My wife Cara and I just returned from hosting the annual couples trip to Argentina, to say it was fun would be a disservice to those who participated. Not only did we all enjoy the trip we made life long friends as well. Our troops consisted of the Lear’s from Florida, the Bernard’s from Texas, the Senner’s from Louisiana, and of course yours truly.
Due to some last minute cancelations the 2015 edition was a small affair of only four couples, but our crew was undaunted in their quest to enjoy every moment and did just that. Our first two days were spent at the always-fabulous Alvear Palace as our home base. Day 1 involved a short city tour including a visit to the swanky Palermo neighborhood, Metropolitan Cathedral, Casa Rosada, Recoleta Cemetery followed by a 4- course lunch on the wharf at Puerto Madero. After a good night’s rest we had a private guided tour of the wonderful Opera House that hosts the finest plays, concerts and opera from around the world. Truly a fantastic experience, so much so that I had the overwhelming desire to belt out my rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”… but an elbow from my wife took care of that urge. Later that evening we went to a contemporary Tango Show in the Faena Universe Hotel, a smaller venue with first-rate performers and the dinner and wine was great. Our little group did its best to maintain B.A.’s reputation of a city that never sleeps, staying up past midnight chatting and toasting our last night. If Argentina were suffering from chronic financial malaise, you would never know it from what we witnessed in Buenos Aires, vibrant as always with great meals and loads of fun and entertainment.
Our next leg took us to Cordoba where we checked into the ever-popular Guayascate Lodge 90 minutes south. No matter how often I try to describe this lodge to clients, they are always totally amazed on their first visit. In fact the Lear’s (our friends and neighbors) accused us of holding out on them!! This first evening we toasted the sunset and christened the new fire pit that really enhances the property further. Our three days here were filled with high volume dove shooting, tremendous dining and daily massage therapy. Honestly, everyone sincerely enjoyed the company of each other and much of that credit goes to having a place as special as Guayascate. It also helped that the weather was almost perfect and allowed us to open the huge glass doors and soak up the clean fresh air. Our last night was a treat as owner and friend Alex Hayes arranged an impromptu local dance performance that required our participation, very interesting moves I hadn’t seen in quite some time!!
The final part of our adventure took us to Mendoza and the wine country where we landed again in beautiful sunlight and perfect temps. Our hostess Augustina, who works for our partner Tasting Mendoza, rounded us up for a short tour of the city highlighted by a visit to the Cerro de la Gloria Monument in General San Martin Park. We visited fantastic wineries and among our many favorites were Catena Zapata that was simply beautiful and informative, as well as 4-course lunch overlooking the manicured grounds of Melipal Vineyard. But perhaps the most entertaining part of Mendoza was the cooking show put on by chef José Cacciavillani at Dominio del Plata Winery. This was a five-hour affair of culinary and spiritual indulgence we will not soon forget and is a must visit for anyone. The Park Hyatt Hotel was perfectly located and within easy walking distance of many great restaurants and wonderful views of the surrounding Andes. We found the people in Mendoza to be very polite yet more reserved than their brethren in B.A., most likely the influence from Chile just across the border.
My thanks to the Lear’s, Senners’ and Bernard’s for making it easy for Cara and I to be ourselves, allowing us to enjoy the trip as much or better than anyone. We have so many memories that only validates the fact we have the best clients and outfitters in the world!! Stay tuned for an all-new Couples Trip in 2016!!