Friday, September 23, 2011

Argentina or Bust!

To finish off the Travel-a-thon, I bring you my friend, Caroline.  Caroline and I met when we were randomly assigned to be roommates while studying abroad in Florence in 2006.  Our friendship formed over long pasta dinners (followed by limocello shots with waiters), experiments in home-made pasta, and long walks through our favorite city.  We stayed in touch after Florence despite being at different colleges, and when Caroline moved to San Francisco after college, we became even closer friends while we explored another city together.  Caroline later was a bridesmaid-extraordinaire in our wedding!  She is one of those people who is so cool that she works at underground farmer's markets (where she one time ate chocolate-covered insects - not on purpose), and occasionally pours in the tasting room of a Napa winery.  I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want Caroline as a friend.  I think you'll feel the same after hearing her talk about her dream trip to Argentina.

Next summer I would like to visit Argentina.  Unless I win the lottery or inherit thousands of Delta skymiles the trip will most likely be financed with a 25 year old's salary.  AKA I will be on a budget.  Today, I am going to share with you two separate trips to Argentina: Caro's carte blanche vacay and my mid-20s budget vacay.  To me, both are fantastic and both feature comfortable beds....the only difference is the price tags! Let's begin!
First stop is Buenos Aires.  Hailed by many as a "mini Paris" nestled in South America, I can't wait to absorb the architecture, drink copious amounts of Malbec and dance the tango.  

deluxe room with hot tub at Rendez-Vous Hotel
Rendez-Vous Hotel, with rates starting at $120, comes highly recommended by the British woman who sat next to me at the hair salon yesterday.  She confirmed that beds are plush and the on-site wine tasting is delicious.  Say no more.

the Algodon Mansion

While traveling in Buenos Aires, I will undoubtedly be wooed by a highly attractive Argentinean man who will invite me out on his yacht and take me to world renowned French restaurant, La Bourgogne.

The Algodon Mansion is a small, luxury boutique hotel in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires. The rooftop pool and famed Cognac Bar, Frank's, make this restored French mansion a neighborhood landmark.
(because this is my dream vacation I have elected to dream big)


Just in case the language barrier becomes unbearable or his cologne overly oppressive (true warning relayed to me by same hair salon lady as Rendez-Vous req), sailboat tours of Buenos Aires are easy to arrange on your own.  Frommer's recommends for a delicious, value dinner the off-the-beaten track "parilla" (spanish for grill) called Juanna M.  The cafe features an unlimited salad bar and delicious local meats for an average price of $4.85! Done. 

After I tango my way through Buenos Aires I will either catch a flight straight to the Patagonia region or make a brief "pit stop" to decompress at the luxurious Estancia el Rocio.  Located 2 hours outside of Buenos Aires, the breathtaking grounds and charming rooms will undoubtedly serve as the ideal backdrop for my next Argentinean romance.

room with fireplace at Estancia El Roco

image of my fictional lover, Joaquin, playing polo somewhere in the Pampas

The Patagonia region is an outdoor playground for the activities lover.  Rock climbing, hiking, fishing, spelunking, horseback riding, the list is endless.  I am a big fan of anything that burns excessive calories and will leave me sore enough to appreciate a Swedish massage followed by a decadent meal.  A+ to the town of El Calafate which offers all of the above!  With its close proximity to Perito Moreno Glacier and the frequent availability of direct flights from Buenos Aires, El Calafate seems the ideal location for my Patagonia touchdown. 
back patio at Los Notros Resort, El Carafate

horseback ride to the summit of Cerro Frias and absorb the awesome views of the Monte Fitz Range and Largo Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, half or full day tours are an option

Muchas Gracias to the many friends, family and unsuspecting victims whom I pounced on for information regarding Argentina.  Question of the day is.....Argentina or Bust?


Now, on to glaciers, horseback riding and penguins! The Patagonia region has been on my travel bucket list ever since my 10th grade Spanish teacher attempted to explain to our class that Patagonia was more than a preppy outdoor clothing manufacturer and gauchos were first cowboys, not comfy yoga pants.  (Apparently her fashion etymology excluded footwear because my question regarding the origin of Espadrilles was responded to with a blank stare.  Espadrilles still remain a mystery to me and I will be eternally grateful to the individual who can illuminate me on their background.)


Ashley said...

Take me to the Rendez-Vous Hotel!!!! And you WOULD get a tip from a lady in the hair salon! Love it!

Amanda said...

I think you can find the origin of Espadrilles either in Mallorca, or somewhere in the south of France...
Oh I just verified, they come from the Occitan / Catalan cultures in the Pyrenees, so yes, where the south of France, meets the North of Spain, around Barcelona and the islands.

I've been wanting to go to Argentina forever.