If you follow me on twitter you would have caught some of my Instagram photos from the trip. I didn’t have a data roaming service on my phone in Argentina, but most cafes had WiFi so I tweeted pics at every opportunity.
In Mar del Plata nearly every little plaza has it’s own Merry-go-round. They are all quite old and charming, and probably being held together by many coats of paint. Mum tells me I rode some of them when I was Emma’s age, some have even been there since mum was little.
As soon as she saw her first one she was hooked. It takes an average of 3 rides before she loses interest although the other day she had to be forcefully removed before I went broke.
This one was particularly pretty…
Just around the corner, and one block away from mum’s apartment, is a little plaza that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday attracts a few vendors of randomness and tat. I’ve had a little fun treasure hunting there but the pickings are slim as most of the wares are not what I’m after. It’s mostly architectural fittings, old tools and tacky jewelry from the 90’s. I did find this cute enameled lion brooch for me (I love him, his head moves), and some lovely woodland themed wooden knick knacks for the shop maybe? Emma has been eying the little fawns off with great interest…
We are staying in Mum and Dad’s apartment in Mar del Plata, the home where I spent the first 3 years of my life. For about 33 years no one has really lived in it as it has been used as consulting rooms for a psychology practice so it has remained relatively untouched for that time.
Stumbled across the cutest shop ever in Buenos Aires. Called Sopa del Principe (translates to ‘Prince’s Soup’), it’s a softies workshop full of whimsical handmade animals, dolls and monsters waiting patiently in fruit crates for new owners. You have to check out their website, it’s super cute.
As you can imagine, Emma loved it, especially the corner with giant soft pebbles and blades of grass. The shop fit was so quirky and colourful, I couldn’t wait to share it with you.The store and designer Verónica Longoni, are quite well known and have even exhibited some of the creations at MOMA in New York.
FYI the prices are in Argentinian Pesos, divide by about 4 for US/AUS dollars.
We spent two nights in Buenos Aires before moving onto the next leg of our journey to recover from the flight and adjust our body clocks a little.
With a 13 hour time difference it takes a little while.
Buenos Aires is a big noisy (and not always safe) city so rather than staying right in town we thought it would be quieter and safer to stay in one of the more residential areas of Palermo Soho. I found a cute little B&B on the internet called Soho Rooms which was owned by an artist couple and had a really chillaxed retro vibe. I liked it, and any bed after a 24hr journey is so comfortable.
Check out the awesome wall art in the breakfast room made from vintage wall paper.We took a walk around the area in the morning on our day there, it was a mix of grand old buildings, trendy boutiques and historic businesses. Sadly most of the beautiful turn of the century buildings in Buenos Aires have been razed to make way for apartment blocks, this area still has some of the character remaining, but may of the buildings are in a sad state of disrepair or have been marked for developments.
I was planning on returning to some of the cute boutiques that were closed that morning (most didn’t open till lunchtime), but unfortunately we couldn’t keep our eyes open and went to have a snoozzze…
Wow, what a long trip it’s been to get to Argentina. I don’t think mum realised what she was getting into when she suggested this ‘holiday’. It all started with a 2.30am wake up to catch a 6am flight. First stop Auckland NZ. The Qantas flight was great, Emma got her own little breakfast tray and a window seat with this gorgeous view. I was already tired by this stage, Emma full of beans. Mum dozed.Then came the first hard bit, waiting in Auckland for 4 hours for the connecting flight. Our pram had been checked all the way through because the Qantas check in staff insisted that it wasn’t possible to unload at either Auckland or Santiago, and there would be strollers there to use, yadda yadda. Of course the were no strollers and a huge walk carrying bags and a toddler was crappy. Emma may have slept in a pram, instead she ran around for 4 hours straight, introduced herself to everybody and kept me on my toes.
Then it was time to board again. This time it was a LAN (Chile) flight to Santiago, 11.5 hours.
We were so lucky the plane wasn’t full and we were allocated 4 seats for the 3 of us. Emma nodded off during take off for about 2 hours which meant we could eat in peace and recharge our batteries.
The flight was really pleasant, food was nice, plenty of leg room and the staff on LAN super helpful, I couldn’t fault them.
Emma woke and didn’t go back to sleep for the rest of the flight, but really she was quite good. Not too cranky, watched a bit of telly and introduced herself to most of the passangers. Everybody knew Emma. I managed to get a little sleep and stetch out whilst Emma entertained herself.
The only funny/annoying bit was that Emma is terrified of the toilets on the plane. She became hysterical when you tried to get her in to change her. It was all a bit distressing. I think it was the flushing noise, it’s pretty loud.
Luckily I took some spare clothes for her because her nappy leaked. By this stage Emma was saying “I want to go home.” She didn’t want to lie down because according to her her cot was at home and she wanted to sleep in her cot. Bless. Landing in Santiago was the start of the next difficult stage. We had a 7 hr wait scheduled and Emma was starting to get really exhausted. She only wanted to be carried and we really struggled with our hand luggage. Without a pram for her to sleep in, this was going to be hard. Luckily mum sorted an earlier flight so we saved 4 hours waiting/travel time. I was pleased!Emma was distracted with some snacks that I’d packed for the trip, she was still going strong.
In the final leg to Buenos Aires Emma finally sucommed to the sleep fairy (yay!)
We were all pretty exhausted, luckily there was a special express immigration queue in Buenos Aires for Diplomats and Pregnant women and families. How good is that?
Of course not everything could go super smoothly. Our bags and stroller never arrived as they hadn’t been put on our new flight, I suspected it was a possibility. So more paperwork to do for the baggage claim. The guy was really helpful, I had to deal with it as mum was getting super dramatic in a non-helpful way. Mum feared the worst! Bags just arrived now to where we are staying, about 24 hrs later. No drama for us because I always have an extra change of clothes in my hand luggage.
So all in all, it was not terrible. Emma was really quite good considering. A pram at the gates and our luggage not being delayed would have made it the perfect journey (well as perfect as it can get with a toddler).
Everyone is napping now. I’m off to join them.
I’ll share some photos of Buenos Aires soon…