Happy birthday, John!

At Ateneo Bookstore

We celebrated John’s birthday Sunday by going to the famous El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore — and it was, indeed, splendid! It’s a huge bookstore housed in an old theatre and it’s really breathtaking. A co-worker’s great, great grandfather owned the theatre (over 100 movie houses), and we could see his initials in the crest above the stage. The place was filled with happy people buying books and taking photos — and, of course, drinking coffee in the coffee shop (housed where the stage was).


Afterward, we went across the street to Parrilla Aires Criollos for an early dinner; it was the best steak I’ve had here. The place was nice, not fancy, and seemed a bit old school — we really enjoyed it. Earlier in the day, we ran an errand in the car and ended up having lunch at a charming bar/restaurant while the car got a much-needed washing. El Octavo (the Eight) in Palermo is an old family place — kind of a diner of sorts. Not fancy, simple good food and a relaxed vibe with some charming touches.

El Octovao
A glimpse of John as I was coming downstairs from the ladies room
Display of penguin pitchers (it’s a thing here)
Beautiful old tile bathroom
More bathroom!

Monday was Halloween and we opened the embassy late afternoon for kids to trick or treat. Different sections of the embassy went all out with spooky decorations.


Big news of the week was that I started driving my car! I finally got my diplomatic license plate. Driving in the city is OK so far, although I haven’t gone far or had to navigate too much traffic. The biggest challenge is getting down the corkscrew to the third sub-basement where my parking spot is in our apartment building – talk about scary! You basically just have to have the steering wheel turned all the way to the right to get down it. The scrapes all along the walls are not confidence inspiring!

Wish me luck!

Last Sunday John and I continued working on the house, then I met Lea at the Park Hyatt for a fancy lunch on a chilly, rainy day. Today she and I met at a cute place in Palermo called COWI – just a week later and we were enjoying sunny 71 degree weather. We walked around a bit afterward and checked out the Sunday street vendor fair.

Also this week we had a team of folks visiting the consular section from DC. It was a whirlwind trip and we packed in a lot, including dinner out on Wednesday night at a cute place in Las Canitas neighborhood. Finally, on Friday, we had an admin day at work, and we had an asado at the Ambassador’s residence outside in the quincho (grill area). It was a lovely day and everyone had fun.

Food for the asado

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