Our three days in Mar del Plata were very enjoyable. The first day was cold and grey, but we walked down by the sea to look at the waves, and went up the pedestrian street... mall, might be the word... to look in at shop windows. When we reached the Cathedral we went in to look; it has beautiful stained glass windows and a fine altar. From there we went down to a park where we rented some double bikes (side-by-side, not two-seated) and rode around playing tag. By now we were tired so we went back to the apartment, where we talked and read and so on till dinner.
Day two we went down to the harbor, where we walked down the southern breakwater, past the sea-lion preserve (the smell is incredible!) and then drove back to board the boat that took us on a cruise out across the city, so we could see the whole place from the sea. I enjoyed looking at the waves and watching the few brave wind-surfers who were out there, despite its being winter! Back on shore, we went to the fishing-boats' landing and looked around for a bit, then drove back toward the city, where we went shopping for a sweater for Lucia's birthday present before going back home.
Wednesday we got up late and packed everything into the cars. Before leaving Mar del Plata we went to the Barrio de los Troncos, where the beautiful big log house for which the neighborhood is named, was for sale... ah, to be rich! Then we drove to Santa Clara del Mar, where we parked by the beach and went down to play in the sand for a while. In a minute I had my shoes and stockings off and was knee-deep in freezing grey-green Atlantic, running straight into the waves as they came. By the time we had to go back to the cars my skirt was drenched from hem to knees (though I had gathered it up) and smelled of seawater all the way home, but hey, it was worth it.
Thursday we went to a hands-on science museum called Prohibido No Tocar - very fun. They had a room with explanations of radar and LED's and so on, and little screens with games that applied each technology; the sound room, with all kinds of things; a room on food, calories and bacteria and so on; some optical illusions and gravity games; and a math room I didn't have time to see. There was one more room with mirrors-and-light experiments or something, I think, but I didn't see that one either, since I had stopped to see the presentation on static electricity with a Van de Graaf generator, which was very nice. Then we walked about twenty blocks extra before we found our way to Tia Uki's house, where we had tea with the cousins and spent the rest of the afternoon talking about our trip and calling home before we girls went to the Arbeletche grandparents' ten blocks away to spend the night.
The next day we went to three museums: the Automobile Museum, with all kinds of awesome old cars including a Ferrari; the Museum of Decorative Arts, where there was a wonderful exposition of statues by Rodin and other contemporary artists, including, of course, the famous Thinker; and last to the Museum of Fine Arts, where there were a couple of paintings by Goya, among others, many really lovely. I have the bad habit of forgetting who painted the ones I liked! The top floor had an exposition of Argentinian art as well as some Cubism, which I simply skipped. That evening we all had dinner at Coco and Bibi's apartment, and afterwards Tio Alberto played some hilarious songs by Les Luthiers, a very popular comedy group, on the guitar, and we sang zambas as well.
Saturday we spent the day at Paco and Yaya's with all the other de Erausquin cousins; not a very eventful day, just fun and more or less restful. I taught Tio Alvaro the chords to Lucia's birthday song and he had me write an introduction, which came out okay. Then Rocio and Ignacio went to spend the night with Santiago and Gaspar, and Lu and I went with Coco to Tia Emi's house, where we told them about our trip and heard about their trip to Cordoba during dinner.
Sunday was not particularly eventful either, just... a day of rest, you could say. We went to Mass at the SSPX novitiate nearby and I have to confess I melted into tears at the music; it was the first High Mass we had been to all this trip and it made me feel so at home and happy I had to cry. Monday we also spent the day at home, and there was a terrific storm in the afternoon; but today, since Ignacio and Rocio came last night, we went to a zoo nearby called "Temaiken". It's very well set up and nice, with everything from the usual hippos and zebras to a large aquarium with the 200-year-old skeleton of a blue whale and a glass building with the biggest bats I ever saw! We spent a very pleasant afternoon there with four-year-old Ines, my namesake, and then came back home.
It's hard to believe there are only four days left, not counting what's left of today... Time goes fast when you're having fun!