A Buenos Aires Birthday

Yesterday, March 4th was my 28th birthday. Prior to leaving the states Will and I had no idea how to celebrate or where exactly in the world we would be, but we were bound to have fun. It was strange knowing we would be away from close friends and family, but it was exciting to be in a different country. Being away from the convenience and familiarity of home was a struggle for me in the beginning of our trip, but I have adapted by finding comfort in little things like morning running, tea, a foam roller, Will and always having snacks. Those may be a strange group of things, but the comfort of them made for a great start to my birthday.

Why Buenos Aires Again? After visiting Buenos Aires and meeting some great new friends, Carolina and Fernando (thanks to Jean for the connection), we decided to invite them to celebrate with us during our short two-day layover in BA before heading to Mendoza. They were free so we made dinner plans and they choose a music show to check out. We were excited to have plans that included others. Not that we are sick of each other… ☺.IMG_1242

Let the Birthday Begin
IMG_1244In Buenos Aires we stayed in an Air BnB in a different part of the Palermo neighborhood that was closer to the big parks which are ideal for running. Naturally, Will and I went for a morning run through the Paseo del Rosedal and Tres de Febrero parks. It was wonderful running on paths that we were familiar with from our BA Running Tour and was nice being out with other runners, walkers, bikers and skaters. I realized how easy it was to stay active in Buenos Aires and that lots of people make use of it. After running 10k we stopped at what I call “a yellow box” which is one of several Healthy Stations free to the public. You enter into the yellow, converted train cargo box, walk up to one of the nurses sitting at a desk and ask to get a IMG_1245health check-up. They then note your information (age, name, etc.) then check your height, weight, BMI, blood pressure and blood sugar all in about 15 minutes. After my visit, I wanted to bring these “yellow boxes” to the states. I enjoyed the no-hassle way and free to check on my body. We then ran quickly back to our Air BnB, showered and I was off to tea with an admired Argentinian personal trainer.

My new friend Carolina arranged for me to meet with Veronica Segreto, a talented trainer who has helped transform a handful of politicians, celebrities and models, in addition to being a health activist in her community. Turns out Vero is the innovator behind the “yellow box” health stations and Carolina worked on the project. While we sipped tea I learned so much about Vera’s success, her future plans and soaked up the advice she offered me. It made me confident that the health industry, no matter a trainer or not, is where my career should be. She was very insightful and I appreciated the meeting so much. Muchas Gracias a Carolina and Vero!!

Next on the agenda was exchanging more dollars for pesos downtown and finding an inexpensive dress for the evening. Since we knew how the money exchange process worked we took the subway to Flordia street, found a female yelling “cambio”, discussed the exchange rate, and completed the money exchange with the best rate we could find. Although is still seems very strange doing something not fully legal, it was simple. The downtown bank district has overwhelming crowds so we opted for shopping in our neighborhood where I don’t feel like I’m going to get pick-pocketed and took the stuffy subway back.

IMG_4714On to dress shopping. My dad is all too familiar with how exhausting and indecisively frustrating a dress shopping trip with me can be. Will and I went out to buy a vestido (dress), and I was determined to make this an easy shopping experience. We visited a handful of boutiques, I tried on four dresses in total, and narrowed it down to two. Then the indecision began, but I let the young and friendlier sales gal (and my budget) make the decision. The sales gal talked to Will about the places in Argentina she has traveled as I tried on the dress. It is always fun to strike up a conversation in broken Spanish/English with a local. Mission ‘dress within a budget’ accomplished.

IMG_1260Back at the Air BnB I Skyped my mom who gave me the update in Hurley and the new happenings. I am so thankful he and Jules are having fun and that my parents have taken him in. Will and I miss him every time we see a beagle or short long dog wondering around.

IMG_1257Around 7:30pm we headed to dinner at Buenos Aires Verde, a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant with Carolina and Fernando. It is one of very few vegetarian restaurants in BA and although I am not vegetarian I appreciate health conscious restaurants. It reminded Will and I of Portland. At the end of dinner I was surprised with a slice of raw chocolate cake accompanied by a round of Feliz Cumpleaños sung by the table. Surprise to me! The cake was delicious!

IMG_1261After dinner we went to the Boris Club and listened to some talented women sing and play the night away. Cam Beszkin jammed on the guitar as if she was hanging out in your livingroom. She had a rocker chick persona and seemed very relaxed on stage. Her drummer was having a blast as he would often make funny faces at the audience. She sang one song in english which I didn’t expect, but was nice to understand. The clock soon struck midnight and the birthday fun was over, but I could not have imagined a better birthday. Muchas Gracias to all that were a part of it and all those who were thinking about me and sending me messages.

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