Last week, I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina for my 30th birthday vacation. It was great to leave rainy gloomy cool Atlanta to see sunshine (and a little bit of rain which led to two adventures…). And it was great to unleash the explorer in me for a week. And by explorer, I really mean explorer. I went to this Spanish-speaking country without knowing a lick of Spanish (I always studied French). Well, let’s not say a lick. I knew the numbers 1-5 because of Sesame Street and I knew gracias means thank you. Oh, and I knew how to say I don’t speak Spanish. Good start, right? By Thanksgiving, I had a few things under my belt, including numbers up to 12, please, and how to communicate with the taxi drivers. I actually kinda want to learn a lil Spanish now.
So I think I’m going to do 2-3 posts since we did a lot in those 7 days.
Let’s start with the absolutely awesome.
1. It was soooooooooooooooooooooo great to have my mom around for an extended period of time. Since we don’t live in the same place I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like to, and sometimes you just need your mom around, yanno? Plus, it was cool to have her with me on a non-Thanksgiving focused birthday (lol), so why not let it be the big 3-0.?? It was cool to be able to tell her thanks for doing all the work 30 years before since she usually is the one that reminds me of that fact.
2. I am super uber mucho grateful for friends that enjoy traveling to new places for celebrations! My birthday was so special with those gals in the mix. So many laughs and experiences to share.
3. Our condo was the bomb.com. It was spacious, it was cozy, and it was in a pretty cool part of town (San Telmo). We had a rooftop patio, we had an ice cream shop right on the corner, and when we were coming back from a long, hard day of shopping in Palermo Soho’s weekend market, we walked right into a huge outdoor market right in our neighborhood! It was very cool.
And one of the best things about the condo was the house manager Ruben. He has to be the best, most versatile, nicest “den mother” you can have, especially in a foreign country. Ruben took great care of us. He a cell phone waiting on us with his phone number in it that we could take with us in case we had issues while we were out (of course the week was half gone before we started remembering to take it). And I arranged almost all of our “official” activities through him, and they were all great and a couple even had surprises built in.
4. As a show of my appreciation, one of the things I arranged for my traveling companions was a surprise traditional Argentinian asado (barbecue!) to take advantage of the pizza grill (that’s what we called it–I don’t know what the actual name of it is) in the condo. Ruben came over and prepared a 4-course meal (pics coming soon) for us. First, there was a cheese dish that you scooped out with a fork. Then we had pork sausage. Then we had steak and salad. Then Ruben surprised me with a cake! 🙂
5. My birthday dinner was grand. We went to the Piazzola Tango for tango lessons and a dinner and show. The tango lessons were very fun to me. Our whole group participated during the teaching but I was the only one who participated during the practice, lol. Partially because if you didn’t have a partner already, you had to wait for the male instructor to come around and scoop you up. But I’m always ready for the challenge. And my little swingee dress was perfect for practicing! (More pictures coming soon–so please come back and check!) The dinner was cool. The wine was free flowing, and we actually had as much water as we wanted (first time the whole week we could get water and soda refills!! lol!)! More empanadas (my mom became an empanada aficionado during the week, but I don’t have to ever eat another one) for the appetizer–the other choices were ceasar salad which I wanted until I saw “fowl bits” in the description and pumpkin soup, which I just wasn’t willing to try on my bday (What?? I was being adventurous all week!). Then we had steak (what else????) and potatoes for the entree. Half of us got the flan for dessert (which was ok but kinda not great) and the other half got some dish that had a scoop of ice cream and some kind of hard cake (they ate the ice cream). But the tango show… the tango show was amazing. It was much longer and way more involved than what I expected, which was just a couple doing some moves for a few minutes. This was a full performance! The orchestra was wonderful (y’all know I love live music and string instruments and I finally got to see accordions in person!). The dancing was amazing and the singing was cool (the singers were very very dramatic–probably more dramatic than the dancers, lol). Then after the show, our waitress brought our table champagne and a REAL dessert. It was a chocolate cake with this really delicious creamy icing. We devoured that thing (and yes, I have before and after pics). Ruben was the bomb for that surprise because before I was a smidge disappointed with my dessert. But the finale was right on point.
Ok, so I’ll be back with added pics and another post with more great moments of the trip! Hope everything had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I’ve relearned that:
I can’t control anyone or anything except my own actions.
Perspective is the key to a sound mind. There’s a positive way to look at nearly anything. You have to allow yourself to see it from that vantage point.
No matter what life brings, God sends the help you need.
I will always be a busy body. It’s in my DNA.
You have to listen to your body. Even if you have to pull an all-nighter, you need to cancel whatever you had planned the next day. If your body is tired, let it rest.
