a diverse collection of travel photos and firsthand experiences while venturing across the globe. each destination has welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles, making us feel right at home. from argentina to utah - and thousands of miles in between - these are our visual memories of 'home'...just as we never imagined.
Friday, March 14, 2008
La Vendimia 2008 - La Alegría Te Invade
Another Vendimia has come and gone here in the beautiful province of Mendoza. With special performances by Mercedes Sosa and other celebrity figures, this year´s festivites brought thousands of international travelers once again. For those not familiar, La Vendimia is the annual wine festival of Argentina. During the first week of every March, Mendoza (now one of the Eight World Wine Capitals) plays host to endless parades, concerts, and wine tasting! Hotels are booked nearly a year in advance, and even then the prices are steep!
This was our first Vendimia to celebrate as a family. Not wine drinkers, we decided to stick to the parades. In addition to the traditional dancers and gauchos, the parade is designed to display the beautiful reinas (pageant queens) that hail from each provincial department - Las Heras, Godoy Cruz, Tupungato, etc. Waving to the crowds below, these stunning young women proudly represent their home and their community. Brilliant lights, vibrant floats, and pulsating music permeate the city throughout the weekend. Several youth gather in tight groups to greet the passing floats, each holding a handmade basket to catch those treats thrown below to the crowd. While not Mardi Gras in any sense, the reinas and their escorts toss grapes, apples, and garlic into the crowd - emblems of the local harvest. A massive honeydew melon nearly grazed Dallin´s head. And yes, I did see a free bottle of Malbec up for grabs!
During the closing ceremonies inside Teatro Romero late Saturday night, the crowd erupted in applause to perhaps the finest performance of the week - tango on water. Professional tango dancers twirled in passion over a shallow fountain pool on stage. Excelente!