My last December was spent in my home country of Argentina, and it was a visit that had been put off quite a few times. We visited my moms family in Mendoza and my dad’s family in Alvear. We walked through el centro and visited los Artesanos, craftsmen in the cities center plaza. Crafts varied from leather shoes, purses and belts, to Jewelry, art and clothing. We visited a water park which was filled with water from a near by river, it was an amazing experience being surrounded by mountains. The food was, as always, one of the main things I missed, the asado was delicious and always tastes best when shared with family and friends, the pizza tastes better, in my opinion, than those made in the U.S. But my favorite cuisines are usually eaten for snack or desert, facturas and ice cream, both sweet, the facturas or pastries are best eaten with tea or mate and are a must have when visiting Argentina. The ice cream is like nothing you’ve ever eaten in the U.S., it is gelato and is so sweet and delicious, that you can never get enough, my favorite flavor being Lemon. In Alvear you enter the life of small town people, which contrasts a lot with the life in big city Mendoza. During summer there’s a gathering every other night, and your never short on drinks. I enjoyed quad riding with my cousins and walks through the towns small but often crowded shopping centro. We celebrated Christmas in Alvear, and, though it is not celebrated the same way people here celebrate it, we had a great time, eating dinner with our family, lighting fireworks, going to a party, and crashing the towns Christmas party, which had refreshments and loud music, we didn’t leave until sunrise, at around 5 am. New Years was celebrated in Mendoza at my great aunts house, we had a large group, dinner was delicious, we lighted even more fireworks, and enjoyed some champaign. The fireworks were large and extremely loud but the made the night even more spectacular. My birthday was celebrated with family and a few friends and it was a nice quiet gathering with delicious pizza lomito, one of the best foods found in Mendoza. When people gather in Argentina its not just dinner, but a party, and you can always count on there being asado, drinks and mate, accompanied by a few rounds of truco.
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