delicious and so was the dulce de leche. I wish I could have stayed longer or wish I could have learned more. It was so delicious :) The next day is now Wednesday! We had to get up fairly early this morning because we had to get to the airport to make it to Iguazu Falls! The flight is short, only two hours. We got there went to our hotel, dropped our stuff and then rushed over to the falls- we were running later than we thought! We were able to walk around the falls and even had time to do the boat ride I had told you about in my last update. Where they take you practically underneath some of the falls and you get soaking wet! It was an absolute blast. Even though I was in Iguazu about two weeks ago I still absolutely loved it- I don't think anyone could grow tired of that place! After we finished up at the falls we went to go look for a place for dinner... and yup, its probably hard to guess what type of restaurant we went to- another steak house. This one was outside, with live music and a balcony. It was so relaxing- I could have stayed there for forever. It was great. Great food and fantastic company :) We then went back to hour room to go to bed, we had a long day and we were exhausted. So now it is Thursday! We had to get up and eat breakfast then make it back to the airport to go back to Buenos Aires. We made it back to Buenos Aires in the early afternoon. We then stopped by the apartment to drop off our things then we were off again! We decided to visit the area of La Boca- the extremely colorful district of Buenos Aires. We walked around and ate lunch while watching the Tango! After we finished our time in La Boca we took the bus back into the center of town. We then searched out Cafe Tortoni- the oldest cafe in Argentina for some churros and chocolate. With our belly's full we headed back to the apartment. Thursday night we hung around for a bit and my mom and dad had their date night. When they got back my brother Ben and I headed out for the night. I thought I should show him what an Argentinean night was like! We went to a bar and then to a club afterwards. Even though we couldn't find each other for about two hours we finally did and made our way home. It was an absolute blast! He can now understand that coming home when the sun is starting to come up isn't that uncommon here! It was definitely a night to remember. Friday morning comes along- lets just say it was a struggle to get up for my brother and I. We got up and had to pack up the room because we had to check out. Today was the day my family had to go back to the US :( sad day. Before they left we went to the area of Recoleta to see the Recoleta cemetery- a very famous and beautiful cemetery here in Buenos Aires. It is incredible. After walking around that for a little bit we went to the Recoleta open air market. My mom and I of course bought lots of things! After doing our shopping we got to sit in the grass and relax while listening to live Spanish music. It was a perfect way to end the week. After hanging out for a while it was sadly time to go so they wouldn't miss their flight. They left that Friday evening and I went back to my home here in Buenos Aires. The week with my family was absolutely amazing and I wish it didn't have to end so quickly. Yes, I have never felt so much like a mother with four grown children before but it was worth every second and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I loved having them here :) It was sad when they left, I miss them a lot already but two more months and I will see them again! It was a great week and definitely one I will remember forever. The rest of my weekend was pretty chill, I didn't do much- I just needed to catch up on some sleep from my busy week I had! This week has gotten into full swing- one of our first full weeks of school since about week two. Have lots of homework to do but writing in my blog is such a great way to procrastinate! I will hopefully check in soon- next week is midterms! Thanks for reading! To all my friends and family- miss you all! besos a todos! <3
I will start off by saying sorry it's been two weeks since I posted last! I have been pretty busy. I will try to remember it all and share it with you all! Let me see... where to start? Well last week wasn't too eventful. One amazing thing I went to was La Bomba. This is an event that going on every Monday night. You pay your admission and then it is a show with 14 people on stage with all different types of drums and it is all made up on the spot! It was amazing and an absolute blast! I will definitely be going more often. My friends and I got lucky, last week was Buenos Aires' first Lolapalooza (no, I did not attend) but there were many bands in town and two famous Argentinean bands guest appeared at the show and everyone was going crazy! I did not know who they were but it was a blast. The show was amazing and I do not understand how they can just make that all up on the spot, it was very impressive and such a fun time! Something else that occurred in these past two weeks was I went to the Burger Joint (name of the restaurant) I feel the need to share it because it was absolutely delicious and it well known. They have great burgers, they have regular ones, the Jamaican, Mexican and the American. I got the Mexican, it was delicious! The burger included the burger, tomato, spicy sauce, and guacamole. Oh my goodness so good! I will definitely be returning. Humm.. what other little things did I do? Well I went to