The Most Beautiful Places

My week was not too interesting at first… a couple days of classes and then a visit to the office to sign a waiver for our trip to Uruguay (which was the funniest thing I have read in a while since it reminded us of things like how falling over is a possibility) and my e-ticket for the boat. Thursday night I packed and then Friday I got up very early to catch the bus down to the port.

The trip was created by IFSA to take us to Uruguay. We all met at the port because we were taking the Ferry to Colonia. At the port we received our real tickets and then had to go through migration – I have more stamps now! Soon we were on the boat headed for Colonia. Though I believe I have mentioned it before – I LOVE the IFSA Staff. I didn’t think it was possible but after this trip, I love them more. We had great seats on the Ferry and an hour later we were in the port. Then we took a bus out to our Director Mario’s other house… it was a beautiful drive.. I had forgotten that things were green.

The drive was enough for me… but then we all discovered paradise at Mario’s. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave. His home was designed by his husband Sergio, and just like Sergio is perfect, the house is perfect. It doubles as a hostel and is also a lemon grove. We swam in the river that was close by and explored the beauty:

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(view from the bus)

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(the lemon trees)

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(the path to the beach – also our director has lots of dogs and cats which was so wonderful)

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(the house)

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(where we ate lunch)

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(this was the roof of the porch… so COOL. I was so amazed by the inside of the house I forgot to take photos sorry)

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(There were baskets of lemons everywhere and they were huge!)

I also tried my hand at french braiding for the first time and I must say it went well:
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So many great things happened there. The food was incredibleeee. First we had chorizo which is like a sausage and empanadas and sangria. And we all ate like it was our last meal because it was so good and then the people were like you know this isn’t lunch, right?? We did not. But continued to eat anyway haha. Lunch was wonderful. It was super good beef, potatoes, salad, strawberries, wine, pears, bananas, quiche, bread, humus and all the good things ever. Then we played frisbee and invited one of the staff members, Raquel, and it was superrr fun. She invited Sammy and I to go to a Buddhist meditation too which is cool! She’s funny. Then we had lemon meringue pie and it was sooo good. Then we just explored for forever and we were very sad when we had to leave. We left for Colonia by bus.

In Colonia, the oldest city in Uruguay, we checked into our hotels and then had a tour of the city and separated for dinner on our own. Uruguay is SUPER expensive, but we had a good pasta meal.

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(our hotel!)

We got up the next morning for an adorable breakfast at the hotel and then it was on a bus to Punta del Este. Once there we checked into our hotels, grabbed some lunch and hit the beach:

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After some fun at the beach were we taught some of the IFSA staff the difference between a dock and a pier and a chilly dip in the ocean we headed back to our hotel rooms to get ready for dinner. Our room was great and those robes were fabulous:

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Then we headed out to dinner that IFSA was buying for us. We were split into three different groups and went to three different restaurants. My group went with Sergio to this cute little restaurant where our meal started with water (a big deal because it is never free) and wine and hot bread with a spicy cream cheese spread. Someone asked if Sergio wanted to join them at their table, but he declined motioning to a table for two that Mario would be joining him and we all died because they’re so adorable.

Dinner was three courses – first a Caprese Salad:

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Then I had the “spinach crepes”:

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And there were two desert choices that we shared, an apple pie and a fruit tart:

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After dinner Allison and I headed back to our hotel room and watched About A Boy dubbed in Spanish. We ate our free chocolates and went to bed because the next morning we got up and went to see the sunrise!:

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(A little cloudy put still beautiful)

We headed back for nap and then breakfast which was wonderful – lots of fruit (kiwi!) and breads. Then Mario took us to the beach! He took us to what is called “Los Dedos” or “The Hand” or “The Fingers” – a sculpture by a Chilean man, one of five of his hand creations that are all around the world:

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Then we walked around the whole peninsula (while it rained) and I took pictures!:

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(there are all these little shrines all over – I’m pretty sure I found a box of open ashes behind this one…)

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Then we finally found a place to eat – I ordered a burger and it came Argentina style – with ham and a fried egg… SO GOOD:

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Then we stopped at McD’s and got Bon Bon McFlurries.. SO GOOD!!! Then we headed back to dry off and shower and get ready for dinner… We ate with Mario and Sergio again which was beautiful – Three courses again! First was onions and eggplant sauteed with cheese:

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Then I had the chicken dish:

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And for desert I had this thing with chocolate and strawberries:

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It was all SO good… then Al and I headed back and watched Hugo dubbed in Spanish. Then we took our time the next morning and had a great breakfast and then headed to the beach one last time:

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We started to head back because we had to meet for lunch and Sammy wanted more McD’s… and we went to cross the road one of my FAVORITE IFSA staff members, Esteban, was stopped at the light. He gave me a just fingers wave and I replied with the same. Then he did this sassy hand motion to let us know we could cross and then decided to give us a ride and we jammed out to techno with him and it was absolutely wonderful.
After McD’s, we got back and went off to lunch on the pier. I got the vegetable raviolis and they were super good:
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Then we checked out the pier and headed back to the hotel and caught the buses to Montevideo in order to catch the boat back to Buenos Aires. From this trip I have officially decided that I love all of the staff. They just giggle all the time and do hilarious stuff. Like Diego had this towel and was disgusted and was making faces and it was so funny. And later Esteban was playing with the lion that Diego bought his daughter and making lion noises and it was hysterical. I just want to be their best friends.

Also we went into the Duty Free shop on the boat and it was a terrible decision because it was like standing in an aisle of America.

Later on the boat a friend snapped this photo of me and Esteban (he’s in green) to make it clear that we’re besties:

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And the beautiful sunset I caught before we got on the boat:

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Then we all finally got home… I got to my house at like 11:45 and ate the dinner my host mom left me. Then it was a super interesting class about why genocide occurs that was a great great class on Tuesday. And then today was a holiday celebrating the Malvinas, which I don’t understand. Because the Argentines lost the Malvinas (Falkland Islands) to the Brits… so why are we celebrating that? Can’t complain though… I had the day off and got ahead on homework!

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