The Astromaid Chronicles

Slow Travel, Creative Living, and Speculation

Tag: Argentina (page 1 of 2)

Wedding Party Preparations (South American Wedding Voyage Pt. 3)

Saturday, February 20th. The day of our Argentinian wedding reception.

Jorge was up earlier than I was to go run some errands with the truck, many men, and various cargo loads involving freezers and tables and chairs. The piglets were already cooking over a low, wide open charcoal pit in the yard by the time I got up, where one man with a shirt that read “Asador Profesional” (Professional Grillmaster) tended the meat.

The professional, hired grillmaster!

The professional, hired grillmaster! Photo by Kelli Noonan.

Our wedding party wasn’t slated to even begin until 10:30 PM, so with the army of Jorge’s extended family behind the preparations, most of the tasks were covered. Kelli, Facu, Claudia, Sam and I took care of a last-minute issue where the tablecloths Jorge rented came up drastically short–like ten tables short. So he bought a roll of some flimsy, tablecloth-like material, and we set to work cutting more of those. Truth be told, we were a little uncertain how the unevenly-cut squares would look draped over the tables, but we rolled with it.

I was pretty uncertain how ALL of it would turn out. As the bride in her husband’s country, I only had a vague idea of what the hell was planned for us. Jorge’s sisters-in-law and nieces planned things in hushed whispers, shooing me away from time to time, and throughout the laidback yet productive afternoon, there were plenty of tears and hugs shared between us ladies. Jorge’s mom especially felt the emotional current running high as the final preparations for her baby boy’s wedding celebration were wrapped up.

In the evening, we went to the pool to begin setting up. The pool closed for the evening at 7, so we headed over around 6 to begin straightening up, washing off the patio area…and, of course, lounging in the waning sunlight drinking wine and beer. Because, hey, wedding celebration!

Chair preparation...en masse!

Chair preparation…en masse!

As more things clicked into place, the full vision of Jorge’s family’s preparations began to unfold. They had pulled off an entirely professional veneer, far more elegant and put together than I originally thought a public pool could look! The flimsy fabric I’d cut only hours earlier made quite a nice tablecloth, after all.

The final product--amazing!

The final product–amazing!

Snapshot of our table decor. Simple yet elegant!

Snapshot of our table decor. Simple yet elegant! The yellow napkins are just standard paper!

The flowers adorning the center of every table, as well as a small bouquet I carried around, were snipped furtively from around the village by Jorge’s innovative sister-in-law, Carina. She managed to rob, *ahem*, borrow, over 40 roses. WELL DONE! These are the type of creative people you want to have around for last-minute tasks.

Once our tables were set up, we all rushed back to our respective homes to get ready for the party. Imagine this: Jorge’s parent’s house, a three-bedroom, one-bathroom cozy structure, full of fifteen family members rushing around in various states of undress and hair preparation. Including the bride, who desperately needs to shower, but just can’t seem to dart into the bathroom quick enough.

Kelli, who was staying at the hotel across the street, seemed to be the best option. I gathered all my necessary items and rushed across the dirt road. It was after 10 PM already and the bride was still sweaty and gross. I banged on the heavy wooden door of the hotel, tapping my foot impatiently as I waited for the receptionist to let me in.

Knock knock knock. Waiting. Knock knock. More waiting.

“She went out to go buy something,” Jorge’s brother-in-law told me when he strolled by and saw me waiting. “She should be back soon.”

Shit. I knocked again and called out Kelli’s name, hoping she might hear me through the winding hallways inside. And then I went around to the side of the building and tried to call through the thick cement walls. Maybe she was showering and couldn’t hear me. Panic unfurled. The bride was going to be the last one to the shindig!

At the front of the hotel, I paced and waited, hoping for the receptionist to show up. Still nobody.