the mall, it is huge- four stories tall and I probably spent money I shouldn't- but that has become a theme with my time here! Well I have just been going to school, yes even though I believe my parents are having a hard time believing, I am going to school! haha Classes are going well, I have noticed my listening skills have improved a lot, I need to practice my speaking more but that has also improved which is always great to notice! haha But now onto the best part of these past two weeks... My trip to Iguazu this past weekend. Oh my goodness... words cannot even begin to explain, but I will try. Friday morning we met early to take our flight to Iguazu, it was only a two hour flight. We arrived and went straight to an animal reserve. We saw many cool birds, like tucans, and we also got to see some adorable monkeys. The reserve was all outside throughout the rain forest and we walked on a path. One of the most memorable parts of the animal reserve was the gigantic spiders we had to walk under. They were huge, I have never seen any so big in my life. Thankfully we didn't see an tarantulas but these spiders were huge and all over the place! yuck! We spent a few hours there and then left to go eat lunch, of course we had lots of meat! We then checked into our hotel and had a little free time. FORGOT THIS PART: After free time we drove to a port and hopped on a boat. We took a boat ride down the river that separates Brazil and Argentina. We then went to where two rivers meet, at this point you can see three countries: Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Therefore I was pretty much in three countries at once! It was such a relaxing boat ride and something fun to do. I am just very excited that I can now say I have been in three countries at once! haha The boat tour was about two hours long and after that we had a little bit of time until dinner that night. We hung out around the pool, because well it was about 90 degrees and humid! We needed the pool! We then had dinner, which was a buffet and it was delicious. We always eat so well on these trips! Then it was bedtime because we had a full day the next day! We woke up early Saturday morning to have breakfast and then off to the Iguazu National Park. We walked to a small station to hop on a small train that took us closer to the falls. Once we got off the train we had to walk about 20 minutes and we first went to the Devil's Throat (name of the waterfall). It is the largest and most powerful waterfall of Iguazu Falls. Oh my gosh, words seriously cannot begin to explain how incredible it was. You stand so close to the falls and you get drenched with water. I could have stayed there for days just looking at the marvelous falls that were right in front of me. It was so amazing! We then went back to the train and took it to another station where we had a lot of walking to do! There were paths that went along the falls and we got to see them from all different angles. Every single view was spectacular and any photos you see do not do any of the falls justice. We walked and admired the falls for hours and then in the afternoon we got lunch and then afterwards got to go on a boat ride that went very close and almost under the falls. We get on this speed boat and they give us bags to put all our valuables in so they don't get ruined. They then took us close to the falls and we get to take pictures but then they told us to put everything away and they then sped towards these huge waterfalls and took us very close to the falls and we got drenched with water, you couldn't even see anything! They then took us to the Brazilian side of the waterfalls and practically took us underneath them because they are smaller but still powerful when you're underneath them! It was seriously a blast and one of the best things ever! It was only 15 minutes long and I wish it was an hour. We then got off the boat and had to walk back up. We viewed the falls a little big more but it was the late afternoon and it was time for us to leave. I did not want to leave because it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life- I completely understand why it is one of the seven wonders of the world. Another reason I did not want to leave is because I know that is is possible I will never return. I could have spend so much more time just staring at the falls and taking it all in. All I can say to you is that if you have the chance, you need to visit Iguazu Falls- add it to your bucket list if it isn't on there already! We then went back to our hotel and had free time until dinner. After dinner we took a nap and then that night we checked out the night life of Iguazu, it was a blast! Sunday we got up early and went to visit an indigenous town, it was cool to see how some of them live, but sad to see how poor they are. We then had lunch and had to catch our plane back to Buenos Aires. We returned last night. It was one of the best weekends of my life. Iguazu Falls were just amazing, I seriously cannot put it into words- you all just have to go. Since I got back I have just been doing homework and trying to catch up on sleep. I will post on here when I can, thanks for reading! Chow! :)
