We land in Buenos Aires, and the elegant Hotel Elevage has a nice triple room for me, my husband Chris, and my 16-year-old daughter Caitlin. Joy of joys, it’s ready, even though it’s morning. We try to nap, but only the teenager manages to sleep. And sleep. And sleep. Chris and I give up on her and go out into the pouring rain for a walk around the city center. This is – our luck! – Buenos Aires’s first rain in ages. We duck under beautiful pink flowering trees in the park, which attract scads of hummingbirds. We eat luscious pastries in a café. We admire, from under our umbrella, the architecture, which looks like Paris.
Finally, at 6:30, Caitlin wakes up hungry. Nobody eats dinner at 6:30 in Argentina, so we stroll around before heading to La Chacra, which the hotel had recommended for our first taste of Argentine beef. White tablecloths, formal waiters, and casual atmosphere. A Texan businessman at the next table hears us speaking English and tells us this is his favorite restaurant; he suggests some cuts of meat for us. Exquisite. But Caitlin, our animal lover, is so appalled by the taxidermied longhorn outside and the spread-eagled pork and lamb carcasses around the BBQ pit that she becomes a vegetarian for the rest of the trip and beyond! Her dinner: pureed apples.