And then I noticed the front window. Wide open. I checked it out–just high enough to be uncomfortable, but I could probably swing inside there. I tossed my clothes and toiletries inside onto the floor, and hoisted up. I couldn’t get my leg up. I tried again. The edge of the window nearly punctured my spleen. Surely, there would be a bruise tomorrow. And then Guillermo, the brother-in-law, bent down and offered me his knee.

“Step here, and then you can make it inside!”

I hesitated, but the clock was ticking. It was climb on top of him, or wait god-knows-how-long for the receptionist. I clutched onto his shoulder and stepped up. Hoist and BINGO–inside the window. I nearly clattered to the floor, and then scooped up all my stuff and hurried as fast as I could to Kelli’s room.

When she opened the door, she hadn’t heard any of my desperate, stalkerish pleas from outside the hotel. I bathed as fast as I could, and when I bolted out of the hotel, the receptionist raised a brow but didn’t question how I’d gotten inside.

NEXT UP: THE ACTUAL FREAKING PARTY

A South American Wedding Voyage, Part One

HEY GUYS! Here I am, after several weeks’ absence. I swear, we’re not dead. We’re not starving, kidnapped, or even carried away by the freak tornado that appeared in Candelaria 24 hours before our wedding.

We’re alive, and well, and actually in Valparaiso at the moment. But that’s not what I came here to write about.

Blogging–no, sorry–using the internet in Candelaria is difficult. There’s only that one freaky government signal to sustain the whole village, and though it reaches the cornfields it doesn’t quite reach Jorge’s parent’s house. So updating the blog, or checking emails, or even communicating with loved ones while in the pueblo is nigh on impossible. So all of my internet activities are slightly backlogged.

I’ve been writing these blog posts in my head for days now, waiting for the moment where I could sit down and elaborate some of these tales. So where do I begin?

At the beginning, of course. Here’s a whirlwind summary of how it all went down.

SATURDAY FEB 13th:

Kelli and I eagerly appear at the CLE airport for our flight, very much on time. I run into my best friend’s mother at the airport, because things like that happen to me. We go to our gate, the flight is a little delayed, we are getting progressively more wine drunk in celebration of our upcoming wine tours in Argentina, and then suddenly it’s time to board. We board.

Forty minutes later, they tell us we have to get off. Some sort of light for the fuel gauge is not operating, one that MUST be operating prior to take off. The mechanic to fix it won’t be there for two hours. Everyone groans and deplanes. We scoot into the line immediately, eager to reschedule our flight for some sort of magical, immediate replacement that will still allow us to make our connection in Miami.

Last glimpse of Ohio Winter

Goodbye, Ohio? Just kidding. You have one more day here.

It doesn’t happen. The only flight we can take is one leaving almost 24 hours later, routing through Texas. American Airlines mechanical failure strikes again! Remember the engine failure from Lima to Baltimore in 2014? They offer us a free night at the Sheraton, which we take, only mildly soothed by the promise of clean, fluffy beds in exchange for our immediate departure to Argentina. I have no winter jacket, since I left it in the back seat of my father’s car since I was on my way to summer in South America why would I need a jacket? At the Sheraton, Kelli finds what may or may not be a bed bug. We change rooms, expensively dine, and steal all the free shampoos in both rooms (the one thing I had forgotten).

SUNDAY FEB 14th:

The day we were supposed to be arriving in Mendoza, at noon. We lament this, awake late, and go to the North Olmstead mall to eat greasy food and shop unsuccessfully for bathing suits. We have interesting Lyft experiences, catch our last glimpses of Ohio winter, and show up hopefully to the airport around 5pm. Kelli has to check her carry-on bag at the gate. When we arrive in Texas later that night, we are relieved, but there is little time between flights and a gate agent tells her, somewhat unconvincingly, that her checked carry-on will show up in baggage claim at her destination…wherever that may be. We board the flight to Santiago, Chile, eager for free wine and movies.

