We Say Goodbye To Matt

Matt made his exit from Montevideo on Thursday night. The days coming up to his departure were full of seeing people and fun activities.

Saturday night a couple of friends were gracious enough to host a “Despedida” (going away party) for Matt at someone’s house. There were drinks, food, and good conversations. There was also some gift giving and some challenges to drink beer out of a frisbee. For those of you that don’t know, it is possible to fit an entire pitcher of beer within a frisbee. Many people don’t believe this and do stupid things to prove that it is false (like trying to drink an entire frisbee full of beer within 20 seconds… good luck with that one).

The majority of the ultimate team here in Uruguay. They made Matt a poster collage of photos from his time in Montevideo.

Sunday was a great day of frisbee out at the beach. After finishing up, Matt did a great job practicing his minimalist lifestyle by giving away a bunch of his ultimate jerseys to the players here in Montevideo. The people here will greatly appreciate nice jerseys, and Matt has about a billion of them. At this point, Juanma can dress completely in clothes given to him by Matt (including cleats). It’s like a South American version of Matt!

Juanma, Matt, and Carlos at the beach.

Tuesday was dinner with our good friend Paco at La Lupita. We have been here once before, and yes, the margaritas were just as potent as the first time!

Wednesday, Matt’s last night in town, we went to a parilla (grill) so that Matt could eat one last steak. Chandro was gracious enough to come with us. The restaurant was great! Chandro had a traditional asado, Matt had a cut of steak, and Asa and I split some chicken and veggie skewers. The boys ordered caipirinha’s, a Brazilian cocktail. It is made from a Brazilian liquor called cachaça, which is similar to rum but made from cane sugar.

Thursday Matt and I took a trip downtown with the quest of finding gifts for his family that they would actually use and enjoy. The day was a little gloomy and once it actually started to rain all the vendors quickly packed up their wares. Matt was left with only the small magnet he had purchased. It’s probably for the best because his family probably didn’t really want bracelets or little wire figurines anyway. I imagine they’ll be happy enough just to see him again!

Matt managed to pack everything up, including the 5 bottles of grapamiel (a local liquor that I’ll talk about in another post) he had saved to take back to the states. He headed to the airport with plenty of time, as they had delayed the flight by almost an hour. Unknown if the delay was caused by weather here in Montevideo (it was rainy) or by weather in Miami (from TS Debby).

Based on our intelligence, Matt made it to Las Vegas for his sister’s wedding, but only after being detained by US customs for about 45 minutes in Miami. They apparently found his story about quitting his job and moving to Uruguay a little fishy. He missed his direct flight to Vegas and had to be re-routed through Los Angeles. Hopefully he’ll get on the blog and tell everyone about his experience.

So what are we doing now? Well Asa and I are going to enjoy our last four weeks in Montevideo. We have already taken over Matt’s room. Just kidding! We don’t really have a bucket list of things to do before we leave. We’ve already done most of the things to do in the city and the ones that we haven’t done don’t sound that interesting. So I think we’re just going to enjoy immersing ourselves in the Montevideo culture for another couple weeks and call it good!

Matt is in Vegas for about a week and then he is headed to the Philippines for a two week internet business program being held at some resort right on the beach. Poor Matt! He’ll be there two weeks beforehand and probably two weeks after. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess (including himself) what he’ll do. I tell you all this so that you won’t wonder why Matt fell off the grid for so long, but we’ll get him to come back to the blog when he’s got some time! We wish Matt good luck in his travels and know we’ll see him sometime in the future!

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Asado with the Chiale Family

We had the pleasure of joining the Chiale family for an Asado last weekend.

This family has been every kind of nice to us. The three sons, Carlos, Juanma, and Maxi led the welcoming charge from the frisbee community when we first arrived. The Chiale family put on a wonderful birthday party for Carlos, which we were lucky enough to attend. Carlos generously invited us to join him and his parents at a fútbol game and we have participated in numerous activities, both social and ultimate related, with Carlos and Juanma. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the Chiale family and are so lucky to have found such nice people so far from home.

Matt posted previously about an asado he had in Buenos Aires, but this one was a little different because of the weather. It was cold. None of us wanted to stand outside to watch the meat cook, so we took the token photo and then spent a good amount of time inside chatting.

From left to right: Juanma, Asa, Randi, Matt, Carlos, and Maxi. Photo credit: Juan Carlos Chiale!

The asado meat and the chorizo were both really tasty. We had french fries with egg and spinach mixed in and some salad as sides. Dessert was an incredible dulce de leche ice cream dish with pieces of cake mixed in and meringues on top. Oh and don’t forget the Uruguayan flags in the dessert!

After we were done eating we made our way to a local fútbol field where Maxi, the youngest brother, was having his weekly game. They unfortunately tied 2-2, but Maxi scored a goal!

Thanks again to the Chiale family for making us feel so welcome!

An Asado and Fireworks on a Birthday Cake

The easiest way to sum up the night of the Asado: rain, alcohol, darts, slippery floor, firework candle, grilled meat, fun time!

