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Archives for June 2014

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Boca Juniors

In honor of the World Cup, one of the places we checked out was the Boca Juniors Stadium and museum.

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I learned that Boca Juniors has a huge rivalry with River Plate, a team that is also in Argentina. Our tour guide is a fan of River Plate, and joked with us that our cameras would break if we took photos in the CABJ stadium (har har).

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I can’t say I’m a huge fútbol fan, but I do watch the sport from time to time. Looking at it as a whole, I’m a “general” sports fan and don’t follow specific teams… except for gymnastics. I follow that. Boca Juniors is a sports club and offers other sports like basketball and volleyball, but, is most known for its fútbol program.

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Happy travels friends!

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Buenos Aires, Argentina: Caminito

Translation: Little walkway/alley… that is chock-full of vibrant colors.

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Showcasing its colorful building in La Boca, there are restaurants, shops, street vendors, and art galleries.

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A bit of a touristy area. But, a visit nonetheless to plunge yourself into the culture. For instance, I couldn’t say Argentina without thinking about the tango. There were people dressed up in tango attire to take photos with you (in exchange for a few pesos of course), as well as those that were just dancing and providing street entertainment.caminito_tourist_tango_buenos_aires_argentina_day_with_kaye

Unfortunately my video clip is short because people moved in my line of recording. Lucky for you, I chopped that part out. Unlucky for you, that makes this video even shorter. Womp womp. =(

Fun fact: there is a tango song made famous by a local musician and entitled it Caminito. That also adds the interest factor to this place.

Happy travels friends!

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Monuments and Statues

Taking a flashback trip to 2011 when I went to Buenos Aires for a quick weekend. We had to fly to Newark, but then the flight got delayed, so we had to stay the night at the airport hotel and then the following day, then we made it to Buenos Aires. Still got to see the sights even if it had a more challenging start.

Some of the statues and monuments we passed were:

Floralis Genérica (located in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas)

First of all, it’s an enormous metal flower! Hah! But in seriousness, this piece (2002) is really neat because each morning it blooms (the petals open up), and as night approaches, the petals close up. And this action is repeated each day, unless there is harsh weather. In that case, the petals remain closed.

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Monument to Bartolomé Mitre (located in the Plaza Mitre)

This monument pays tribute to the president of Argentina from 1862-1868. He was a political figure as well as an author. Mitre was also the founder of the newspaper “La Nación”.

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The Obelisk (located in the Plaza de la República)

This monument is one of the famous landmarks in Buenos Aires. Among the many reasons for having the Obelisk built, one of them is that it marks the spot where the first Argentine flag was first flown in the city. It is also the center of festivities and public events in the city. Other than it having a representation of a pagan-like structure, our guide didn’t say why the monument was built in that particular shape. Though, you could probably pull some symbolism from it.

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Monument to Eva Perón (located in the Embassy District)

This monument is dedicated to Argentina’s first lady Evita, the wife of president Juan Perón. She was an advocate for labor rights. Ever hear of the musical Evita … that musical is based upon this woman’s life. We did check out a museum dedicated to her. So, more on that later on.

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Really pretty huh. More coming your way these next few weeks.

Happy travels friends!

Savannah, GA: Day Self-Guided Tour

Mister and I spent the week at Hilton Head Island (HHI) with his family. It was pretty special because it had been about 3 years since ALL of the immediate family could make it out – that being parents, six siblings with married counterparts along with little niece and nephews – one big happy family!

One of the days mister and I had a fun day trip to enjoy what Savannah had to offer. It is only an hour car ride from HHI.

The weather was all sunny and bright right until we parked the car. As we started to walk around, loud thunder commenced, and yet we continued to walk because we were looking for some good BBQ. The first place we tried to check out was Wall’s BBQ, which is a hole-in-the-wall and located in an alley. Once we located it, the owner said it was closed for the week because of spring cleaning. They had taken all their seats and tables and were painting them outside and sprucing them up. What a bummer.