I watch The Martian, and realize my longheld dreams of being an astronaut might not actually come to fruition after all. Maybe I’m not cut out for long-term space travel. Maybe I’m only meant to be a lower atmospheric day-tripper. These are things I’ll have to figure out once I enter the space program, I guess.

MONDAY FEB 15:

Hello, Santiago! We make it to the Benito Juarez airport, which is full of expensive wines, Chilean Spanish, a Starbucks and…Ruby Tuesdays? Yep. We consume delicious quesadillas, doing our best to while away the hours until Argentina. We do yoga in the waiting area, pilfer Starbucks’ internet, waiting for the fucking plane to board, and then finally, magically, we are on the plane to Mendoza. About an hour later we are landing on the other side of the Andes, going through customs, and then we are waiting at the one lone baggage claim in the mostly-dilapidated airport that looks more like a forgotten regional airport than a bonafide international airport.

Kelli’s checked carry-on luggage is the first to appear, much to our surprise. Then the rest of luggage appears. SCORE! Wild luggage success. We scurry out of the airport, into the sweltering heat…and Jorge is waiting for us, smiling with his arms open wide.

[cue sappy love music]

[kissing]

[hugging and then more kissing]

Yeah, yeah, after a month apart, I had to stroke his beard a little more than normal, I admit. We get into a taxi and are whisked away to downtown Mendoza. The heat collides with the sonorous, Italian-reminiscent Spanish vowels, and between the sweat and the soot and the palm trees I remember what the fuck it is  love about this place, why these foreign destinations are so intoxicating, why these voyages are not only desired but necessary.

Once we check into our little room at the hostel, Jorge’s friend Gustavo comes over and we begin to straight summer hang–poolside, with freshly cracked beer, all sorts of bug-swatting, heat-relishing, summer style.

TUESDAY FEB 16:

We sleep in, then Kelli and I have a slow but methodical yoga session next to the pool. In the afternoon we go on a wine tour, our first ever in Mendoza! We visit two wineries and one olive oil factory. They are all interesting and varying levels of delicious and clean. We each leave with a case of wine. Oops! Or should I say, SCORE!

Mendoza Argentina bodega

Standing in front of the wine barrels we wish we could be swimming in!

Mendoza Argentina bodega

It’s a good day for a bodega stroll. 90 degrees outside, but 60 degrees in the wine cave!

Argentina Wine Tour

Wine tasting. Would you believe some people tossed their wines after tasting them? THE HORROR.

That night at the hostel, we have a cookout and invite all of Jorge’s friends. It is full of meat and wine and bread. I feel like a glutton, as always, since it is a stark contrast to my regular, chosen diet. We have a delightful, drunken time. Hurray, Argentina! Hurray, Malbec! Hurray, South America!

We go to bed, bellies satisfied and South-American-plump. We need the sleep, because much greater treks await us. And so much merriment is already surrounding us, and so much more awaits!

Not only is my best friend Kelli with us, experiencing this region that is so special to Jorge and now to me, we are about to celebrate our love and our union in the southern hemisphere, with Jorge’s friends and family.

Next installment: Commence the Candelaria!

Anniversary Unintended

This blog title sounds like the name of a bad TV drama series, like something destined for Lifetime. I swear the contents of this post won’t be that melodramatic and full of bad acting. But I can’t promise there won’t be any babysitters wielding kitchen knives while the parents laugh gaily in the other room.

*looks around*

What? Anyway, I’ve been in reflective mode recently. Call it the full moon, the blood eclipse (that doesn’t sound right), the start of fall or the fact that I like to test my memory every once in a while; any way you slice it, I’ve been ruminating on facets of the past. In a good way. Like, the stroll down memory lane that makes you want to roll around in meadows and stuff your orifices full of flowers. Not the stroll down memory lane that leaves you mass-facebooking your friends for a new therapist recommendation.

It occurred to me, about two weeks ago, that just around this time two years ago, Jorge and I were moving into our first home together in Valparaiso, Chile.

What serendipity! What memories! What an accidental yet totally appropriate way to celebrate our unintended Moving Into A New House Anniversary. From here on out, I think we’ll ALWAYS have to move into a new place at the beginning of September. Even if it would be more convenient to do it in April…nope. Gotta be September. Just to adhere to the tradition that we started on accident.

But it’s true—on September 17th of 2013, I wrote about the sweet, new, empty house we had just scored in Cerro Carcel.  Ohh, there’s that lovely stroll down memory lane again (the one with the flower-stuffing). And this stroll includes that time that Jorge and I found a free mattress on our way to visit the house before we moved in. We thought, hey cool, free mattress. The house wasn’t so far away, we figured we could just haul it ourselves. On our shoulders. But then before we left with the mattress, the owner of the mattress was like hey, I have another mattress, do you want another mattress? And we were like, how can we say no to TWO free mattresses? To be fair, they were twin-size. So, two twin mattresses on two pairs of shoulders–easy, right? Well, when you haul two mattresses on your shoulders up a vertical,  twisting hill in Valparaiso, what seemed like a no-brainer turns into a hellish, gasping, panting sort of trek up a mountainside.

And this time, in 2015, I didn’t have to haul any mattresses anywhere, but my father and Jorge sure did! They lugged a memory foam mattress up to the second floor and my dad swore he almost had a heart attack. I’m glad to have missed the mattress penance this time around.

In that post from September 17th, 2013, I wrote the following:

In several more months, I will know what the next step will be. But for now, I’m excited to upcycle, recycle, compost, and create new collaborative works within the walls of this delightful house in Cerro Carcel.

And I feel like those words are still true, except this time for Vine Street. We don’t know what the next step is after our (year) lease runs up. But in the meantime, we’re upcycling, recycling, AND composting—in fact, my dad just made me a compost bin using some scrap (upcycled) wood that Jorge got from his job, so, I consider than a big win.

To me, it sorta looks like maybe I buried someone next to the compost bin, like the flowers are marking the grave...but I swear I didn't.

To me, it sorta looks like maybe I buried someone next to the compost bin, like the flowers are marking the grave…but I swear I didn’t.

And in the vein of unintended anniversaries…

Anyone remember that time I crossed from Chile into Argentina en route to go meet Jorge’s family, and it just so happened to be the EXACT DAY that I had arrived to Chile for the first time a year prior?

Pretty weird stuff, ya’ll. It’s like unintended anniversaries are woven throughout my life like the glow-in-the-dark-fabric of this new shirt I just bought.

But it’s not done yet.

Jorge and I started dating on March 18th of 2013. That day is ALSO my maternal great grandfather’s birthday.

WEIRD.

Also, our wedding day—August 18th? That’s the wedding anniversary of my grandfather’s parents.

If you asked me to describe these unintended anniversary phenomena? In a word, I’d say ‘cray’.

I don’t know what the strange proliferation of shared, and unintended, anniversaries means. Maybe it’s coincidence; maybe it’s a cosmic, higher-level funny; maybe I’ve got a real knack for accidentally celebrating dates that are not only important to me, but to others within my family.

Whatever the reason, I’m happy to note the occurrences.  It provides a fun, glow-in-the-dark background to my otherwise pretty normal t-shirt. And if you shine the light on it long enough…you’ll see the spectacular array of strange patterns and designs that congregate in the background.

 

What about you guys? Any strange repetitions of dates, anniversaries, or other important events? Have you celebrated anniversaries without meaning to? Do you even care about anniversaries?

An Affair in Two Hemispheres: Wedding Woes & Wonders Pt. 1

Q: Where does an astronaut mermaid celebrate her wedding? In the deep azure sea, or in the twinkling reaches of outer space?

A: BOTH!

