Archive for July, 2023

La Rural, Take 2

Sunday, July 30th, 2023
Sharpening his knife

We went back to La Rural this morning, again arriving early to beat some of the crowds on the last day. We picked up a few more things, watched some of the cow judging, and had another steak sandwich from the parrilla pictured above. I stayed a bit longer than John, hoping to see some riding competitions but it looked like the emphasis was on cattle today. I bought a great merino sweater (sheep farming is big in Patagonia) and came on home to enjoy the rest of the day.

My new boss Aaron arrived this week – transition season at the embassy is in full swing. I spent some amount of time getting him settled in his office, taking him to his first Country Team meeting, and briefing him on some imminent issues. John and I were also social sponsors for a new family, and went to their new apartment after work Wednesday to leave groceries for their arrival the next morning. I took them for a big grocery shop yesterday afternoon after my hair appointment.

Argentina signed the Artemis Accords this week during the visit of the NASA Administrator Bill Nelso and former senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. I participated in a briefing for her – although my part was small, it was fun to be at the table with someone I’d only seen on CSPAN before. At age 80 or thereabouts, she looks exactly the same and was quite sharp.

John and I watched this week’s episode of “Hijack” (love it) and finished “Deadloch,” which we really enjoyed and laughed at. I finished “Elena Knows,” by Argentine author Claudia Piniera.

A few more photos from today’s outing:

As I was walking to La Rural from the embassy, I ran into a few other spectators!
That’s a lotta bull!
And a lot of meat on the grill!

La Rural

Sunday, July 23rd, 2023

John and I went to the big livestock expo at La Rural today – big fun. We got there before the big crowds arrived so we were able to sit and have a delish grilled steak on a baguette at a picnic table, and visit the provincial pavilions to see the arts/crafts/wines/foods. We enjoyed seeing all the animals! It was really a fun day and we were pooped by the time we got home.

I chatted with Ann, Pam, and Jackie this afternoon. John and I have been watching the raunchy-but-funny Australian series, “Deadloch” this week. I finished reading “The Book of Charlie” and “Lessons Learned and Cherished: The Teacher Who Changed My Life,” and started “Elena Knows,” by an Argentine author.

Winter in Buenos Aires

Sunday, July 16th, 2023
Massive gum tree in Recoleta

I love these trees in Recoleta – the internet says they are gum/rubber trees (“gomero” in Spanish). They are massive! I stopped to photograph this one as we were walking home from a yummy vegetarian brunch at Marti, where Lea and I have gone a couple of times. It is chilly but sunny today, and lots of people are out at the weekend arts and crafts fair by the cemetery and at a gastronomic fair at the nearby French Plaza.

The same was true yesterday – we stopped by the annual coffee fair across the street from the embassy. Lots of coffee shops set up tents to sell food and coffee – it was good people- and dog-watching. We also went to Villa Crespo neighborhood to walk around a bit – the leather stores were open but nothing caught our eye.

Earlier this week it was cold and rainy, so the sun was welcome. We had a farewell event for my boss on Friday at Bosch Palace — champagne and cake — before he takes off next week.

I had a great chat with my friend Nomi yesterday.

I binged on a podcast called “Scamanda” this week (really? fake cancer to get donations?), and John and I are binging on the series, “The Lincoln Lawyer.” We also watched this week’s episode of “Hijack,” with Idris Elba. I finished Jeannette Walls’ “Hang the Moon” and started “The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable Life of a 109-Year-Old Man.” And I was glad to see Alcaraz win Wimbledon today – I saw him play at the Argentine Open last December.

Sunday, July 9th, 2023
Beautiful winter sunrise

This was a pretty low-key week. With the 4th of July falling on Tuesday, lots of folks took Monday off work. Friday was an admin day in consular – we take one day a month to have without visa applicants so we can catch up and catch our breath.

I had a hair appointment on Tuesday – it’s nice when there’s a US holiday but Argentine businesses are still open. Afterward I met Lea at a leather store to look at jackets – our current quest.

We said goodbye to Jamie and Kat this week – I’m so glad we were able to reconnect with them and get to know them better. Safe travels!

Lea and I met for a delish Israeli lunch today in Villa Crespo, then we tried to go leather shopping afterward — but today is Argentine Independence Day and all the leather stores in Villa Crespo were closed. We found one that was open but not much else – oh well!

Happy birthday in San Antonio, Jim!

Lots of beautiful old buildings not being taken care of around town – this one in San Telmo

Celebrating Independence Day

Sunday, July 2nd, 2023
At Bosch Palace

We celebrated Independence Day at a huge representational event at the Ambassador’s Residence Thursday evening after work. It was a huge blow-out party – much bigger and fancier than any other we’ve attended. The number of guests goes up every time I hear it, from 1200 to 1700. While fun, for us it was a work event, on top of an already full day – John and I were there not so much to have fun but to engage with foreign interlocutors. The party is funded by big corporate donors who provide food and drink, etc.

Yesterday John and I went to a smaller embassy celebration for the 4th at the Ambassador’s quincho (the outside grill area). We had a good time eating party leftovers and potluck fare, visiting in a casual setting with the coworkers who opted to come, and listening to a band made up of local staff – much more relaxing!

I finished reading “Unbroken” – wow, just wow! I’m now reading “On our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to be Good.” John and I have started watching the new and final season of Jack Ryan, plus the Mexican “Who Killed Sara.”

I spent this morning at the office working to get our computer systems back up after a power outage, then Lea came for an early afternoon coffee. Here we are at the big party: