A visit to a local outdoor market in Palermo…Feria de Plaza Serrano…Culture galore…

The Feria de Plaza Serrano outdoor market is open weekends and holidays from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

The area of Palermo couldn’t have been a better choice for us during this extended stay in Buenos Aires.  It’s safe to walk the streets day and night as long as one exercises a mindful watch and scrutinous eye for possible pickpockets and uneven pavement.

Tourists and locals visit the market.

There’s a lot to see and do.  Once the holidays are over, we’ll begin making a plan for sightseeing venues, that will be less busy once the holidays have ended.  In the interim, we content to walk the many streets surrounding our hotel offering a wide and expansive perspective of Argentinian culture.

Little English is spoken here and our choppy Spanish has served us well thus far.  Thank goodness we spent the 113 days in Atenas, Costa Rica where learning some Spanish words was vital to our existence. 

Many of the kiosks are offering locally handmade goods.

By no means are we adept at speaking Spanish but we are able to get a message across to some extent and will learn more during this month-long stay in Argentina. 

I’ve considered an online Spanish language course but hesitate when I realize how much time I spend online as it is.  I can’t picture myself sitting at my laptop an hour more each day. 

The displays were pretty and appealing.

Besides, my brain doesn’t seem to relish the thought of even more learning when each and every day consists of researching and educating ourselves in our travels.  We must save time for relaxation and of course, pleasure.

Speaking of pleasure, yesterday, Christmas Day proved to be a very good day after all.  We spent the entire day in the hotel lobby until it was time to mosey on up to our room for another “cheesy and meaty” dinner in the bathtub room.  By this point, we took the peculiar meal and location in our stride.  How quickly we adapt!

Only about four long blocks from our hotel, we’ll return to try the various restaurants.

After uploading the day’s post, Tom watched the remainder of the four Vikings football games he missed watching while on the cruise when he was unable to stream with the ship’s slow Wi-Fi signal. 

He used his earbuds listening to the games on his laptop while I busily and most happily spoke to family members on Skype while he occasionally interjected Christmas greetings and expressions of love.  We spoke to my three grandchildren; Maisie, Miles, and Madighan; son Greg and his dear wife, Camille. 

After a lengthy chat, I spoke to son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, and sister Julie in Los Angeles, California.  A few days earlier I’d spoken to my other sister Susan to wish Merry Christmas, as well.

There’s Tom on the right carrying the yellow Costco bag.

Once I was off Skype Tom spoke to son TJ and family and;  daughter Tammy and grandson Vincent while I interjected love and warm wishes when he was done.  It was a perfect day and we were left reeling with warm fuzzies over spending the afternoon speaking with everyone.

By 6:00 pm we were back in our hotel room preparing our plates for the final peculiar dinner.  After dinner, we spent time responding to many email messages from our readers, family and friends and holiday wishes on Facebook.  

There’s plenty of dining establishments in the “feria.”

By 7:30, we were ready to hunker down for the night and get lost in mindless drivel…watching one of our favorite shows, season four of “Peaky Blinders.” Tonight, we’ll finish the season and find something else to entertain us over the next several nights, after returning from dinner.

Tonight, we’ll head out and find a restaurant for dinner and hopefully come up with a plan for New Year’s Eve in the process.  There are endless options in the neighborhood for that holiday as opposed to few options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

We visited the outdoor market on Christmas Eve in the late afternoon so it may not have been as busy as it is on a typical weekend day.

Finding a place for dinner on New Year’s Day may be tricky but we’ll figure it out this week. Toward the end of the week, we plan to head to a large market nearby to purchase a few items for my turmeric tea, now a favorite morning beverage along with a possible backup meal for New Year’s day. 

That’s it, folks.  We want to thank all of our readers for staying with us and continuing to read our daily posts.  We’re often astounded by the number of readers who visit us each day, often well into the thousands.  Go figure.  Your participation is truly a gift we unwrap and savor each and every day.  Thank you with all of our hearts.

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Photo from one year ago today, December 26, 2017:

One year ago in Penguin, Tasmania, this was our favorite photo of the day, a huge Billy Goat with quite the beard and defined facial markings.  For more details, please click here.

Finally, we booked 32 nights in Buenos Aires…The details for making this cost effective booking transpire…

Pool view at the Prodeo Hotel.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Cows resting in the pasture as seen from the veranda.

Note:  Today, many of our photos are of a smaller size in an attempt to avoid blurring when I borrowed them from various sites.
Whenever we need to book a hotel, we use the link here on our site for Hotels.com.  We receive a tiny commission using our own links (and we hope you will too). 

The commissions we earn are never enough to cover the cost of managing our site but every little bit helps.  If you can, please use our links which have identical pricing and features as if you went directly to the same sites from your choice of browser.  We so much appreciate it!

Lounge at Prodeo Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Whenever a traveler desires a 30-night or more booking, the inquiry from the Hotels.com link on our site will take you directly to “corporate rates.”  If you choose, a representative will contact you by email after you’ve decided on the criteria for such an extended stay.

Within a day or so, you’ll start receiving lists of possible hotels that will accommodate your criteria including pricing, location, and amenities.  We’ve used this feature only on two occasions since in most cases we stay in vacation/holiday homes. 

Staying in hotels for 30 nights or more isn’t our first choice of accommodation.  However, most recently we stayed in the Minnesota at a hotel for 42-nights and will need to do so upcoming from December 23, 2017, to January 23, 2018, and again one more night after the Antarctica cruise on February 8, 2018.

Overlooking tub area in bath.

