Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday: Uruguay

I absolutely love Friday's for so many reasons. One of the things I look forward to most Friday's is my skype date with my best friend of 21 years. Michelle and I met when we were 5, and joke because at one point of our lives she was actually taller than me. Now I'm 5'9 and she's 5'5 so I don't think she'll ever get to claim the award for the taller friend. We try to video chat every Friday to stay in touch in each other's lives.  This past summer I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and had a great time celebrating her special day in Blacksburg. This past Friday, Michelle and her husband Mark returned from their honeymoon in Uruguay, and it reminded me of the trip her and I took there when I finished graduate school back in 2006. Michelle's parents are originally from Uruguay, and she is first generation born in the USA. Since her parents have a lot of friends and family back in their native country, the family traveled back to South America every few years- and I was always so jealous I couldn't go with them. When they asked me to join them for Christmas and New Years I immediately jumped at the opportunity. After all the Guarino family was my second family growing up.

I will never forget the trip to Uruguay. Getting there was the one of the worst travel experiences I have ever had- and it all happened on Christmas day.  First of all, we had a huge storm in DC so my plane was delayed more than 5 hours.  I was suppose to land in Miami with a 6 hour layover, and due to the delay I literally had to sprint through the terminal to make it to the plane. It was a miracle I made it, and then we were on our 12 hour flight to Montevideo, Uruguay.  Once I arrived the next worst thing that could happen did. My luggage didn't make it! Now, this wouldn't have been a huge problem except for the fact that I had left the cold winter in DC and found myself in the hot summer of Uruguay without any clothes, sunscreen, or bathing suit.  I was spending a little over 3 weeks in Punta del Este where most women look like runway models- and wear thong bikinis. So to say the least the first week without my luggage was a challenge but I tried to make the best of the situation, and with Michelle it is always a good situation. Michelle is the closest thing to a sister I have, and when we are together it's always a guaranteed good time, with some trouble always lurking around the corner. Some of the highlights from the trip are in the pictures below:

Hiking on cliffs in Uruguay

Visiting the famous hotel Casa Pueblo

The Hand statue at the beach

The Guarino House- Solisomo

 Me and Michelle

 Chilling in the Hammock

 We were proud of our tans! Three weeks at the beach and I needed some aloe vera!

One of the highlights of the trip was horseback riding on the beach. The guides were really nice and let us sprint our horses across the pasture and race. I was so scared but it was exhilarating.
 One of my favorite parts about Uruguay is all of the meat! It is absolutely delicious and cooked over hot embers. Here you can see Chorizo's cooking. 

Monica (Michelle's Uruguay Buddy, Me and Michelle)

This was a bridge in La Barra. We loved driving over it so much one time we did it 5 times in a row.  We had so much fun just goofing around the entire trip. 

Now as you know sometimes when you take the road less traveled you get yourself into quite a predicament. I have had a few close calls in my years of driving, but I have never run out of gas, in the United States that is.  Michelle and I were out for one of our joy rides and then we realized we were almost out of gas. At that exact moment the car stalled and there we were stranded without money or gas miles from home. Things have a funny way of working out sometimes, and within a few minutes we noticed a large black truck pull up behind us. Then a shirtless man with six pack abs got out of the truck and came up to us asking if he could help. A few words were exchanged in spanish and before I knew it we were riding to this guys pick up to the gas station. He then invited us back to his bar, that he owned, on the beach. We hung out for a while, while he made us cocktails. We couldn't stop laughing the whole time and couldn't believe our luck. We always joke how we need to run out of gas more often to see what happens, although I am sure it will not be anywhere near as fun as that experience.

I also loved the frappe coffees in Uruguay. I made sure to get one at the airport before I left. 

Michelle and I were so lucky to spend that time together before I moved away and got a job in Richmond, VA. I am so glad her new hubby got to experience the culture of Uruguay!  Until next time, I will see you on the internet. 

1 comment:

  1. Love reading these!! Thanks for the "mini trip" as I sit in my warm house looking out at the snow.