Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last Days in Argentina and...HOME!

I am sitting in the Dallas Fort Worth airport trying to get on a standby flight so I don't have to wait another two hours for my flight and I am happy to be home. Got on the lightening fast Internet and was able to upload the rest of my pictures in about 10 minutes. It would take me an hour in Argentina. This post is a recap of my last night and final day in Buenos Aries as well as some philosophical pondering about my trip as a whole. If you don't want to read the touchy feely stuff, feel free to stop reading after I talk about landing in Dallas. Also, I was not able to upload my Iguazu photos in Argentina due to super slow Internet, but I have those pics up on my flickr account now, so check them out at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39526836@N05/sets/.

My flight from Iguazu was nice and I got some great pictures from the air. As we started our decent into the city, I took some nice snaps of the skyline and the big soccer stadium by the airport. Once I touched down it was off to my hostel in the center of the city. I didn't stay at the art factory this time, but decided to stay in the same place as my friend Anna since we were both leaving the following day.

After checking in, Anna and I took the subway to Palermo to meet up with our friend Shannon from our trekking days in Patagonia. We all ventured out to get a bite to eat and actually settled on a sushi joint because another meal of grilled meat just didn't sound that appetizing after eating it for 14 days straight. The sushi place was actually pretty decent with nice ambiance and tasty sushi. The only downer was the lack of Saki, but we managed and I snapped a cool photo of Anna and Shannon talking.

After a good night's sleep, Anna and I grabbed some breakfast/lunch and headed back to Palermo to meet my friend Maria's friend Christie. Christie left Seattle three months ago to live in Buenos Aries for a year. Pretty brave especially since she did not know anyone and did not speak Spanish. We met Christie at a nice place in Palermo Soho and had a few drinks while we both shared our experiences in Argentina. It was a great afternoon and I wish I had gotten in touch with her earlier!

It was getting late in the day and Anna and I needed to get back to the hostel to pack up and get ready for our 7:00 PM shuttle to the airport. In the subway, we saw a sign for "Kevin" cologne so you know I had to get a shot of that. I think the name Kevin is somehow cool in Argentina because there is a clothing line named "Keviningston" as well. While walking back to the hostel, we stopped off at a music store so that Anna could get some Mercedes Sosa CDs for gifts. I snapped a funny picture of the "International music section" which featured all US artists. I thought it was funny to see music from my country in the international section!

After packing up for the final time, we caught our shuttle to the airport. It was a little touch and go as the traffic our to Buenos Aries was heavy, but we made it with time to spare and Anna and I said our goodbyes. I checked into my flight, grabbed a bite and boarded my plane back to the states. The best part about the 10 hour flight back was that I actually slept the ENTIRE way!

I awoke to the sound of "welcome to the United States" and felt a deep sense of gratitude. After spending 15 days in a completely different country, I had gained a new found appreciation to what we have here in the US. Argentina was an incredible place and I had a wonderful time, but it is good to be home. We all take for granted so many little things here. From air condition to fast Internet to being able to communicate to everything else, we are very fortunate for the things we have in this country. I know that I get wrapped up in things shouldn't make me angry like waiting 5 minutes instead of 2 or having to wait for two traffic lights instead of one, but the bottom line is that travel to another country has always been a humbling experience for me and has let me understand just how small we are in the HUGE world.

I will cherish my experiences of the last 15 days and am making a vow to myself to take one international trip and a place I have never been at least once a year until the day I die. I hope you all enjoyed this blog and got a flavor of the awesome time I had in Argentina. If you ever get a chance to visit this wonderful place, you must go!

Happy New Year and here's to a prosperous 2010. The blog will reconvene next year-most likely in Thailand!

Ciao, ciao

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