Argentina Day 8: San Telmo, the Obelisk and Coming Home

San Telmo

Last day in Buenos Aires, and the temperature was going up to 93. We had to check out this morning too. So we wore our lightest clothing, stored our bags and headed to San Telmo.

It is a colorful street festival, with all sorts of arts and crafts for sale. Ben had wanted a mate cup for tea, so we found a porcelain one. The artist who made it sang the song whose lyrics were on the cup and gave us several slips of paper explaining them. We also got Ben a wallet.

Ellen got some earrings and I bought a glass made from a Quilmes beer can.

A beautiful church was in the neighborhood, Iglesia de San Ignacio. We stopped in to cool off and admire the interior.

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Next it was time for lunch, so we walked to Bar El Federal. It was tight quarters inside, but we had a good meal and enjoyed the interior.

We had some trips left on our subway card, so I suggested we stop at the Obelisk.  We had seen it from a distance, but didn’t know much about it. It clearly resembles the Washington Monument, but was built to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Buenos Aires.DSC_0731

In walking over to the Obelisk, we noticed a large crowd. Ellen was concerned it was a protest. But the people were too young. As we approached, it was clear that the crowd was mostly tween girls and it had something to do with Justin Bieber. Searching on our phones, we didn’t find that there was a concert. So we aren’t sure what was going on. The kids were spaying shaving cream and silly string, so we decided it might not be our scene.DSC_0738

The area around the Obelisk has LED billboards that make it the Times Square or Picadilly Circus of Buenos Aires. DSC_0736

We took the subway back to our neighborhood. We stopped in a coffee bar for cool drinks, and then we returned to the hotel. We had some time, so we found a deck of cards and had some mean games of gin and crazy 8’s.

Around 6:30pm, we headed out to the airport. There were lines to check in to United, but not too bad. We got 105 pesos (about $11) back as a VAT refund, which gave us a little more chocolate to buy at the duty free store.

Our flight to Houston went smoothly. We had taken off from Argentina just about kick-off time for the Redskins/Cowboys game. There was no internet available on the plane, so it wasn’t until we were able to turn our cell phones on after landing in Houston that we got the good news that the Redskins had won the game and the division. See you at FedEx on Sunday!

We had to go through immigration, claim our luggage to go through customs, then recheck it and go through security again to get our DC flight. All that went well, getting us to the gate just a little before boarding.

Ben met us at Dulles, we went out for lunch at Sweetwater Tavern in Sterling, then came home to the puppy. So nice to have another day before returning to work and only two hours of time change to adjust to.

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