Shirley Weiss of St. Louis

Karyn Meyer

'The more, the merrier' is the philosophy of Shirley Weiss and her friends. The group started traveling together back in 2001, and what was once 12 travelers has grown to 20, and every year, it gets bigger. They choose a different destination for their annual cruise, and last February, they sailed the waters on the Golden Princess from Santiago, Chile, to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"This was our longest cruise so far, 14 days, and to a more exotic destination than our other trips to places like Mexico or the Caribbean," Weiss says. And the change of pace was well worth it. "It was the most gorgeous scenery I've ever seen," she declares. "The Andes are absolutely stunning, and we saw amazing snow-capped volcanoes, glaciers, lots of penguins and cascading waterfalls over volcanic rocks."

While Weiss says there were quite a few days on the ship spent taking in the scenery, they were able to take part in the impressive shopping market of Buenos Aires. "There was lots of great leather and jewelry, what else could women want? There's a pedestrian-only street, Florida Street, that's not open to vehicles, and tango dancers were putting on a show right in the middle of it." They even visited the cemetery where Argentinean First Lady (1946 to 1952) Eva PerÓn, immortalized by the musical Evita, was buried. "We got to visit many museums, churches and synagogues at each port."

Stops included Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas in Chile, the Falkland Islands and Montevideo, Uruguay. "Since our seasons are reversed, it was summer there but still pretty cold many places," Weiss says. "Some ports were so windy and chilly, we were glad we had packed gloves, coats and hats. But Buenos Aires, Santiago and Montevideo were all very warm, so you just have to dress accordingly."

One piece of clothing all the women brought along was their Cardinals World Series champion T-shirts. "We were proud to wear them, and we even entered a ‘horse' in the ship's races, which was decked out in Cardinal gear and drinking a Budweiser."