Today marks two weeks since we arrived in San Martin. It does seem a bit like Groundhog Day since we do pretty much the same thing with minor variations every day. The sun comes up late here (8:30am) and on top of that, Argentina is just a late country. People don’t even think about going out to dinner until 8:30-9pm. The four of us tried to go to dinner one night at 7:30pm and found that only one restaurant in the entire town was open. Huge mistake. There was a reason why they were trying to grab a little extra market share…horrible product. Anyway, we go to bed late (for us…around 10-11pm) and wake up late as well, generally around 9am.
From there, we will have breakfast and head to town around 11ish. This is where we begin our search. We have spent the last two weeks searching for a long term home and a car. As of this morning, both things seem to be falling into place. We found a 3 bedroom home, behind a private gate, walking distance to town that is perfect. It starts in September and has a private yard for Max. More than enough room for visitors! If all goes well, we will get our “new” car on Wednesday. Cars are really expensive here. We are getting a 2006 Honda CR-V with 130,000 miles on it for $9,000! Crazy. My Subaru Outback didn’t go for much more than that when we left home and we would die for that car here. I could easily sell the Subaru for 50% more here than I did at home.
Even our eating habits have fallen into a bit of a routine. Most of the food options here are pretty similar. Pizza and pasta restaurants or Parillada (grilled meat) restaurants. We have found a couple great ones of each but easily our favorite is Pizza Cala. They have reggae music, a fun staff and the food is the best in town. 30 different pizzas to choose from and they put up with our kids throwing food, crying and eating them out of olives. Hunter can easily take down 15 olives at any given meal.
We are also working on activities for the kids. The park is great but doesn’t give mom and dad any time to themselves. The first thing on the books so far is actually swimming. Two days a week for an hour each at $40/mo. If there were a way to put them in swimming for 8 hours a week, we would do it! Now that we have a car sorted, we will start skiing next week. The plan is that we will all go to the hill in the mornings, one of us will ski with Adelaide while the other stays in the lodge with Hunter. Then, I will come home and work and Tam will hang with the kids for the afternoon. As far as the plan goes, as Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” I presume he was talking about moving to a foreign country with a 2 and a 4 year old when he said that.
Just outside town there are ranches for cattle and sheep and, further out, there are lodges for fishing and hunting. Evidently, the area that we are in has some of the best trout fishing in the world and the bird hunting is also world class. The lodges are predominantly owned by wealthy Americans and the clientele is the same. That being said, we have not met another American yet since we have been here. Maybe that will change in the summer.
We move out of the house we are staying in at the end of the month for a 1 bedroom apartment in town, which is going to be great. We need our own space. As nice as the woman is whose house we are living in, we are all ready to go our separate ways. She says the kids broke one of her antique books in the living room (which I totally believe but cannot confirm as there was another 5 year old staying here at the time) and that lead to her ask that we keep the kids in our two bedrooms upstairs. It doesn’t help that Max wants to eat her cat and has almost accomplished his goal a couple time. Oh well…no one said this process was going to be easy.
All in all, we are loving our first couple weeks. It is a beautiful town and we have made friends with another couple. They own a kids clothing store in town and have a 3 year old son, Leon. They have even invited us to their son’s birthday party which will be our first real opportunity to meet more people. Hopefully we don’t blow it…
Until next time, when I write you about the time that I got too drunk at a 3 year old birthday party and passed out in the crib, I bid you farewell.