Sunday, October 13, 2013

Big Ships: Time to Chill

After our late bedtime, we slept as long as possible, and the kids obliged.  We decided to stay mostly on Denver time at this point, since we all needed the sleep anyway.  Sleeping in very late meant that we missed the breakfast spread at the hotel - well worth it to get a little bit of shut-eye as the reviews indicated that the food wasn't that great; the real reason to go to breakfast was the view!  (And our view from the 21st floor in a suite was already incredible.)

When we all finally awoke we ventured out in search of food and adventure.  Unfortunately, on Sundays, most of Montevideo shuts down, and particularly the government / financial sector where we were located.  We were able to find a pizza chain shop open and shared a delectable pie among us for "breakfast."  We also located a small grocery store, also open, and picked up some items for snacking and light lunch/supper, if necessary. 

We explored the Independencia Plaza square in front of the hotel.  The centerpiece of the plaza is a large statue of General Jose Artigas, a national hero who helped secure Uruguay's independence from Spain.  Some stairs lead down underneath the plaza, and Artigas's remains are interred there in a mausoleum, attended by national guards.  D was a little unnerved by the guards -- he would burst into the mausoleum, see the guards, and stop in his tracks.  We talked a bit about showing respect in places like this, and he seemed to get it.  But mostly he enjoyed using some of the stonework as a slide just outside the entrance to the mausoleum (he soon had about 3-4 other kiddos following him down the slide.)

We continued walking through the old town over to Plaza Constitucion, where the kids had a good time chasing the pigeons.  (It makes sense that you start with Independence and progress to Constitution, right??)

After our walk in the very pleasant spring weather, we headed back to the hotel, had a light lunch from our grocery purchases, and suited up for the pool.  This one was deep (too deep for them to touch) all around, so they relied on floaties.  Both of them are getting really confident in the water - jumping in, going under, floating, even swimming (albeit inefficiently) to the wall or ladder.  Love it!

We cleaned up and got the girl a short nap before heading out in search of dinner.  We found a cafe/cervezeria (which I guess is a brewery?) open (miraculous!).  We settled in for a steak and a pork chop.  Steak had been on our minds this whole trip as the Uruguayans boast that they have even better steak than the Argentinians.  We had no trouble putting that to the test.  Sort of unfortunately, the Uruguayans have the same tendency to overcook their wonderful steak as the Argentinians, so the world may never know whose steak is really better.  (One waiter at one restaurant asked us if we wanted our beef "medium, medium well, or well done."  When I responded, "medium rare," he looked confused.  Sigh.)

We stopped for some artisanal ice cream (including two different flavors of dulce de leche, of course!), before returning to the hotel with happy tummies and happy family for a decent bedtime.

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