June 2016 Buenos Aires

The saga continues with our AirBNB apartment. The apartment strikes back. Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening. After a month in Buenos Aires we decided to have a cleaning lady tidy up our rental apartment. Afterwards, she accused our dog of urinating on the hardwood floors, which actually turned out to be a water leak in the plumbing. We also found A LOT of mold in the apartment. To get the whole scoop, check out my post Week 4 & 5 Buenos Aires.

We informed our host about the situation and after a few days a contractor came over to assess the apartment’s condition. He determined the water leak was not a big deal and they could wait to fix it after our stay was done in July. About a week later we noticed that the water leak was spreading to more areas within the apartment. When we stepped on some of the floorboards water was actually shooting out of the floors! We demanded the contractor come over again and address the issue immediately. They got to work quickly by breaking open walls, tearing out the bathtub, replacing pipes, and fixing the water pressure in the bathroom sink. After three days of dusty and noisy construction, the bathroom was fixed and the apartment was a messy disaster. One day after the contractor left, the hot water tap in the bathroom sink came undone, spewing water all over the bathroom. This forced us to turn out off the hot water, and the contractor couldn’t come back for several days, meaning no showers or baths. The contractor came back and “fixed” the bathroom sink, and within only about 5 hours for the sink to broke again. After a scathing email to our host, the contractor came back the next day and replaced both sink taps. Hopefully, this is the end to our current apartment drama, although the massive amounts of mold still pose a threat. Thankfully we are leaving this apartment in about 3 weeks and moving on to a new, modern apartment in Santiago, Chile.

Despite the issues with our apartment, we have been having a fantastic time in Buenos Aires. We attended several InterNations events, including beer at Cerveza Old Mule, fish and chips dinner  at an English speaking event at Chipper, and mingling about at a happy hour event at Snatch Bar. Being a part of InterNations has opened us up many new experiences and we have met a lot of wonderful people from all over the world.

One night we decided to go see an opera at the world famous Teatro Colon. Neither my husband or I had ever been to the opera and Buenos Aires was the perfect place to experience it. We were lucky to buy our tickets online the night before. The tickets were pretty cheap (around $30 USD) even though we only had a partial view of the stage. If I had to do it over again, I probably would have spent the extra money for better seats since we were basically leaning over the railing to get a good view. Although we didn’t have the best seats, we still had a great night. We picked up our tickets an hour before the show and decided to grab drinks at a nearby hotel bar, Patio #378. Obviously a Manhattan for Drew and a Pisco Sour for me.

The opera was incredible. Setting was in ancient Greece, Dido and Aeneas is a story about love and loss. The Queen of Carthage, Dido, is forsaken by the Trojan prince, Aeneas. Overcome by the grief of her loss, she dies of a broken heart. The performance was gripping from the very start. At one point the singing performers were floating and swimming in a large tank of water while their gauzy clothes glided around them, creating beautiful ethereal movements. The rest of the performance was filled with stunning costumes, beautiful dancing, and incredible voices. In case you are interested in learning more about Dido and Aeneas, here is a preview.

After the theater, we had dinner at La Estancia Asador Criollo, a traditional asador restaurant just a few blocks from Teatro Colon. An Argentinian Criollo Spit, a large standing barbecue, stood in the window roasting three large racks of ribs. Once we were seated, we were greeted by a sweet older man. We ordered a 5 course special that included a bottle of wine, carne empanadas, salad, grilled provolone with chorizo sausage, an assorted platter of grilled meats, and of course, dessert. The food was amazing and we were impressed when our meat platter came out on a sizzling grill. My favorite was the grilled provolone and chorizo sausage. It was so rich and flavorful! Everything was even more flavorful with Argentine chimichurri on a crunchy toasted bread roll. We were so full that we boxed up most of our entree meat platter although I still managed to eat my dulce de leche flan.

The following day we decided to escape the rain and cold by visiting the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.  It is an international and local art museum in the Recoleta neighborhood. Before the museum we had lunch at a nearby burger restaurant called Dellepiane. The food was okay but it was no comparison to our favorite burger joint, La Cresta.  We spent the afternoon taking in the renaissance, baroque, impressionism, and naturalism paintings from all over the world including famous works of art from Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, and Rembrandt.

One weekend we looked into seeing a tango show. While doing research online, I saw that prices for a dinner tango show were upwards of $150 USD per person and the reviews for the food were terrible. Through my investigation, I found a small list of the Top Tango Shows in Buenos Aires from Travel and Leisure. On the list was Centro Cultural Borges, which offers inexpensive, yet world class tango shows 4 nights a week. The show doesn’t include dinner but the ticket price was a fraction of the cost at only $25 per person. They don’t sell tickets online, so the day of the show we walked to Centro Cultural Borges to purchased our tickets. Once we had our tickets we decided to window shop in a beautiful mall connected to the cultural center on Floridia street. Later in the evening, we came back for our tango show, Bien de Tango. Our seats were great and the show was filled with mesmerizing dancing, extravagant costumes, and a live orchestra including a very talented accordion player. The accordion player might have been the star of the show. It was an incredible experience I will never forget.

 Centro Cultural Borges - Buenos Aires Argentina - Tip Top Planning

To finish up June, I took a salsa lesson with a small women’s group from InterNations at La Viruta. Though our trip has been amazing, it’s also been difficult being away from our friends and family. My girl’s night out was the perfect medicine. Afterward, Drew met me for dinner at Nola, a Creole restaurant in Palermo. We ordered spicy gumbo and the daily special, chicken and waffles. It was the most incredible and delicious meal we had so far in Buenos Aires, especially the sweet and salty chicken and waffles. We will definitely be back!

What is your favorite form of entertainment when you travel?

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