Archive for October, 2023


Sunday, October 29th, 2023
Baby elephant seal

I missed blogging last Sunday but with good reason — John and I were traveling down to the tip of Peninsula Valdes which involved a flight to Trelew from Buenos Aires, then a three-hour drive, much of it on gravel roads through scrub brush landscape that reminded me of West Texas. We arrived at Rincon Chico in the afternoon, in time for an afternoon outing with our host/guide Augustin. During our four nights there, we walked through a huge colony of nesting penguins, sat feet away from both sea lions and elephant seals, and watched southern right whales play in the water below us. It was a treat to see these animals in such a small group setting (there were no more than six of us there at any given time). Around the estancia itself, we saw Darwin’s rheas (like an ostrich), guanacos (in the llama family), big hares, and maras (a huge rodent that looks kind of like a big rabbit). I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow, but take a look at my photos. You will see some dead baby elephant seals in the pictures – apparently this season’s baby seals are being wiped out in Argentina and in South Georgia Island due to the avian flu. It was horrible to see their little bodies littered along the beaches. We did see some that are still alive like the cute little guy above, but the effects of the flu are devastating.

Nesting penguins
Sea lions
Newly weaned elephant seal (a “weaner”)

The week before our trip we enjoyed a long weekend and a local holiday on Monday. Socially, I had a fun catch-up lunch with Jenae at Mashugana Cafe and had a couple of outings with Lea. John and I teamed up with Lydia and Cesar one night after work to compete in an embassy trivia contest – we were the “Disco Cats,” a nod to our time together in Pakistan. I finished reading “Tom Lake” and “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” and started “Wellness.”

This afternoon John and I drove up to a lovely asado at Luis and Mercedes – they are such good hosts. It was great to hear about their trip to Alaska (Luis has now been to all 50 states! Way more than me!), and we always enjoy their daughter, as well. Spring has really sprung in Buenos Aires!

Peninsula Valdes – beautiful coast!

Family visit

Sunday, October 15th, 2023
With Phillip & Michele at Querandi Tango

I caught the tail-end of Phillip & Michele’s visit to Argentina this week. They had traveled with John to Mendoza, then they went further south to Calafate and were there when I returned. We had the chance to go out on their last night in Buenos Aires to catch dinner and a tango show – lots of fun! It was a different tango show than John and I saw before, in a more historic building.

John had a great time visiting with them, and he really enjoyed Mendoza. He also took them on a tour of beautiful Bosch Palace while they were here:

Last Monday was a U.S. holiday, so I took advantage of the free time to see the hairdresser and go to a dermatologist appointment. And there was a local holiday on Friday, so I had a nice three-day work week. The weather turned cold again this week which was nice.

Yesterday we visited with our neighbors Matt and Katherine at their apartment – nice folks! I finished reading the fabulous “Cutting for Stone” and started “Tom Lake.” John and I began watching the wonderful “Lessons in Chemistry,” which I recently read. I also watched a bit of the “ring of fire” eclipse on YouTube – it looked so neat.

New day

Monday, October 9th, 2023
Moon over the horizon

The photo above doesn’t do the moon and sunrise justice as I was coming back to Argentina this weekend – it was gorgeous, and I’m assuming the mountains peeking through the clouds were the Andes (?). It was beautiful. (Almost as beautiful as seeing little Flavia after five weeks!)

But as pretty as it was, it was not prettier than this foggy sunrise one day last week in Hot Springs – it really looked like smoke as it moved across the lake:

My last week in Hot Springs was fun: catfish with David and Alison at RedOak Fillin’ Station, grilled salmon with David, Alison, and PeeWee in their gazebo, dinner at Julie’s with Scott, Jordan, and Jonathan, the arts and crafts fair, and almost daily yoga.

Chuck and I toured Origami Sake – it was so neat. They use Hot Springs well water and locally grown rice, and the sake is delicious. They served it chilled like wine – I’ve only had the warm cheaper stuff for the most part, so this was mind-boggling to me. I’ll definitely be buying some to drink when I go back to visit. I’m in yoga with the adorable Japanese wife of one of the guys running it and enjoyed getting to chat with her this week (I love the folks in my yoga classes – they’re all so very nice).

A Thousand Cranes and White Lotus

A couple of hummingbirds were still around on my last day in Hot Springs, even though the weather broke and fall arrived with chilly mornings and perfect days. I left a feeder up for them in their last few days.

Canada Geese


Sunday, October 1st, 2023

I went back to yoga this week and it felt great!

James and MaryBeth drove up from San Antonio to visit, and we were able to spend some quality time with them, including lunch at Santorini’s and dinner last night at David and Alison’s.

Our neighbors Keith and Shannon took us for a sunset boat ride – it was fun to get to know them a bit – and we saw the super moon!


Sadly, I had to take John to the airport yesterday for his flight back to Argentina. I spent the day at home today, binging on “Fleishman is in Trouble” and reading a good book by Arthur Brooks, “Build the Life You Want.”