It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Notes From ABroad

This ( above) is my expat blog interview, click on it and  you can read it and others .
Enjoy the world of Expats on the Expat Blog.
Go take a look, say hello to me and maybe discover some others that you enjoy.
Or even better, read, be inspired and become an expat too !!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

House Hunting in BA.

House hunting in Buenos Aires

First you figure out what style you like.

Modern ? French ? Antique ?

Brand new ? High rise ? Petit hotel?
PB ... planta baja ( ground floor with garden) ?

Then you figure out how much you can afford.

Then you decide which neighbourhood suits you.

Recoleta, old beautiful buildings , embassies, grand museums, grand hotels, grand parks, grand avenues, Hippie Feria each weekend.
Sort of like NYC Upper East side.

Palermo, with its Botanical Gardens, parks, charming small neighborhood feel, a tiny bit more family neighbourhood feeling.
If you are from NY, the Upper Westside might come to mind.

Palermo Viejo/Soho/Hollywood ... funky boutiques, weekend flea markets, cool eateries, definitely good shopping, eating and artsy.
Imagine NY Soho.

San Telmo, one antique shop after another, cobble stone streets, old style buildings, private homes behind walls with bougainvillaea spilling over, parrots and little birds busy in the trees on the other side of high pink walls. Good cafes.
Very Old-World Buenos Aires.

Puerto Madero , they took the old waterfront and tore down ancient old buildings and Phillipe Stark and others came in and built fabulous , very expensive hotels, restaurants and lots of nice shops and cafes and bars.
Now it is the place to go on a Sunday for Brunch, or dinner at night with the lights from the city reflected in the water, or for an afternoons hike through the  , Reserve Ecologica Castenera Sur
better known to us as the Puerto Madero Reserve. There you can take a walk, with only the sounds of birds and water lapping the shore, see some wildlife .... I could live without seeing a snake again, thank you very much ... and breathe fresh air and see just how brown the river is.
But a tiny apartment will cost around one million USD so let's keep looking .

There is Retiro, which is where there are government buildings and parks .

Belgrano ... beautiful streets lined with huge plane trees, gardens in front and behind the apartment buildings, wonderful old homes, fabulous examples of Argentine architecture .. and quiet and green.
Nearby is Chinatown. Which is only a couple of blocks of shops and restaurants but it is a China town.. so no complaining here !

Now make a choice.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday, Look At This Blog

The Sartorialist 

Every day I check the Sartorialist blog .. I don't know, am I checking to see what I should wear today ? or how I should be dressed and have to work on my own style ? Or get inspiration ? Or just feel dowdy and needy of a trip to Paris or Italy ?
Whatever the reason, do go take a look at this blog .. if you have not been there before, you will be happy ... let me know ..
Meanwhile, I think I might need that handbag up there on the right .. it looks about the right size .. as does her coat .. mmmm.

photos from The Sartorialist Blog

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hey Hey, We're the Tourists !

Here we come, walking down the street...
We get the funniest looks from everyone we meet.

Hey, hey, we're the tourists ...
People say we don't know our way around,

But we're too busy looking 
To put anybody down.

Hey Hey we're the tourists, and we love being in this town !!

Thank you to the Monkees for letting me mess with their song. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Moving Tips # 1

When preparing to Move House.. in any case, whether it is from an apartment to a house, to another apartment, from one state to another or in our case from one continent to another ... Remember .. when preparing to start packing, save the large box of photographs for Another Day.

Do not allow the Husband or in your case it might be the Wife, to sit down and go through 20-30-40 years of photographs and decide which ones stay and which go into the rubbish.

Especially if you are one of those people who is responsible for Saving Everything and your spouse  is responsible for Throwing Things Away That You Will Need/Want Later.

It is a matter of cosmic fortune that most couples are made of one of each of these categories, very few couples are made of 2 people who Throw Things Away or Keep Everything.
I don't know why this is so ... perhaps it is some sort of Cosmic Balance thing.