I am warning you now- this is a long one! This past week has been one of the best weeks of my life, mostly thanks to my amazing weekend in Mendoza. However, I did many other things this week. Last Wednesday night I went to a Tango show and dinner. The commute was a long one but it was so awesome to see. We went to a nice restaurant and were served dinner and got to watch a tango show. It was amazing to finally see the dance of the country. Tango is very important in the culture of Argentina. It was amazing to see and I loved watching- now I want to learn... but it doesn't look that easy.. haha It was a fun night and I will definitely remember it for forever. Now it's Thursday- I had a tour of La Plaza de Mayo- a very historical and important area of Buenos Aires. They say that all the power is around the plaza because there are many important buildings in that area, for example La Casa Rosada (their version of the white house.) We had a tour and we got to watch the march of the mothers. Every single Thursday around 3:30pm mothers march for about 15 minutes for their missing children. There are many theories of where their children might have disappeared (the disappearances happened many years ago) It is a peaceful march and it was very eye opening and interesting to see. After watching the march and looking at what the plaza had to offer we went to a cafe called Cafe Tortoni. It is one of the oldest cafes in Buenos Aires and many famous authors went there to write. It is very European and that is where I found my churros and chocolate... yum! After the tour my friends and I had to go straight to the bus station to catch our bus to Mendoza (the city I am in love with and didn't want to leave) So yes, here comes Mendoza, my favorite part of the week. We get on our bus and it is scheduled to take 15 hours (ouch... yes a long time haha) but ended up being 17 hours (yup... ouch even more haha) So after our 17 hour bus ride to Mendoza we finally arrived! We decided to try and walk to our hostel since it was only supposed to be a 25 minute walk... well we got lost and ended up having to pay for a taxi (we went the completely wrong direction, oops!) After arriving at our hostel- my first hostel experience of my life. It was pretty good, was definitely pretty noisy but I got to meet some more people from around the world. Two of our first roommates were from South Korea and then the next night we had a girl from Australia- it was great! When we got to the hostel on Friday night all we wanted to do was sleep but we knew we only had a limited amount of time in Mendoza. We didn't do much on Friday night, we only went to a nice Italian restaurant. I had a shrimp pasta dish, so delicious! That is all we did on Friday because we knew we had a busy day the next day! Saturday comes along and we get up and get ready for our fun and busy day. We had breakfast, which was traditional, and always delicious, pastries and they also made us crapes for free! Yumm We got picked up at 9:00 to go white water rafting in the Andes Mountains. It was about an hour drive and the drive was absolutely breathtaking. We drove through the Andes and pictures do not come close to how amazing it actually was- I enjoyed the hour drive (didn't think I would after spending 17 hours in a bus haha) We finally reach the destination of white water rafting and that had the best view of them all. The water was clear blue (as you can see in the pictures) We then separated into two groups- English speaking and Spanish speaking (we did the English speaking because we thought it was probably a good idea to really understand what our guide was saying... haha) We then were told to get our wet-suit, shoes, helmet, and jacket to get all bundled up. It was 80 degrees but the water was ice cold! We finally got dressed and hoped on the bus to take it about 20 minutes up the road to get in the water. Our group in the raft was me, two of my friends, and then two guys from Switzerland! We get in the water and we are off. I have to say I absolutely loved white water rafting- I want to do it again but I want it to be harder! It was an absolute blast, I was a little nervous at first but it didn't take long for that to go away! We were in the water for about an hour. We had an amazing guide who messed around with us and made sure we had a ton of fun- he even tried to get some of us to fall in the water on purpose. It was a ton of fun and I want to do it again. After our white water rafting was over we had about two hours to sit around until the bus took us back. We got to sit out in the sun and relax- yes of course I got sunburned, this past Chicago winter made my skin forget what sun was.. haha We sat back and enjoyed the breathtaking view. Once our bus was ready we went back to our hostel and then had to quick get ready to go on our sunset horseback riding tour through the Andes. So with about 30 minutes in between we got picked up at our hostel to be taken to the farm. Our group included my two friends and a guy from Ireland! We rode the horses for about two hours in the Andes and it was beautiful. We had an amazing guide and I had the most well behaved horse :P haha I got lucky. After having to trot for about 30 minutes at the end because it was getting dark and we needed to make it back to the farm... lets just say my butt is still sore! Once we got back to the farm they were preparing an asado (a cookout/BBQ) they had lots of meat and potatoes and of course.. wine. After we finished dinner we got to sit around the campfire, mountains in the background and the sky full of stars all while listening to our guide play his guitar and sing for us. It was incredible. They then transported us back to our hostel and we were finally in bed around midnight. It was an absolutely amazing day and