Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paskiewicz's to Argentina

Last week, my (Jamie) parents took their very first international trip...to Buenos Aires. I'm so proud of them. To say that they (and we) had a wonderful time would be an understatement.

Honestly, I think we could have just plopped them down at a cafe every day and done nothing else but occasionally bring Ella down to play, and they would have been thrilled. Here they are at their favorite cafe, Fabianos, with their favorite waitress.

But we wanted to show them around our city. And that we did!

Cool sights...

Great food & drink...

We even got them to take a tango lesson!

Plus, they brought in reinforcements! Coffee, books, clothes, Lara bars, toys, a Real Simple magazine, vitamins...you name it. My mom was a hero for questing for the long list of things we needed/wanted!

Ella loved having Nana and Papa here. She still asks about them every day since they left.

We have loads more pictures to share. If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, you'll see them there. If not, shoot us an email and we'll think of another way to show you. Ciao!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cafe Con Crema

I've mentioned before the impossible quest for good coffee here. By now, my taste buds have adapted and the stuff I turned my nose at before is now part of my morning routine. It may help you to know for this post that we have a French Press and we do not have a coffee bean grinder.

The supermarcados' coffee isles are full of bags of ground coffee 'con azucar'. That's 'with sugar'. I believe they do it that way because it is less expensive than straight coffee, but I'm not sure. Maybe everyone likes the idea of someone adding their sugar for them. There are a few bags at the store 'sin azucar'. I've tried each of those brands. (I'm not eating sugar or HFCS for 3 months.) Each of these have been, well, bad. Think instant coffee that you mix with water--that's how bad.

Several blocks from our place lies a little coffee shop called The Coffee Store. I go there to work several times a week as they also have wifi. The owner knows me and which of his brews I like. I always get cafe con crema. He speaks reasonable English with a heavy British accent (many of the English teachers here are British, so if we find a local who speaks English it's often with that accent). He calls me 'lady' and always asks about Tyler and Ella. He is very excited about his coffee and will makes me a mug of a new blend to try. The shop sells their coffee beans, and will grind them for us. I've tried all the beans there (save for the flavored ones) and they are drinkable. A step up from instant coffee flavor; but only more like Folgers or Maxwell House. These beans are from Columbia, Ethiopia, and other coffee countries. But I hypothesize that the good beans go to the US and the rejects go elsewhere (here). No matter how I try to explain that I want the beans ground coarsely for our French Press, every time I get the finest coffee powder you can imagine. I get a workout trying to press it and there's a layer of deep black sludge in my mug at the end. It's now quite endearing.

When you order coffee at a cafe or restaurant here, it is always served with a tiny cookie and a small glass of bubbly water. Charming, really.

Despite all the complaining I do about it, I still drink coffee every morning. Even the coffee experience adds to our story and life here. Plus, it's one thing that makes me appreciate home--Colorado--that much more.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


A few observations on BA:

As a pedestrian, you only have the right of way when crossing the street IN THEORY. Not in practice.

You will frequently be denied purchasing something depending on the bills you hand the cashier. No body likes to give change. But because of that, it's nearly impossible to have correct change.

The signs saying "Visa" or "Mastercard" on the door of a shop or restaurant don't mean anything.

The stoplights go from green to yellow to red to yellow to green again.

Summer break is over and the kids are back in school. Many of their school uniforms look like science lab coats--even on the little, little kids.

There are over 100 bus lines here. Even the locals have to purchase a little book each year to figure out what number bus goes where.

If you say zoológico with a 'z', no one will have a clue what in the world you are trying to say. However, replace the 'z' with an 's' and it's perfectly clear.

And here's a pic of Pea at her favorite park. Toodles!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


For Tyler's birthday last week we went to a futbol game. Argentinos took on Godoy Cruz that evening. Ella and I were more entertained by the fans than the game itself. She enjoyed clapping and stomping with them. The fans here are something else! We didn't seat in the section of the hard core fans, but instead had a great view of them--dancing, chanting, signing, cursing, stomping, clapping--the whole entire game. They never stopped. And what the visiting team (Godoy Cruz) lacked in numbers, they made up for in number of banners and flags. Everything was colorful (including the language). Both team's fans had percussion sections so it sounded like a parade the entire game.
The game itself was fun to watch. Godoy Cruz beat Argentinos 3-1. Tyler would give you a totally different explanation of the game. And if he wants to...he can. Hee!