Hola! It’s me, Liza. Remember me?! I’ve been gone for a while. I’m back. Back to life in Buenos Aires.
I feel an apology is in order.
I’M SORRY! Do you accept? Please say yes!
The past few months have been non-stop and I just haven’t had the time (nor attention span NOR desire) to sit, reflect, organize and blog about all the things that are happening! How some of these folks do it while on the road is so impressive. I apparently can’t do that. Not while so much fun is going on! Major props, fellow bloggers. Bravo.
So what’s been going on? Here’s a brief run down-
I finally made it to the Old World! That’s right, first time to Europe. IT WAS AMAZING. Life changing. Delicious. Exhausting. Exciting. Possibly the best two months of my life!! I totally fell in love with Paris. And Amsterdam! Seriously good times with girlfriends. Who knew? The curtains really pulled back and new perspective welcomed me and I was just dying to jump in. Word. Lots of new experiences. Lots of questions. Very, LIZA, HOW DO YOU WANT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE? What do you want?! And how are you going to make that happen?!!
It was an empowering two months to say the least.
It all started when we bought our tickets back in January. A seriously long five months later we were finally packing our bags. I had two months on the road, Francisco had one. He showed his excitement by wearing his Zunga. I showed mine by drinking loads of mate and taking pictures of him in it.
We flew from BA to Barcelona where we met up with friends who greeted us at the airport looking like this.
The 6 of were an eclectic mix. 3 Argentines and their foreign girlfriends.
We laughed for days, tried to adjust to the Spanish accent (vs. the Argentine), ate insane amounts of olives and seafood and possibly had shots of Jagermeister. Not my doings. I blame present company. Ah hem, Joacqo on the right!!
From Spain we said our hasta la proxima vez flew to Prague and then spent 3 weeks in the Czech Republic, Croatia, Montenegro, and Italy.
Every place delivered in its own distinct way.
Montenegro, I love you. You’re just as beautiful as Croatia yet have more charm and are a fraction of the cost.
Puglia, Italy, I have never been such a proud Italian.
Hands down Puglia is the best.
Where do the Italians vacation to? Puglia, that’s where.
Endless miles of olive trees, vineyards, wheat fields, small towns and white sand beaches (on both the Adriatic and Meditteranean) is what Puglia is all about.
We could have easily spent the whole month there.
In Bari we rented a car, drove cross-country, checked out the Amalfi Coast (not nearly as cool as Puglia fyi), hung out on some islands, and ate burrata and pizza for days before parting ways in Rome. Francisco came back to Buenos Aires and I ventured to London to visit a good friend.
After London the ‘girls trip’ went into full swing.
Do I mention how my Parisian bestir, Lea, sends me directions to her place aka Metro stop, Port d’Orleans?!
Could I be more at home?!!
The first night was Rose, Cote du Rhone and so much cheese, mache and figs that it seemed too good to be true.
And then it happened again.
Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Cause I can talk cheese.
After all, I’m Parisian now.
Let’s keep it short.
Camembert, I want you to be the father of my children. Chèvre, who knew?! Blue Cheese, I still can’t even believe that I want to be your friend after the disgust I’ve had with you over the last 28 years. Shocking. And mache?! You sexy beast of a leaf you. Why aren’t you in Buenos Aires? Can someone change that? We need mache in Argentina.
After days of exploring Paris we headed to the North of France for the weekend which was beyond the cutest countryside and Coastal towns that I’ve ever seen in my life.
Back to Paris to scoop up Tez and off to Amsterdam we went for a week of full on bliss.
Like seriously. The amount of joy exuding from our bodies was just unbelievable. Sickening actually.
Can I live there? Can I buy an apartment there? Or can I have a friend that has a place there with an open invitation to come whenever I damn well please?
I’m fine with all of the above.
Dutch girls, not only are y’all the hottest creatures but also the kindest.
Double props, chicas.
And the shopping. Ooooh the shopping.
Everything about that city I dig.
Except for maybe that 2 seconds where I almost died. As in got hit by a speeding van while on my bike at night.
That happened. Scary like for real.
So back to Paris we happily went for my last two weeks before returning to wintery Buenos Aires.
Let’s not forget that all of this is taking place in Spring and Summer.
Roses were just bursting from the gardens and berries & figs were at their all time peak. The mountains of growing lavender, citrus & cherry trees in Hvar, Croatia were in every direction you turned.
Between the colors, the sea and aromas… I’d have to retell myself, Yes, Liza, this is happening!!
And then there was Solidays.
That’s right, we hit up a music festival in Paris.
Which may be in the top 5 greatest moments of my life.
Why? Three girlfriends + sunny warm days + live music outdoors.
Ahhh does life get any better?!
Gogol Bordello, merci beacoup. I haven’t danced like that in ages!
Also a major shout out to Lea for hosting the grandest picnic near the Seine (and Turkish bath day!), Nacho Martinez and your Cumbia-Jewish-Gypsy rock band for rocking the hell out of that Parisian boat, Alexandra & her fabulous family for feeding me, and to Tez, my healing bff, who was with me the whole way contributing constant euphoria.
I am eternally grateful and will never forget the magic of Europe 2013.
THANK YOU. GRACIAS. MERCI.
So that was Europe. In a nutshell.
Thank you, universe.
And when the time came I did not want to get back on that plane. But I had to. Responsibilities, dammit. Reservations were coming in and we had a sold out night at NOLA the evening I got back. That’s right, service 10 hours after flying in. Who is a trooper? This girl.
And luckily my best girlfriend from New York was flying in the next day. That helped my post European blues. For real. Meet Stephanie.
Stephanie is from New York State. As in upstate New York. Stephanie and I met in New York about 8 years ago. We worked together at a small dive bar in Greenwich Village. We’ve had a lot of fun together. We’ve explored Central America together, twice. Gone through breakups together. And most of all danced are asses off at many many concerts together.
Stephanie came to Buenos Aires. Her second time in South America.
We had more fun adventures mostly involving poker, excessive amounts of mate & Argentine cuisine, museums, chalkboard insanity, the zoo, asados and more. Here’s a quick peek!
After Stephanie drove off to the airport reality started sinking in.
Back to life I go.
And that’s okay, Liza! This is the life I want. This is the life I choose!
And for now, I’m cool with that.
Heck, I’m ecstatic.
I’m in control and this is what I want.
I’m ready to work my ass off. I’m ready to learn. I’m ready to save a bazillion dollars for my future apartment in Paris.
I want to be international. I need to be international.
There are just too many good places.
Like an international chef doing pop-up events all over the world.
So back to the kitchen I go, in the harshest days of low season.
But that’s okay. Reflection time. New projects. Bigger goals.
We hosted our first Pop-Up at NOLA. Maybe you read about it here. We’re all about the social media here at NOLA. I mastered my burger making skills and had some great brioche one on one sessions with the master. I took some of my new experiences from the Old World and applied them in the kitchen. For example this burger dedicated to my love of France sporting caramelized onions, brie, bordelaise & homemade mayo.
All in all, no complaints, y’all.
I hope life is doing you well and that you’re making the most of it.
It’s just too good to have it any other way!
I intend to share more of my European adventures with you over the next couple of months. Reliving all the moments? Yes, please!
Peace out and happy Monday.