These Tips will come to you now and then, as the matter arises.
You never know when it will be your turn to pack up house and prepare to move , so pay attention !


We have been doing a lot of walking lately. 
The weather has warmed up and the parks and gardens are in full bloom.
Not to mention the birds, parrots in the palm trees, nesting, making a racket at all times. 
Doves cooing, little bitty birds just hopping around and catching a crumb here and there... they especially love one lady who shares her scones with them , but I think they miss the dog the lady used to bring with her.. the one that would try to grab the crumbs for himself and there would ensue a hilarious match of birds grabbing crumbs, dog grabbing crumbs and woman grabbing dog. 
Who knew feeding the birds could be so fun ?

As you can see, it is Jacaranda time.
This is without doubt, the most beautiful time of the year , here in Buenos Aires.
When the flowers are gone, everything will be green, which is very nice, but the intense color of the Jacaranda flowers is magical.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Photo

                                      I know, too bad I live in such an ugly place.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Although they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires, I am stopping to think of all the things I can give Thanks for.
I am Thankful for the opportunity we had to be able to come here and live in this beautiful city, among these wonderful people.
I am Thankful for the man that I share my life with and who has much more of an Adventurous and Brave spirit than I do .... He has the ideas, I just tag along.
I am Thankful to live among some of the nicest and warmest and most good natured people I have ever met.
I am so Thankful for the fates that pushed us to visit this country, who put us in the right place at the right time for meeting the right people, finding the right home and having such a nice life  here.
I am Thankful for the friends we have, for our family and our children.
I am Thankful that we had the pleasure of the companionship and love of Tate (Pup) for as long as we did.
I am Thankful for the internet which has kept me sane on many a day and night when I really felt like the only person on the planet that spoke English .. and for all those people out there, most of whom I have not actually met, who I count as friends and who keep me smiling and not feeling quite so cut off from all that was familiar ..
I am Thankful for the man we met who helped us find this apartment, which we love and who has now helped us to sell his apartment, for someone else to love.
I am Thankful that in a few months, we will be flying back to the United States to begin our next Adventure.
Thank you ~

Let your last Thinks all be Thanks. 
W.H. Auden

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ojala !

"O-Hala" ... Which means God willing, If only, I hope so ... you get the drift.

It was one of the first phrases we learned, from a neighbour whom we love.
She was talking about something, maybe that we would have no more repeats of the dreaded leaky pipes from the apartment above..
But we liked the way it sounded and Ojala has been one of our words in Spanish that we are actually able to remember.
I don't get to use it often enough.
Therefore it gets it's own blog.

The man who is buying our apartment is very nice and is doing everything right and helpful for us.
The sale should go through without a problem  .. Ojala.

Yesterday I took quite a few of my favourite plants that were weighing down the balconies and had the Porter put them in the garden.
Now all the neighbours can look out there and see them and remember us and sweet Tate.. happy memories, Ojala.

And the balcony won't fall onto the sidewalk below.
And I won't hear the noise and look out there out of curiosity and see feet sticking out from under the rubble... sort of like the witch in the Wizard of Oz..  this worry can be set aside now, Ojala.

My plants are already laughing and screaming.
The Porter watered them this morning.
They have clean fresh air. I discovered yesterday how dirty their leaves were from sitting on that balcony !
Now they will have clean air and water and now and then someone will talk to them, Ojala.
Surely there is one person in the building that knows plants like to be talked to ..

Tiny steps, giving things away, making plans for homes and life in another land, a familiar land, well, familiar in that they do speak English there .. Ojala.

And my neighbour and her husband might visit NYC again and we will get to see them ... Ojala !!

This was a photo taken one evening , of one of the planters out on the balcony. If you look closely you will see the 2 little baby doves sitting in their nest.
That year the balcony plants didn't get a great deal of attention, the dove nursery came first.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Notes From ABroad

If you like the blog, please do click on here  Notes From ABroad and give me a vote, a note, a nod.
 muchas gracias, besitos, ( see, I do speak Spanish)


I never dreamt of being an "ex-pat".
I used to read the term , a long time ago, when someone referred to an Englishman in South Africa or an American in Paris but I never really thought to myself that I would like to be an ex-pat one day.
Even when we decided to move to Argentina, after wishing I could move to England and then wishing I lived in Paris ... I never thought, oh good ! now I can be an expat.