The reason for the Sabbath is because God doesn’t want us running ourselves ragged. Productivity depends on balance.
Sour patch kids are still some of the best candy ever put on the shelf.
You can plan all that you wanna, but you have to be flexible because back to my first point, you can’t control anyone or anything but your own actions.
But planning is still important. You need to dream then wake up and starting putting feet those ideas. Nothing is impossible unless you don’t believe you can do it. And once you believe, then you need to put one foot in front of the other.
It’s a great thing to give to others, but you have to remember to refuel on a regular basis. Taking care of self is not selfish–you can’t give someone a ride if your car has no gas.
I learned a lot more, but those are the ones that were on the tips of my fingers to share. Thanks for visiting my lil space on the net and always coming back for me. The road to 30 was bumpy yet exciting, and I’m so looking forward to forging my way through my 30s. Happy birthday to me!!
And Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Generally, when I take lunch, if I don’t have errands to run, I use that hour as a time to completely get away. I go somewhere that I likely won’t run into anyone I have to make polite convo with and I read or I write or I doodle, whatever I feel like for that hour. Well, today, I walked over to Arby’s for a Jr. Roast Beef sammich and those yum yum curly fries and curled up in my chair with the latest book I’m reading A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe (I was reading The Complete Collection of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and grew a bit tired after seeing I’m only 2% in and I’ve already read the first story and am almost done with the second story. This is a long series, so I’ll be reading that as I read everything else on my list–The New Jim Crow is next.).
Anyhow, I looked out the window and who do I see coming up the stairs but Mr. Rundles–my line sister’s dad who lives not too far from where I live and who has fed me alot over the years (what? I love to eat delish food!!) but we’ve kinda been disconnected since Jenn moved to NC. So we chatted briefly then parted to have our peaceful lunches. Ending about the same time, he offered me a ride back to work. We were talking along the way about this dreadful housing market, and he mentioned a couple of options for refi that I hadn’t considered. I had automatically assumed that I wasn’t even eligible since I’ve never been late or missed a payment and because for most programs, particularly that eye-roll inducing NACA who were extremely rude to me, I have too much income despite the fact that my house has depreciated way more than I want to talk about because it’s sickening. Talk about a tap on the shoulder from God! I jumped on the internet to check things out and it looks like Mr. Rundles was on to something. I’m looking forward to calling and finding out more.
I love when people are put in my path and it’s quite obvious that I was supposed to see them and talk to them and LISTEN to them. And I love when I am reminded that I have support all around even if I don’t see them as much as I did long ago. I told Mr. Rundles that I’ll call soon so I can come by and get some of that great food that used to be a regular treat. Yay for great parents who love their children’s friends. 🙂
Last night, I got home ready for a nice quiet evening with the Smokester and a humble dinner of Captain D’s, and I was in for a rude awakening. Now, prior to last night, I can’t remember one doorbell ringing on Halloween in the years I’ve been in my neighborhood. And despite the fact that almost every weekend, Smokie has a set of friends that will come knock on my door to ask if Smokie can play, it didn’t dawn on me that I needed to have some candy for the kids that have moved into the neighborhood over the last year (and as I found out last night, there are quite a few of them!). So about 30 minutes after I came in from walking Smokie, the doorbell rang. And I panicked. Am I now that mean lady on the street that doesn’t love the kiddies??? I ran to my pantry, and there was no candy in sight. Not even a peppermint. I thought to myself, should I give bags of popcorn?? Naaaah, that’s just a little too much. Mind you, this whole time Smokie is barking his head off because the doorbell rang, so I’m pretty sure it’s pretty clear that someone is home and just not answering. Eeek. About 15 minutes later, another doorbell. At this point, I was upstairs making sure I looked remotely presentable so I could go hunt down candy. By the time I got to the door to apologize for not having candy, they were gone. But in the corner of my eye I saw a wee one trying to tell her chaperone that someone was at the door.
So I headed to CVS and picked out three types of candy and headed back home. Now I was prepared. But now it was dark. So I was sure I completely missed the youngest and cutest and probably most excited kids. I kept my door open with the light on so that future Trick or Treaters would know that we were open for business. A whole hour passed, and I was about to pout that I potentially dampened the night of the kids and subsequently wasted my money on a bunch of candy because of my lateness.
Then my doorbell finally rang and it was Smokie’s friends! I gave them candy and they were all excited to see Smokie. (Then I felt a little underdressed and felt like I could have AT LEAST dressed Smokie up, smh.) After they left, they alerted a few more of the neighborhood kids and they came by and rang the doorbell too. So all was not lost. But trust and believe that my house will be ready with candy and probably even costumes next year!!