January 1-2 - Home to Buenos Aires
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Our first two days of the new year were very long. On New Year’s Day we got up at 2:30 am. Our Bay Porter shuttle arrived at 3:30 and took us to SFO for our 6:00 American Airlines flight to Miami. We booked this leg of our flights ourselves because it was cheaper than the OAT option. We spent a few hours in the remodeled Miami airport having lunch at Chile’s. Our over night LAN flight to Buenos Aires was very comfortable with lots of leg room. We were served both dinner and breakfast. In between, we watched movies, read and slept. I took a couple of Tylenol PMs which helped me sleep but left me a little groggy after we landed.
Marco, our OATS tour guide met us at the airport and put us on a bus to the Amerian Hotel. Our 10th-floor room was comfortable with non-evasive air conditioning. This really helped because it was hot and humid in Buenos Aires.
After we got settled, Marco took us on a short orientation walk around our hotel. When the walk was over, we went to the Galerías Pacífico , an upscale mall, where we used the ATM and had lunch in the food court – salads for both of us. We also splurged on a local ice cream favorite – dulce de leche. It was delicious.
Greeters at La Boca
At 2:00 we had a group meeting where Marco explained the tour’s procedures and itinerary. We also made quick introductions of ourselves. When our meeting was over, we met Virginia, our local guide. She and Marco took us on a whirlwind tour of Buenos Aires. Highlights of the tour were a visit to La Boca, an old part of the city which features outdoor and indoor markets with lots of artwork, crafts, tourist gift shops, cafes and a local outdoor market – a visit to the graveyard that has the tomb of Eva Peron , and a visit to Plaza de Mayo - the main plaza of Buenos Aires where we saw the Pirámide de Mayo, the Casa Rosada , the Cathedral Metropolitana , and other prominent buildings.
At the end of the tour we were dropped off at La Posada de 1820 Restaurante where we had a delicious Argentinean steak and lots of wine.
We walked back to the hotel and collapsed into bed by 10:00.