We have only been married for five years, and our goal of making it to Argentina has been achieved. We decided that it was more important for us to go now, while we could enjoy being there with Nona...than to wait. Things always come up. More kids come into the picture, money gets swallowed up in necessary places, and quite honestly...people grow old...
We were excited to go, but it was obviously a little bit of a nerve racking thing for us because we couldn't take our kids with us. They had a blast staying in Utah with Summer and their cousins. I am so grateful to Summer, Ryan, and my parents for caring for our kids while we went to "play".
There was a LOT of travel time, so even though we were gone for three whole weeks, we were only in Argentina for two weeks and two days. Still, a longer trip that most could pull off. We were grateful for the fun time we had and that we were able to have this experience with Nona, Christopher, Michelle, Adrielle, Rick, and Susy. And of course all of their awesome Argentine friends there!
We drove our kids down to Utah and flew out from Salt Lake City. It was hard to say goodbye to the kids, and it was even harder as the time went. We had a good time, but there wasn't a lot of moments when we weren't talking about our kids or missing them. That didn't stop us from having a good time though. We were lucky that we were able to go on a Vacation where we already had a place to stay so we didn't have to worry about renting. We were comfortable in Nona's house and were even able to do several loads of laundry. We also had the advantage of having Susy who had grown up in Rosario and had many connections.
We did a lot of things while we were in Rosario, and that's where we stayed. We thought about taking a trip to go to Cordoba but ultimately decided against it. We enjoyed being close to home and being able to spend time taking Mate with Nona every day. Argentines have a very different schedule, so I was tired more than 70% of the time. I knew that was the case before I left though. They don't eat dinner until around 9 or 10 pm and close all shops from 12-4 in the middle of the day so they can have a "siesta". It wasn't hard to get used to the fact that if you wanted to eat that day, you had to get it before places closed, or hold on until they opened again. One thing about it though, we always had plenty to eat. We spent a LOT of time eating.
I really loved how friendly all of their friends were there. There were always people coming in and out of Nona's house and they all treated me like they knew me for years. Granted, I didn't have much of a clue as to what they would say to me...but they acted like they were happy to meet me.
Because both Casey and Michelle have been to Argentina a few times, they already had a few friends, so we actually spent a lot of time with them. I got to meet Gonzalo and his wife Maricel. We got to watch him play soccer, go get ice cream, and even got to go play paddle with them. That was a blast. None of us (who had never played before) were very good...but we had a great time and Gonzalo and Maricel were super patient with us.
I also got to meet Eli, her husband Cristian, and their two kids. They were always so good to invite us to take Mate with them, go to the park with them, and they even threw us a little party one night with all their friends. I was pretty lonely the whole time because I couldn't communicate with the majority of the people we spent time with, but what do you expect in a foreign country? I did have Christopher, Michelle, and Casey to help me out as much as they could though.
Casey and Christopher got to go to a Newell's Soccer game and they had a blast. Casey said it was the best game he's ever been to. He loved that everybody stayed engaged in the game the entire time. No one ever sat down and they sang and cheered the whole time. Because they had such a great time at that game, we decided it would be fun for all of us to go to the Central Game. That one was a very different atmosphere.
We did a lot of walking around and shopping for things to take home to our families and friends. We got to go take a Tango class (Casey, Myself, Rick and Susy) and we had a good time. The steps we learned are pretty simple, but I struggled because of the posture. It is exactly the opposite of what I had learned in my ballroom years. I was supposed to be leaning in with my upper body the entire time. That was difficult for me, and I wore the wrong shoes. My feet were in so much pain it was hard to enjoy every minute. After we left the Tango class, Casey saw some Capoeirista's doing a hoda and asked if he could join for a minute. They let him...so Casey in a suit played around with the other Capoeiristas. It was fun to watch. We also got to go eat along the river and it was calm and peaceful.
