The countdown has begun...Five days until departure for Antarctica!...A landmark in Recoleta...Last photos of La Recoleta..


We took this photo from the taxi wishing we'd been able to see it at the park. This work of art is Floralis Generica is described as follows from this site:  "Floralis GenĂ©rica is a sculpture made of steel and aluminum located in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, Avenida Figueroa Alcorta, Buenos Aires, a gift to the city by the Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano. Catalano once said that the flower "is a synthesis of all the flowers and, at the same time, a hope reborn every day at opening." It was created in 2002. The sculpture was designed to move, closing its petals in the evening and opening them in the morning. The sculpture is located in the center of a park of four acres of wooded boundaries, surrounded by paths that get closer and provide different perspectives of the monument, and placed above a reflecting pool, which apart from fulfilling its aesthetic function, protects it. It represents a large flower made of stainless steel with aluminum skeleton and reinforced concrete, which looks at the sky, extending to its six petals. It weighs eighteen tons and is 23 meters high."
With a mere five days remaining until we depart Buenos Aires to fly to Ushuaia, Argentina to board the cruise to Antarctica, we're busy as we can be.  Not only are we wrapped up in preparing detailed posts each day, taking photos while walking through the neighborhood each day, but we're now entrenched in the process of the upcoming confusing packing scenario.

On every other occasion, packing for our next adventure has been easy.  We simply pack everything we own.  It's a no-brainer.  This time, we have to sort through all of our belongings trying to determine what we'll need during the 17- day cruise days and what we can leave behind, storing the balance at the Prodeo Hotel.


Highrise in Recoleta.
Yesterday, I began the process of going through medical and other supplies contained in our third smaller checked bag which we're leaving here.  Plus, we have the pill bag which contains all types of emergency meds and over the counter items we may or may not need.

Sure, we could leave behind aspirin, Tylenol, cough drops, decongestants, and sinus wash but what if we get sick and need these items, many of which may not be available on this smaller ship? 

Recoleta is a much larger neighborhood from Palermo and is home to many more modern office buildings and apartment complexes.
Instead, we're packing some of these items since Tom caught a cold on the last cruise and used all of them.  Why pay exorbitant fees to see the doctor when in most cases, we can treat ourselves?  Plus, we've added items appropriate in the event of exacerbation of my gastrointestinal thing which does rear its ugly head from time to time.

Then, of course, a girl needs her cosmetic items which for me means one duplicate for every item in my little black cosmetic bag.  What if I lost or broke an item?  I don't use creams, lotions, and potions, so to speak, other than an organic facial wash and eye makeup remover so there's not much packing there.

A steeple in the park in Recoleta.
Add a razor with a new blade for each of us, our crystal deodorant, a small bag of my nail stuff, hair products and we've got it covered.  After spending an hour or more gathering the items we'll need, that part of the packing is done.

Today, I'll go through the box of cold-weather and water resistant clothing and start packing my suitcase.  Tomorrow, we're having the final bag of laundry done (there are no laundromats in this area) and will add whatever we need from the laundry when its delivered on Saturday.

There are also many historical hotels and buildings in the area.
Yesterday, we printed 21 pages of documents and vouchers that Ponant requires in paper format and more copies of my food list, adding them to the litany of health certificates and other documents we already have ready to go in a large manila envelope. 

Another task I completed yesterday was setting up "bill pay" payments in our bank account due on February.  At the first of each month, we pay off all of our credit cards in full to make room for the next barrage of big payments towards vacation homes, cruises, rental cars, and other living expenses.

Tom is quite a history buff and is particularly fascinated with older structures.
If we were to experience a poor signal aboard the ship (which we expect), preventing us from getting into our accounts, the payments could be late, a risk we can't ever take. Entering the payments in advance, sooner than we usually do at the end of the prior month, allows us to be entirely free in thinking about this during our adventure.

Also today, I'll be working on sending the grandkids a little something for Valentine's Day.  We'll already be in South Africa by February 14th, arriving on the 11th.  However, some of the items we order require advance planning and a two or three-day window isn't sufficient.

A broader perspective of Evita's family (Duarte) mausoleum.
Once we're done posting here today, we're off to the health food store to purchase five bottles of unsweetened coconut cream for my morning turmeric tea drink.  I decided I'd given up enough things I like to eat and drink, that I wasn't willing to forgo this healthful morning concoction during the cruise.

Also, since I've found I feel my best when I don't eat breakfast, only the drink, there's an amount of nutrition in this drink that can get me through the first Zodiac boat outings in the morning.  When we return midday for lunch, I'll eat enough to hold me until the anticipated late dinners on the ship that we read are usually after 8:00 or 9:00 pm, typical European-style.  Ponant is a French cruise line.

Me, in front of an old structure at La Recoleta.
From what we heard from past Ponant travelers to whom we spoke on Skype while in Costa Rica, most passengers dress up for dinner each night.  We can accommodate this to a degree but I don't have evening gowns and Tom doesn't have a tuxedo or even a sports coat.  We can't be carrying those items with us!

Having even one such set of clothing items would be ridiculous when we'd have to wear the same outfit over and over which in itself is preposterous.  Instead, we make due with what we have, Tom with two dress shirts and dark pants and me with a few dressy tops and pants. 

A mausoleum with statues on the top, commonly found at La Recoleta.
Occasionally, we may get a few looks here and there for our "casual chic" attire but we can't get worked up over this.  With only 200 passengers on this upcoming cruise, in no time at all, they'll discover why we don't have dress-up clothing and never give us another glaring look.

Last night, we headed to Diggs (ironic name, Minnesota fans?) for dinner but they were closed when they're usually open. This has been the case for many restaurants we've visited, inspiring us to always have a backup plan.

Another ornate mausoleum.
The past two nights, I've slept at least seven hours and feel better than I have in weeks.  Tom had a good night last night and is equally chipper, leaving us both prepared to tackle (no pun intended) the many tasks at hand.

Also, the better we feel, the more we have done, frees us up mentally for the upcoming Minnesota Vikings football game on Sunday night! We couldn't be more excited about this event!

Happy day to all!
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 Photo from one year ago today, January 18, 2017:
Decorative item in Anne and Tom's garden, owners of the vacation home in Huon Valley, Tasmania.  They suggested we take whatever we'd like at any time and we gladly did (in moderation of course).  For more photos, please click here.

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