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Archive for October, 2011

Can you believe we have been here over 7 months now?!

Since we moved to Buenos Aires…

…Our baby girl was born!…
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…Grandma and Grandpa Malone visited…
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…Grandma and Grandpa Kempf visited…
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…Friends from Cedar Rapids have visited…

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…my sister Rachel came to visit…. and then decided to stay…

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…our friend Megan from San Diego has visited…

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…our friends Jessie and Isaac from Cedar Rapids have visited…

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…Claire is officially Argentine! and has received her Birth Certificate, DNI and Argentine Passport!…

…Claire is officially American and received her US Passport…

…and lots, lots more!

We have been very busy with visitors and figuring out this city even more! I have so much to tell you all, and now that my sister is here and I have a live-in-babysitter YAY!, I will hopefully be getting more stories and updates to all of you soon!

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Malones in BA

When Claire was born, we really wanted to be able to show her off in real life and not just on Skype! We got our first chance when my parents visited in July (yes, July. It has taken me that long to write this!). They were here for two jam-packed weeks and we had a blast!

My parents arrived Saturday morning after a long, but thankfully uneventful plane ride. They were loaded with luggage full of goodies from home! YAY! It was Christmas in July! More Ranch dressing, Buffalo Wild Wing sauce, Red Hot, new clothes for me and Claire, tools and toys for Chris, video games, Jack Daniels!!!, candy, games and much more! We spent the first afternoon just going through the suitcases and playing with everything, while my parents relaxed and cuddled with Claire.

We spent the first weekend walking around Buenos Aires and checking out the sites in Palermo and Recoleta. Claire was a real trooper and slept almost every time we put her in her stroller!

We saw some of the classic BsAs sites, including the famous steel flower. This flower apparently closes at night and opens in the morning by solar power, but according to a friendly taxi driver I had recently, it is currently broken.

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We started off the weekend with lunch at Buller. Buller is one of the only local microbreweries, so obviously Chris is a big fan. The first time I went to this restaurant, I thought the food was pretty awful, but apparently my tastebuds are adapting because it has grown on me a bit. (Or maybe its the beer consumption has gone up so the food has started to taste better? 🙂 )

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After lunch we wandered around the vendors that set up shop every weekend outside the cemetary. They have all sorts of Argentine goods. From leather purses and belts, handmade jewelry, carved wooden objects, and other random goods. We stayed away from the food carts, but you can also find people selling candied almonds and apples (with popcorn stuck on it?), cheese filled bread, and cakes and coffee/tea.

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There was also a puppeteer putting on a show this particular weekend. If only we understood what he was saying, it would have been pretty funny. Everyone was laughing. 🙂 You can also see the lineup of tables with random stuff for sale behind the puppeteer.

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While they were here we also did a TON of walking. The weather was still a bit chilly, since it was winter here in BA, but nice enough to get outside for some fresh air.

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Of course we did plenty of eating as well. We took my parents to one of our favorite restaurants, Las Cabras. In the picture below you can see the grill loaded with tons of meat. Nummm! The steaks and ribs are fantastic here.

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Mom and Dad definitely enjoyed the feast. You may notice the massive tray of meat my dad has in front of him. This is called the Gran Bife, and has a huge steak, rice, french fries, roasted peppers and onion, pumpkin puree, fried egg, and cheese wedge. Tons of food, and totally delicious! Mom and I both had the barbecue ribs, which are equally delicious in my opinion. Of course the bottle of wine we shared, and the fact that Claire slept through the whole dinner that added to the overall amazingness of the meal. 🙂

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While my parents were here, Claire also got her first bath. She wasnt quite sure if she actually liked it or not, but I think that was my fault. I think I was a little too cautious about the water temp and left it a bit too cold for her. Oops! Now that she is older, and I make sure the water is warm, she absolutely loves her baths.

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Apart from all of the outtings and walks, we also did a lot of this. Since Claire was only a few weeks old, she was still a champion sleeper. 🙂 And of course the dogs are nearby still trying to figure out who this little creature is that has invaded their house.

