A Brief and Excellent Trip to South America

On Saturday morning, I got back to San Francisco from Chile, via a brief two-hour detour in Peru, where I'd been delayed until 2:30am and had sent out a series of awkwardly desperate messages on Facebook Chat to various friends and family members I was trying to engage in conversation in the middle of the night. There are, of course, certainly worse places to be at 2:30am than the LAN Airlines VIP lounge at Lima airport---which possesses not only a free-flowing supply of champagne and mini crustless sandwiches, but also a kickass juicing machine that lets you throw whole oranges into it with abandon and watch as it rips them to shreds and squirts them out into freshly-squeezed juice---but at that point I was trying to talk to anyone who'd talk back, just so I could keep myself awake long enough not to fall asleep on the bar and miss my flight.

South America was incredible, or as incredible as a continent can be when you're visiting it for work (turns out: still pretty darn incredible) and I only wish I'd had more time to spend in both Buenos Aires and Santiago, both of which I set foot in for about a day and a half each. I took a lot of photos while I was there, including this one of me on a horse ("I'm on a horse!" I kept singing in my head, to the tune of "I'm on a boat!")...

...and this one of a whole bunch of of other people on horses, which I love because it just looks so....so Argentina-ish to me:

I ate a lot of steak...

....and watched some really amazing tango....

.....and I also figured out why gaucho pants are called gaucho pants. Because real life gauchos actually wear them.

(I swear I saw this exact pair in Target last year when gaucho pants were all the rage.)

If you have time, by the way, check out this amazing video of a show we saw at Estancia Santa Susana, about an hour outside Buenos Aires. I'm sure he won't mind me pointing out that he was in his mid-60s, this gentleman, but holy steak on a plate, could he move:

After flying over the Andes (during which many inappropriate jokes were made about crashing and having to eat each other like the people in Alive)....

.....we landed in Santiago, Chile, where it was thirty degrees, tops, which sort of put my complaints about San Francisco in July to shame. The next day, we woke up bright and early and drove to the Colchagua Valley, which is known for its wine production. It is also, coincidentally enough, known as the place I'm going to be moving to next and never leaving, if that's okay with you.

Could you stomach another video? Here's one of the wine cellar at Montes Winery, where they play relaxing music to the barrels to keep the wine calm. I know you think I'm joking about that, and it's possible that I missed something in the translation, but I thought they were joking too until the Gregorian chanting came on:

Anyway, now I'm home and I'm here until Wednesday, when we leave for New York for a combination BlogHer trip and in-law visit. I'm so sick of unpacking and repacking that I'm half tempted to say screw it, and just bring my unpacked suitcase of South America stuff with me so I don't have to do it. If you see a person walking around in 90-degree heat wearing a coat, a scarf, a wool dress, and a pair of tights, give me a wave. It'll be me.

For more pictures of steak and wine and tango dancers, and one of a cowboy kidnapping me and carrying me away on the back of his horse, my whole Argentina/Chile set is here. Not pictured: every night I had to stay up til 1 or 2am to get all my regular work done. It was a long week, but a great one.

1
Orion
Aug 02, 2010

Looks like a great time! I have not been that far south yet...it is winter there though. I get you on the unpacking and repacking, I usually just have a bag with all the essentials and toiletries left by the door.
Have fun at BlogHer!

2
SuzRocks
Aug 02, 2010

So last time I was in S. America at an Argentinian steak house I mixed up the words for red and pink and accidently ordered my steak red. It was still mooing. I ate it and survived. Won't make that mistake again. I'm so jealous!

Hmmmm. My husband regularly goes to South America for "Business", but now me thinks I will have to revisit his itineraries and see just what's going on.

Granted, he spends most of his time in Brazil (with occasional forays into Arg and Chile), but if I recall correctly, the Girl from Ipanema, cachaca, and the beaches of Rio are all from Brazil.

Hmmmm.
(Great photos, btw).)

4
Natalie
Aug 02, 2010

I'm amazed by your travelogues! What exactly do you work as?

5
Sally
Aug 02, 2010

Are you sure that is a horse? It looks like a llama and a camel's love child. Great pics - love the vineyard and clouds and fog one the most. Frame it immediately.

6
agirlandaboy
Aug 02, 2010

Once upon a time (about five years ago?) there was a 50 percent chance that Simon's job would have moved him (er, us) to Santiago for a year or two. Obviously, that didn't happen (and thank god), but it would be nice to visit someday. Or, you know, just look at your lovely pictures.

7
Tami A.
Aug 03, 2010

So jealous! I haven't been back to my birth country (Argentina) in 10 years. Way too long. I can't wait to go back and eat real meat. There, I said it.

8
lilpunk
Aug 03, 2010

can i have your job please? Pretty please?

9
elz
Aug 03, 2010

Looks awesome. The only place I get to go for work is Santa Fe, NM. Sadly, very little wine is involved and no horseback riding.

10
Bethany
Aug 11, 2010

So cool! I wish I got to travel for work!

11
burberry handbags
Aug 12, 2010

yes your post is good.

12
Jennifer
Aug 15, 2010

I spent my glorious honeymoon in South America. So. Also, I thought I'd use this opportunity to delurk and let you know that you make me laugh! I love your understated wittiness and your way of looking at the world.

13
Jennica
May 19, 2016

Sharp thnigink! Thanks for the answer.

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