Showing posts from November, 2011

Ice Ice Baby!

What's frigid cold, very large, and moves really slow?  Hopefully not your significant other! (I couldn't resist)

I frankly wasn't too sure what to expect when we headed to El Calafate.  Heck, we live in Colorado, love to ski, and see snow and ice every freaking year, right?

The first bad assumption - our hotel in El Calafate was walking distance to the glaciers.  Wrong...try 120km away!  Oops.  Had to run out and find a rental car real fast since the family was not up for a long walk!

Second bad assumption - it's only 'ice ice baby', so what's the fuss about?  We soon realized that was a really dumb question.  We were awestruck - not only in the size of the glacier, but the pure solitude of the area.  There were almost no tourists (it was drizzly all day), and you could hear and feel the rumbles of the ice as it broke off the glacier.  Amazing!

So, no more words.  I've posted a short video of our glacier adventure!

HD Video Link

Field Trip Written By Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth.  I am six years old.  I have a little brother.  His name is Michael.  I like to travel around the world.  This is my blog about Argentina and Patagonia.  I picked out some photos for you to see.  Here they are...

These are homemade empanadas.  I made these with my brother.  I like the jamon y queso kind.  That is a Spanish word for ham and cheese.  I like to say that when I want ham and cheese empanadas.  This is how you make them. SO, you get an empanada maker (they sell these in the Tupperware store by our apartment!) and you put an empanada circle of dough and you put ham and cheese inside.  Then you squish it.  You have to cook it for 10 minutes in the oven, but you first have to put egg and brush it on the empanadas.  Don't forget to whip the egg up first because if you don't whip the egg yolk up then you will have to put big globs on the empanadas.  That wouldn't taste good!  Here is my next photo.

This is me with my mommy and my brother when we…

It's the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine

Thanksgiving for us this year looked a lot different than our typical deep-fried turkey and Christmas tree cutting! This year, we were pilgrims who landed in the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. Instead of our usual feast, lunch was lamb stew and a pint of Guinness! It hit the spot after a long day boating on the Beagle Channel in frigid weather, only 300 miles from Antarctica. Just across the channel, we could see parts of Chile - so close, but so far away and not a chance of getting a Chile stamp on our passports - again! Oh well, maybe someday.

It was surreal to be so far south, imagining explorers and brave sailors who had traversed these chilly waters years ago without GPS or depth-finders! One of Mark's must-do's was to boat along the Beagle Channel, so we signed up for a boat tour for our first full day there.
During our boat tour, we learned about the South American Sea Lions who live on the rocky islands in the Beagle Channel.  Because we were vis…


It wasn't easy.  It wasn't exactly kosher.  It was a blast!  Certainly one of the highlights of our stay in Buenos Aires.

Attending the football game between the Boca Juniors (the most successful football club in Argentina) and Racing last week was fantastic.  A must do for anyone staying in the city.  Thanks to a fellow Antares owner (4439) - we were tipped off on this experience, with some suggestions and assistance to obtain tickets.

We corralled three other friends and decided to get tickets the 'local' way.  Cash, dark alleys, mobsters, inside connections and the like.  Seriously.  The game against Racing was huge.  Boca was ranked #1 and Racing #2.  The 'mob' and management of the stadium evidently got into an argument over fees, and all tickets purchased via agencies were being refunded.  If we had used the agency, we would not have been able to attend.  

Fortunately, one of our expat friends - Brian - was able to connect with a local over Yom Kippur, w…

Birthday Boys!

"Mom, do they have Chuck E. Cheese in Argentina, like Sissy's birthday?" Michael asked as we anticipated the celebration of his fourth birthday.  "I want to go to Chuck E. Cheese!"

"Well, no, but they do have gum!" A mediocre substitute, I realize.  But in our family, turning four means that you finally get to chew gum.  It is quite a huge milestone, and Michael has been talking about it for the past 6 months.  Even waging his feelings of moving to Argentina on the question of whether or not they sell gum here.  So, on the morning of his birthday, he got to chew gum before breakfast!  It was quite entertaining to see him try to chew gum for the first time, asking, "Do I swallow the juice?" And he has been awkwardly smacking gum ever since.  
It was a challenge as a mother to find a way to celebrate in a foreign country.  Chuck E Cheese and Monkey Bizness don't exist, and four or five sugar-crazed preschoolers in our little apartment wasn&#…

Nailing Jell-o

Building a boat and time schedules don't coexist.  We've had a number of setbacks on our splash date, especially in the last 3-4 months. Time schedules are as predictable as nailing Jell-o to a wall.  Wiggle, wiggle, jiggle, jiggle - never really ceasing to move.

The old saying about visitors scheduling time to visit the boat is you can either pick the date or location, but never both.  This holds true - when your boat is in the water.

The silver lining for us is we have been enjoying Argentina and have made some great friends.  We haven't been in a significant rush.  At the present, if all goes well, including weather, our boat will now splash around mid December vs. the end of November.  About 2 weeks later than expected.  The boat will be commissioned for a week, moving the 'move on date' to December 23rd.  We'll have about a week to get the boat in order before we export January 2nd, and leave January 3rd for Brazil.  YIKES.  A lot tighter schedule than ori…


This week we met our 'match' as we traveled out to the countryside to enjoy a day of polo.  Argentina houses 8 of the top 13 polo players in the world, and takes the game very seriously.  There are over 100 polo clubs in and around Buenos Aires, so it was an exciting experience for us - to delve into the Argentine culture and check off another "must do" on our Bucket List.  Fernando, of Polo Elite, came and picked us up in the first minivan I've ridden in since living in Argentina.  It was quite luxurious to have leg room and not have any meter running!  After a little over an hour ride, we found ourselves entering Puesto Viejo Polo Club.  The huge expanses of green met with a sky that went on for miles was a welcomed change from our crowded city life.  I just had a to take a deep breath of that fresh air (minus the horse manure, of course) and enjoy the silence and calm that the ranch life offered.  It was going to be a good day.

The first part of our day consist…

Mendoza to Chile

We decided to rent a car for a day, and drive all the way from Mendoza to Chile. It is about 220 km to the Chilean border crossing.  The total trip took about 7 hours.

We jumped in our compact Hertz car and drove on highway 7.  It was a beautiful day, sunny skies, with snowcapped mountains.  Fortunately, with the exception of the Chilean border crossing, we had no issues, and thoroughly enjoyed getting out of the city and into the mountains!

The video below is a short documentary of this trip.

HD Video Link

Wine, Wine & More Wine!

We just got back from a 5 day trip to Mendoza Argentina.  It was exceptional.  We've done a number of trips to Napa and Sonoma over the years.  We usually found ourselves 'slightly' overindulging on the wine tastings and ordering cases of wine that started 'showing up' at our house a week later.  We also had some friends literally falling off the wine bus after a long day visiting wineries, only to fall asleep at dinner that night (you know who you are).  Fortunately we were a little more measured in Mendoza.

Mendoza is the capital of the Menodza province in Argentina.   It was formally established as Mendoza in the early 1500s.  Today Mendoza is known for it's wine.  Specifically the Malbec varietal grape that grows very well in this region.  The vineyards are some of the highest in the world, ranging from 2,600 - 3,600 ft in elevation.  This special semi-arid climate, with temperatures swinging 30 degrees in a day (similar to Denver, CO) produces some excelle…