Finding a hotel that would accommodate both dates, 31-nights in December/January plus the one night in February with one good price would be the ideal scenario.  In doing so, most importantly, we’re able to store our luggage for no additional cost while we’re off on the Antarctica cruise, the entire reason we chose a hotel as opposed to a vacation home.

Sure, we would have preferred a vacation home, able to cook our meals, having more space to maneuver, along with a greater sense of freedom and mobility.  But, this particular instance, not unlike in Minnesota, provided us with features and amenities that make it all worthwhile.

Once we received the list of hotels, all of which included offers for better-than-average-pricing (and there were dozens), we narrowed it down to our top two based on price, location, and amenities, finally deciding on the Prodeo Hotel and Lounge after contacting both hotel managers.

Free breakfast is included in the nightly rate which, after inquiring, it was explained it includes eggs, cheese and meats which works for us when pastries and bread products don’t.

The staff at Hotels.com suggested that once we find hotels we find suitable to contact them directly via a link of the listing to make inquiries for any additional questions we may have.  In our case, we asked the following questions:

Our few questions prior to booking this 31-plus-one-night stay:
  1. Does the complimentary breakfast include any eggs or meats?  I am gluten free and cannot eat pastries or fruit.
  1. Can you store our luggage for 17 nights while we travel to Ushuaia for an Antarctica cruise?  We’ll return on February 8th and stay one additional night.
  1. Do you have free Wi-Fi in the rooms?  We are world travel writers and need to upload a story each day with photos using both mine and my husband’s laptops.  This is very important.  We will be providing free press during our stay during the 32-night period.
  1. Do you have self-service laundry on site or is there a laundromat nearby?
  1. What is the total rate with taxes?  How much is the deposit to hold it?  When is the balance due?
Dining room located in Prodeo Hotel.
Within an hour I received the following answers to my questions:

“Dear Jess,


Thank you very much for your interest in Prodeo Hotel + Lounge.
In order to address your concerns:
1. Our complementary breakfast includes ham, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. We can also provide you with gluten free bread.
2. We can store your luggage in our deposit for free for the time required
3. We offer property wide free wi-fi, thus you will be able to work from your room and from every common space of the hotel
4. Prodeo offers a laundry service for 10 USD per bag. There are also several laundries just at few blocks from the hotel
5. The final rate is US $80, (CRC 46,121) per night. The final price for 32 nights will be US $2,560, (CRC 1,475,878).  Since you are not Argentinian citizens no any other tax or fee will be charged. The deposit is 20% of the total price, while the total balance will be due at the check-in
If you have any other question or concern, please, do not hesitate to contact me.
Best regards
Alessandro
Operations Manager
alessandro@prodeohotels.com

Pool area located in the hotel including an outdoor bar.
Firstly, I was impressed with Alessandro’s mastery of the English language, especially in writing.  Secondly, we were thrilled with his answers, all of which made this particular hotel work for us in every way.  Also, in a later email, based on our long term stay, he included a free shuttle to the airport.
During our multiple email messages over the next few hours, we finalized the 20% deposit.  Doing so required that Alessandro and I speak on the phone (We used our Skype account with a clear connection at around two cents a minute). We never send credit card information via an email (not secure).
We paid the US $512, (CRC 295,176) and received an online receipt and booking confirmation.  We couldn’t have been more thrilled to not only have this task accomplished but to have done so with this great pricing and terms. 
Sure, in Buenos Aires there are hotels priced slightly lower.  However, we were searching for a relatively well-rated property (4 stars), a good location and the above-stated amenities.   It couldn’t be more ideal for us.
A typical room in the hotel.
We don’t consider such an extended stay in this and other hotels as a “vacation/holiday.”  For us, this is a stopping point along the way in our continuing world travels.  The fact that we’ll have an opportunity to explore Buenos Aires; its sights, sound, smells, and tastes, is purely a bonus.

During the 42-night stay in Minneapolis, our goal was to spend time with family, as was the case during the 25-night stay at son Richard’s home in Henderson Nevada.  Sightseeing wasn’t on our radar.

Now, here in Atenas Costa Rica, I’m chomping at the bit to get out but we’ve found the cost of taxi service higher than in some other parts of the world.  For instance, when we stopped at the health food store and MaxiPali for groceries for a total turnaround time of 75 minutes for taxi fare of US $15, (CRC 8648) and discovered the cost to go to Walmart in San Jose (35-minutes each way) at US $35, (CRC 20,178) plus tip, we decided we’ll rent a car every so often.

This way, when we have the rental car, we can do the longer sightseeing trips, go to the dentist and explore on our own.  We’ve scheduled a car for five days for the week of August 21st, Monday through Friday, which will be delivered to our door. 

In the interim, we’ll continue to work on our taxes, financial and business stuff and hopefully, have that out of the way by the time we receive the car.  We’re just like you…at times we have business related tasks that simply take priority over pleasure. 

Instead, we spend our days working on the veranda, reveling in the sights and sounds of Atenas with the roosters crowing, the cows mooing, the birds singing and myriad other sounds we can’t quite determine as yet.  A stop for a bit of sun and pool time is usually on the agenda as well.

The evenings?  Purely delightful!  We enjoy a fabulous meal with a few choice shows to watch on the huge HD TV in the comfortable and spacious screening room, all the while chatting, laughing and treasuring this life we live.

May you treasure your today and always!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2016:

This style of Buddhist statue is commonly seen in Thailand which was located in the vacation home we’d rented in Rawai, Phuket Thailand one year ago.  For more photos, please click here.