But here I am .. here we are ... my husband and I .. Ex-pats.

Pup was an ex-pat pup. He loved it.

I am afraid we are not very good expats.
We don't go to Starbucks, or  McDonald's or even the  Hard Rock Cafe.

When we did this- we did it All the Way .. we did not give it a try first, rent an apartment, see if you like it.
We arrived April 21st .
We rented an apartment for a couple of months ( more affordable than a hotel and there was a large doggie with us ) and we spent amazing amounts of hours doing paperwork and visits to various officials, police, fingerprints, photos and some more paperwork and then we bought our home.
We live here.
We are part of the neighborhood.
We speak atrocious Castellano but they seem to like us anyway.
They loved Tate.
That Pup was the most photographed and petted and popular pup in BA.
He was our passport into the neighborhood.
They could care less about two more people moving in, but that dog !
Oh , mi amore, pobrecito, kiss kiss  !!.. that was Tates first introduction to Castellano ..
He liked it.

We miss having a car but I still enjoy carrying my special bags for groceries to the market and lugging it home. Knowing that at around 4-5 am, a truck delivered the produce from the farm.
The eggs often still have a feather stuck to them.
The veggies are often still muddy.
We stand at the market and point out what we want and tell them how many and the boys put them into bags and send us home, the eggs wrapped in newspaper, never is one broken.

We take nice long walks to the various bakeries that have our favorites .. scones for him, scones for me and the French bakery where we buy loaves of bread and croissants made in ovens shipped from France to Argentina.

My husband enjoys Malbec, he enjoys the prices too..

So here we are .. two ex-pats. loving where we are, the people around us and the lovely life we have .

So what do we do ?

We sell our home, pack our bags and move back to the US.
to be continued....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Morning, Look At This Blog

Made in Heaven

I love this blog.
The photos alone, transport me from summer in Argentina to a cold and Christmasy place back in another world. Perhaps not the world I come from ,
but maybe the world I will go back to.
Whichever, it is a beautiful place and I enjoy her blog so much.
Now you can enjoy it too.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Wanderlust ... a strong desire to travel 

In the past few years, my husband and I have enjoyed a life of "wandering". 
We have always liked to travel, before we met each other, we both went here and there to visit, explore, live and satisfy that need that some of us have to see faraway places with strange sounding names.
He went to some mighty wonderful places, India as well as England, Italy etc.
I mostly moved around in the US but after meeting him, England and France were part of our travels, then came Argentina.

We had been playing with the idea of moving somewhere much farther away than just another state in the US .. we had already done that, moving from the Northeast US to the Southeast to the Northwest and then ... where ? 
We played with many ideas, all of those dreams a person might have , a person who likes to wander ...

 If you could pack up and just go .. where would it be ?

Of course, there are always those pesky limitations, mainly budget .. if not for that, I imagine I would be sitting here in my Paris pied a tier , talking about petit fours and Opera.

Or that flat in Florence, Italy, from which I would send you detailed reports on the pigeons and the bell towers seen from my top floor flat .

Or that little town in rural England where the homes have thatched roofs and we would be perpetually known as the Yanks.

Through the many years of our marriage, yes, it is true, we have been married 100 years, we have gone somewhere "special" for our anniversary. 
The locations varied from Las Vegas to St Martin to London and Paris. 
This time , he said, Let's go to Argentina.
I looked at him like he was crazy.

So that November, we flew to Buenos Aires and spent 2 weeks falling in love.
With each other all over again ( we do this on a regular basis) and with the people here and the city isn't bad either.

