Nov 12:  Buenos Aires to Colonia

I was up at 7:30am and felt great.  John did not.  I think he barely remembered Roberto giving him coffee in the van to wake him up.

The van took us to the port where we caught a 1-hour ferry to Colonia, Uruguay (country #31).  This was notable for the kid behind me who kept fiddling with his tray (I put a stop to that), some guy whistling randomly (not a tune, just whistling) and Madonna's "Hung Up" playing for the longest time.

We checked into the hotel (nice little place) and went into town.  Most of us had lunch at El Drugstore.  Again, it's in my book, so it must be good.

First partial group photo:  John, Bob, Lori, Eli, Lance, Brid, Graham.

We went back to the hotel to change and head to the beach.  John and Lance rented scooters so they gave Brid a ride.  I walked, which was longer than I realized, and had trouble finding the spot.  Some local girls on the beach tried to talk to me but after "hola" there wasn't anywhere for the conversation to go.  I should have pulled a Mean Gene on them:  "English, you idiot!"  I had Portuguese phrases like "nice ass" in my book but nothing in Spanish.  I didn't know how to ask "how much do you cost" in either language.

I eventually found the spot--Brid was there already and Eli and Lori had just arrived behind me.  Did some tanning for the first time in a while.  Eli took the first known shirtless photograph of me since 1993.  (Send it to me!  Even though I was upside down.)

Eli, Lori and Brid.

Graham showed up as we were leaving the beach.  I berated him for wearing long pants to the beach, but they were the kind that unzip and turn into shorts.  That reminded me that I need to acquire stripper pants soon.  You know, the kind that come off in one deft motion.  You never know when you'll need them.

The three girls and I went back into town and went shopping (I'd obviously already lost my testicles at this early stage).  Eli and I broke away and found this cafe where we drank sangria in the street.  Proper sangria with orange slices.  Very, very good.

Eli and me.  And obviously Bob.  Lori joined us a few minutes later.  Or maybe she took the photo.

Eli informed us that she broke two toes, next to the pinky on each foot, and they healed in such a way that she's able to manipulate certain tools with her feet (threading a needle, brushing teeth) and can even throw a wicked curveball just like Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.

Back at the hotel I realized I was beet-red from the sun.  On top of that I burned my foot rinsing off the sand because the hot water was tricky to regulate.  I only rinsed, didn't shower, because if "The Beach" is good enough for Calvin Klein, it's good enough for me.  I noticed the walls were very thin at the hotel.  I could hear Radha and Shaneela next door as if there right in our bathroom.  This made it difficult for me to take a dump without being heard.

Most (all?) of us went back to El Drugstore for dinner.  Eli and I split two more 1.5-L sangria pitchers.  She made the keen observation that I look like Tom Hanks, at least from the nose up.  This had been previously observed by my UCLA student Rebecca Cave, who I hope googles her own name at some point and finds this page.  As the sangria took effect, ribaldry commenced.  We were talking about our love of dogs, and how dogs are preferable to most humans.  I took it a step further with the bold statement that I would indeed like to marry a dog.  One of the girls (Brid?) claimed that in Utah it's still legal to do so.  I imagined a scenario the next morning:  me showing up at the bus, hung over, accompanied by some skank-ass dog who doesn't even have a tag, asking Roberto where we might be able to get an annulment in Montevideo.

Continuing on that theme...a dog (female I believe) walked under the dinner table and gravitated toward Eli for petting purposes.  I reached under and started petting the dog too, out of sight.  Then, my #1 line of the tour:  "I'm petting something hairy...I hope it's the dog."  The crowd seemed to love this.

I think Eli, Graham and I were the last ones left at El Drugstore and we closed the place out, after an argument over whether the Eagles ever had a good song, which I still say they didn't.  Bed 1:30am.  [17 Jan 2007:  While watching American Idol tonight, I remembered that I was singing along to Unchained Melody at El Drugstore, and indeed hit the notorious high note.]