A visit from the fam!
I finally arrived back in the USA on Wednesday, and I have to admit, although it feels a little weird to be back, it’s definitely a good thing. I’m sure it’ll take me a few days to adjust, so I think my last post will be about how it feels to come home. I thought I’d dedicate this post to when my parents came to visit me in Mendoza a couple of weeks ago, since it was such a fun and special tiem. Sorry for the delay, but I’ve been on the road for a while and haven’t always had internet- or even a computer! My mom, dad, brother, and aunt arrived to Mendoza on Saturday, July 12 after a full day of traveling. I met them and took them out to one of my favorite lunch spots, but after that they immediately took advantage of la siesta to get some much needed rest We spent the week visiting some of my favorite spots, and it was really cool to be able to show them a taste of the life I had been living for the entire semester. The first dinner we had was, of course, an asado, where they got to taste all different kinds of delicious beef, blood sausage, chorizo, and everything else under the sun that can be grilled. We had a great waiter, and we laughed and joked with him while enjoying some of the best meat Argentina had to offer. The next day was the day of the World Cup Finals, and after spending the morning biking around Parque San Martin, a beautiful park in the area, we decked ourselves out with blue and white and heading out to a local bar. Even though we arrived 2 hours early, we had to wait in a huge line and barely got spots- well, technically, we ended up sitting on top of a storage cabinet since all the tables were filled, but we still got in and got a good view of a TV 😉 We gritted our teeth throughout the game, and when the difficult moment came, we shed a few tears with some local Argentines we had met and had a few beers with them afterwards to try to help ease their pain. Even though Argentina lost, the locals still flocked to the streets to celebrate making it as far as they did- it had been 24 years since Argentina had made it to the finals, after all, so they still had something to celebrate. So, we headed to the city center and joined the crowds singing songs and cheering cheers. It was still cool that my family got to see the craziness of the World Cup celebrations despite the loss- although I can’t even imagine what the city would have been like if we had won! We spent the rest of the week doing some of my favorite things in Mendoza: going to the beautiful little city of Potrerillos, exploring the local bodegas and olive farms in the area, walking around the city center, and eating and drinking at my favorite places in Mendoza. Although I had to serve as the interpreter for the trip, I really loved showing my family around, and I think they were pretty proud of me after seeing all the different things I had to adapt to! One of my favorite moments was when I got to introduce my family to my host mom, Alicia. On the last night of the trip, I took my brother out to a club to show him what the nightlife was like in Mendoza. I think he was pretty impressed, and he seemed to like the Fernet and Coke I gave him even more than I expected! Our next destination was Iguazu Falls, one of the seven wonders of the natural world located at the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. We stayed in some quaint cabañas with a very charismatic and friendly owner, Oscar. The falls were absolutely incredible- so great that we spent two full days in the national park. At Iguazu, there are 275 different sets of waterfalls spread out over 2.7 kilometers, so we definitely needed some time to see them all! We walked around some decks seeing the falls from a distance and even took a boat out to get a little closer. The dingy took us out on a loop to first take some pictures, and then sped on ahead so could actually get drenched by the falls! It was a really fun experience, and even better that I had my family there to share it with. A few days after arriving, it was finally time to say goodbye. My family headed back to the States, and I continued on my journey to Peru! I was really grateful that we made the trip work and that my family could see the place that had been so special to me for such a long time. I’ll cover my adventures in Peru on my next post- just hold tight; it’s coming soon! Chao, Ben