I know, I know.  I got home on Sunday and am just now getting around to posting this.  What gives?  I’m still super tired from my trip and have been alternating between doing absolutely nothing (sleeping, reading, shambling around the house in my pajamas) and trying to do EVERYTHING (unpacking, seeing friends, Christmas prep, getting things straightened out to go back to school in January).

First things first.  Here’s a few pictures from my last few days in Buenos Aires:

Now that school is officially over and done with, you can finally see my university! Better late than never, right?

Off to class...

Whoops.  It came out crooked.  You’d think I’d have this down by now…

One last visit to Chantilly, my favorite bakery

On Friday I hopped on the bus for a quick trip to Puerto Madero to walk by the river and get some sun! And, of course, to get a few pictures:

Nifty mosaic monument I ran across

Typical sight in Buenos Aires---pigeon camped out waiting to fly up into the face of an unsuspecting passerby

The Woman's Bridge (Puente de la mujer) is one of the distinctive landmarks of Puerto Madero. A pretty footbridge to stroll across on a sunny day!

Read a little more about the bridge here.

Stumbled across a tiny sculpture garden...

Typical decoration outside a parrilla (restaurant/grill) in Puerto Madero: some sort of sculpture posted next to a stand with a menu. In this case, a gaucho; the sign behind him says "Country Restaurant" (and he's holding a mate!).

Heading back to cross the bridge again on my way home

Equipment left over from when the port (puerto) was more functional. These days the neighborhood is made up mostly of swanky hotels and restaurants. The loading equipment was left standing as a very distinctive, unique decoration!

These flowering trees are everywhere in Buenos Aires!

Saturday was the big day—going home!  I filled up the day with various errands, packing up bits and pieces, and saying goodbye to people.  Casey and I got to the airport at 7:30 to give ourselves plenty of time before our flights left at 10:30.  The trip went smoothly—I slept through a good portion of my flight from Buenos Aires to Dallas and made my connection from Dallas to Des Moines on time, albeit by the skin of my teeth.  Thankfully the airport was almost empty so there were no crowds!

Leaving Dallas 🙂

Clouds over Des Moines!

I couldn’t stop myself from grinning the moment we came down through the clouds and I could see Iowa spread out below the plane—muted colors and miles of space between buildings.  I found a six-person entourage waiting for me in Des Moines: aunt, uncle, cousin, mom, dad, and sister!  Hugs all around, a quick lunch and chat, and then it was a 4-hour car ride home to Galena.  Home!  I got to hug my cat and sleep in my own bed and all was right with the world.

That was Sunday.  Today is Wednesday.  I’ve been holed up in the house for the past couple of days and the quiet time is just what I’ve needed.  Tomorrow I’m venturing out to drive for the first time in a long time (!) and get a desperately needed haircut.

As I recall, in one of my last posts I promised you more Argentine hand gestures.  Here’s one last one that’s a little trickier to master: The Hurry-up Hand Flick.  Pinch your middle finger and thumb together—then, keeping the rest of your hand loose, flick your wrist outward a couple of times so your index finger makes a slapping sound against your middle finger.  This one takes a little more practice!  Once you’ve got it down, use it to tell someone to get a move on.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, the three and a half months I spent in Buenos Aires were life-changing.  I gained invaluable insight into another culture, the experience of living in a huge city, some wonderful new friends, and of course a scary amount of grammar knowledge and practical language usage.  I still catch myself thinking to myself in Spanish and pluralizing adjectives when I don’t need to, or fumbling for the right word in English when the perfect word in Spanish is already on the tip of my tongue.  As frustrating as it gets, I hope it continues 🙂

That about wraps it up!  Thanks for following along with me!  I’m so glad I got to share this trip with all of you.




One thought on “Chau!

  1. Laura Taylor-Lloyd says:

    I would say, “And so it ends,” but I suspect this is really just the beginning. 🙂 I am so proud of you, girlie, for venturing out into the big, wide world. You are much braver than I was at 21.

    Much love,
    Aunt Laura

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