Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Change of plans... again.

How do you respond when things don't go as planned? I'll admit, I act like a total baby. I like to have a plan.... even if it's to stay in our pajamas and play with play-doh (which isn't often enough). And when the plan changes, I don't always adapt very well. I like to start thinking about our next meal while I'm eating this one. Just to be prepared for it. Is that weird? Don't answer that. Please let me start this by saying, I'm not trying to complain. We've had a great trip and we are very blessed to have this time together. I'm thankful for the opportunity we've had to be Jason and Tiffany instead of Mom and Dad for a few days. However, I had a picture in my head of what would happen this week. Most of it hasn't turned out that way. Some of it was my fault and some wasn't. I had in my head that the plane ride was 5 or 6 hours. I'm not sure where I came up with that, but someone that was a fact.... in my head. Well, I didn't find out until I was buckled in my seat that it was actually 10. That's a big difference for me... and I felt myself losing my marbles for a minute. Is it worth it? How am I going to sit in this seat for 10 hours!? I got over it... after about 10 hours when we were off the plane. Until then, I pretty much acted like a baby. The next misconception, on my part, was the whole city. I have no idea where I got this idea either. I've never claimed to be good at geography. I have no clue where most things are. But I knew Argentina was near water. The little inlet by Buenos Aires looks a lot like our Gulf.... so I pictured something sort of tropical. Like a big city that led to a beautiful beach and on the other side of the big city would be beautiful grasslands and mountains.... like the picture on the travel book. It's not like that. At all. The little inlet of water.... is a river. It's brown and yucky (a lot like the Mississippi). There's no beach. It's downright cold. I thought at the very least, I could sit by the pool with my kindle and a Coke Lite while Jason attended a lecture. I brought my swimsuit with that in mind. Nope... I've worn my jacket every. single. day. We explored the city on Saturday. It's busy. And loud. And smoky. It was fun, though. We enjoyed being together and figuring out where things were and how to get around... but that was enough for me. I was tired of bumping into people. I was tired of feeling like I've smoked someone else's cigarette just because I walked behind them. The one day in the city... was enough for me. Sunday, I thought we would run to the convention center for about an hour, sign in and figure out the layout. We were there all day. Again, Jason and I could spend some time together... so I wasn't too bummed out. Frustrated, but still moving forward. Monday we had a "cruise" planned. We were to board a boat and travel along the tributaries to see the houses of the rich and famous... at least that's what I read between the lines. It really did boast the richest people in Argentina lived in these houses. I love expensive real estate. I love looking at ginormous houses. I love seeing how other people live altogether. We had a great time on our trip... but it wasn't at all what I was expecting. We road on a bus for about an hour and a half picking up other passengers (in crazy traffic... I'll get to that, too) and the tour guide told us some things about the city and the surrounding areas. That part was really fun. And informative. We were told on the bus that our tour would last one hour. 30 minutes down the river and 30 minutes back What!? I thought the cruise part was the main attraction. The houses were tiny, decrepit, for the most part. I'm sure it is more expensive to live there since everything has to be brought to you (groceries, trash services, etc), but that just seems like poor decision making to me. Why would you choose to live in a shack on an island if it costs an arm and a leg... Again, not what I was expecting. I loved sitting in the sunshine and enjoying a break from the city, though, so it was fine. Another example of not getting what you expected... Jason and I bought ice cream from Freddo (Baskin Robbins of Argentina). I ordered mousse de chocolate and Jason ordered coco con dulche de leche. He thought it was going to be chocolate and caramel. It was coconut. He hates coconut. So, I traded him my yummy, delicious chocolate ice cream for his, and it tasted like sunscreen.
We met friends of Jason's for dinner last night (after a long walk of more pushing and shoving and watching our backs so we don't get mugged) and it was another meat-house like the first one we visited... with the carcasses hung up around a fire pit. I had just eaten the other steak and today we were schedule to do some horse-back riding and meat eating on a range or something, so I decided to go with chicken.... so as not to wear out the red meat. Well, I ordered chicken with spinach sauce and this is what they brought me.
I laughed when he set it down. Green eggs and ham was the first thing to come to mind. It was also fried and covered in green stuff... I thought it would be baked. It was good, though, so I moved past it and ate quite a bit of it (while trying not to look at what I was eating). Jason got salmon or something thinking the same thing about the red meat... he wasn't terribly excited about his, either.
After the meal, we headed back to the hotel to sleep and gear up for the most exciting day of our trip. Jason had seriously been looking forward to today. A lot. I was skeptical at first, but after being here and in the hustle and bustle for a couple of days I was ready for a relaxing day on the grasslands. We were scheduled to be picked up at 9:30 at our hotel. We got up and dressed, ate breakfast (did I mention we've had ham and cheese sandwiches for breakfast every day? I'm ready for an omelet or something), and ran to Starbucks for some coffee. The coffee here is gross.... so we go to Starbucks every morning. We were back in front of our hotel at 9:25. Jason even made the comment, "I wish we would quit getting places early... we know everything here is late." We sat... and stood... and sat again. I went in for some yogurt... Jason ran down the street for a new antibiotic for me (at separate times, one of us was there the whole time). After about 45 minutes I went in with the card from the travel agent that booked for us. I asked the concierge to call the number on the card and find out what's going on with our shuttle. Traffic was terrible, I thought maybe it was just running late. He tried to call, no answer. We waited some more... he came back out and said he tried to call several more times with no answer. So, after more than an hour, we were stuck with nothing to do today. The tour today was supposed to last all day. We would get to explore the plains on horseback. We would lunch and dinner on the grasslands. Now what would we do??? It was 11:00. Halfway through our day. And we had NO plans. I know, and I fully admit, I acted like a moron. I was tired of this city. I don't want to wander around it again. I'm tired of the wind and the cigarette smoke. I'm tired of the rude people and the honking cars. I'm tired of being pushed and shoved. I'm tired of feeling unsafe. I was so looking forward to today. And now it's done. We flew 10 hours here and will fly 10 hours back. We have 4 days to do what we want... and now 25% of that has been snatched from us. Grrr!!! So we wandered around the city (again) and went to the convention center to straighten things out with the travel agent and Jason went to a lecture while I slept with my head on a table. I was ill most of the day. I really am sick. I'm up to about 2 packs a day. Kleenex, not cigarettes. I don't feel well. I have tried to suck it up and fake it for the past few days, but today it just bummed me out.
Anyway, the travel agent says the tour people picked up the wrong passengers. I don't believe this. We were standing there for an hour and a half. The only people that were picked up were going on the boat tour we took yesterday. We asked. Nobody else got in a shuttle in front of our hotel. Anyway, they gave us our money back. Now we are back at our hotel... I'm in a better frame of mind. We will enjoy the rest of our trip... I just needed a minute to be a brat. I have to do that for at least a day. It's required. I have no clue what we're doing for dinner tonight. Jason is speaking tomorrow, we are packing up and heading home tomorrow night. I've had fun. I really have.... but nothing has been what it was in my head.

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