Doorbells and Sleigh Bells and Schnitzel with Noodles…

We’re going to be heading back to the US during what is winter vacation south of the equator. We’ll be leaving in a little over a month, which has gotten us all thinking about a few of our favorite things back in the US:

  1. Tillamook County Fair and the Pig and Ford races. (Each of the contestants has to complete three laps around a horse racetrack in an old Ford Model T, which they have to start with a hand crank, all while holding one of three different pigs. They have to stop and start the car each lap to get a new pig.)
  2. Not ironing freaking uniform skirts and shirts every day (that one was mine).
  3. Portland Farmers Markets at the height of the growing season, super yummilicious.
  4. Berry picking on Sauvie Island
  5. Mooching off, I mean visiting, family and friends.
  6. Trip to Vegas, sans kids, in a luxury suite (we may not even leave the room to play poker…yah, right).
  7. Using a dishwasher!!
  8. Blissful quiet on the Oregon Coast. (You can see the stars and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean at night.)
  9. Being able to eat at a formal restaurant before 8:30 pm.
  10. Making Rice Krispies Treats (courtesy of the Zs).

6 Responses to “Doorbells and Sleigh Bells and Schnitzel with Noodles…”

  1. meg

    so, dan is worried you are not headed back to BA. i am confident you are headed back (as a mom we know these things!).
    we will arrive around 9/15. i am worried about the tight quarters….imagine 4 active kids (twice the noise and more as two of them are boys). what the heck are we going to do.
    do you think we can find a duplex or house to rent (furnished)?
    excited but nervous!
    we will spend the summer up in Maine…lobsters and ocean water. yeah….
    movers come in less than two weeks to pack up our house and off we go to maine with only our argentinian luggage….advice….too many shoes you say. two pair per kid?
    what is the one (or two) things you definitely should bring that are hard to get there?

  2. Michele

    Meg! Please assure Dan that we are indeed coming back to Buenos Aires — we have already purchased our airline tickets. There’s no way we aren’t using those bad boys, I mean good grief, traveling as a family is so damn expensive. (It must be something else for you guys.) Also, we are in the process of extending our lease with the apartment and will be leaving a sizable deposit.

    Maine sounds lovely. I worked at a summer camp there one year, ’tis beautiful. Two weeks! Very exciting. Let me try and answer your questions.

    1. Yes, I think you can find a house or something similar! I truly cannot imagine 4 kids! We’re barely making it with two!!

    2. Two pairs for each kid is fine. If they attend school, they will have to buy uniform shoes when they get here anyway. For school, they will have to purchase a loafer and a white field day tennis shoe. We just bought hiking boots for the kids here when we were trekking around Patagonia.

    3. Probably the same stuff I’ve written before in terms of what to bring. Tampons for sure, lay in a big supply. Hair Dye, if you use it. And some good pans/knives. We brought two of our All Clad pans and a really nice paring knife and a chef’s knife. We have used them throughout our stay and on our travels (we took the knives). I cannot stress pans/knives enough. Nearly every expat I know that has been here for any length of time has found their cooking implements in furnished apartments to be less than conducive to cooking. And with kids, you are going to be cooking a lot just to make sure the wee people get to bed early!

    4. If you have any specialty food items. For instance, Zelda is allergic to nuts, so she eats soy butter. That sort of thing is difficult/impossible to find here. Prior to the big peanut scandal in the United States, you could easily find peanut butter here. It’s harder to find now since they don’t seem to be importing it because of the germ debacle, so you may want to bring a few jars. (I imagine they will start importing it again soon, but so far it has still been difficult to find.)

    5. If you bake, we’ve had a hard time finding baking soda. They use baking powder up the wazoo, but I’ve had a hard time locating baking soda.

    6. Don’t bring too many overly formal clothes. That was one of my mistakes. Also, bring clothes that are going to be hardy enough to stand up to commercial laundry because you’ll most likely be sending out your wash, and those places are rough on the togs. An apartment/house may have a washer/dryer combo, but they are tiny, take forever, and will not get you close to the volume that you would need to wash/dry for a family of 6. It’s more of an emergency washing station in your house.

    7. If any of your kids are voracious readers, bring a stockpile of books. English books can be found here, but they are VERY EXPENSIVE. So, buy them in the States and bring them with you (I know, that advice sucks because they are so heavy, but bring ’em if you can.)

    8. Make sure you bring electronics with transformers that convert to 220 (most things do) because it is very hard to find a real transformer here. The only device we had that only worked with 110 was the Nintendo DS. We did find a Chinese gaming shop that had a very sketchy transformer to convert it to 220, and it works, but I wouldn’t use it with anything larger than the DS.

    Okay, that’s all I can think of for now!

  3. meg

    WOW! a boatload of information..pearls of wisdom, i believe. thank you, thank you.

    some days i wonder if we are crazy trying to do this with the 4 kids but….the more the merrier we always say. concerned about the housing situation. the more i think about trying to lock the 4 kids up in an apartment, the more i think that i will go batty in a week.
    thanks again and i will be in touch.

  4. Michele

    PS for Meg. I did figure out where the baking soda is kept at the store! So you can scratch that one off! *smile*

  5. Anquises

    Michele, “baking soda” es en español “bicarbonato de sodio” (NaHCO3). Aquí se vende en forma de polvo, y se usa como antiácido. Mezclado con algún acido (limón, yogurt) libera dióxido de carbono, que es lo que sirve en repostería para levantar y darle cuerpo a la masa. El CO2 también se usa para producir bebidas gaseosss.
    En la Argentina, el lugar donde puede encontrar toda la “baking soda” que necesite ¡es una Farmacia! (De todos modos, conviene que le diga al farmaceútico para que la va utilizar, porque allí se vende como un producto medicinal)

  6. Michele

    Thank you anquises! I knew it was called bicarbonato de sodio since it is one of the ingedients of polvo de hornear, but I just couldn’t find it at my local Coto until recently because it is sold in a tiny little bag, usually jumbled in with a bunch of other stuff, such as bags and bags of cake decorations, etc. Being from the US, we’re used to it coming in a big orange box!!

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