Archive for February, 2024

S comes to Buenos Aires

Sunday, February 25th, 2024
SecState with John looking on

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (“S”) made a trip to Buenos Aires after the G-20 in Brazil to meet with the new Argentine president and to say hello to embassy staff. John coordinated the embassy reception on the lawn of the ambassador’s residence Friday morning. The event went off without a hitch! Even though his visit to Argentina was very short, it required a lot of preparation in advance of his arrival – every event is choreographed down to the last detail to keep things on schedule and to ensure there are no gaffes, etc. I didn’t participate in the numerous countdown meetings with S’s large advance team, but it was fascinating to watch the process as John and other co-workers went through it. Adding to the week’s earlier schedule was a CODEL by Marco Rubio, which was also a heavy lift for post. I think we’re all anxious to return to regularly scheduled programming next week!

With girlfriends waiting for Blinken to arrive
John, Master of Ceremonies
And a tango demo, of course!

Also in big news this week: John and I celebrated 28 years of marriage! It seems like we’ve been together forever, but at the same time, it seems like yesterday that we were newlyweds living in Costa Rica! He treated me to a nice lunch at El Preferido.

Last Monday was President’s Day. I celebrated by cleaning out the bulk of my closet, inspired by reading “Wear It Well” last week. I still have a little bit to go, but it felt great. This week I also read “The First Rule of Mastery: Stop Worrying What Other People Think of You” and “The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos” – I enjoyed them both. John and I finished “Criminal Record” and “True Detective,” and started “Expats” with Nicole Kidman.


Monday, February 19th, 2024

I had a great time at the Argentine Open tennis tournament this week! After watching some of the qualifying rounds last Saturday, I went back on Monday to see the first round. First Djere beat Cilic, then I got to see Stan Warinka beat Cachin. Stan is a long-time favorite of mine, so it was fun to see him in person!

Stan the Man

John went with me on Saturday and Sunday for the semis and then the finals. In the semis, we saw two Argentines play, Diaz Acosta and Coria, followed by what really should have been the tournament final: #2 ranked Alcaraz vs #21 ranked Jarry. In a big twist, Jarry won over Alcaraz and then the #87 ranked Diaz Acosta beat Jarry! John and I would have certainly lost any bets on the outcome! The weather was perfect and we had a great time!

Monday and Tuesday were local holidays, so on Tuesday I finally devoted some time to my Antarctic photos. I curated them down to a manageable size to share – click here if you’d like to take a look. Goodness, baby penguins are adorable!

This week I read “The Psychology of Money” – I think I read it before, but it was fast and had some good reminders in it. We finished the season of “Poker Face,” which we’ve enjoyed, as well as “Criminal Record.” We started “Expats” with Nicole Kidman last night.

John was sweet to bring me flowers on Valentine’s Day. On the 13th, Mom would have been 99. It’s hard to believe she’s been gone nine years now.

Casa Rosada

Sunday, February 11th, 2024
With Lea, Jill, and Marko

Lea, Jill, Marko, and I braved the heat this week and visited Casa Rosada, along with other members of the diplomatic corps — it’s the equivalent of our White House. Very pretty! Lea, Marko, and I went for drinks afterward at Invernadero across the street from our apartment.

Yesterday Lea and I had lunch at El Preferido – yummy — then I spent the afternoon at the Argentine Tennis Open watching the qualifying rounds. It was hot hot hot but I really had fun!

John and I had lunch at La Croza today and really enjoyed it. In my off time this weekend, I’ve finally attacked my Antarctica photos — it’s a lot of work but it’s so fun to remember the trip! It makes me want to go back again!

I got a fun care package for Valentine’s Day from Alison and PeeWee – thank you!

Here are a few more photos from Casa Rosada:

Heat wave

Sunday, February 4th, 2024

It’s been very hot all week but the heat broke today and it’s been absolutely lovely. I’m enjoying it while I can — it’s supposed to climb back up close to 100 this week. Lea and I went to a great little restaurant today, Catalino, and sat outside on their garden patio. The food was delicious – we had two dishes that had amazing fresh figs.

I had several routine doctors’ appointments this week, plus a bonus root canal and temporary crown – yikes! Right before Christmas, I broke a tooth but didn’t have time to do anything about it before we left on a cruise.

I finished Ambassador Yavonovitch’s “Lessons from the Edge” and highly recommend it. I also read Liz Cheney’s “Oath and Honor” and recommend it, as well.

Yesterday John and I met some embassy colleagues for a special tour of an amazing art exhibition by Renata Schussheim. I had never heard of her, but we really enjoyed her art and her theatre costumes. We also enjoyed walking through the cultural center that’s devoted to youth and the arts – it’s a gorgeous space with practice rooms for dance, music, and relaxing.

After the exhibition, John and I had a delicious lunch at La Ferneterria, then I had a two-hour chat with my friend Ruth from the cruise.

Here are a few pieces from the Schussheim exhibit: