Once we were airborne with our plastic glasses filled with wine,  Kelly proposed a toast, “To Donna! Let our adventures begin!” I shook my head and said, “To friends.” I honestly never would have made it through the divorce without the three of them. I got a little teary as I told them that planning this adventure was just a small token of my appreciation and that I wanted us all to have a ball. After that, we got a little silly and we all started toasting,  “To traveling in Buenos Aires!” “And shopping” “And the Eiffel Tower” “And cute, single guys!” “And The Taj Mahal!” “And Turkish coffee!” “And seeing everything”

It was all so thrilling I was  worried we wouldn’t be able to sleep and would be exhausted after the 12-hour flight, but leave it to Lisa, Miss BR and G (brown rice and granola), to have the answer. She took out a full container of melatonin tablets, which the rest of us had never heard of.  When we seemed skeptical, she sighed and said, “It’s an herb, not a drug, and perfectly safe. Just take one and you’ll be able to sleep.” I was still wary, but decided to try it anyway.

Traveling in Buenos Aires!

I never thought that little herb pill would work but when I opened my eyes it was sunny and we were landing! Before this trip I didn’t realize Buenos Aires is almost in our time zone and only one hour ahead—you’d think that after a 12 hour flight, it would be way more than that, but it’s just about due south so I wasn’t even jet-lagged! Just a hop, skip and jump through customs and we were on our way to drop our bags at the Casa Calma hotel before exploring.

Buenos Aires Attractions: Mataderos Fair

We headed first to the Fair of the Mataderos since it’s only open on Sunday and Carla’s friend told her not to miss it. By the time we got there, we were all famished, so three of us looked for the most crowded food stall and dug in to the best meat ever. At first I felt sorry for Lisa, who is a vegetarian, but she wandered off and found what she said was a delicious corn pudding steamed inside a corn husk. Meanwhile, I ate a big slab of the most delicious flank steak ever – not too spicy and cooked to perfection! Carla and Kelly ate chorizo on a stick and swore it wasn’t too spicy, so I had a bite. It was a bit too much for my tastes, but one of my goals is working up my spice tolerance so that when we finally get to India I can enjoy the food.

Yerba Mate

To tell you the truth, I was so interested in eating and watching the handsome gauchos (that’s cowboys to us Americans) that I almost missed an amazing find. Right there, next to us I saw beautifully crafted small cups, which I learned are for yerba mate, a type of tea and the non-official national drink here other than wine. I knew right away they would be a perfect souvenir —four cups, four ladies — and would definitely add pizazz to our home décor.

Street Tango

We wandered around some more, checking out the crafts and enjoying the dancers and then we saw two unbelievable Buenos Aires attractions! A couple doing the tango in the middle of the street! I felt like I was in a movie and it was right then and there we all decided to take tango lessons before we left.

Next: Lisa: Tango Lessons and Dulce De Leche