After a long and much needed five day vacation in Uruguay, I am back in Buenos Aires safe and sound! The last couple days of February were rough for me – I hit a wall on Tuesday night with the language, the city, and my classes. Luckily, this trip came just in time so I could clear my mind and take a couple deep breaths.

Wednesday: Got up pretty early to catch a cab to the ferry station. On my way out the door my host mom suggested I bring a jacket and some long pants but I refused and went on my way. Note: follow any mom’s advice…I later realized that long sleeves and long pants were a necessity after the sun sets. After a three hour ferry ride across the Rio de Plata to Colonia, Uruguay, we were treated to a big lunch and a tour of the historic district of Colonia. Fun fact: Colonia was the first city established in Uruguay by the Portuguese. The streets are cobblestone, lined with big green trees and old cars. It was immediately apparent that Colonia was a tranquil and relaxed city, much different from what I was experiencing in Buenos Aires. After dinner my friend and I picked up some bottles of wine and chatted pool-side until late.

Thursday: Not only was it pouring rain, but almost everyone was either hungover, sick, or tired. I never got the memo about the water quality in Uruguay, so I had guzzled down some tap water before bed, and again in the morning with breakfast. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling too hot. We had a side trip planned to tour an old plantation but this quickly deteriorated. Later that day, we took a trip to our program director’s house, Mario. To call Mario’s place anything other than breathtaking is an understatement. He lives in a quaint, rustic B&B that sits on a vast lemon grove. We were treated to a feast of grilled meats, vegetables, fruits, hummus, bread, beer, and salad. After, everyone headed to either the pool or the nearby beach. Around 8 we headed back to Colonia and I had dinner with some new friends. We drank and danced the night away in a local bar.

Friday: Had lunch at a nearby restaurant with the group before heading to a hostel with my friend. Almost all of the students in our program headed up to Punta del Este but we opted out and headed down the coast of Uruguay (on foot) to a much quieter area of Colonia, if that’s even possible. After walking for about an hour we found our hostel and checked in. Real de San Carlos is very residential, so we had a hard time finding nightlife after sunset.

Saturday: My friend and I spent the entire day on the beach. Although it was an amazingly relaxing and enjoyable day, bingeing on the sun from 10-4 left us both with ridiculous sunburns. I’m sunburned in places I didn’t know existed! We watched the sunset on a nearby terrace while our bodies throbbed.

Sunday: Spent the day in Colonia walking around and waiting for the day to pass by. We were both uncomfortably sunburnt, tired, and ready for the excitement of Buenos Aires. I felt bad wishing away my time left in Uruguay because I had such a great time, but it was too sleepy of a town to spend 5 days in. Once 8pm rolled around, we got back on the ferry to ‘home sweet home’.