4 Flights down only 15 to go
03.13.2010 - 03.16.2010 58 °F
Hola my travel mates! I had to clean up some stuff and add some important things I forgot. I promise I will not subject you again to a rewrite but I feel I’m finally getting the hang of this blog stuff and I’m getting my travel rhythm. Please enjoy and I am loving your comments and don’t feel alone at all thanks to all of you routing me on! Hey, I think it easier to send my video to my youtube site www.youtube.com/user/Travelguy101.
March 13-16, 2010
March 13 - Following a very hectic week at the office trying to clean up loose ends and two nights of little sleep in anticipation of this incredible trip I am now working on my second Bloody Mary and finally relaxing and able to comprehend the journey head.
I was upgraded to first class on my trip from Spokane this morning which was great to get off on the right foot or seat in this case! I arrived on time at around 8 am at SeaTac. I had to exit the secure airport zone and check in at American Airlines ticket counter to check in for the international flight through Dallas. Nice sunny day in Seattle so had a beautiful view as expected of Mount St Helens. Hey, I have flown the entire route on FSX (that’s Microsoft Flight Simulator my alternate life) many times before this flight so was able to anticipate best seat for scenery.
This flight to DFW is 3.5 hours using an MD-80 Superliner, older aircraft with an incredible history of service. Following some clear air turbulence we increased altitude to better air and had a nice lunch of BBQ chicken salad and a little white wine. Now I’m completely relaxed and ready to get my mind and hopefully my body fully involved in the adventure.
Dallas was about a 3.5 hour layover (should have been 2 but flight was delayed (as seems very normal for just about any long haul flight I have ever flown) to catch second American Airlines 10 hr flight to Buenos Aires. The equipment is a triple 7 and flagship class cabin. It was very comfortable with great service food and drink. The seat reclined to an angled flat bed. That should sound like an oxymoron but great marketing because it is flat but not level perpendicular to the floor like a flat be would normally be thought of and they now it will make you think it is like your bed at home. Still its way better than sleeping in a nearly upright seated position arm and shoulder with the seat mates next to you. It did take some getting used to because your body wants to slowly slide down toward the floor. My seat mate next to me is the manager for Argentina, Peru, Uruguay and Chile for Apple Corp. I asked about the IPAD and he said it’s so top secret that only a handful of Apple employees are even allow to see or touch (very funny he thought).
March 14 - Arrived in Buenos Aires an hour late at 10am to sunny skies in Buenos Aires and a warm 80 degrees. Smooth sailing through immigration. They asked me for $150.00 just to enter the country so it must be good. Taxi whisked me to my hotel in the Centro district and now a shower and long nap so I’m ready for the exciting BA nightlife. P.S. This hotel is some minimal design of concrete floors and total glass shower surround between bed area and sink and toilet. Why am I mentioning this? Because the first thing I did in the room was walk forehead first in the plate glass shower wall which you don’t see when you are suffering from sleep deprivation. No concussion but a nice walnut from the encounter. I have a VIP seat at the Tango dinner show this evening (hope it’s not too cheesy).I will update tonight after I have Tangoed; Remember the theme of this trip is So You Think You Can Dance! It’s going to get a lot more exciting I guarantee! Before I got out of the hotel I noticed the whole pool area had turned into a Rave party that the hotel hosts every Sunday during the summer (stayed long enough to have a drink and glad to exit the crowd of young party goers because yes I am getting old and yes I am married!). The motto for this hotel is it’s “heterofriendly” and need I say more. The Tango show was in a very old and historic theater in BA and the tango they performed for us was what was termed classical. Here’s the cheesy part, I thought if I reserved a VIP seat I would be seated near the stage where I could easily be available to jump on stage not if but when asked. Instead, I had a balcony box above the rest of the cheap skates who obviously new there was no real advantage to paying the extra pesos. So there I was in my box up high on display by myself eating a fantastic dinner of what else Argentinean beef that literally melted in my mouth. Funny how my wine glass never emptied during the entire 3 hour performance and what a great show it was. OK, I didn’t get to tango (couldn’t have with this back if I wanted to – last time I will mention my back problems promise) but I did get a picture since I was a VIP with the star performers of the extravaganza. My driver was waiting as promised in front of theater when I left and quickly got me home to Axel Hotel and I only remember my head hitting the pillow and I was out like a light
March 15 &16 - Beautiful sunny day in Buenos Aires this morning and I have a bit of a hangover from the Tango experience or actually the red wine. My walking tour guide Jessica (an American girl with a history major having an international experience to enhance her knowledge of Latin American history) met me in the lobby this morning and we grabbed a taxi to get us to the starting point of our all day experience exploring BA. The city is of course a mixture of very old and very new. We started with the very old. First stop was the Pink House (their White House). It’s in front of the main plaza in the Centro district of BA. Its more salmon color and pink and rumor is they did not have enough white paint so they mix cow blood into the paint (I don’t think so). This is a very famous park and building as it is the place where Evita Peron and of course Madonna made their famous appeal to the people of Buenos Aires not to fear her impending death from cancer and know that she will always be in their hearts. So, “Don’ Cry for me Argentina” kept looping in my head as I peering up at the balcony where is all took place. And behind me the park is the current location of much protest (good and bad) toward the government. This the place where the mothers of missing son’s first gathered in the 1980’s demanding the military government tell them what they had done with their sons who you should all remember is a very ugly period of Argentinean history. Their symbol is white head scarves that they wore and still do every Thursday in the plaza where they continue to seek closure. That symbol of the white head scarf is stenciled in white paint around the circular plaza as their lasting symbol for many unanswered questions. P.S. This plaza being right across the street from Pink House of the President of Argentina (by the way currently a women described by my guide very Hillary Clinton like) is home to more permanent protests the most obvious was of Falkland Island war veterans who were still ask their government to provide much needed health and social benefits for their service (sounds like their Vietnam huh!). Now back to Madonna. There was a lot of outrage that Madonna and not an Argentinean actor played the role of their most cherished Evita. My guide likened it to Britney Spears playing Mother Teresa (I would have chosen Paris Hilton). We had many great stops and views during the tour but while in the subway my blackberry was stolen and my afternoon and evening was spent cancelling phone service and changing email accounts. Feels very creepy that someone has my phone and I hope Karma does her thing on the thief who I now remember his face as he staged giving up his seat lifted the phone out of my pocket because I was trying to hold on the subway handle as I was standing up I lost my awareness of my surroundings (believe me, I know better and could kick myself).
I will share more about Spain when I have time as my taxi is waiting to take to the airport for my next stop Madrid so stay tuned. Oh, one last thing about Madonna, before I left my room they were announcing that Madonna was doing a concert in Buenos Aires March 30th. I got a grin out of that and that damn “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” started looping in my head again. See you in Madrid.