a much needed hug

Domingiando, Feria de Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Regardless of the amazing new people I have met in this past year, there is simply nothing that can replace the hug of an old friend. After eleven months away from home, I was in desperate need of a familiar face. I could not have been happier to open the door at 8am to see Miss Janelle Riolo standing there with a sunny, Charleston size smile on her face and an even bigger backpack threatening to topple her over. The next two weeks of friendship bliss were to be spent between Buenos Aires and Mendoza; tourist style and in full blown vacation mode. I have kept myself on an embarrassingly tight budget for too long so Janelle was the perfect excuse to throw frugality to the wind. Days strolling the streets, museums, markets and parks, afternoon mates, wine and sampling every morsel of Argentine cuisine were the only things on the itinerary and we happily checked them off one by one, over and over again...

nature in the city

Wanderings en el Cementerio de Recoleta


old yellah

sweet sweet friend
forever in protest at Plaza de Mayo

Crush BA NightLife... 

Street art in La Boca


¨to time travel, look for the worm holes¨


Last Hoorah in the city!
with our host, Esteban, on a second wind after the biggest meal of my life
Uri never fails to make the night more interesting
A morning of new beginnings.
buen dia Buenos Aiiiireeeeesss! good day for a despedida. 6 de mayo, 2013
hasta la proxima...

And with a short flight, we landed in a new world. A world edged by mountains and filled with vineyards peaking their last harvests and crispy, yellow leaves. Ah yes, AND SELÇUUUUK! Reunited with one of my most adored travelling companions. Introducing Janelle to Selçuk was the absolute best birthday present ever. The web of friends grows wider....

Mendoza, you were too good to us. How can we ever thank you enough for these days of sunshine with chilled shadows, for the gauchos, the olives, the countless bottles of wine, morning mates on the rooftop, and for the abundant harvests that we were fortunate enough to revel. Thank you even, for the wrath of the Zonda wind which led us to places we would have otherwise never experiencedA place with a view. A place to return time and time again.

change of scenery

camino a Valle de Uco, where the big boy grapes are grown
Bodega Finca el Origen with our lovliest guide, Lucia
the last of the Malbec
this is where wine comes from
about 50% of the harvesting is now done by these guys
but these guys get paid by weight...
relishing in grape glory

visions of I Love Lucy dancing in my head

colores del otoño

Let the tastings begin! 

our private restaurant for the afternoon
Lucia, sos lo más! un día inolvidable
well earned purple teeth

The stay was made so much more enjoyable thanks to this awesome dude... Agustine and his dog Kaya are the best hosts. The house comes equipped with garden, herbs and the best rooftop in Mendoza.

jnriolo @ BANGS shoes

Learn to Play the Harmonica, for Dummies. jnriolo
our 40mph stallion. jnriolo

the morning of the Zonda Wind

the wind is picking up... within minutes we are running to the car, covering our eyes, consumed by a full force Mendocino Zonda

So, when the Zonda cancels your vineyard touring plans, you take the next best offer, County Fair



pretty bird
she said it
The day of the OLIVES. harvested yesterday, pressed just for you, right now. Janelle´s favorite day.

signed by the master of Olive Oils himself. 
Museo de Arte Moderna de Mendoza. 90 años, 90 obras de José Bermudez

favorite photo of the trip. 
La ultima noche. Asado, obvio.

this is how it´s done in Argentina, folks
And to round it all out..

¨Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, sometimes it just takes the courage of some pretty amazing people to inspire you to take that jump. Forever grateful.¨ {jnriolo}
My friend, your visit brought nostalgic memories of afternoons on Crab Walk, of flotillas, dinners at your place, Sunday morning trips to the Farmer's Market, tiny adventures in your garden. I miss being able to knock on your door, I miss taking Lola for walks, I miss being your neighbor. But regardless of whether or not our houses are side by side, each time I see your smile it will feel like we had just waved at each other through our kitchen/bedroom windows. Having you here represented a collision of two worlds for me and made me hopeful of finding a happy median between my two distant lives. Watching you walk in my shoes for a few days was the silliest, most delightful thing I've experienced in a long time. I love how brave you were, how boldly you confronted this backpacker life. I love how eagerly you lived each moment, how curiously you delighted in each bite, each sip. I love that you reminded me of home, reminded me how much I loved that life too, reminded me of all the amazing things yet to come. Your honesty and advice couldn't have come at a better time. Your energy has left me restored, and your confidence has reassured me that I am where I need to be right now. Thank you for your love, for your friendship, for your laughter. Thank you for simply being and enjoying. Life is good to us amiga, we deserve it. Until our next meal...Salud! y sigue bailandooooo