It's a long one, but there's pretty pictures after all the words...
1. Just two days after we left for our honeymoon, some lady hit our cars. Yes, that's plural. Cars. They were parked one in front of the other out in front of our apartment and ... well ... let's just say she reversed when she should've gone forward. She backed into The Husband's car so hard it pushed his car backwards into my car. In fact, my license plate left imprints on his bumper. Luckily we have an awesome neighbor who got photos of everything and collected all the necessary information for us (and saved the broken pieces of our bumpers...), then waited until we got back to tell us. We were truly grateful for that, otherwise we would've spent the entire trip stressed out about the whole dang thing.
2. Finding gluten free food in Argentina, especially Bariloche where we spent 5 days, was a lot harder than I thought. Everyone knew what "gluten free" meant and could advise me on what to avoid. The problem was there weren't many non-gluten alternatives. Pizza, empanadas, and sandwiches were on nearly every menu and a lot of times the only safe option for me was a salad. While in Bariloche, we wanted to order room service. We explained the gluten-free thing and they suggested the soup of the day - Corn Soup. So I ordered the soup (which turned out to just be a bowl of broth) and an order of French fries. Apparently, the French fries were fried in the same oil as the fried fish on the menu. That little bit of cross-contamination was enough to cause a reaction and, after days of salads and yogurt, I hit my frustration limit. I spent the fifth night of my honeymoon crying in the bathroom out of pure frustration. I was so irked I couldn't even explain it The Husband when we asked what was going on. Food is something I love and I'd found my groove with gluten-free living at home in San Francisco. Being on an awesome vacation surrounded by so many yummy sights and smells but not being able to actually enjoy them was pure torture. Okay, fine, so maybe that's a bit dramatic. But still ... it sucked.
3. While we were in Bariloche, we also visited a nearby town called Colonia Suiza. It's a quiet little village in the off-season but they have an awesome craft brewery, Berlina, and a cool beach on Lago Moreno. We went there twice while in Bariloche (it was about a half-hour bus ride). The first time was technically the off-season - we were the only people in the brewery for nearly an hour before some others came in. The second time we went was during the following weekend, which was sort of the unofficial start to the summer season. There were so many people, the bus couldn't turn down the town's one road so it dropped us off about a half a mile away. When it was time to leave, people randomly started forming a line behind where The Husband and I were standing when they realized the bus was coming. Even though they formed a line behind us, some guy kept insisting we go to the back of the line. I'm a little stubborn so I flat out refused and just stayed where I was. When the bus finally came, it was on the opposite side of the street, so of course everyone ran across the street to get on - those bus seats are prized real estate, apparently. The Back-of-the-Line Guy somehow ended up in front of me but I didn't really care. I was pretty sure we would all make it on the bus anyway. He cared, though. He cared a lot. He turned around and started shouting at me -in Spanish, by the way- to get to the back of the line. The woman he was with kept telling him to stop but he didn't. I, of course, just stood there staring at him. I barely understood what he was saying (someone later told me he was telling me to go to the back of the line) but it didn't seem to matter. He was so determined to make his point he literally put his hands on my chest and pushed me backwards. I was so angry, I just stared him down and said, "DON'T touch me!" He clearly didn't speak English but he finally got that I wasn't moving and turned away to get on the bus.
1. Minus those little setbacks the trip really was amazing. Once I got over my hissy-fit in the bathroom, I told myself that since my food options were limited, I could have all the steak, Malbec, and ice cream I wanted for the rest of the trip. At one point, I even had a two-steak dinner. Yes, that's right. Two steaks, one dinner. Nom nom nom nom nom ... But, since I was pretty much only eating steak, salad, and wine I ended up losing 5 pounds. I left a pant-size in Argentina. Usually when I go on vacation I gain weight, not lose it. I guess every cloud really does have a silver lining.
2. All the colors and plant life in Patagonia. There were these beautiful bright yellow bushes growing all along the roadside and all throughout the countryside. They made for the most gorgeous views. And there were so many flowers in shapes and colors I hadn't seen before. Most of this was seen through the bus window, so I couldn't really get photos but I found a few splashes of color around Lago Moreno that I could capture and bring home. Those photos make me happy just looking at them.
3. Of course the most awesomest part of the trip was spending twelve whole days with my love, minus the distractions of daily life. We both really made an effort to stay away from work and take time to just enjoy being with each other while exploring an unfamiliar environment. We walked anywhere from three to six miles almost everyday, just checking out different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires or getting lost in the towns and countryside around Bariloche, and it was ... well ... awesome.
PS - I couldn't leave you without a few photos of Bariloche, too :)
I've never seen a manger scene with Baby Jesus just chillin' in the afternoon sun. Definitely fits in with the relaxed, casual vibe of Argentina.
Linking up with Treasure Tromp today.