Hey friends! WE'RE IN BUENOS AIRES AND IT'S THE BEE'S KNEES (or should i say, rodillos de abejas! no, i probably shouldnt cause it doesnt roll off the tongue quite as nicely)(also, man oh MAN are these keyboards a pain in the bonabon!)
So, Wesley and I are currently holed up in the NYU Buenos Aires building (as I've already confided to Uncle Andy, this means free internet, free clean water, and free air conditioning), taking a break from the gungho exploring we've been doing the last couple days. We've been staying in Retiro/Recoleta at a hostel called Hostel Colonial which was pretty nice, very clean, free breakfast of croissants that were sometimes filled with dulce de leche, and in a nice (though pricey) neighborhood. Tonight we're moving on to stay with a friend of Wes's who has extremely graciously offered us her couch, which is much more than so called "couchsurfing.com" people could say. So yay!
Buenos Aires is a little more expensive than we expected, so we're leaving for Bariloche (in the south in Patagonia, its going to be beautiful and a little less expensive) on Thursday night. But it really is beautiful here- we spent most of our first full day here in the parks in Palermo- the jardin del poetas / rose garden is seriously one of the most beautiful places ever. They have (apart from an absolutely spectacular rose garden) all these beautiful Greek terraces (http://picasaweb.google.com/kb1043/Argentina2010#5428175242234960290) and bridges and trees (including ones not native to Argent.), which were my favorite part.
We also checked out el Museo de Bellas Artes (the name doesn't lie), which in addition to being free had awesome Argentine art, with a lot of great portraits of gauchos (sort of like Argentine cowboys)- oh yeah, and while we're on the subject, I love mate. I can't get enough of it. Every day after lunch we go and lie down in a park to digest and drink mate for an hour or two. It's the best excuse for an afternoon nap ever, plus it gives you about x34567 times the energy.
Yesterday we went to the San Telmo street fair, with lots of beautiful work by artisans (and people selling tchatches). We didn't buy anything cause we're watching our money and don't really need anything else to carry around in our bags, but it was really awesome- from there we walked into Boca, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city known for it's brightly painted shanty houses (and poor inhabitants)- it was pretty touristy but definitely still cool, with a lot of tango shows. We've also checked out the obligatory Plaza de Mayo (used historically in Argentina as a venue for social protests- we're hopefully going to see the madres this Thurs), Casa Rosada, and a lot of beautiful parks and statues and gorgeous architecture. So yeah- this city is about a million times greener *(looking) than New York, and the architecture is out of this world. Stupid New York. Though people here will definitely hit you with their cars if you get in their way.
Hm what else. Obviously we've been eating a ton of steak and empanadas and drinking a lot of quilmes and wine, though living on a budget prevents us from going too crazy. And adjusting to speaking Argentine Spanish is kind of tough (especially as my Spanish really stinks right now, though Wes's is great! Wes is also an awesome guide around the city. He's just great. Great great great.) I have heaps more to write about but I've got to be out of here soon, so our plans for the rest of the week look like going to Bomba tonight, Malba Wednesday, either Tigre or Colonia in Uruguay tomorrow, and see the Madres and off to Bariloche on Thursday! I'll try to link up all the pictures later! Comment or email or facebook us! We talk soon people! CIAO!