The Countdown Begins….

Three months ago, when we moved into our apartment in Mendoza, we said that we basically had until my birthday before the countdown began for us to get on the road again.

Well, we just celebrated my 38th birthday, and…...THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS!  In less than two weeks, we’ll be heading south again.

The day started the way every day starts:  I rolled over and kissed Soleil and then Tree; I started the coffee and took Kiki out to pee.  As I stood waiting for Kiki, I thought, Good god, I’m almost 40.  Where does the time go?  

Then, Noni came over to cook us all breakfast, her famous creamy eggs with medialunas (an Argentine pastry similar to but sweeter than a croissant). She also came bearing gifts: Check out the gorgeous spaghetti strap camisole and skirt ensemble that I am wearing in the photo below.  I felt like a princess!  All day, Noni added the touches that a mother brings, like cake and candles and presents wrapped in real wrapping paper.

The day before, Amanto had arrived from  San Francisco to visit for the holidays, so after breakfast, we all piled in the Sprinter, including Kiki, and went wine tasting–a must-do before leaving Mendoza, the Napa Valley of South America.

Wine Tour with Barrels

First stop Pulenta.  Pulenta is a family-run, artesenal winery, one of the biggest of the small production bodegas.

Our favorite wine from Pulenta, and possibly in all of Mendoza, is the Pulenta Cabernet Franc.  Strong green pepper, spiced plum, herby-wonder notes + full mouthfeel+ complex finish = spec-fucking-tacular. Find it. Order it. Love it.

Cab Franc


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So, what do you think would happen if we stored a barrel in….say….a Sprinter van?



Noni and Amanto getting wild!


Angela and Amanto

Soleil sizing up her competition.


Meh.  Kiki and I got this. 


Next stop Ruca Malen for a delicious lunch with wine pairing.


One course from the five course meal (I accidentally ate a few bites before I remembered to take a picture.  And then I accidentally ate every subsequent course and never remembered to take a picture.  Food blogging is not my forte. Eating is more my strength).



Next stop Bressia, another small family-run place that makes my favorite blend, Profundo, and my favorite Malbec, Monteagrelo 2011 (90 points from Robert Parker, Wine Advocate) in Mendoza.  Again, find them, order them, enjoy.


After Bressia, we headed back home, called over our favorite American friends, Ryan and Tiffany, ordered pizza, and had a proper birthday party with ice cream cake, one candle as to not torch said ice cream cake, an off-key rendition of Happy Birthday, and presents to boot.
Check out my new climbing helmet!
Thank you all so much for giving me such a special day.  It was such a gift to be with you, to celebrate, to welcome another year.
And thank you Tree for giving me our Button, who still feels like magic, a wrapped present, everything I’ve ever wanted, cradled in my arms.  Thank you for making me laugh, for our extraordinary life, for making me so happy that I don’t even mind getting old.
Happy Birthday Mommy


  1. YES! Wine recommendations! I’ve been dying for this from you guys! Put in my phone for the next trip to the liquor store. Hoping we can get these! Looks like you had a bang-up birthday celebration! Much love to you.

  2. A birthday celebrated in style with those who are the bread and butter of life. Doesn’t get much better.

  3. Ah, how we love you! I am so glad you were born, and became part of our family,
    (And by the way, age is all relative . . . you are still a little spring chicken!) Just keep giving and getting all those lovely kisses, (and drink great wine) , and you will live to a beautiful old age. 😉

  4. Wow! I’ve been reading this blog for a bit…I think I found it via Capitol Southbound when they were on their journey and I found Capitol Southbound through friends in Belize. I was deep into your Guatemala posts today, my next wishlist destination.

    Loving all the wine stuff….born and raised in Orange County, California, then spent 25 years in Sonoma/Napa area, so have also been on “just a few” wine tours. I appreciate each and every one. LOL. And, have been to Argentina for a Malbec adventure. …well, sightseeing as well! That is why this post makes me want to go out and try to buy all these wines! And, maybe the cute kitten too.

    Rock on and Merry Christmas folks!

    • Hey Laurie!! Thank you for commenting. It’s good to meet you (virtually). We love Capitol Southbound, good folks. We had good times with them when our paths crossed in Lima. We’re getting ready to head south now, and we’ve heard that there’s good Pinot Noir in Patagonia. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know 🙂

  5. Merry Christmas, my beloved nomad family!

  6. I miss you guys. Happy Birthday Tree. If you would get your own facebook page I could remember to tell you happy b day on time. You;ll forgive me because you did not wish me a happy birthday yesterday. i’m getting jazzed up 22 days and counting util I leave to come see my favorite vagabonds. I’m getting real stoked up for sure.
    Talk to you soon

  7. Sounds like a perfect birthday!

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