Breaking With Tradition

Christmas tree Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires

 I think it would be safe to say I’m not that big on change, especially at this time of year.  Our family always follows the same tradition for Christmas. Big, bushy tree, same decades-old ornaments, freshly sliced & dried oranges hanging amidst flickering candle light bulbs and that Angel with Attitude who unfailingly gives me grief with her wonky ways atop the tree (I swear she’s a midnight drinker) We’re blessed to live in a home that lends itself to traditional east coast Christmas decor, despite living in Southern California so it’s something I’ve really come to enjoy. Occasionally my husband or sons request brightly coloured lights (and believe me, in my weaker moments the temptation to string lights that don’t need to be attached individually, burn out every few days or point straight up is tempting) but I just…could…never…do it.

Until this year.

metal and glass Christmas tree

This year was a Big One for my husband and so guess what-

I let him choose what he wanted for Christmas.

I know. What a wife. Speaking of angels 🙂

So, here we are in South America!

Patagonia, to be precise.

(The silver, glass & marble tree is in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Buenos Aires but more on B.A. in another post)

Now a family excursion to Patagonia must be organized and booked a long time in advance. A year in fact. Believe it or not, in this ever broadening era of globalization, even the last edge of the world before Antarctica is a real hot spot.

Did I ever expect I’d be having shoulder surgery 2 months prior to our departure? Hell no, but canceling was definitely not an option ( I’d canceled once before…not such an angel, truth be told 🙁  I was scared to break with tradition!)

And the fact that I literally couldn’t do any Christmas decorating or entertaining ended up working perfectly (and guilt-free) into our original travel plans. The tipsy angel stayed in the attic, the stair bannisters remained nude as can be and we’ve had a pretty wild adventure here with nary a dried orange slice in sight.


The hotel blackboard posting all the daily activities. Patagonia obviously attracts a very outdoorsy type of clientele.

No jokes, please.

Of course my physical abilities were somewhat more limited than usual, but I could certainly hike…

Enjoy the views, lift a knife & fork and a glass or two.

Vegetarians should now skip the next couple of photos.

lamb roast

Christmas Day Lunch was, again, something completely different for us; lamb roasted at a local working ranch in Chile.


FYI-the wines in Argentina and Chile are DELICIOUS (that’s not my husband beside me, just in case you were wondering)

Patagonia ,

The scenery is utterly breathtaking.

I have so many more things to share with you, but I’m calling it a night here, it’s late (it stays light until almost 11pm!) and the day begins bright and early tomorrow.

glacier, Patagonia

Enjoy these last few days of 2013!!



PS. can anyone tell me if they are seeing unwanted ads, or any ads for that matter at the bottom of my posts? Thanks!


  1. Different video each time I refresh. Last time was a Maker’s Mark bourbon ad. Before that, it was jets and I don’t remember the first (didn’t realize the video would change.

    A link to “About these ads” appears just above the video. Goes to WordPress.

  2. Well! Now I’ve logged in and don’t see any videos or ads. Apparently, only viewers who don’t have a WordPress account see ads.

  3. I broke with all of my traditions this year—and, surprisingly, I have not had one moment of guilt.
    The photos of Patagonia are beautiful, not too sure about those lambs.
    Happy New Year!

  4. Hi Slim, The pictures look wonderful. My sister-in-law and her brother are headed there next month en route to Antarctica so I will flag your post with her. .. and yes, there is an ad at the bottom of your post – how to ‘cartoonify yourself’!

  5. No ads in sight that I can see….and the snow hasn’t found Sun Valley yet, so you haven’t missed anything up here. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  6. Oh that tree !! i thought you had done it all with your own fair hands ..well one and a half given your shoulder situation

    Cant wait to see more of Patagonia ..oenguins and seals I imagine

  7. S.P. I spy a young man who looks like your husband (sipping a bit o’bubbly?). The handsome lurking man likely drew the attention of Mr Paley!
    Hoping there was a cocktail mixed with some blue ice from (or fabricated to be like) that amazing burg. 🙂
    (no adverts)

  8. Happy New Year Slim! Everything is just gorgeous, as usual! Having walked down the street, in the name of exercise, in my Patagonia threads for years, it has always been on my personal list of places to visit! You were very brave to spend Christmas there. What a fun experience and so awesome that you are now hiking. Not only hiking, but hiking in Patagonia. Just amazing! Now, let’s get down to business…I want that tree…the entire thing! Fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing and what a blast!

  9. I want more Argentina and Patagonia pics. It looks amazing!!!! Yes there was an ad for Sauza margarita mix which is highly appropriate for your current journey.

  10. Yes there is a advertisement at the bottom of your posting – a man in shorts has three bottles in front of him and is pouring a drink into flute drinking glasses.

    • I see the same ad. He has on red silk boxers and is about to entertain. I thought it was from you as it’s your kinda ad!!

  11. No ads here. And you missed the warmest Christmas in history. Even Santa would have worked up a sweat here which I am sure would have made him leave less gifts. Who wants to unload a sleigh full of gifts when it is too warm. Honestly I adore Christmas and usually at this time when I have to take Christmas down I am depressed. This year I feel like Christmas never came. It was like summer constantly. No rain either. Taking it all down starting tomorrow. No sadness for the first time ever. Fire in the fire place, no, too hot. Fun Christmas hat or muffler, no, too hot. Great year to miss. Can’t wait to see your pictures of BA. Wonderful country.

  12. Yes, there is a video on a type of bungee ‘jumping’ and a link inside the video frame for a google add for a weight reduction product. Patagonia, South America looks amazing – anxious to see and hear more!

  13. Hello from San Diego–I never leave posts, but I always enjoy your blog and since you asked, yes there is an ad for an Oral B tooth brush at the end of your post. I only know this because I clicked on the video link–it looks like you posted a video there. I hope you have a great trip to South America. Please post more about Patagonia–I have always wanted to go there. Happy New Year, and thank you for all of the time you put into your blog. Your posts are always a refreshing break!

  14. I don’t see any ads from my end. Looks like an awesome trip!! I found it so hard to be away from home at Christmas last year. It just felt odd. I missed the traditional trappings…and I suppose that’s just what they are… trappings. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more from your adventure. Have a very Happy New Year. That man next to you may not be your husband but the look on his face says he’d sure like to be:-)

  15. Good on you, Slim! It is hard to break with tradition, and a 90° Xmas in Sri Lanka and Cape
    Town feels very strange…but it looks like, at least up in the mountains of Patagonia, you’re getting a little chill in the air.
    I’m coming to think that mixing things up is a good thing as we get older, and maybe helps us appreciate our own traditions even more when we get back to them…..and, believe it or not, I think the kids get sentimental for them in time, and therefore have the impetuous to keep them going! Go figure!

    Here’s to you and a peaceful and happy New Year for us all.

    • Thanks Marsha.
      I believe/hope that you’re right about mixing up our traditions, and our kids becoming sentimental about them in time… but then again, I’m a sentimental traditionalist! 🙂

  16. Love the real alpaca silver Tree and the trip! Always wanted to go there! Also love how the guy who is not your husband is checking you out! Typical Argentinian. Feliz ano Nuevo Slim xo

  17. Awesome post and photos. My writer brother-in-law and I were just saying that we would love to experience Christmas in another culture. Good for you! Thank you for-taking us there with your post. BTW no ads or anything at the bottom of your post. Happy almost 2014! Love reading your blog….I am also a Vancouverite living a long way away from I grew up! 🙂

  18. Happy New Year–what a spectacular tree and scene–hope this is all and more your family was hoping for. There is indeed an ad on youtube at the bottome of your post with an “about your ad” link–stating that it is there because you did not purchase the upgrade to the no ad level on wordpress.

  19. Now THAT is a gorgeous tree that you let your husband decorate. Your husband is very lucky to have you as his wife! 🙂

  20. Wow! That last picture of the mountains and the ice formation: amazing! Safe travels, Slim, and Happy New Year. Looking forward to your posts in 2014

  21. Great idea for a vacation! Yes there is an add. It’s a you tube video entitled:
    I Bet You Don’t Know What a Quant Is

  22. hey Slimmy!!! no ads here. Love, love, love these pics!!! Must go. Oh, and that guy next to you is totally checkin you out sista!!! I still think that iceburg looks good enough to eat. Kind of like a sky blue snow cone or maybe sky blue cotton candy. Have fun and be safe!!! HNY!!!

  23. Glad you “cleared up the husband” photo…I already hate you and then when I saw that “hunk” I thought…gaaaaa! KIDDING!! That tree is fabulous and you look as if you’re having a fabulous time…CHEERS!! franki

  24. How fun! I spent Christmas this year with our Argentine friends who didn’t go home for the first time (she’s expecting and too close to her due date to travel). He is from BA and she is from Patagonia! Needless to say, we served beef.
    It’s so nice to see the photos. I’m looking forward to the BA post!

  25. I see no ads & I don’t have a WordPress account. Maybe people need pop-up blockers.
    Your Christmas looks fun & exciting! That blue iceberg is amazing. I’d think it was photo-shopped but I know your journalistic integrity is impeccable.
    You look fabulous, as always. The guy giving you the shark eye is pretty funny, but, then, how could he resist?

