After driving 10 hours from Mendoza through ranch lands and corn fields much like Eastern Colorado and Nebraska in the U.S. we arrived in Buenos Aires. With a population of 3 million in the city central and 13 million in the surrounding area the city was packed. It took a while to get through the suburbs due to traffic but BA doesn’t have any geographical constraints on three sides so the city is very spread out, large avenues and many beautiful parks. There was a protest of the government when we first arrived in town which delayed our arrival, we got stuck on the Avenue 9 de Julio which is the main road through town (somewhat like Broadway in NYC). We finally arrived at our apartment a trendy building in the Monserrat neighborhood close to the government center.
We arrived on Saturday night and didn’t eat before we got into town so we got settled in our place and then went out for food, it was about 8 o’clock, very late for us but about the normal time for Argentinians to be eating. We settled on an unique looking place that looked like it had been there for 60 years, and with a server who looked like he had been there for all 60 years too. The food was great, I had a fish dish that was incredible, probably very heavy on the butter and cream. On our way home we encountered a block that was closed and a musical stage was set up, we watched for 10 minutes or so but the kids needed to hit the sack so we retreated back home. The city was very alive with lots of young people and also lots of older men and women, not much in the middle.
On Sunday we to a market in San Pedro Telmo, there were venders selling goods for what seemed like 30 blocks. The kids were given money that they had earned from chores, back rubs, bets and tooth mouse money and they all purchase some small trinkets. Julie bought an emoji pillow and Mira got some crystals and all the girls got these balloons filled with flour that you could mold into different faces (they all popped within a day). It was a great market and the weather held out until after we had lunch at which time it poured rain on us for the rest of the day so we went home and relaxed while the rain came down.
On Monday we did some school work before getting going on the business of acquiring our visas for Brazil. We didn’t acquire them at home do to the impending Bolivian visas which we never did get until we arrived in South America. So first thing was to get our Yellow Fever shots due to an outbreak in Brazil. We found a clinic that provided them for free but we did have to wait for an hour and a half but it was a great clinic and they were supportive even as Caroline screamed bloody murder when she got the shot. Oh well, par for the course, we gave in and got them McDonalds afterwards.
Our next visa task was getting to the embassy to apply for the visa, we took a ride on the subway, apparently, the twins first ride at least according to them. The subways in BA are very similar to the NYC subway at least on the surface except a bit further underground.
We got to the embassy and according to the website you were supposed to get an appointment online but it was impossible to register for an appointment and so we decided to just show up. We learned that they changed their rules starting that Monday so it was first come first serve. We were close to the first people in line but we hadn’t filled out the correct paper work and we had to leave to fill out the paper work online, which at the nearest internet café was nearly impossible due to slow internet. We then went back and found out all the other stuff that we needed, including the girls original birth certificates which were at home in Wisconsin in a safe at Nana’s house. We were all near melt down point including all the kids. Arrrggghhh. So we failed in our first attempt at the visas and went home for some dinner and Mendoza wine to melt away our stress. Nana was able find the birth certificates after getting a locksmith to open the safe, because I forgot where I put the keys. She got the certificates shipped to us very quickly (Thanks again Nana). We forgot about the visa trouble and resolved to get them completed in Montevideo and enjoyed the rest of the week.