Buenos Aires – Day One

Buenas noches, gentle readers!

I’m sitting here on the 15th floor of the beautiful Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt on a balmy Buenos Aires evening listening to – what else? – tango music to get me in the mood as I report to you.

Tango
Inspiration for this blog entry

Yes, we’ve arrived.

But before we arrived, we had to pack – and you know that this is a very delicate topic around certain people – no names, please. Here’s our luggage just before we left for the airport:

Luggage for 3 Weeks
Think we brought enough for 3 weeks?

As it was a late night flight (departure was at 10:00 PM), we opted to eat in the terminal at JFK, which has an outpost of Bobby Van’s Steakhouse. By doing so, we could (a) get a decent meal (don’t expect to eat well on the plane!), and (b) go to sleep as soon as we wanted.

Bobby Van's
Grabbing a quick bite before our flight

Our flight down was about as painless as it could be. American Airlines has a non-stop every night from JFK. They’ve reconfigured their business class section with very comfortable seats that can be adjusted into lie-flat beds.

AA Reconfigured
My bedroom last night

So within an hour of takeoff, I’d taken my pharmaceutical of choice, changed into “something more comfortable” and got under the covers. Miraculously (for me), I slept for almost 6 hours. Woke up in time to see a really good flick – The Walk – and had some breakfast, changed into my Buenos Aires attire, and prepared to land. Total flying time was just a bit over 10 hours (traveling almost 5,300 miles).

Final Approach into BA
Here’s our final approach before landing this morning

Getting through passport control was pretty much a breeze in spite of the long queues and, by the time we arrived at baggage claim, our luggage was already circling the carousel. How lucky are we? From there, we had to go through customs and have our luggage scanned (never seen that before when entering a country). Fortunately for us, Veronica at AmEx FHR had arranged with the hotel to have a waiting car and driver for us, so we were literally whisked into Buenos Aires and to the hotel.

Thanks again to Veronica and the Platinum FHR program (of which I’ve spoken many times), not only did we get the usual FHR amenities (complimentary breakfast, late check-out and $150 spa credit), but we were also afforded a DOUBLE upgrade! So, we’re beautifully ensconced in a Deluxe Park Suite. TheCulturedTraveler’s travel karma continues!!!

The Palace. jpg
A view of the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt

Turns our my sister and her husband beat us to the hotel. They had flown in from the west coast, so we met up with them after getting settled in. Feeling a bit peckish, we checked out one of the hotel restaurants, all of which have lovely terraces, and had a delicious bite of lunch.

From there, we went for a little stroll to get acclimated to our surroundings and saw the restaurant we’ve chosen for tonight, Fervor, only a couple of blocks away.

Then back to the hotel where AAC CPA and I passed out for about an hour.

As I began this entry, he took care of his evening ablutions. This being our first night in town, we’re having an early dinner, so we can hit the ground running tomorrow.

Tick Tock – Three hours later:

Just back from a fabulous dinner at Fervor. It had been recommended by several friends, including some folks who live in BA. Our new friend at the hotel’s reception desk said it’s one of the best meals in town.

Fervor
Definitely check out this establishment if you’re coming to BA

He wasn’t lying – it was great. Basically a beef place, we ordered 3 different cuts of beef to share. All were succulent and perfectly prepared. To compliment the beef, we had this amazing Malbec that you’ll all want to Google and find for yourselves:

Wine at Fervor
This wine will blow your mind.

Afterwards, a short walk back to the hotel and calling it a day in anticipation of our first full day in town.

Luckily for us, we’ve engaged the services of a local guide to squire us around the city for the next 2 days. More about it and him in my next post.

For now: adios, amigos!!!

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