  26. Spectacular tree – both the silver one and the driftwood looking one outside. Yes, to the ads at bottom of your post and yes, I’m a wordpress blogger (if there’s any connection). It’s a video ad. I’m smiling at the man in the shot with you – he looks very intrigued and beguiled by you. Watch your back.

  27. Yes, saw an ad at the end of the blog. First one from MT. Dew, then I refreshed and Boeing appears. Your blog beautiful! All the best for the New Year!

  28. Hi Slim, Happy 2014, and thank you for all the great posts during 2013. No ads at the end. The tree in the hotel looks absolutely gorgeous, as do you. The young man next to you may not be your hubby, but definitely looks intrigued. 🙂 Enjoy your time in Patagonia. Looks fantastic. Spirit

  29. Yes, there is a video ad but i did not play it. On another note, I love your posts, your writing, and your photos!

  30. An escape from all the hustle and bustle would have been welcomed this year. Looks lovely there. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  31. Yes on the ads…including one on cellulite! 🙂
    Wishing you a Happy New Year from Budapest…we did BA last year, including Jose Ignacio, Uruguay. Divine! Now that kids are working, we find it is the only time of year we can travel as a family. Looking forward to a return of tradition once grandkids arrive!

    Thanks for your ever-inspiring and always beautiful posts…my favorites!!!

  32. Kudos to your hubby for the creative Christmas plan. Love to see more! I’d also like to see your passport–probably many interesting stamps! Great for reminiscing….Yes, there was an 18 sec. video at the end, for Pellegrino, but isn’t it too bad that now we have to pay for the privilege of NOT watching the ads.

    • Yes, kudos to the husband indeed Lisbeth-and yes, I think it’s cheeky of WordPress to charge to NOT put their ads on our blogs, especially if you are paying for premium service.

  33. No ads and it is so nice to see your incredible photos, especially of Patagonia. My Dad traveled the world and Patagonia was the one place he wanted to go but never got there. This way I can enjoy it for him even though he can probably see it from where he is. (miss him!) Have a great time.

  34. well where is your hubby cuz that guy is about to move in.

    No ads here, using Firefox, and no wordpress account. Seems about 50-50 that either have ads or don’t, there must be one common factor, but that sucks! this is a new thing i imagine?

  35. No ads.
    Sometimes, a change is good and good for you, so good on you! Patagonia looks amazing, looking forward to seeing more of the trip.
    Happy New Year!

  36. Yes, Ads. The note ” About Ads” says you must purchase a no-adds upgrade. Always something new. Great views of Patagonia.

  37. A Very Happy New Year and continued joy as you travel Patagonia
    No ads appeared on my screen for your blog

  38. No matter where you travel, I am awestruck! This post is breathtaking..ok…except…the splayed lambs. You did warn us! Bet they were delicious, though, and the wine…divine! Happy, Healthy year ahead to you and your family, filled with more incredible adventures and blessings galore.
    (I am on a Mac and keep my pop-up blocker active.)

  39. Hi, when you make a break with tradition you DO make a break! Great post! Looking forward to more on BA. Yes, a video ad at the bottom which I did not click on.

  40. yes, there is an ad for some social security scam….I don’t have a WP blog acct. Love the beautiful pics on the post!

  41. This was such a fun post! I always love reading about your travels. Incredibly exotic and so interesting. Happy birthday to Mr. Slim, and a very happy New Year to you!

  42. Slim, First amazing trees! Gorgeous with the silver. Patagonia sounds like an adventure and I cannot wait to read all about it. Pictures already look fabulous. Take care. Glad you could go so soon after your shoulder thing.

    No ads that I can see! Happy New Year! xx Kim

  43. Thank you everyone for letting me know what ads you are (or are not) seeing. Purina Dog Chow?! Why don’t they just plonk down a Costco size ketchup bottle on my nicely set dinner table? Arrgh. Guess I need to get right on that blog face-lift as soon as I get back.
    New Year’s post coming!

  44. No ads.
    What a memorable and spectacular Christmas celebration for you and your family. Way to be adventurous and break with tradition.
    Happy New Year.

  45. Happy New Year Slim!!! Just a few ads/video, like one for some kind of Viagra type product if you just turned 60, and “it” has lasted for over 4 hours, oh, it has been over 4 hours, i didn’t even notice the time?!………and another one for chilean wine that helps heal one from shoulder surgery 🙂 jk lol, no ads babe…just your crazy good posts…..Have a great vacay, you look mah-ve-lous next to that yummy grilled lamb…..cheers and clink to the best year ahead ever!!!!

  46. Slim, Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy New Year! Photos look amazing (as always, love to see you being checked out 😉 positive attention always lovely. Can’t wait to see more and learn more about that stunning silver tree! Oh – didn’t see any adds

Would love to hear from you!