I had a fun conversation with some friends at school yesterday about traveling with kids. Look, traveling with kids isn’t the same thing as traveling by yourself. And five kids is a lot of kids to travel with. But I think we proved on this vacation that it can be fun, it is worth it, and we can do almost anything we want to do.
Buenos Aires is the only way to connect from Santiago to Iguazu, so it seemed logical to build in a stop-over. I’ve always wanted to see the city, and though many of the typical tourist favorites there are more for adults (the big thing is to go to a tango show and those are not really appropriate for children!) there are plenty of things to do with kids as well.For example, you could visit a lot of pastry shops — we hit at least one each day. So good. We ate a lot of that famous Argentine steak too. Oh, and really good ice cream. And yes, I did gain five pounds on this trip, why do you ask?We had a tour of BA’s historic center. Me–Sam, that’s where Madonna sang, “Don’t cry for me, Argentina”! Sam–Who’s Madonna again? Are we done yet?We saw the national cathedral, which looked a lot like other cathedrals I’ve seen, but the kids had never seen a cathedral before and were actually somewhat impressed. We had unbelievably good hot chocolate and churros at the famous Cafe Tortoni. That guy in the first picture is our very patient and charming British tour guide, Alan.We explored the fascinating Recoleta Cemetery and found Evita’s grave. And is it too soon to tell you all that someday when I die, I expect a marble statue to guard my tomb?We didn’t look at all out of place on the subway. We felt pretty daring as the subway is often very crowded. But even though we rode it each day, none of the kids got lost or crushed, and no one picked our pockets!Happiness is having a sibling whose weight can balance yours on a seesaw.
We took the train to a little town called Tigre, where you can get on a boat and ride up into the Parana river delta. We explained to the kids that these homes are essentially on their own little islands, connected by inlets of the river. There are no roads, so instead of a car you have a boat. Or you wait for the boat we were on to come pick you up at your dock. We rode up to a lovely, scenic restaurant, El Gato Blanco, and then on the way home, the boat stopped for a bunch of school children and proceeded to drop each of them at home as we traveled back to Tigre. So what we were on was basically a floating school bus.
We shopped for souvenirs and watched tango dancers in the very colorful, and very touristy “Caminito” in the La Boca neighborhood.
Finally, one of the highlights of the trip was this home where we stayed. I had found us a little apartment to stay in on VRBO, but the guy emailed me while we were in Iguazu to tell me he had booked a long-term renter and ask if we’d be willing to switch to his other, bigger, more expensive property, but at the lower price, of course. It turned out to be a 100-year-old four-story mansion with its own elevator. It was like something out of a novel, and we loved it. The kids ran all over the place. It had charming, quirky details everywhere and was just the kind of place I adore. Good thing we were tired enough to sleep standing up though, because an antique bed is not necessarily a comfortable bed. Something to keep in mind.