When we meet people and they find out we are vacationing in Uruguay, there is always a list of items they ask if we have done yet. Depending on the person, it might be culture related, nature related, clubbing related, or something based on there interested. In general though, there are 2-3 things that always come up no matter what the person likes to do.

The three main things that people ask us if we’ve done yet are:

  1. Tried maté
  2. Eaten a chivito
  3. Had an asado
We have tried maté. We even bought everything to enjoy maté. We also bought ceramic maté’s to drink tea out of.

We LOVE Chivitos!

When we ask people about asados, they say it’s a very fun thing to do and it’s important we go to one. That sounds great to me!

Then, I ask what it is. I always get a similar response about cooking meat on a grill, having a get-together, and drinking beer.

My response is: “So, it sounds like grilling out at a barbecue? I like those. Count me in.” …But, it’s not like what I’m used to. When I describe an afternoon barbecue, they all say it’s way more important and extensive. It’s a special way of cooking, a celebration of something, and a get-together.

So an asado isn’t like grilling steaks on a grill at the house… After attending an Asado, here are the main differences I noticed:

  1. The meat is cooked over the coals of wood and not directly over the fire. Nicer Parrillas (grills) have a separate section to burn the wood
  2. You can raise and lower the meat as needed (raise to add and move coals around and lower to cook directly above the coals)
  3. It’s meant for get-togethers of people and not just grilling out with a friend.
  4. There is a large variety of meat. Different cuts of meat from sausage, steak, ribs, and other cuts that I didn’t know what they were, but tasted great.

I was invited to an Asado when I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the Ultimate Frisbee team that I was going to play with on Sunday.

The asado was a blast and more like a party. We had beer, wine, snacks, music playing, people sitting around talking, and darts. We played five person darts where everyone throws with their off-hand to get their number, then needs to hit their number three times to get three points before they can be a killer. If you’re a killer, every number you hit takes a point off of their score. If you hit your own number, you remove a point from your score. When you reach a negative number, you’re out of the game. When you are under 3 points, every number you hit adds a point to the score. The goal is to eliminate the other players.

Buenos Aires Asado with Darts

It was fun since it was raining so when it wasn’t my turn, I would be hiding under cover, but when it was my turn, I’d run outside, throw the darts and try not to slip and fall with the darts in my hand, and then throw the darts. A couple of times, people almost fell, which added a couple seconds of excitement to the situation.

The Asado grill (Parrilla) and meat

There is a special part of the grill that is only used to burn the wood. The coals fall down and you carefully spread them under the meat.

Here’s a picture of Maxi working with the wood on the left, while the meat cooks over the coals on the right.

Maxi creating some coals to cook on

The cooking lasted for about 2-3 hours while wood was continuously burning to create coals and meat was slowly cooking. Maxi would lower the meat as much as possible on the coals, then raise it when more coal was ready to put under the meat.

Maxi and the Asado Parilla

Iron Chef Maxi says, "Let's eat!"

Once there were enough coals and the first batch of meat was ready, everyone stopped playing darts and sat down around tables while Maxi brought food out in batches, letting some of the meat cook a little longer.

Maxi would grab a bite to eat, run out to move stuff around, and bring in the meat if it was ready.  Each piece of meat tasted really good. The ribs, chorizo sausage, steak, and some other cut of meat for asados were all good.

We all had a great time talking about different subjects, happenings, etc. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand when everyone is talking very quickly, but in general, I could pick up conversation and occasionally contribute.

I was able to chat a good amount about American Football and the Falcons so that was fun.

Fernando’s Birthday!

Fernando’s birthday was also on the same day as the asado. It was perfect timing!

After we were finishing eating and almost too stuffed to eat more, Fernando brought out two desserts for his birthday. One with dulce de leche layer in a thin cake and cheese cake with strawberries.

A large candle was used in the center of the cheese cake with strawberries. I thought it was an abnormally large candle.  It wasn’t just a candle, in fact, once lit, it shot a stream of sparks straight up about a foot higher than the cake. What a surprise! I didn’t expect it at all.

Fernando's Birthday in Buenos Aires

Pre birthday candle ignition

Sparkler on cake in Buenos Aires

Birthday Candle on Steroids

The funniest part of the night happened right after the firework display started. I’m sitting to the right of the camera in the picture with the sparks shooting up. Fernando is sitting in the gray shirt with green sleeves.

He goes to blow the large candle out, as anyone would do with their cake, and the sparks started to come my way. Instead of everyone around me jumping back, 3-4 people jumped in front of me, like they were the secret service diving to take a bullet for the President,  to shield me from the sparks. It was extremely funny and made for some hilarious conversation for the next 30 minutes.

I hope there is a picture or video of it!

The asado was a really fun event despite the rain. I really appreciate being invited and having a great time with the group from Disco Sur. I also really enjoyed playing Ultimate Frisbee with them on Sunday in their league games in Argentina.

To Disco Sur, thanks for letting me play with you guys Sunday. It was a lot of fun.

To Maxi, thanks for my first asado and everything else!

To Fernando, thanks for not killing me on your birthday with fireworks and thanks for the great hospitality!