We arrive excitedly, fanning our palms against the thick glass of the airplane windows, elbowing each other and pulling at our shoes smashed under the seat in front of us. We tear through the airport, past the girls spraying perfume, the child crying for no reason, the airport filled with light and din and those rubbing sleep from their eyes. Not us. We did not sleep. We’re disheveled and have no mastery of the language and couldn’t be more ready.
There is nothing like the promise of the first day of vacation.
We’re down to one travel book (hers left on the plane) and a handful of notes from friends, and friends of friends, and those far more cultured to have experienced all of Buenos Aires before (and all have their favorites, all contradicting each other, go here it’s local, no, that’s too local, you’ll get stabbed, and the like).
She makes me toast a big, Argentinean red to our vacation and when we finish the bottle and only half our steaks, it’s not quite two PM and we fall into the nearest travel office.
We just got here and we’re eager to plan. The man behind the counter is an hour away from clocking out and is not.
The poster behind him says “Adventura” and has a happy family with idiot grins flailing in rapids as their raft fights waves. She jumps into her middle school Spanish and I stare out the window until a passing teenager makes a kissy face.
“That’s what we want!” She’s saying. She's pointing behind the man, to the poster, to the family, “We want to go to Adventura!”
I’ve never taken Spanish. But it sounds a little funny. I look to the left of the poster, and another one boasts a Japanese garden and says “Exotico”. The one to the right has a beach and says simply, “Relax”.
“Hey, um,” I lean towards her so the man doesn’t hear, but in my giddy stupor my whisper isn’t in an inside voice. “Uh. I don’t think Adventura is a place.”
She knows what she’s doing, she presses. She speaks Spanish, remember? I don’t speak Spanish, remember? Shut up, okay?
“K, stop. I've heard of people going to Adventura. I know what I'm doing!” She’s got a fine crust of red wine at the corners of her lips. All of a sudden everything is really, really funny. And so hard to articulate.
“But…” I manage, between choking giggles. “Okay. Uh. No. I don’t think it is.”
“Yes it is!”
I point to the signs but the words won’t come out. I'm trying to say is, I think Adventura is a descriptor. What comes out instead is, “I think you’re thinking of Ace Ventura.”
The man behind the counter bursts into laughter. This, he understands.
We leave shortly thereafter.
As it turns out, there was a whole lot of adventura...but only after we napped off the bottle of wine between us.