I’m going to be writing for a while about some of the aspects of the wedding industry, the way they make my gut grumble, and some of the more traditional aspects of our non-traditional approach. Something of a Wedding Series, if you will, but without the majority of the trappings of regular wedding stuff, like, you know…the engagement party, the wedding shower, the wedding party, the registries, the religious ceremony, the ring exchange, or the white wedding dress.

OK, that sounds like the bulk of what constitutes a wedding, but I swear we are actually doing some traditional things. Though, now that I think about it, the only traditional part might just be the marriage itself.

At any rate, I want to share our plan with you. And in a nutshell (or, in my case, a helmet), we’re going to be doing the deed, and doing it DOUBLE!

Both countries, both families, two very distinct and totally awesome celebrations.

Wedding Meme

The unfortunate truth is that our worlds are very far apart. The flight between Miami, FL and Santiago, Chile (a convenient airport to getting to Jorge’s homeland) is 8 hours alone. That’s not counting the additional flights between FL an OH, the layovers, the furtive Cuban empanadas consumed, nor the various ceremonies and magical spells needed to ensure all flights arrive on time.

Furthermore, it’s hard to travel so far. Not everyone is cut out for it. International travel involves a lot of preparation and a lot of MONEY. Most of Jorge’s family hasn’t been on a plane before, and arranging an endeavor of that nature would be extremely stressful. Some of his family members get anxious just thinking about a plane. It wouldn’t be fair to have only one celebration in one country. So we must have two!

But first thing’s first: Jorge and I are going to have a small courthouse ceremony this month to get the show on the road. Then in December, we’re going to throw a big bash in Ohio for all the friends and family that can make it.

In February, Jorge and I will be in Argentina to tie the knot over there the same way we did here, with an intimate civil thing. Days later, we’ll have a big party (in high summer, no less!) with all of his friends and family down there.

We both wish that it were more feasible to bring both sides together for one roaring celebration. Maybe if it were a matter of bus rides instead of plane rides, it could work out. Jorge’s mother so wants to meet my parents, but I’m not sure that will be a possibility. And it breaks my heart that our parents might never meet in their lifetimes.

These are some of the difficulties of finding your love in a different hemisphere. Will our families ever know one another? Can our friends hang out? Will our two communities ever have a chance to meet?

The answer is, unfortunately, probably not. Maybe here and there friends can visit, but on a larger scale, our worlds might remain firmly separated. If the flight prices weren’t exclusionary enough, the fact that all of his Argentinian friends and family would need to apply for a tourist visa makes the endeavor even less likely. If it goes anything like Jorge’s experience, they’ll be rejected, and flush both time and money down the drain via embassy appointments and paying the application fee various times until the approval comes through.

All money aside, it’s much easier for North Americans to visit Argentina than for Argentinians to visit the U.S.A. And that tiny detail packs a huge punch. It might mean that nobody ever comes up here to visit. And I can totally understand why.

These are the realities of an international relationship. When we are one place, we miss the other. When we are with one family, there is another family wishing we were with them. And when we are marrying in the north, there is a marriage waiting for us down south.

Despite the difficulties, we are literally trembling with excitement for all the celebrating that awaits us. There will be nuptials; there will be a reception on Lake Erie; there will be a Pan-American buffet (more details on the Ohio-side planning later); there will be a group trip to Argentina; there will be every manner of gaucho meat options; and there will be two marriage ceremonies in two countries. (I can’t wait to report back about the differences in bureaucracy!)

When we marry, not only will we forge friendship between two nations, our flags will also dreamily melt into one.

When we marry, not only will we forge friendship between two nations, our flags will also dreamily melt into one.

Next time on the Astromaid Wedding Woes & Wonders: The Dress!

Adventures in Coffee: Argentina Edition

I REALLY LIKE COFFEE. And sometimes this leads to varied (and desperate) adventures with brewing coffee on the road (the true peak being sifting coffee through a pair of leggings). Like clockwork, another strange speed bump cropped up throughout what is an already sort of unusual winding road through Coffee Land.

