Just as we began to get a little homesick with Christmas approaching, my mother, father, and brother paid us a visit from the U.S. The timing was perfect. The company was great. And playing tourist was a welcome change of pace from playing local.
Whatever immediate culture shock they might have felt from the airport and ride into town surely dissipated once we walked in the doors of the Hilton in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, where we were greeted by a large Christmas tree, reindeer on the elevators, and boughs of holly throughout the halls.
With the storm clouds zooming by and rains pounding down at random throughout the whole first day, we decided to lay low, rest, and take pictures of the rain and rainbow outside.
The rest was a good idea, because the next few days we conquered Buenos Aires with the help of an open roof tour bus we spotted from the hotel window.
The Buenos Aires Bus takes tourists like us around the city with the option of getting off and on at 21 different destinations. The buses come by every 20-30 minutes and have headphones with piped in guides in several different languages.
Here are few things we saw along the way.
After a full day of roaming the city as tourists, we decided to give them a taste of our local life. That, of course, meant eating amazing empanadas, holding on for dear life on a bus, and traveling by subway.
In just a few short days we were able to see so much of the city. We saw how tourists live and how the locals live. We capped it all off with a blending of the two worlds on a stroll down Defensa Street in San Telmo for the weekly Sunday street fair.
We celebrated a mini Christmas together. They had brought so much from the U.S., half of their luggage was for us. We took a picture of some of the gifts we’ve already opened. Notice a theme? (Not included are a new comforter, new towels, and a large air purifier, plus more still to be opened.)
After playing tourist with the family all week, we weren’t quite ready to go back to local life. Because they had a red-eye flight, their hotel room was booked for another night. We happily made sure it didn’t stay dormant. Call it an act of selflessness. We were very kind to attend to the rooftop pool on Monday morning.
Ah, but it did all come to an end. Local life is back. Work is calling. And the taxis are replaced with buses and subways. It’s always hard to return from a vacation, especially when the vacation was spent with family, had a rooftop pool, and had water pressure in the shower. I can’t wait to play tourist again.