Friday, July 29, 2011

July- Part 2- Skiing in the Andes!

a sunrise flight to Mendoza
Mendoza- Los Penitentes- Skiing adventure holiday!
SO yesterday morning we arrived home by bus (and this is not just a 'bus' but a full on business class style seats that recline and you sleep like a baby!) from Mendoza! We spent one week spontaneously frolicking over the west side of Argentina in the province of Mendoza. 2 days before we decided we needed to get out of Quilmes and start to see the country we had moved over the sea to live in!
Helados en Mendoza- muy rico!
Plaza Independencia- Centro Mendoza
We spent one night in a nice hotel in Mendoza city- which is not a big big city like Buenos Aires or Sydney.. it is more like a big big town- no high rises... residential with lots of small shops and tour companies trying to get you to fly or bus somewhere else. Well from what we saw anyway staying in the centre of Mendoza city, this is the impression we got. Lots of nice parks with big water fountains etc..
We had wicked meals of Parilla delights (steak.. oh the steak that melts in your mouth! hahaha)

Off we went on search of hiring ski/snow boarding gear and buying bus tickets out to Los Penitentes, which is a tiny town with ski slopes in the Argentine side of the Andes mountains. Situated about 20kms from the boarder of Chile. We paid $5 AUD equivalent each for our bus tickets- and the bus trip was honestly a highlight of this trip!
Leaving Mendoza- us trip out to Los Pentitentes
It was 4 hours on the coach from Mendoza to Los Penitentes- and the views were absolutely spectacular!! the rugged mountains, the mountain river rushing- we went through this tiny tiny mountain town surrounded by mountains with the most beautiful pristine lake- crystal clear blue.. reflecting all these mountains.. beautiful!! photos don't do it justice... we want to come back and camp in this little town and go fishing and hiking! was superb!
Potrerillos- The Little Mountain Lake Town! Beautiful
Anyways, so this bus was super comfy and the whole time our eyes were eating up this incredible country's beauty!

Los Penitentes- View from the ski slope above
We arrived in Los Penitentes and was shocked at how little snow there was in this place... you will notice that rocks and grass are poking through... it is said that all the ash pumped up into the sky from Bariloche has ruined the snow season here in Argentina... there were two skiable slopes... which were fantastic! one took us at least 20-30mins to get down it was so long and hairy! very very fun!
the next day skiing wasn't very 'snow skiing' it was more 'ice skiing' a wind had picked up and blew all the snow off the mountain...
Now while this sounds totally sucky! haha... it was so much fun staying in a little hostel in the actual snow field- slipping in my gum boots (wellingtons) down the snowy streets looking for dinner at night and watching crazy people ski down the mountain at 9pm with fire torches putting on a magical display for all the tourists.. loved it!
Here are some photos of our adventures here:
Ready to go over the steep drop down! woooo!!

Mountains- where is the snow?

The same mountains after it had snowed a little- magic!

The front slope.. the bigger better beast was up behind it..

Back to Mendoza on the bus, thinking that we are flying the next day, but no, the ash cloud is still hanging about over Buenos Aires and our flight was cancelled twice! We spent two extra nights in Mendoza in an awesome awesome hostel- clean, cosy and central! and then decided we just needed to get back to BA by Friday. so we booked out cama bus (bed bus) for the 14 hour bus trip back to BA. and we slept the whole way! felt more like a 2 hour drive!! perfect!
Buses in Argentina have a class of their own! amazing!

I'm wrapping this up pretty quick- but it was so nice to venture somewhere so different in Argentina! it makes us both so keen to hit the slopes again soon and see more of this amazing country!
Where to next? we don't know- so many options!

And now we are getting out little home in tip top shape for Chris' mama who is going to arrive tomorrow morning!! woohoooo =D can't wait to share this place with the people we love! awesome

signing out for now- hopefully will try and be a little more regular with updating this blog!

lovelove and besos,

July- Part 1- USA

It's about bloody time for an update isn't it! haha! (sorry for being crass.. but I had to vent out some much needed Aussie slang... don't get much around here)

But to be honest, we just haven't been around home to update our blog.
Now July has been such a full packed month that I am going to do this in two different posts. Part 1 and Part 2...
We have been in the USA and also skiiing/snow boarding in Mendoza... and the other couple of days in between have been socializing with new friends or being a blob on the couch watching episodes on of Masterchef Australia 2011. hahhaa... we are pretty behind on the episodes... and it is very very dorky of us.. but we love it! we are totally addicted and it is nice to hear all the Aussie accents and lingo they use (as well as watching some awesome cooking going on and food stuff!)
Actually, just so you all know- we just watched episode 60 to 65 which was in New York City! and guess what, we were just there ourselves, so it was all quite real!
haha.. okay.. I will leave the Masterchef topic alone now.. I can tell that it is making us look quite sad and well... I'm talking about Masterchef when I have just travelled to Boston, New York and Washington DC and also been skiing in the Andes Mountains in Argentina.. not stuff you get to do everyday, and all in the same month..
We are lucky monkeys!

