more fun in Colonia, Uruguay

these are so out of order

black and whites of Estancia Tierra Santa

hanging out in paradise

out to pasture in Carmelo, Uruguay

Fran fell in love with Phoebe the dog at Estancia Tierra Santa. He also fed his first pig, Colette.

1. Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron is buried
2. Enjoying the vineyards of Mendoza
3. The gang post excrutiating bike ride, wishing we had taken the surrey. There is nothing like trying to steer an ill-fitting, top-heavy bike along busy intersections after four wine tastings, all the while feeling a constant breeze as dump trucks almost graze your left shoulder. Funny now...painful and scary then. Really. They don't make anyone wear helmets, sign release forms...and they definitely don't inform riders of just how treacherous the journey through Chacras de Coria is. The tour organizer is Bikes and Wines. Others have had better experiences with them....just be warned these tours are NOT for the faint of heart.

found in San Telmo

We wondered around the San Telmo markets one Sunday and had the pleasure of hearing this man/fellow restaurant patron sing some tunes at the neighborhood's French brasserie, La Pétanque. According to our waiter this guy played with Elton. He looked like a pirate of the Caribbean to me.


Man purses are all the rage in Tigre, Argentina

Sunset in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

They are known for their sunsets but the ones we experienced were a bit subpar due to the rain clouds. The Frenchie is fried.

Our mode of transport in Colonia.

Fran was a daredevil and is convinced these can't flip...


Another favorite small town/city

François and I arrived two days ago in Colonia, Uruguay via Buquebus (this is the ferry that crosses the Rio de la Plata and who happened to lose our luggage) from Buenos Aires. After over a week of traveling, this is my first post...that's what I get for traveling light and leaving my computer at home. I've just downloaded the first batch of pictures and don't even know how to retrieve them on Fran's computer :(

In brief, I arrived in Buenos Aires on December 17, left for Mendoza the 20th, was back in BA on Christmas Eve afternoon and celebrated ensemble with the Alabamians (Sarah Kate, Alice and Jay) and the Parisians (Fran and Rudy). Christmas day was spent mostly barefoot on the patio-drinking rosé, sunbathing and enjoying the occassional whiff of animal dung from our 13th floor apartment that overlooks the Buenos Aires zoo and botanical gardens (the apt. was lent to the Parisian boys by their Parisian friends who went back to Paris for the holidays...it's perfectly located with great wrap-around decks, fun decor- the gal who lives their deals street art- and a great ambiance.)

That about catches us up to today. We were in Colonia del Sacramento the past two days. Rough cobblestone streets, blooming vines, baby pink and blue sunsets and a day long go-cart/scooter excursion around the outskirts and beaches of town (Fran is a better driver than me despite the fact that I used to school peeps at The Track, Gulf Shores).

Tonight we are staying at the glorious Estancia Tierra Santa in Carmelo, Uruguay. We arrived this morning bright and early and Karen Vandergrift, proprietor of the estancia, picked us up and escorted us to this amazing piece of paradise. Horses, cows, sheep, creeks, pigs, dogs, exotic birds and plants and lush greenery...and she REALLY used her background in design and textiles to make this the most comfortable, classy, down-to-earth and romantic place I've ever experienced. We have just returned from a fabulous horse ride and are genuinely enjoying Karen's company. She spends half her time with her husband in San Francisco (she's American) and half her time at this fabulous ranch she founded in 2002. Mom- you would LOVE her style.

Colonia totally captivated me and I can't wait to go back. From what I've seen of South America, I think my family would enjoy it above everwhere else I've lived/traveled.

I still don't feel like I know Buenos Aires well enough to write about it except in the bits and pieces of experiences I've had. Mendoza (wine country) was wonderful-more to come on that. I'm sad to leave Uruguay- Colonia joins my exclusive little list of favorite small towns/cities:

Beaufort, South Carolina
Bruges, Belgium
Chantilly, France
Colonia, Uruguay (topping the list in my mind right now)

Fran is BEGGING for his computer...must go...à bientôt!


New Birmingham Blog of Note

I met a fellow New Collegian last night who has recently moved to Birmingham from Charleston, SC.

Her blog shows the Magic City from the perspective of a total newcomer- with a new family and on the job hunt- and is full of quaint neighborhood discoveries and great photos. I look forward to following her journey and think you should check it out, too. Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes...