It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

Hola, chicos! We’re back from Argentina and over the next few days I’ll be responding to all of your wonderful comments, posting a few more pictures, talking about where I’m at with my running, and more. Things are pretty hectic around our house right now, but I’m going to do my best to keep my head on straight! So here we go.

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As I write this, I’m on a plane heading from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, back to Buenos Aires. And although I’m a bit sick of using the word “surreal” to describe different parts of this trip, that’s really the only word I can think of to describe “el fin del mundo” – the end of the world, as Ushuaia is called. After an amazing few days in El Calafate, I was honestly a bit worried about heading to Ushuaia. How could it possibly measure up to what we had just seen and done? It was bound to be a letdown, I thought.

Thanks to the spectacular scenery, once again, and some new friends, it definitely was not a letdown. I don’t know why I doubt myself, because the internet and TripAdvisor haven’t failed me yet. Saturday was AJ’s birthday, so I made him pick the activity for the day (he’s not a person who loves to plan things in general). Well, my friends, this is where I went wrong. Bless his heart, the man gets motion sick very easily – on planes, boats, cars, buses, whatever – and yet he chose a 4×4 tour. This means we would be basically going over super rocky back roads and on windy mountain trails in an SUV. It’s one of the most popular activities in Ushuaia and yes, to me, it sounded cool. But I know my husband, and I knew it could only end poorly. He insisted he would be fine and who was I to stop him? What the birthday boy wants, he gets. Spoiler alert: the birthday boy did not even make it to the mountain roads before he started to feel sick, and the tour guide had to call us a cab and continue on with the rest of the group. Womp womp. I felt awful for him, but thanks to my research, I had a backup activity ready to go for just such an occasion. Bless his heart. The rest of the day turned out to be a pretty crazy and interesting adventure, as you’ll see below.

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We took a ferry ride through the Beagle Channel – the water body that connects the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean at the bottom of South America! Charles Darwin sailed through here.
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If you go to Tierra Del Fuego National Park in Ushuaia, you can also visit the southernmost post office in the world and get “El Cartero” (the postman) to stamp your passport!
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We met Cristina and Stefano, who are from Italy, at the bar the night before and became fast friends! Between their broken English and our broken Spanish (they spoke Italian, French, and Spanish), we communicated just fine. We ended up going hiking the next day  at Tierra del Fuego National Park and spent a lot of time together before we left. AJ is now learning Italian on Duolingo so we can go visit them.
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I reached the end of the world! We walked to the end of the Pan American Highway, which stretches from Alaska to the end of Argentina, and I grabbed this photo at the end of the walking trail. 
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After the 4×4 incident of 2015, our backup activity was a hike to Laguna Esmeralda, which came highly reviewed. The reviews mentioned it being a “little muddy” – um, that’s one way to describe it!
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The reward was worth it, although my shoes will never be the same. I’ll let you slide this time, Trip Advisor.
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Laguna Esmeralda in all her glory. I don’t even mind the unfortunately placed sun.

LEAVE A COMMENT: Make AJ feel better and tell him about your worst birthday!

24 thoughts on “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

  1. One year when I was a kid someone brought a puppy to my birthday in the park. I got to play with it all day…. until my parents told me it wasn’t for me… Saddest birthday ever. At least there was cake.

  2. I always wanted a birthday party at the roller rink so for my 13th birthday my mom threw me one! But I woke up not feeling great and threw up a couple of times. By party time I was feeling better though, so the party was on. While at the rink, one of my friends fell and broke her arm. My birthday is May 21 so this was at the end of the school year/beginning of summer break. And her birthday is May 28. So she was still in a soft cast with her arm propped on a pillow for her birthday party the next weekend.
    No more roller skating parties for me…

    1. That is such a bummer, Kristina! I had a few roller skating parties when I was a kid and they were always a blast. #so90s

  3. AJ go on amazon and look up travel sicknesses. There is a bottle of a 100 pills called Travel Sickness and costs about $5. It changed my world. I still try to sit in the front of any moving vehicle if possible but these little pink pills work and are safe.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Sharon! He takes Dramamine now and it helps a little but not a ton. We’ll have to check this out!

  4. You’re such an inspiration with all your traveling! We’re trying to do more, but it’s challenging with 5 kids. Do you use the trip advisor app? Is it very helpful?

    1. Hi Jo! I bet it is hard with 5 kids – expensive and challenging to find something for everyone to do, I’m sure! I use the TripAdvisor app when I’m in another country, yes. When I’m at home, I usually research on the website because it is easier. Now the app has a feature that allows you to download reviews and information for an entire city so that you can access it offline, which is really helpful when you’re walking around a foreign city with no Wifi. Of course, it’s better when you have Wifi, but still good either way. It’s a great resource!

  5. I get motion sickness extremely easily too so I completely feel his pain. I’m glad you guys found something else to do though! It sounds like a great time.

    1. Did you do ok on the cruise, Hollie? AJ’s worst thing is boats so we’ve never even considered taking a cruise.

  6. Happy belated birthday to AJ. I had two “worst birthdays.” One was at age 5 and too unpleasant to share (think neighbor’s Scottish terrier and my five baby kittens). The other was a camping trip when it rained so heavily, we spent the entire day stuck in a small tent trying to stay dry. Oh, need I mention that the tent was practically floating in a pool of water from all the rain? Good thing we had an inflatable mattress. 😉

  7. My parents gave me a stuffed car (like, a stuffed animal version of a car) for my 16th birthday instead of a real one. Also, I we got shrimp at the restaurant that night that had heads on them and at the time I still had a major issue with that (long story, but traumatizing childhood incident), and he basically chastized me for that publically. Charming. I also got a sketch pad and coloring pencils that year. It was a great one. I also tend to be in a flare for my birthdays….
    I still can’t get over those pictures. They are simply beyond incredible.

    1. This kind of reminds me of my 16th birthday! My parents put a bow on the car they let me drive (they had an extra one that leaked through the roof, stalled – and wasn’t stick shift – etc) and my mom told me to look out the window because my dad was going to drive by in my car! Hahaha, parents. Ugh rude.

  8. My 13th birthday was the worst. I passed out invitations a month in advance to like 20 of my friends. Received 15 RSVP’s and come the big day, not one person showed. No call. No show. I stared out of the window for three hours waiting just in case they were just running late. But no.

  9. I’ll share a motion sickness story instead. Okay, maybe two….
    When I was 4 I was on one of those swining pirate ship rides, it just goes back and forth, not all the way around. Anyway, I was so scared and so motion sick and was crying so hard they had to stop the ride for me so I could get off.
    Also, my ex-BIL used to have major motion sickness. When he was a kid, he was told that putting a bandaid over his belly button would fix it. He believed this until he was 20. (maybe try that with AJ?)

    1. Oh my gosh, I was TERRIFIED of the swinging pirate ship rides! That was the only ride that I was ever scared of as a kid. I could totally see why you would need to get off the ride. No judgement. And I’m trying the belly button thing. Can’t hurt.

  10. Love, love, love the pictures. Some day, I will get to Argentina!

    As for a bad birthday story, well, it wasn’t my birthday but it’s my sickness horror story. New Years Eve in Davos, Switzerland. No accommodation as we went for a hockey game, were sticking around for New Years and then catching the first train back home to Thun. Something in my dinner tasted… off, but I just figured is was shaky command of German and I was tasting something I wasn’t familiar with. We went back to the Hockey Arena for an all night dance party with 5000 other people. At 11:30pm, I started feeling a queasy. (Keep in mind, I had had 1 glass of wine and half a beer over three hours, so it wasn’t alcohol related.) At 12:30am, I threw up in an empty beer cup. I felt so awful for the rest of the night. I would have given anything, including first borns, for just a bathroom to myself where I could curl up by a functioning clean toilet. It is still the worst New Years I’ve ever had.

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