From the airport in Texas where we met a   woman and her daughter, who said they were flying home to BA to celebrate a family birthday, who called us and met us while in the city for coffee, bring along her brother, who is a realtor.
We went with him on our last day in BA, for a look at some houses, just to see what you get and would we want it ?
We did. 

We flew home full of memories and smiles and anticipation.
Pup was missing me and I was missing him.
I had all sorts of ideas about clothes, decorating and appreciating being back home where I could understand everyone.

My husband was full of ideas about how to manage a move from one continent to the other with the dog and all of our belongings.

And so, 5 months later, with all the credit going to my husband .. the paperwork was done, the dog was certified and one day in April, we got on an airplane and left our old life behind.

To Be Continued :

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Photo

                                         Waiting for the dog walker to come back.

Well, Will ya look at that !

 Expats Blog 

They like me ! They really like me !!
Top Blog ! Wow !!

Thank you, I am honored and touched and pleased as punch !

Now those who have no idea what I am going on about, click on it and go see.
Apparently you can vote for me too. I hope I won't have to give a speech !
Be careful, aside from my Blog, there are sooo many more to read ..
You will have ideas, I know, you will have many ideas after browsing around those blogs, where would you like to live ?
Where do you see yourself living and having a home and an adventure ?
Can you speak the language ?
Or will you be like me and speak a language of your own, not really English and not really Spanish.

Even if you are content to stay put, it is fun to read about those who have been stricken with the best case of Wanderlust.

Go see. . tell what you think .

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Somewhere I will remember forever ...

Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to be back in the United States.
Will I just wallow in all the luxuries of having our own car, central heat and air and a moment of peace and quiet ?
Will the people be friendly, nice , courteous and ready to laugh like they are here ?
Will I be able to understand them ?
That last one is a joke, I doubt I will understand anyone soon, my mind, she is melting.

The days are turning more glorious by the minute.
Blue blue skies, an occasional white puffy cloud to cast a momentary shadow, then a breeze to keep you from burning in that   warm, sunshine.

The trees are fully leafed and home to what seem like thousands of birds.
The branches of the tree outside our living room, host parrot conventions almost daily.

In the back of the apartment, where it is more peaceful and quiet, there are the doves, cooing on my windowsills, little bitty sparrow type birds in the garden below, squabbling, twittering, cute.
I am about to donate a bunch of plants to the garden downstairs.
They have outgrow the balconies and I worry some days, the building is 100 years old. How much weight can a balcony that old manage ?
I will be happy to know that when we are not here anymore, the plants will be there to remind our neighbours of the very happy years that we spent here.
I expect them to send photos now and then, letting me know my plants are flourishing and the neighbours are too.
Funny, I have moved so often, had so many neighbours but these will be the hardest to leave behind.

I guess when you are in your own country with your own language and knowing your way around, things are just matter of fact, you can figure it out . But here, every single thing is done a bit differently, aside from the language issues.
But the neighbours adopted us .. they helped whenever and however they could.
One lady made a call to an official for us, knowing that while we could manage to say the right thing, odds were we would not understand the answers !
She got up early in the morning and sat on the phone for what seemed like hours, you know those phone calls to any government service .. their goal is to make you wait so long you give up and go away. But she didn't. . she waited and she asked the right questions and she found out what we needed to know. And sent us off with kisses.

That is another thing I am going to miss.
If you meet someone you know on the street, you kiss them.
When you say goodbye, you kiss them.
When you meet someone you know with a friend who is a stranger, you kiss them.. they kiss you, it is the kissiest place I have ever lived in and I am sure going to miss it.

*Yes, I made that word up .. Kissiest ... you wish you were here, don't you *

So our time here seems to be growing shorter, the Spring/Summer days are growing longer and we will make the most of the time we have left, here in Buenos Aires.
Somewhere I never dreamt of visiting, let alone living in ... somewhere I will remember forever.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Day in the Life of an Ex-Pat

Spring has sprung.
After heavy rains and now warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine, we have Spring.
In honour of Spring, we went for  a walk today.
(never mind that we go for walks every day )

We walked through parks, past shops, past restaurants and bakeries and shoe shops and then arrived, somehow, I have no idea how it happened .... in front of Zara!
Will wonders never cease !