I wish I could do everything again. Now comes Sunday, another full day. We woke up and ate breakfast then we got picked up at 11:00 for our wine tour. We got to see two wineries and had two wine tastings- I have to say I am a white wine girl haha. We got to go into the wineries and see how the wine is made. We also got to eat the grapes from the vineyard... I could have just eaten a pound of them- they were sooooooo good! We got served lunch at the second winery- lets just say I felt like a rich person haha. We were served a five course meal and had a mountainous view. It was delicious and fantastic. I didn't want to leave. When the tour ended our guide, extremely nice once again- I think I can assume that pretty much everyone in Argentina is extremely friendly. Our guide drove us around Mendoza for a little tour. She then dropped us of at our hostel. We then had a little free time but then had to catch our bus back to Buenos Aires. My trip to Mendoza was one of the best weekends of my life. I did not want to leave. If I could, I would go back to Mendoza in a heartbeat. It took about 15 hours in the bus to get back- this bus ride was a lot better (two hours shorter and they stopped at a restaurant for us to get breakfast and it was all included- more delicious pastries) We finally returned to Buenos Aires yesterday around noon and classes started back up today. I wish I could explain my weekend better to you or that you all could experience the things I did. I have noticed that living in Argentina is just making my wanderlust worse... I just want to keep traveling and seeing the world. That is all I have for now and I actually don't have a busy week ahead of me. I will post on here soon. Thanks for reading! :)
Well I have had another busy and eventful week! I have officially completed my first week of Argentinian classes, I went to Uruguay for a day, learned to just accept the fact that rain won't hurt you, celebrated Saint Patrick's day with over two hundred international students and ate some delicious food. Today started week two of my classes, so far they are all going well. They are definitely going to be challenging but that is what I signed up for I guess! I will need to do a lot of reading every single night.. My teachers will say "okay read the first chapter for homework." and you go home to find out that it's 23 pages full of Spanish words that you don't know. I am sure with time it will get easier but yikes! So much reading and looking up words. Enough of boring old school... I got to go to Uruguay for a day! On Friday we took a ferry across the river to Colonia del Sacramento- it only took an hour. We got to spend the day around the small, old, beautiful town. We got to visit the beach and many historical sites. It was great to just take a step back from the busyness of Buenos Aires and to relax and walk in the streets of Uruguay where cars will actually stop for you if you are crossing the street! I absolutely loved the town and took many pictures. It is crazy how a town so different from Buenos Aires is only one hour away. We had a bus tour and also got to walk around and see the town by foot. We then went to a restaurant/hotel for lunch and holy cow I have never eaten so much food. When we got there, there was a buffet of food and we dug in- we were starving. There was every possible kind of meat in the buffet and then there was also delicious deserts. After loading plates full of the buffet we learn that we are also ordering a main course meal. So much food, but so happy. We also had desert- my favorite was the fruit pizza, oh my goodness I want more. After we finished lunch we had free time where we just got to walk around and do whatever we pleased for about an hour before heading back to Argentina. It started to rain when we were heading back to the boat to take to Buenos Aires. Once we arrived back to Buenos Aires we saw that it was pouring down rain. We were planning on getting a taxi because the subway station was a good 20 minute walk away. We went to stand on the street looking for a taxi and ended up walking all the way back to the subway station... lets just say we were dripping wet by the time we got back. We finally got on the subway and it is the most packed I have ever seen it- nobody had room to move. It took us a long time to get back, especially because we missed our stop to get off and switch subways lines. After an extremely long day of travel we arrived at home and it was empenada night- which makes everything better. Friday was an amazing day full of laughter and beautiful sights. Saturday was a great day too, I got to finally go on a run through a beautiful park near my house. It was great to finally get outside and do a little exercise. After that my friends and I decided to get lunch and go shopping. Saturday night we all participated in a bar crawl for international students for Saint Patrick's Day. It was a fantastic time, we got to meet so many people from all over the world and also got to see many bars and a club! I met so many people and it was definitely a night to remember. Sunday was more of a relaxing day, we all met up to get some lunch and oh my goodness was it delicious! I ordered a calzon and it was absolutely delicious. I am so glad I had leftovers! Sunday night finished with just relaxing and doing homework. This week has been a busy one, and I have a feeling they all will be and I am completely okay with that. I will post on here as much as I can. Chow for now!
