This is the book I just ordered:
Big and bold it announces “Buenos Aires,” and you can gather from it that Argentina’s capital is in my sights for my next destination. The nerve, the gall, you might huff, considering I got back from Italy a mere four days ago. But see, I’m a greedy globe-trekker, scheming my next move on the plane back from my latest journey like a cheating lover.
Buenos Aires wasn’t on my bucket list. Though I almost went years ago, I’ve never been to South America. As I was decompressing after my flight home from Rome, I was chatting with a woman, a friend of a friend, whose entire life is an unbroken blur of world travel. She asked where I was off to next and I had no answer. I really didn’t know. I just knew it would happen in the fall, my prime travel season.
I told her I never travel in the summer because of the heat and the crowds, and she, a veteran of Argentina, suggested Buenos Aires. Below the equator, our summer is their winter, of course. I could go in July and luxuriate in 59-degree temps in a jacket and jeans. And it’s the off-season, so crowds are thinner and prices cheaper. I was on my computer researching the city within minutes.
I was taken. Infused with Spanish, Italian and French colonial influences that lend it a lusty European sheen, yet still boldly Latin, the city of 13 million people is famed for a dizzying eclecticism that runs from its architecture to cuisine, including ubiquitous beef steaks and flowing Malbec. Street art animates facades, baroque cemeteries lure the living, and, if you’re into it, clubs smolder with tango. (I’ll watch the dance, but not partake, lest I cause an international incident.)
It’s all enticing until you shop for flights, which run a stroke-inducing $1,200 to $1,300 in July. Argentina also requires you to buy travel insurance to cover any hypothetical Covid treatments. That’s in addition to a negative Covid test, proof of vaccination and some other minor paperwork.
That’s the downside. The upside is stylish and affordable boutique hotels (I already have one picked out), 15-minute taxi rides costing $2.50 USD, dinner with a full bottle of wine for $10, free museums, jumping cafe and bar cultures and, by most accounts, loopy, lively people. I’ll tell you more when my book arrives.
Buenos Aires is Spanish for “fair winds” or “good air,” and isn’t that nice. It’s not certain that I’m going there; I’m thick in homework and investigation. I’m vetting this city that seems magnificent on paper, and might be even more so in the flesh. I’ll see where those fair winds carry me.
P.S. If you don’t think I’m already pondering my fall voyage, you are grossly ill-informed. Scotland? Iceland? Poland? Peru?
3 thoughts on “A trip that’s up in the air”
So thrilled for you. Another trip! Too fun.
We got back from the Bahamas more than a week ago and I have been too busy to even post my fave pictures. My mom had such a great time, and although she had a health incident on the way home, it did not dim our enthusiasm for the vacation as a whole. Our love and respect for the Bahamian people grew; they are kind, welcoming, honest and, best of all, lack our American obsession with consumerism. Lovely country; lovely people.
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That is the best, Anne. Sounds completely wonderful. I do hope your mom is doing well. I always say that it’s the people who make my travels, and it looks like the Bahamians were awesome. How great is that. Happy to hear the trip was grand. I’m deep into the book “Baggage” and having a blast. He’s funny, smart, interesting, brave and just a smidge more neurotic than I am, which doesn’t seem possible. I will share the book, if that’s all right with you. xoxo
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Ah. So relieved you like the book. Isn’t it funny? You want so much for a friend to enjoy being “set up” with the read you enjoyed. Otherwise, there’s a guilty feeling of wasting their time or gauchely misinterpreting their preferences. I’m delighted I was able to pull off a match. Thanks for telling me.
Please do share it with another reader. That’s the dream.
Mom is fine now. Thanks for your concern. I checked her into the hospital in Austin upon our return, and she spent the night getting tests to reassure us all that her brief lapse into unconsciousness (at the tiny airport in Long Island!) was not tied to something serious. Looks like it was related to her being off her blood pressure meds. Whew.
In addition to being warm and friendly throughout our stay, the Bahamians who were present for Mom’s seizure, TIA or whatever it was, were heroic. They sprang into action and one gentleman with biceps I would be unable to reach around with both hands, gently hoisted my mom as she slid slowly to the ground from her leaning position. Picked her up off the ground, pivoted slightly and deposited her carefully into a wheelchair which appeared out of nowhere. He and David had become chummy during our long wait, and he already had David’s phone number. A day after we returned home, he texted David to see how his “new mama” was doing! If that’s not class, nothing is.
We were all about to board, but just after Mom went out, someone handed me a bottle of water and another passenger (it was only a 14-seat airplane) offered a sleeve of electrolytes. As soon as mom’s eyes flickered, I was tipping the liquid down her throat. Everyone was solicitous and genuinely concerned. It soothed my heart, which – as you might imagine – was trying to leap out of my throat.
All went well after that; she’s had one of these incidents before which I also happened to witness. So I had the benefit of having been through it once. It definitely helped.
Anyway, just wanted to share with you how completely awesome folks were. Truly gives you faith in humanity, when it seems so scarce these days.
Keep up the fascinating travel blogging. I love it, as I’m sure your other readers do!
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