We started our voyage into the rural midlands of Argentina with a jar of ground coffee. Regular stuff – some Columbian beans I had left over from Cusco. But as all ground things come to an end, before long I was eyeing the bright green packages of whole Peruvian coffee beans with something similar to a caffeine-induced hunger.

Audrey and Chevi bestowed upon us the generous gift of COFFEE before we left. Our bags were so stuffed that I had to cram three of these packs into my purse. Made for an awkward bag-search when we crossed the border, let me tell you (who carries three pounds of whole coffee in their purse?)

Once our ground coffee reserves came to a delicious end, I wondered how we might begin sampling the Peruvian jungle beans. Jorge’s parents live in town these days, but they still have a pretty rustic lifestyle when it comes to household appliances. I knew a proper coffee-grinding appliance was out of the question – I might not be able to locate one of those for 300 miles. But a blender? Those are pretty common place. And they’ll get the job done in times of coffee grinding need, even if it is a bit cringeworthy for certain types of coffee snobs.

But hey – when you’re out here in the farmland, you make do with what you have.

Except *record screech* they don’t have a blender. I was so sure they would, too. Turns out, they had a blender, long ago, but it broke, and was never replaced. (BUT WHAT ABOUT SMOOTHIES?!)

Fine. So let’s turn to our resourceful farmhand whiles. What this house does have is a mortar and pestle. And a pretty bad ass one at that – something of the mortar and pestle of my dreams (though not quite as large as ones I’ve seen in the Incan museums. Nor is it made of stone. Or forged from ancient remembrances.)

I asked myself if I could grind coffee with a mortar and pestle. And then I realized, how silly. You can grind ANYTHING with a mortar and pestle, especially one this size. I could grind my own teeth if I wanted. Even if they weren’t out of my head first.

So we got to work with the experiment. We poured in a small handful at first, to see how it might work. And then, voila – tantalizing aromas, more fragrant than anything I have smelled in my entire life, wafted from the mortar and pestle. The smell was truly sublime.

Grinding coffee with mortar and pestle

Here I am, using an antique mortar and pestle, happy as a coffee-grinding clam.

And though the grounds weren’t exactly even, it got the job done.

The resultant coffee was a DELIGHT.

In my never-ending journeys through unlikely and often-times very hillbilly methods of brewing coffee, I have unwittingly come across something that pushes me into the coffee snob end of the spectrum: GRINDING BEFORE YOU BREW IS OTHERWORDLY.

I’ve heard about this plenty, though mostly in reference to picking on the ubiquitous hipster and all the infuriating cultural quirks therein. (“Sorry, I can’t drink coffee that hasn’t been freshly ground, the taste is just sooooo much different.”) And yeah, maybe I’m afraid the hipster missile will seek me out, even down here in the South American pampas. But you know what? The taste is just sooooooo much different. (Though, all you experienced coffee drinkers knew this already, didn’t you??)

I’m definitely going to grind the rest of the bag like this, most likely in the serene breezes of the mild San Luis fall mornings, listening to the insane bird squawking like a goat in the neighbor’s house, or the roosters who literally crow at all hours of the day, beginning at 4:30AM. I recommend trying this with deeper mortar and pestles. Shallow ones would allow too much room for the coffee beans to jump out and otherwise avoid their untimely, flattened demise.

Not only is it an unexpected meditative time-out, the ‘I-just-ground-this-shit-right-now’ coffee experience is a subtle explosion of joy for the palate. Even if you have to do it with a mortar and pestle.

Now go try it and tell me about it! Seriously, share your results below. Did a coffee bean shoot out and lodge itself in your eyeball? Or were you wooed and seduced by the fragrant aromas wafting from the kitchen? 

A Love Affair with Toro Viejo

Oh, querida Argentina! The land of red wine, the surrogate mother of Malbec!