We also took advantage of going to a Cumbia class that was really close to Nona's house. That was super fun, but the old man teacher didn't really "teach" he would just lead a girl through the steps and expect the men to have a clue of what they were supposed to do. I didn't mind because I was able to follow his lead pretty well and dancing is fun for me...but when it came time to actually dance with my partner, we just had to do our own thing because Casey wasn't taught anything. We were all pretty sure the old guy just enjoyed being able to dance around with a bunch of ladies. :) He was nice though.
One of the highlights for me, was being able to attend a couple of Zumba classes. We went to a nearby gym that offered Zumba and because we were from the states they treated us with very open arms. The classes weren't difficult and were very easy to follow...but I also didn't get as great of a workout as I would have liked. It was fun to be in the environment of everyone dancing and having fun though. There Were two instructors...a male and female. They both did well in their individual classes. When we went to the class of the owner's, she actually welcomed be publicly in the class and acted like I was a celebrity. Just because I am another instructor and I am from the States. She even let me lead two songs. I loved it. I had so much fun, and I wasn't nervous at all. I loved that the class made noise and showed that they had a good time. They were asking for more and more but I didn't have my music so I was just trying to use whatever I recognized from hers. Luckily I had Michelle there to help me because neither of us could understand each other.
Casey and Christopher really looked forward to being able to play some soccer themselves while we were there...so they found two opportunities. Unfortunately, they were both on the same day...but they had a good time nonetheless. One was with Cristian and Gabby playing with their group of buddies, and the next was directly after at the LDS church playing with the boys that would gather there. I stayed to watch Casey play with them. He is a great Soccer player and I like to see him doing things he enjoys.
One day we went to a very well known Park there in Rosario--the name leaves me--and take Mate together with Eli and Crisitan. They had a little pond and I have always wanted to go in a paddle boat, so Casey and I got one...and Cristian and his kids got another. It was relaxing to just peddle through the pond. It was hilarious to look at Cristian and his kids though because he is a bigger guy and his boat was VERY lopsided. Haha.
We got to eat a lot of great things, and my favorite part...Ice cream :) We went to several Ice cream shops and lots of different places to get food. It was a great experience. I didn't love the food as much as I had hoped but I think my taste buds were doing weird things anyways.
We got to go to the "beach" which was mud. It was still beautiful. We took a ferry across and ate on the other side. Casey spotted some people burying a stability ball in the sand and they would use it as a trampoline. Casey asked for a turn and did some cool tricks. I like to see him show off. :)
Another highlight for me, was going to a Casino and watching a Tango show. It was so awesome. It was a mixture of singing and dancing, and I would have obviously liked more dancing...but it was great. They had dancers that were pretty good, but one couple blew them all out of the water. They looked super petite and young, but their feet were flicking so fast. It was amazing. I will see if I can get Casey to post the video he took.
For anyone that knows me...they know that I don't take a vacation from working out. That was one of my biggest concerns with Going to Argentina. I didn't want to not have a place to work out. Lucky for me, Nona has a nice sized back porch and though it was quite slippery...I was able to get a workout in everyday. Never nearly as high of intensity as I would like...but I was moving nonetheless. Most days I would do Zumba and I would just start whether people were doing it with me or not. I always had people join in with me. Usually Rick, Susy, sometimes Michi, and Adrielle too. I probably looked like a goof out there all by myself slipping and sliding everywhere, but that doesn't stop me. The days I didn't do Zumba, casey would join me in a HIIT workout. Those are good.
