Wednesday, December 23, 2009

¡Feliz Navidad!

Two days until Navidad is here, and this holiday season is sure shaping up to be a lot different then any one we have had before! This became very apparent to me when I started perusing Facebook statuses of my friends today and had some flashbacks to Christmases past. Here are some examples of the crazy comparisons:

Shawna is FINALLY done wrapping presents!

Brett cold!!

Darby...gotta love Christmas! Gogogo!

and finally, my favourite:

...anyone know how to get Christmas tree scratches off your flat screen?

We have no presents to wrap or unwrap. It is the exact opposite of cold here - +35 degrees today! There is definitely no gogogo, in fact, we have been borderline lazy. And while there is a wee Christmas tree in our hostel, the equally tiny TV should be safe on the far other side of the lounge.

Our first few days in Mendoza were completely lazy, and we loved every minute of it. No need to rush to see sights or to get our next bus ticket. We have two weeks here and thus just enjoyed soaking up the youthful beat of the city for a couple of days. We've strolled through the beautiful streets under the shade of the enormous trees that line it, stopping for coffee or beer at one of the many outdoor cafes and doing some serious people watching. We did a bit of shopping, and even returned to the large city park to enjoy some more time by the lake. We've watched a couple of movies at our hostel and learned a new card game from an Aussie. All the while, we have been enjoying ample quantities of super cheap beer and wine and delicious food!

We also decided to save up some of the tourist activities for when our friends arrived and we could do it all together. Yesterday, our Dutch friend Aafke arrived and after introducing her to some of our favourite sights thus far, we procured tickets to a musical show later in the evening. It was called "Memorias de Navidad", and was comprised of three bands performing different Argentinian musical styles: folkloric, tango and salsa. Even some Christmas carols, but only one that we recognized (Little Drummer Boy). It wasn't quite what we expected (by the poster, I thought it was going to be more of a dance demonstration, I have a ways to go yet with my Spanish), but it was still very enjoyable and we were glad to be doing something somewhat "Christmasy"!

And then chalk today up to experiencing another holiday season activity that is likely different then anything you are doing - Aafke and I went ziplining! Pete decided not to go, declaring this outing a "girls day out"...that's a normal girls outing, right? Screw spa dates and movies, we decided to jump off a mountain and ride a cable for 500ms over a river!

Pete and I had done this once before in Costa Rica, but this was a totally different experience. Instead of flying over treetops in the rainforest, we went over bare hill tops and then back and forth over a large river. The longest cable was 500m (took about 45 seconds to traverse), and was 70m over the ground. It was kind of scary, but mostly just very exhilarating!


Tomorrow the fun will continue! Two more friends showed up today and we are hitting the winery circuit...via bicycle (I hope they have training wheels). And while you are all tucking the kids into bed before Santa comes or wrapping last minute gifts, we'll be partying! Tradition here dictates that Christmas Eve is a bigger deal then Christmas Day, so we will be partaking in our hostel's party that includes a huge buffet and wine to toast when the clock turns to midnight.

Wishing you all the happiest of Christmases!! We will be thinking of you as we eat our steaks instead of turkey and put on our shorts instead of toques...cheers to new traditions! =)

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