So we had a little shop around the store and of course, I found something I had to have and then we walked home.
We received messages from realtors regarding such things as buyers but more about that later, when
it is more of a reality and not some persons fantasy.

Have I mentioned that while Zara sells mostly cheap stuff that is (at least as far as the merchandise here in BA) not worth much at all, but I can't be that picky ..
I am not one of those ladies in my neighbourhood who flies to Miami to go to the mall over a weekend.
I did manage to find something nice . . that I can use. . because the truth is ...
If I can't be packing, I will be shopping.

So there you have it ... a day in the life of an ex-pat..

So if we are  ex-pats .. when we move back to the US , will be we re-pats ?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday .. Look At This Blog

Todays Monday, Look at this Blog is

 Besotted Blog

With a name like that, what is there not to like ?
Go look, tell her I said hello, let me know if you were besotted ~

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

For Your Sunday Viewing Pleasure

click here    Wonderful 

  Thank you, Anna

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One of those days

Did you ever have one of those days when you wake feeling great, full of energy, all sorts of ideas for what to do and where to go .... and end up doing not much of anything or going anywhere ?

Today was one of those days.

We were up and ready to go out, needing some things at the market, figuring we would get our errands run and then just wander, shop, take photos and hang out.
After the intense , awful heat spell we had, we had an equally intense rain storm.
Several parts of the city are still flooded, cars drowned, citizens unhappy with the City because this keeps happening and no one does anything about it.

You know that old story- when you want votes, you promise the moon. When you are in office, you forget  your promises.
I keep wondering how Chinatown fared in the rain and floods.
It is in a low lying area, nothing to stop water that is rushing in, from rushing right through .. and all the sweet little homes in that area, how are they ?
Belgrano, a beautiful barrio, is still flooded.
The area is so beautiful, lush and green and quiet.
We came so close to living there when we were house hunting upon arrival in Buenos Aires.
If we stayed here, I would consider moving there.

So with a tiny bit of energy from the cooler weather and pretty bright sunshine, we were off !
We went to L'epi and bought authentic french bread, baked in ovens from France.
Delicioso ..
We went to the market and bought salmon for roasting.  (eventually it will be a sandwich on that good bread).
 Then home, put it all way, back outdoors.

Then somehow, walking down the block, all my new found energy left me.
We walked to the park where we saw a fresh accident .. Police car meets Motorcycle.
Motorcyclist limping, bike dented, police standing around looking very muscular and official and in my opinion, a tiny bit worried.
My guess ... the moto boy cut them off ..
Those motorcycles cut in and out of traffic here all the time, speeding and crazy driving.
They even go up on the sidewalks which makes me crazy.
So I am blaming the motorcycle for  this one.

The Jacarandas are in bloom.
Full blast purple Jacaranda bloom..
After taking a few hundred photos  of trees, chatting and wandering with my husband, we found ourselves headed back home, leaving all that fresh air and sunshine for everyone else. .
We needed a nap. Or at least a glass of wine or tea and a rest.
It is an exciting life we lead, other crazy ex-pats like us can relate.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Photo

I sure am going to miss this neighborhood.

Hace Calor !!

It is Hot !!
Last time I heard, it was 95 º F and mostly sunny.
Well, I can see the mostly sunny part, I had to go out and experience the high temperature part.
If one were to ask me, I would say it had to be at least 105º !
No, really, it is the sort of heat that I have heard people fried eggs on the street.
The kind of heat that makes women sit out on the balcony and fan themselves and order someone to bring them a Mint Julep or some such silly hot weather drink.
This sort of weather makes me thank God every day that someone invented Air Conditioning.
I am making all sorts of deals with God that the power companies can keep up with the heat and we continue to have Air Conditioning.
Otherwise, well, we can call that fit that I will have a .... melt down.