We spent one Sunday night visiting with Susy's cousins and having an asado at their house. It was nice of them for all the work they put into it...but I didn't like the asado at all. I don't usually eat much meat anyways...at least Casey enjoyed it. They were very awesome people though. We got to meet another set of cousins, and Romina is a dance instructor so we took turns showing each other videos. It was nice. She just saw Casey and My Cha cha that we did a few years ago for a Miss Tintic Pageant and she contacted Susy for us to go show her dance class. We weren't prepared at all, but didn't really hesitate. We went and we showed them like 30 seconds of Cha cha and 30 seconds of Swing. I always have fun dancing so I didn't care that we weren't prepared. Everyone there is pretty laid back and chill...something I am not very good at. I also led the girls through a couple of Zumba songs. They did a Bachata and two Reggaeton's. They loved it and I was having a blast. I would have danced with them all night, but I wasn't in the right attire at all. I didn't realize what I was going to be doing. I loved it. They had a great time, and were excited to show us some of their dancing as well.
I got to have my nails painted there in Rosario, and the lady doing with was very patient...especially considering the fact that she couldn't get my nail polish off of my toe nails. I felt so bad and I couldn't even explain to her how sorry I was. Casey tried, but I still felt awful. We tipped her :)
We got to go to a really nice picnic area (they call it camping) and have an Asado with all of the friends. It was really nice. I got to lay out for quite a while, and the Asado was good this time because they had chicken too :) Eli, Cristian, Valeria, Gabby, Leo, Mariella, another couple of friends whom i don't know the names of, and then of course our little group were all there. It was fun. The kids got to just play around and we had a really relaxing day. I found that the Argentines really don't care about much else than family and friends. They don't have easy lives..but they were always very pleasant to be around. Always talking and laughing and trying to make you have a good experience. It wasn't hard to have a good time around them because they were all just so awesome.
When the time came to go home...we were sad to be leaving all those that we had grown to love there, but were super eager to get home to our beautiful kids. The trip was really long, and tiring. I was pretty miserable, but glad to finally arrive in Salt Lake City. Ryan picked us up from the airport and took us to Josh and Jeanene's house where we were to meet our kids. They arrived pretty much the same time. We ran up to their car and Alena was looking the other way and I kept tapping her. She finally turned around and kind of looked at me like she didn't believe it. We were able to facetime with her while we were gone almost every couple of days and she always seemed fine. Now, I wasn't sure she had a clue what was happening. She came to me, but I could tell she was hesitant. All night, while she played at Josh's house with all her cousins that she had spent the two weeks with...she didn't even say one word. Canyon was better but still not as excited as I had hoped.
The following morning when all the kids were awake, Canyon wouldn't let Casey leave his side...and Alena wouldn't let me let her go. She just cuddled me all morning. I loved it. Canyon would even tell Casey "don't leave me daddy" whenever he would even walk out of the room. We stayed long enough in the morning to clean up after ourselves and then made the drive back home to Meridian. It felt good to get home.
We had a great trip and we are so grateful for the experiences we had there and the memories we made. We have more pictures, but they were from either phones or Michelle's Camera so I will post those too :)
|Nona welcoming us to her home|
|Nona and Susy|
|I got a lot of time with this cute baby girl Adrielle|
|LOTS of cuddles for Candi :)|
|Casey about to enjoy a very large masas Fina.|
|Casey and I ready to go take a Tango class|
|Maricel and Gonzalo|
|Me and Nona enjoying the sunshine on the back patio|
|On the ferry to go across the muddy river|
|Adrielle, Michelle, and Christopher|
|Me and Susy|
|A sandwich made with milanese|
|Relaxing on the beach|
|Mom and Dad Despain|
|Adrielle's first time getting her nails painted! Aunt Candi rocks :)|
|Just watching Gonzalo play Soccer|
|Adrielle being beautiful|
|Casey and Topher thought it was hilarious that Gonzalo's coach sucked on a sucker the entire game.|
|Gonzalo kicking it (literally)|
|Mate on the balcony|
|Michelle and Candi chilling|
|Casey buying Churros (this happened almost every other day).|
|Argentine's celebrate win's in BIG ways.|
|Nona ready to go watch Tango at the Casino|
|Enjoying the sun at "camping" (picnic)|
How the Asado comes together
|Rick and Casey playing some soccer.|