We’re back in Argentina visiting Jorge’s family for the month. There are a lot of things we look forward to during our yearly pilgrimage to the homeland. Things like: the bread. The meat. The melodic sing-song vos and desis. The relatives, and the chance to get back to rural roots. And perhaps, most of all (sorry parents)? THE RED WINE.

But even though Argentina is known for its delightfully fragrant varietals, not all of Argentina shares the high-browed love of the bodegas. While some Argentinians pass time discussing legginess and obscure fruity undertones, others are content with whatever legally passes as wine.

Red wine in most other places is known by it’s varietal: the merlot grape, the cabernet sauvignons, French Malbec versus Argentinian Malbec. Every bottle gleams with the proud pronunciation of what wine and what year.

But Candelaria is remote, and very rural. And in the biggest grocery store in town, there are only two options for something that isn’t just blanket-statement Red Wine.

So everyone drinks a brand called Toro Viejo down here. Let me be clear: IT IS NOT GOOD WINE. It is boxed red wine dressed up in a glass bottle. It’s passable, at best, but only because I’ve acclimated after several visits now. The first time I came, I was horrified. How could a wine not even make mention of its parent grape? How could it be packaged and sold without making mention of its birth year?

CLASSIC.

CLASSIC.

Well that’s Toro Viejo (translation: Old Bull) for you. 700 ML will run you less than $2.00.Talk about value! The cheapest bottle of wine I ever bought in the States was $5, and so disgusting I threw it away after one sip. (Note to self: Bargan Bin wine shopping is to be avoided!)

But living in wine country means even the refuse is guaranteed to be tolerable. It’s sold in 6 packs, because I guess drinking an entire bottle is equivalent to a Nati Light beer in the USA. About as cheap, at least. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a natural spring gushing Toro Viejo wine instead of water somewhere in the sierras.

But Toro Viejo has its perks.

First of all, it’s ubiquitous. You can find it everywhere, literally everywhere. There will be Toro Viejo wine available for years after the Apocalypse, I can assure you. Jorge’s family are cultural wine drinkers, so the bottle of Toro Viejo is at every meal, no matter what. You will NOT find the Avila family without their tried and trusted Toro Viejo. And it will always, always be chilled. This is a natural fact, a law of the land, as implicit as bathing or wiping your ass.

Secondly, it seems the marketing department for the Old Bull brand had a flash of inspiration, one that very well might rock the whole of Argentina. They started a campaign where on random cork bottles, you could win a chance to win millions of bottles of Toro Viejo. I don’t know if that would be wine heaven or hell – but damned if I’m not scouring each cork for the chance to win.

My relationship with this barely-tolerable red wine has grown from one of side-eyed distrust to that of family members who used to fight a lot but now mostly get along. A week and a half into our stay in Candelaria, I’m salivating for the chance to sniff a robust Malbec…but, I can stand another glass of Toro Viejo, I suppose. And come dinner time, I just might have a couple.

My Monday in Cordoba

Jorge and I are visiting Cordoba, Argentina for a few days! Here’s a little run-through of part of our Regular Sunny Fall Monday in Cordoba:
I saw this weird guy lurking in the plaza San Martin.

I thought I’d go to the Cathedral to try to lose him; turned out 
he followed me inside and all throughout the gilded halls.

The weird guy even posed in pictures with me in front of the 
central fountain in the plaza.

We decided we’d go to the Jesuit Crypt and wander the humid passageways.
There was an information tour guide there who told us about all the 
hypothetical uses of the crypt, since no one actually knows.
Here the man, who told me is named “Jorge”, darts away.

I tend to look forward to crypt visits for a chance to look at mummies,
bones, human remains, or anything else macabre or long-dead.
In this crypt, there was none of that. Only humid stone and arched brick areas.

So after the Crypt we opted for a quick saxophone lesson. 
Here Jorge learns about finger placements and not to
over-clench the jaw.

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