We bought watermelon.
I plan to refrigerate it for a while then gobble it up.
Remembering when I was a child in the US South and my cousins and I would have watermelon on our grandmothers big porch then have fights .. shooting watermelon pits at each other.
Lolling around like fat bellied puppies in the heat, full of watermelon and listening to the fans whirring and watching for the fireflies to start up.

Then it would be time to run off home to dinner and maybe Daddy would take us to get Dairy Queen.

And now, here I am in Argentina... that is a long way from North Carolina.. let me tell you.

But somehow, so many things are the same.
Tonight I will have watermelon for dessert and will annoy my Yankee husband by shooting him with watermelon pits.
It will be great fun.

Stay warm, stay cool, wherever you are .. and watch out for the pits.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Love Story

She was a girl from the South , just arriving in the Big City.
He was a sophisticated Man of the World, living in the Big City.

They were bound to meet.

Falling in love was just Destiny.

Raising two children.
Deciding to combine Travel , Adventure and Love and Life, the years went by.

Each year, a kiss, a gift, a celebration of their love.. wherever they were at the time.

Happy Anniversary to my Husband ..

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday, Look at this Blog


Little Pieces of Light

Musings on food, art, music, books, travel and la belle vie in Paris / la vida loca in Buenos Aires from a global girl who lives in both...

I feel like I hit the jackpot when I discovered this blog.
I like her name, Little Pieces of Light .
I love the blog... you will too.
I am making lists from her blogs about restaurants and shopping !
Go take a look, tell me how you liked it.
And don't forget to  tell her I sent you.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Purple Haze

The Jacarandas are blooming.
Soon the city will be enveloped in a haze of purple .. or a Purple Haze
if you like .
We took one of our Sunday walks today.
Miles .. I am telling you, miles ! were walked.
Those miles included, Monuments, Skateboarders, an Embassy, beautiful Parks, beautiful homes and a huge Mall.
The return trip included a Museum and more of those purple trees..
In another week, everything will be fully flowered, leaves will be out and Summer will be here.
Now where did I put my sunblock ?

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Saturday for us, in Buenos Aires, is much like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc.
Except there are more people out and traffic is lighter.
Traffic being lighter is due to Friday Night Traffic Hell, as everyone who has a car and somewhere to go  outside of the city, sits in traffic in the city and honks their horn until they get out.
Saturdays and Sundays are a treat in the Summer.
Quiet, not so crowded, shops and restaurants not too busy..
I like Saturdays ..
I like weekends, even though we don't work, it still has something special about it.

Saturday is a good day to hit the bakeries and pick up a weeks supply of scones.
Saturday is not a good day to go to the ATM  machines.
They are almost always empty on weekends.

Today started out well with the realtor calling and saying he was bringing a buyer
( I love it that he calls them all, buyers... if only one of them actually is).. at noon.
I answered the phone with a coffee cup in one hand, still in my pyjamas, hair on end , completely off-guard. He has never brought anyone here on a weekend before !
Could this mean something ?

The buyer and the realtor got off the elevator ( there are only 2 apartments to a floor, so the elevator stops in front of our living room door).
And there was the realtor, there was the silver haired gentleman and there was his brown Labrador Retriever.
He offered to leave the dog outside, but we said no, please, come in.
So for the first time since Pup died, there was a dog in the house.
A beautiful brown dog with golden eyes and a sweet disposition.

It felt really weird having a strange dog in the house, I kept thinking of my boy.. how he would have loved to have had a visitor to play with.
How he would have loved a sunny day like today when he could spend hours in the park, sniffing and exploring and eventually growing bored and lying down next to me and people watching with us.

Let's hope this Saturday means a change for us , that someone is going to make an offer and we will call the movers and get started on our new life.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Photo

This photo was taken from my seat in the corner of our favourite cafe.
This is where we spend a few hours each afternoon, he has coffee and a biscotti, I have Earl Grey tea and a scone.
Such is life in Buenos Aires.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blog Archive


And Don't Forget To Visit Me Here Too !

See more photos here

sunset in Buenos Aires