Tuesday, March 13, 2012

End of Ushuaia

I've gotten behind!  Here are a few more details and photos from Ushuaia.  Buenos Aires is next.

Cal had a great third birthday. After a special breakfast at the hotel of Cocoa Puffs and hot chocolate and a few loud songs on his new kazoo (thanks Aunt Debbie,) we climbed aboard the old steam engine train and chugged into Tierra del Fuego National Park.  Cal loved the train.  It was great to be chugging over rivers and through the forest and Cal especially liked when the conductor blew the whistle.  The train originally ran as a transport for prisoners up to the lumber work camps in the forest.  Now it just serves as a touristy way to get into the National Park. 
Listening to our "stander"
Another steam engine chugs through the woods
Harper and Cal were not too sure about this prisoner mannequin 
We had a little passenger car all to ourselves and it sure felt like a birthday party inside.  Cal opened his presents of Lego’s, an Argentina soccer jersey, three new garbage guys, and a Frog and Toad book (his favorite series for a while now.)  And Grandma Shirley brought balloons, which Grandpa Bob tied all together with his trusty dental floss from his pocket!
Lego's!  Grandpa Bob is just as excited as Cal.
Later in the afternoon we went to Ushuaia’s old general store, called Almacen General Ramos for some sweet treats and our loud, off-key and obnoxious-Americans rendition of “Happy Birthday.”  Cal and Harper each got a chocolate-coated meringue Penguin cake and we all shared a few other sweets.  I ordered the house’s famous hot cocoa called a Submarino.  It comes as a cup of hot milk with dulce de leche liquor and is served with two big chunks of dark chocolate to drop into the drink.  It was almost too sweet for me but we passed it around and Danny happily finished the melted chocolate on the bottom of the glass.

Penguin cake
Cal is usually pretty generous but he doesn't look to sure about Grandpa's bite here!
We made icebergs out of the meringue for Harper's tea
Our model train table 
Cal’s big day ended with a Skype video chat with his family in Chicago.  Aunt Meghan had everyone over for a birthday party for Cal and they all sang to him from almost 7,000 miles away.  He didn’t do too much talking, as he kept bouncing in and out of view, but it was fun for all the rest of us to see the Hanleys for a little while and catch up a bit.
Cal’s life as a two-year old will be hard to top with all the fun things he has done, the new people he has met, and the places he has seen, but home sweet home for year number three is sounding very good to him as well.

We flew out of Ushuaia the next day.  We had a mellow flight and Danny and I were able to sit and read our books on the plane for the first time in ages!  Grandma Bob sat sandwiched between the kids for the flight with Grandma Shirley across the aisle ready to help as much as she could.  We sat a row ahead and dozed off and read.  Three cheers for grandparents!
He's got a three-year old sense of humor as well!

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