Our last stop of the whole South American escapades was Buenos Aires. Patagonia had been my number one choice for the trip where I had meticulously planned out our days, so I was happy to sit back and be a little more spontaneous with our time in Buenos Aires. We were both running on fumes at this point after almost a month of nonstop action. We took a taxi to our AirBnB which Julie had chosen and kept a surprise from me. It was by far the most luxurious place I have ever stayed when traveling and I fell in love immediately. It was basically a penthouse on the 24th floor of a building overlooking one of the city's coolest neighborhoods. Thanks, Jules! We powered through our exhaustion for the promise of a cute restaurant with tasty food, and I was not disappointed. We only had to go a few blocks to get to the neighborhood of Palermo Soho where we chose a restaurant called Cabernet. We had a really nice dinner on their patio, walked around the neighborhood checking out the little boutiques and cafes, and headed back for a good night's sleep. (You'll sense a theme of shopping and eating for most of our time in Buenos Aires...just embrace it.)
Thursday, September 22nd
Our day started early with a walking tour around the Recoleta neighborhood ending at the largest cemetery I have ever seen. We spent a long time walking around the cemetery after the tour had ended, and we made friends with some guys who had been on it. They were from the Midwest and were in the city just as long as we were, so we exchanged numbers and went on our way. Julie and I had lunch and a deliciousss apple crumble at a little cafe called Helena near our AirBnB.
Friday, September 23rd
I can tell I was exhausted at this point because in looking back at my day by day log of the trip, these last two days are barely there. The beginning of my trips always start as paragraphs detailing what I ate and which streets I walked and every butterfly that flew by (of course not actually, but I wouldn't put that past me) and by the end, its like I am reading morse code. Breakfast at Oui Oui. Shopping Palermo - lots of rings. We did spend a lot of our last day wandering through the trendy neighborhoods and I was committed to finding my souvenir ring...of which I bought five in the end. (The photo below is of all the rings I bought over the month) We managed to take ourselves on a self guided tour of San Telmo which is a very hazy memory. Hopefully photos can fill in the blanks of that little adventure.
We decided to save one of the highlights of our trip for last. Julie had made reservations for a restaurant called Patagonia Sur, which was her number one activity for the trip and also how we celebrated her birthday. That night, we took an Uber to a weird part of town near some docks. The streets were deserted and the area was so sketchy that the driver was worried about leaving us there. But we were not going to miss this meal for anything, so we hopped out of the car and braved our way down the dark streets. We came up to the restaurant, which looked completely dark and empty and then I started to panic. We were standing outside for what felt like forever but was actually maybe 10 minutes when a couple walked up to the door and I felt immediately relieved. They were very friendly and surprise, surprise they were from San Francisco. We were let into the building right at the time of our reservation and at that point I realized that we were the only four people dining there that night. The restaurant was basically a townhouse with two tables in the dining room. We were sat in the sitting room and given an amuse bouche to start while we got to know the couple we would be dining with. We were then taken into the dining room, which was just two tables. I have to say this is the most intimate dining experience I have ever had. We were brought course after course, all of which were great. It was time for the main course - steak for the meat eaters and veggies for me. We had only had one waiter up until this point, but for the steak, he brought in backup. Another waiter came to help with the steak and before I could even realize what had happened, I hear a smash and the perfect steak and shattered plate are on the floor. It took everything I had to choke back my laughter, because to them this was a very serious matter. Both waiters took this extremely seriously, but Julie and I were bright red from trying to hold in the giggles. It was one of those 'this is so uncomfortable that all I can do is laugh' moments. The Great Steak Debacle of 2016 was eventually resolved and we left feeling so full it hurt, but the Bennett sisters are no wimps. I stopped into the restroom on our way out only to find the walls covered with original sketches form my favorite artist Gustav Klimt. Who would have guessed. All we could manage to do that night is lay in bed and grumble about how full we were, but it definitely wasn't a bad night.
Saturday, September 24th
We had breakfast at Pani before walking through the many street markets nearby the AirBnB. It was our last chance to pick up souvenirs, or rings if you're me. When we had satisfied our shopping urges and spent just about all the cash we had left, we went back to Helena for one more apple crumble and a cup of tea. We wanted to savor our last few hours in South America before coming back to the States and real life. We managed to have a very leisurely day walking around the neighborhoods and taking as many photos as we could. I particularly loved the street art in Buenos Aires. We once again had dinner at Cabernet because it had been so good a few nights ago, and we decided to finish off the evening watching movies and packing in our little sky mansion.
We were both ready to come home I think, and also both a little shocked that we were both making it back in one piece. We were relieved that we hadn't killed each other after being together for a month, but most of all relieved that we were able to stretch our money long enough to get us home. I actually loved traveling with my sister and I can't wait until we get to take our next trip. Japan 2018 anyone? As always, I am so thankful for the lovely people and cultures that I am able to experience when I travel. It'll never get old. I also decided that for my next trip, I'm planning to make it more 'professional' looking for lack of a better word. I'll write it as I go and post fewer, better quality photos. Wish me luck!