5 Reasons Why I’m Never Flying with Frances & Missy Again:
- Compression stockings. I didn’t even know I should be worried about my legs getting that swollen.
- Missy’s horror stories. Telling someone who’s quasi-fearful of flying about people dying and having stokes after flying is not helpful. I don’t need you to list out all my risk factors, either!
- Frances looking at the sky during our layover and saying, “Oh no, look at the clouds. I hope there’s not a lot of turbulence!”
- When commenting on the power outlets available between the seats, Frances says, “Don’t you think we should save power for the plane?”
- Frances watching the progress of our trip on the screen on the plane, and as we experienced turbulence over Amazonia, she thought to herself, “Oh no! Not over there!”
So….I did make it to Buenos Aires safe and sound. But not before encountering a few speed bumps. Our trip started with a mad dash to the O’Hare Hilton’s “business center” (aka a Kinko’s with computers) to pay the Argentine reciprocity fee of $160, something we thought we’d pay upon entrance to Buenos Aires. Nope – they won’t let you board the plan here in the US unless you show proof you’ve paid the reciprocity fee. You can pay it here.
Luckily, we made our flight with time to spare. We flew out to Houston for a layover then were finally en route to Buenos Aires on our 11-hour flight. We arrived in the city at 9:30 am and caught a cab to the apartment we were renting, the ride complete with our cabby reading his newspaper while driving.
We were initially planning to rent an apartment via AirBnB.com, which I still highly recommend doing. However, one of my co-workers introduced me to his friend in BA and she was renting out her apartment during the time we were going to be in town, so we ended up just staying there. By the way, her place is listed on AirBnb as well, and you can check it out here. It ended up working perfectly for the three of us. It’s super cute and in a great neighborhood – Palermo. Plus it’s so much more affordable than a hotel!
Our hostess, Victoria, was so helpful. She was there to meet us when we arrived and gave us all sorts of tips and recommendations. She was also the first to educate us about Argentina’s crazy currency situation. Apparently, there are two main exchange rates: the official one and the black market “blue” one. You get a MUCH better deal exchanging dollars for pesos using the Blue rate, but you have to find a trustworthy spot to exchange. If you go to a bank or use an ATM with the official rate, you’re basically losing 50% of the cash you could’ve gotten. Yes, the difference is that dramatic. You can read more about the exchange rate craziness here.
It was so helpful to get the download from a local upon arrival in Buenos Aires!
I’ll also mention that my mom gave me her little stuffed bunny to accompany me on my travels and look out for me. Here he is, settling into the apartment: