This wasn't our first trip to Buenos Aires, and it won't be the last, most likely. The last time we were here, it was my birthday and Doug and I went out to a tango show, which was then cut short because Carter got violently ill back at the hotel and we had to return. And then Doug caught whatever bug he had and was miserably sick for days. Doug wasn't all that enthusiastic to return after that experience, but the timing of the cruise meant we had nearly a week to hang out in the city.
This time we decided to stay in Puerto Madero, an area that has become really popular in the last few years. It's an old port area that has been revitalized and turned into apartments, restaurants, and bars, and it's definitely a fun place to be. We stayed at the Hotel Madero, which was in walking distance of lots of fantastic restaurants. The hotel itself was a great place, with a rooftop pool and a good restaurant.
The first day in Buenos Aires, we took a bus tour, something Carter always enjoys. We saw most of the major sights, all of which we've seen before, and many of which Carter has seen before. We took some pictures, but I didn't end up taking many, because most of the sights I've taken pictures of before. It's kind of like the way you stop taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty after a few trips to New York, you know? So unfortunately, these aren't terribly interesting. I have better ones on our blog post from the last visit (which you can see here and here).
The famous "widest street in the world":
This is just the Plaza Hotel, but I liked all the Argentinian flags on the front.
Puente de la Mujer in Puerto Madero.
One thing we did this time that we hadn't done before was to take Carter to the fantastic Buenos Aires children's museum. When we travel in the United States, we try to hit all the children's museums we can. Carter has been to children's museums in Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, New York, North Carolina, and more. Outside the US, they're more rare, but he's been to the one in Rome and now this one in BA, which is, in my opinion, one of the best ones in the world. It's huge and covers three floors in a large shopping mall (which also houses a huge indoor amusement park).
We had a lot of fun running around in this sugar cane forest.
This is the view from the third floor. This place was huge!
Carter loved crawling around in this huge plumbing system.
This was fantastic: it's a large toilet that kids can be "flushed" down, and then they can crawl through the plumbing to the "water treatment plant." Carter loved it, of course!
I love how this looks like he's in the newspaper.
Buenos Airres is a port city, and so there was a big cargo ship and a harbor crane that kids could operate to load and unload real bundles of cargo. Carter loved this too!
Carter had a blast. Unfortunately, he also picked up a cold, and spent the last couple of days in Buenos Aires struggling with it. So our sightseeing there was cut a bit short, sadly. Carter is a trooper when he's sick and doesn't like to stop going, which means we have to make him slow down, because he won't slow himself down. Fortunately, he decided to use the downtime to start studying viruses (after we explained that a virus had made him sick) and then I found myself googling pictures of viruses and trying to explain DNA and RNA and how viruses replicate and lots of other things I haven't thought about since I was in college. And as usual, Carter soaked it all up. One of the things that's really interesting about watching him learn on this trip is that he soaks up the most unexpected things, and then immediately works them into his play. He spent a couple of days making up a character named Vinny the Virus, who was a good virus that killed bad viruses, and so on. Here is a picture he drew of the structure of a virus. From memory, I should add! The spelling is all over the place, but still.
At the end of the week, it was time to get on the cruise ship. This cruise was something we had booked long before we decided to do the year-long trip, and we ended up scheduling the trip around it. There are only a few cruise ships a year that make the trip to Antarctica, and since it's the last continent for me and Doug, it was something we really wanted to keep in the itinerary. It also allowed us to make the theme of this trip "all seven continents."
We had booked a fairly nice room on the ship, and we thought about down-grading to save money, but ultimately decided to keep it. We have a small suite with a table, which allows us to have meals in the room. We have a nice balcony to hang out on, and enough space for Carter to spread out his toys. In fact, this is the largest space we've had for the entire trip so far.
We have yet to get in the pool! Doug and I were sick while the weather was warm enough, and it's going to be a bit too cold until we get closer to the end of the cruise.
Carter all ready to go!
We sailed out of Buenos Aires and then started making out way down the coast of Argentina. We had three sea days in a row, which turned out to be fortunate for us all since Doug and I had by then picked up Carter's cold. We basically holed up in the room for the first few days.
We woke up the first morning thinking we'd started heading down the coast, but we were still basically in the harbor! I think they wanted to give us a good warm day before we started heading south.
The view from our room is lovely!
And we slowly putted south.
Carter has enjoyed going to the kids' area, and Doug and I have enjoyed having some time on our own. They also have some activities there that parents can join, and one day Carter and I made these fantastic puppets.
Carter is very good at hanging out in bars with us, which makes things a lot easier than they might be otherwise. The ship also has a really fun selection of non-alcoholic cocktails, and Carter has enjoyed sampling them all.
This was pretty much our view for the first three days.
On the fourth morning, we stopped in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. I'll post pictures of that stop next time.
As I write this, we're heading across the southern ocean towards Antarctica. I'm not sure if we'll have internet access the entire time, but if we do, I'll try to post again in the next couple of days.