Playing Tourist with the Family

22 Dec

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.

Arriving at the airport in Buenos Aires.

Christmas tree at the Hilton, Buenos Aires.

View of the city from the Hilton in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires.

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.

Ready, aim, click!

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.

Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

"Don't you remember these?"

Rose Garden, Palermo, Buenos Aires

Rose Garden, Palermo, Buenos Aires

Marcus and Mom in Buenos Aires

Mom soaking it all in on the tour bus.

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.

Our local empanada restaurant. 3 empanadas for AR$ 13.50 or US$3.14.

The Buenos Aires colectivo (bus) -- a daily amusement park ride.

Safely on the subte (subway) in Buenos Aires.

On the Subte (subway) in Buenos Aires.

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.

9 Responses to “Playing Tourist with the Family”

  1. TVA December 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    So glad you could spend such priceless time with family…and at such an important date in the history of our life as His children! PTL! Merry Christmas!!! Happy Birthday Jesus :-)
    Your brother TVA

    • Stephen December 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      Thanks! Hope you are well.

  2. marinasisi December 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Great photos! I think that your family had the best possible tour in Buenos Aires!
    Merry Christmas!!

    • Stephen December 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      I think so! The tour bus was pretty great, and I’m glad they got to see our neighborhood. Merry Christmas!

  3. Sally Benson December 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for continuing to share your life with us. It’s greatly appreciated and helps dull the pain of not being with you in person. Merry Christmas and God’s blessings to you in the New Year. In Christ’s love, Sally

    • Stephen December 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      Aw, Sally!! You are dearly missed. I’ll email you soon!

  4. Becky Buccola December 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    How nice that your family could come to visit you just in time to deter that homesickness. We miss you so much and really appreciate your updates. It makes us feel still connected.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and God’s blessing throughout the next year. Can’t wait to hear your next story.

    • Stephen December 26, 2011 at 1:26 am #

      Thank you, Becky! Hope you are well and Merry Christmas!

  5. Nancy Callender January 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Stephen Maggie,
    Fun times! Glad you had visitors. Now everyone will know what you are really seeing and talking about. Keep posting even if you think it nothing it is fun for us to look at. Have the BEST NEW YEAR !!! and enjoy the heck out of it.
    Love Aunt Nancy

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