Well vacation week has sadly come to an end and classes have begun. Today was day one of classes at La Universidad de Belgrano. Since my last post I have been busy but not as busy! On Wednesday I had school orientation which was a lot of Spanish and kind of long... but we made it through! The next day we had to meet with our advisors and pick out our classes. My classes are as follows: Latin American Literature, Argentine Literature, Latin American Culture, and Advanced Spanish A... not that that is very interesting but just thought maybe I should include it haha. The same day we went down Cabildo street and went into all the small clothing boutiques- they have so many. Here there are no big clothing stores (that I have seen anyway) there are just many small boutiques with cute clothes. Later that night we had our food and culture night with the CEA program. We were fed empenanads... if you haven't been able to tell empenadas are very popular, and very delicious! I think I could eat them everyday... We also learned how to prepare mate, which is a tea drink and it is delicious also. Everyone drinks it here! Not much happened on Friday and Saturday, however, Saturday night we tried to go to a "free" Jack Johnson concert. We got there and found out even though it was free you had to have a ticket to enter and we had no idea how to get the tickets so we sadly could not see the show. We did sit outside for a while and listen to it since it was an outdoor concert but it as still pretty hard to hear. Later that night we went and did a little exploring in Palermo! Then here comes Sunday and we all went to check out the open air market in Recoleta. There were so many stands and so many things to buy- I don't know how I only bought one thing! It was a great place and I want to go back next weekend. Now we are up to date with Monday. Today was my first day of classes, they didn't start until 1:00 and the ended at 5:30, just kind of how it is here! Classes went great, I like my professors, and most importantly I can understand them very well! Everything has been fantastic while being here but now I have homework and school- I kind of forgot about that part of the trip. Can't I just do the abroad and not the study part in "study abroad" haha. Even after saying that I am looking forward to my classes and looking forward to improving my Spanish. That is all I have for now- a lot shorter than my last post! Until next time.. Adios!
Wow I got busy fast! I have done so much since I last posted on Thursday! Where to begin? On Friday I had CEA orientation for the Latin American Studies group. I finally got to meet some great people that are here studying abroad with me. We had about two hours of orientation in a classroom then had lunch. I had empenadas for the first time.... yum! After we had lunch we went to get our public transportation cards so that when we had to ride the bus or train around the city we don't have to use coins- helps us look less like tourists... even though I can do absolutely nothing about looking like a tourist. Everyone stares a me like I am something they have never seen before, my super pale skin and blonde hair is not too common! After our little journey out to get our cards we had our bus tour around the city! It was roughly a two hour tour and we only saw about 1/4 of the city- it is huge! We saw all of the famous areas and monuments. One of my favorite parts was La Boca, a colorful and fun area of Buenos Aires. This was the only area we got off the bus and got to walk around. I absolutely loved it, all the buildings were very colorful (this area is painted so many different colors because it used to be, and some parts still are, very poor and the people living there could not afford paint so they asked the boats coming into the port for their extra paint. So whatever color they had, they got!) There were lots of outside restaurants, tango dancers, and little shops. I loved it and I want to return soon. We finished our tour at the University of Belgrano (my school I will be attending). The tour was fantastic but I want to venture out and see it all again. Saturday was a full day also! I met up with my friends from my program in Vicente Lopez (where they live) and their host mom drove us and dropped us off by the river so we could walk around. We walked all the way back and found a cafe to get something to eat and drink! We went to a small cafe and I had my first legal drink here in Argentina and had more empenadas. We finished up our late lunch and returned to their home. We then soon left to go to a Carnival celebration not far from their home. It was a huge parade and there were thousands of people! There was fun music and you could just feel the true culture of the city all around you. We stayed there for a few hours and around 9:00 we headed home and had some delicious dinner, I don't know what the name is exactly but it is similar to pizza- same shape and everything but its more of a quiche.. I don't know but it was very good! After that we quickly got ready to have our first night out on the town! We met up with some of the host family's sons friends to take us out and show us the ropes! I got to experience the discotecas here in Argentina- so much fun and so much dancing! It was a fantastic night with great memories... They stay out extremely late, I did not get back until the sun was starting to come up and that is completely normal. It was a great night. Then comes Sunday, you would think I would have been to exhausted because I didn't get back until 6:30 am.. nope, off I go again! That night I went to go visit my friends at their home again because it was Arianah's birthday and their host family was having a barbecue for her and they invited me. Oh my goodness was that food delicious. There was meat, meat, and more meat! We had beef, chicken, pork and a type of sausage. So good! Many of you may be thinking there was barbecue sauce involved.. nope! None of that, just lots of delicious meat! After dinner their host family serenaded us with their voices and his guitar. He gave us lyrics to songs and had us sing along- it was definitely a night to remember. I slept over at their house because the parents didn't want me taking the bus back to my house alone so late at night. Which brings me to remember my first experience taking a city bus.