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There was plenty of Grandma snuggles as well! (Ignore Claire’s funny face. It is not easy to catch a normal baby expression on camera. haha)

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Another one of the Buenos Aires attractions we checked out was the Japanese Gardens. These gardens were put together a few decades ago in honor of a visit from Japanese officials, and continues to be a popular attraction in the city. It is only a few blocks from our house and only costs $2 to walk around. They have beautiful trees and flowers as well as a pond full of giant koi fish. Unfortunatley, most of the trees and flowers werent blooming since it is winter here, but it was still nice to imagine what they would look like when blooming. 🙂

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Japanese Garden

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They have some pretty cool bonsai trees at the gardens as well. This particular one is 45 years old!

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One of the weekends they were here, we went on a bit of a road trip to see where Chris works. Driving out to the country and getting out of the city definitely shows a different side to Buenos Aires. You go from seeing the richest neighborhoods to the poorest in a matter of a mile or so. I have posted a video and pictures previously from Chris’s drive, but showing someone the real thing was important to Chris since it is such a huge part of his experience here.

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Virrey del Pino – Neighborhood where the plant is located.

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We did stop at a fantastic Parrilla (Grill Restaurant) for lunch and had steaks (once again!). I was a bit worried when Chris told me the restaurant was attached to a gas station, but when we walked in and saw this awesome grill, I was impressed. The food was great!

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Lesaffre plant

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So much touring around tuckered the little munchkin out! (I’m very sad as I write this because I can see how much she has grown! Those cute little pj’s havent fit her for over a month. 😦 )

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My parents also took a little adventure on their own and went to the cathedral here for Sunday mass. I was slightly worried that they would end up lost in this big city, but they did great catching a cab and getting to the correct location. I think they were living out their dreams of being on Amazing Race. haha

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The cathedral is located at one of the corners of Plaza de Mayo, which is downtown Buenos Aires. Around the park are many old, more European style buildings (plus graffiti and homeless people).

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At one end of Plaza de Mayo is Casa Rosada. This is the Argentine equivalent of the White House.

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One day we headed down to Puerto Madero, which is the newest part of Buenos Aires. They have redone old warehouse buildings into restaurants and shops, and you can see lots of sailboats, and muddy water. I really love this part of the city because it always seems cleaner and quieter. Puerto Madero is also home to the famous bridge pictured below. Being the awful tour guide that I am, I dont know what the significance of the design is, but it can be found on lots of postcards and books. 🙂

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Of course there was the obligatory picture by the very old Frigate that is parked in the port as a floating museum. It was cold and rainy though so we didnt actually tour the boat, but did get a bit of a ship vocabulary lesson from dad.
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In Puerto Madero we stopped for lunch at my favorite restaurant here in BA, Central Market. (Once again, ignore the awkward baby face. haha She was happy, I swear.)

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Delicious cheese plate at Central Market.

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After lunch we went to my friend, Kristina’s house for a Mom’s group playdate. We have get togethers at least once a month, and this was the first time Claire got to attend from outside my belly. 🙂

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Towards the end of the playdate, dad asked to borrow Kristina’s husband Greg’s guitar. This was the first time a live musician was present at a playdate and he was a HIT! The little ones absolutely loved dancing and singing along. Its too bad its such an expensive plane ticket because I’m sure he would have otherwise had more gigs after his moms group performance!

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Mom and dad were also here to celebrate Chris and I’s 3rd wedding anniversary! Claire was only a few weeks old, but when Grandma and Grandpa offered to babysit, we jumped on the opportunity. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner out just the two of us!

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After two very full weeks, it was really hard to say goodbye to my parents. 😦 It was so nice to be able to show off Claire and have a little extra help. It was also really nice to finally be able to show someone what our world is like here, from the apartment, to our neighborhood, and beyond. At least we have Skype, now that they are back home, but we will never forget being able to share Claire with them when she was still so new!

We miss you guys, and we love you very much!!!!

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