Chris playing guitar on the bus- we are all singing
USA Gospel Choir Tour
Just to refresh your memory, St George's College offered a Cultural Tour to the USA this year for the Gospel Choir. I conduct the choir so I was definitely going. Chris on the other hand wasn't going at first, he would be staying here in Quilmes while I went away with 3 other teachers to the USA for 10 days. However a supervising teacher dropped out and they offered Chris to be apart of the tour! It was awesome!! So off we go with 43 students and 2 other teachers for 10 days to Boston, New York and Washington DC, doing 4 performances in amazing venues and around that, culturally seeing the USA in these 3 big cities.
I can't believe it has been and gone!
Boston Skyline and Us
At River's School Performing
Here are some highlights:
In Boston on our first night we went to the 'Blue Man Group' show which was INCREDIBLE!! one of the most entertaining and talented and funny shows ever!! If you have never heard of them, you MUST look them up on youtube!! it was just fantastic!
We performed at 'River's School' which is this very well off private school by a beautiful river. We performed our first time in their concert hall and it went really well!! they kids shone!
Our second performance was at the Harvard University St Paul's Cathedral- AMAZING jaw droppingly large cathedral that we got to sing in! the acoustics were amazing and people were walking in off the street to hear our singing! there was a definite high and buzz from everyone after this performance in such a beautiful, holy and amazing venue! woohoo pumped

River's School

After Boston- (which is a beautiful city! great food and atmosphere.. the history is strong) we went to 'the big apple' or New York City! we took our 'executive coach' and landed in our hotel just around the corner from Grand Central Station, the Public Library and about a 20min walk to Times Square. on the corner of Lexington Ave and 52nd St... hehe.. how NYC is that!
This is so NYC to me
The kids did sooooo much shopping!! they went nuts- it was a little bit crazy haha!! but they just loved being in NYC!
Our 3rd performance was in a church after working all day with an amazingly talented vocal group called Choral Chameleon- directed by a very talented and fun person called Vince- the kids were inspired and sung so so well after the workshops they did with these people- I think all the students surprised themselves!! it was great!
The highlight for  me was seeing 'The Lion King' on Broadway- AWESOME!!! it was so so beautiful and heart felt and the Disney story and ohhh it was just the best!!!!!!! spectacular
Central Park!
I don't know what to say about NYC- we know that we have this long long list of things we want to come back and do!! we saw lady liberty in all her glory and went to the 9/11 memorial site which was very very moving and sad and the stories our tour guide told us was incredible! the photo just doesn't do justice.
Times Square at night

9/11 memorial said to be finish by September this year- The 10yr anniversary of this horrific tragedy.
Where to twin towers once stood.
The Statue of Liberty
New York goodies
Chris and I on our last day in NYC took a group of students to Grand Central Station and the Public Library.. it was sooooo walking into a movie!! it was fantastic! very awesome places to stand in!
I bought macaroons... I LOVE macaroons... (hey I'm doing well.. not much talk about food so far thankyou! haha)

After NYC it was off to Washington DC- A highly highly political rich in history area. Culturally was great for the kids to see- I myself had no idea about much of the USA political history or how much it was heralded.. so I learnt alot.
The Argentine Embassy Performance
The Audience at the Argentina Embassy
Our last performance was epic! one of the best things about this trip! We performed at the Argentine Embassy which was this beautiful beautiful building with all its plaster frescos and decoration and vases and regal style. It was a small room that was packed with an audience of 100-150 people.. the kids did a stellar performance! We are just so proud of them! they Embassy then served empanadas and alfahores and vino to all the guests afterwards and the relief and fulfilment in everyone's spirits was so evident. it was buzzing!! was a great great way to end the performances for the trip!!

Washington DC

Overall.. it was a very full packed 10 days!! the kids LOVED the tour! what an amazing thing the school offers to kids and that parents support it by paying for their child to have the experience! unreal!
So school goes back on Monday and 4 and a half more months and school is over and we are back in Australia for a wedding, a beach holiday and visiting family and friends- very looking forward to this!
Mr Lincoln

If you want to read the day to day happenings in America and see more photos, you can go to the blog of this tour!! it's pretty cool!

Now you need to flick over and read Part 2... this update is way too long.. I will try and keep the next one down a bit! haha

love Miki