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We asked them to direct us to another BBQ place, and so we drove and parked again and went on a hunt for Angel’s BBQ, which was again in another hole-in-the-wall back alley type of place. While we found the location, it was closed with a hand-written sign, “Out of ‘Que”. With that, cue a sad face and *face palm* =(

 

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I suppose Mother Nature felt our sense of defeat and brought on the pouring rain. Good thing we found an awning to hang out under to decide our next step. We found a nearby cafe, Gallery Espresso, but still got soaked in the process and stayed there until the pouring rain decided to slow down and/or stop. I liked the vibe of this place. It was a coffee shop, but also an art gallery of local artists.

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Mister and I warmed up to a white chocolate cappuccino. It was frothy and warmed up my cold and drenched body from the rain. Lovely way to begin our tour of Savannah.

Once the rain calmed down, we made our way to Zunzis, which is a local spot where the food is a “combination of Swiss, Italian, South African and Dutch”. According to reviews I read on Yelp, the line is always out the door.

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When we got there, we realized the line is always going to be out the door, because once you walk in the counter is right there. No room to dine inside. There is a outdoor patio with rainbow umbrellas outside on the side of this place.

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There is a decent menu to order from. Mister and I opted for 2 different items. He got Boerewors on a Roll (homemade South African sausage served on french bread with gravy, onions and mustard), and I got the Godfather (baked chicken breast, served with lettuce, tomato, cheese, special sauce on french bread with a choice of smoked sausage or homemade sausage).

The people eating there appeared to be mostly SCAD students (Savannah College of Art and Design). With the serving portions being generous, and the food was tasty and messy, I don’t blame them for eating here. It was good grub that kept you full, and makes you feel like you need to walk it all off for it to settle in your stomach nicely (at least that’s how I felt).

Sidenote, when we talked to servers and workers at other places we dined at, they approved the choice of eating at Zunzis. So, it certainly is a big thumbs up for the locals.

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It took a while for us to walk Zunzis off. We walked through historic Savannah, and passed through the squares. Lots of character here.

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You could more of the industrial side of the buildings and warehouses as we got closer to the river walk.

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As we were walking, Mister pointed out spanish moss to me. It grows and hangs from the trees. 2 things to know: it’s not spanish and it’s not moss. Thanks mister for that little lesson.

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Buildings to note are City Hall, the First Girl Scouts Headquarters in the United States, and then a tourist spot of a filming location in Forrest Gump (the diner where Jenny worked):

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We walked up and down to check out the stores and restaurants by the river. We stopped at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. When you’re in this shop, you just breathe and you can get diabetes =P

Tubs and tubs of candy. Perfect place for a sweet tooth!

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Chocolate dipped rice krispie treats and dipped apples the size of your fist. That ought to fulfill your sweet craving =)

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They claim to have the best pralines in Savannah – tastes like fudge (sugar-syrup concoction) with nuts in it. We sampled the dark chocolate and original pralines.

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And they have the system down when it comes to whipping them out. There you have 6 trays waiting and ready to go.

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Mister and I got sucked in, so we got a dark chocolate praline (yes, just 1 – we indulge just a tidbit) and a butter pecan shake and sat outside to people watch and enjoy the tasty treats. We lucked out to see 2 cargo ships pass through as well.

 

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While on the river, there weren’t necessarily many restaurants on the water itself. So, as we passed by a tourist information place, we perused the food fliers and made our way to The Distillery (beer craft bar and restaurant) for drinks. We were full from Zunzis.

They have their homemade infused liquors which include a pickle  vodka, apple cinnamon bourbon, and strawberry mint vodka. Intrigued, but mister and I shared the summer beer sampler.

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From left to right we had a Cisco IPA, Red Hare Long Day Lager, Original Sin (Hard Cider), Sam Adams Honey Queen, and Evil Twin The Porthole. Of my personal taste, my favorite from this bunch was Red Hare.

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We asked our server where to head for some desserts, and she pointed us down a few blocks to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar.

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Shelves full of decadent desserts. It took us quite a while to select one. And the one we did get was a heaping serving of it as well, so no skimping on portions here!

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Mister and I shared a slice of chocolate raspberry mascarpone tart with raspberry and chocolate drizzle and a dollop of whipped cream. Delish!

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Despite the rain and not getting some BBQ, I’d say we finished off our unofficial food tour on a high note. I consider sore feet and a full stomach a success! Happy travels friends!