Friday, February 27, 2009

Carnaval 2009

We left the house around 5:30 in the afternoon.  It was a beautiful day, we were well rested and ready to experience Carnaval again this year.
We had our masks, feathers and great seats in the Coca Cola box.  

Our friends invited us this year to spend Carnaval with them in their company's box.  
It was great to have food and drinks readily available, the bathrooms were only slightly better than the last years because they were still shared, but it was so much fun again.

First of all here is the view to where the schools start their parade.  check out the time and the lack of people even though the show starts in just a few minutes!

These events actually start pretty much on time, and I'll tell you, within a few minutes of the first school's fireworks, these seats were filled!
In this foto, the neon blue circular glass enclosure is where the broadcasters announce from....very George Jetson-esque!

The first school's theme was 

from Adam and Eve to the dinosaurs, bugs and finishing with the end of life...the first flight to mythical creatures!  This is Porto da Pedra... they finished in 10th place out of the 12 schools.  Check out the Flinstones!  They were great!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Carnaval 2009, Bahian women

Here is a sampling of the typical   
 dance from Bahia, roda da samba... for Carnaval, the samba schools always have a group of older women dressed in a typical bahian dress, albeit a bit fancier 

since they are dressing for the championship.  They twirls around and around with their beautiful skirts 
and remind me of a whirling top!
Enjoy these fotos from a few of the schools....

Carnaval 2009

Ok, so for those of you that thought I would post before today....sorry :)
I was busy with many visitors in my house, landmarks to see, blocos, Sambodromo, dancing with a Samba school....
and today I was a good girl, went to church, got my ashes and gave up chocolate for Lent!  I am a little worried about giving up chocolate, but that is what "giving up" something is for, sacrificing.

Speaking of sacrificing....
the people that put their school's theme on for

 Carnaval in the Sambodromo are unbelievable.  They sacrifice so many hours and labor away all for the results that were just read. 

 It was quite exciting to sit here and watch as they read the four judges in 10 categories (by the way, they are all different judges, too!).  Our school, Portela, almost came in second place, which would be huge because they almost passed the winner of the last 5 out of 6 Carnaval's, Beija Flor.  The last judge was quite harsh on our school and so therefore, Beija Flor came in second (which is a shock amongst the people here) and Portela came in third. 

 The winner of the 2009 Carnaval is Salguiero.  
They performed on the night that we 

we went, Monday, and they were beautiful.  
I will start by honoring

 them with the fotos that my Tia (Aunt in Spanish) took
because in the middle of Salgueiro is when we went to get dressed for our school.  So, gracias Tia!  Congratulations to Salgueiro and of course, there are many more posts to follow on all of Carnaval!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Walk the walk...

Officially Carnaval has started, but tomorrow night will be the highlight for us.
We have been to blocos, which are like big block parties...but oh so much more than neighbors bringing potato salad and cheese dips! (and I do not mean that in a mean way!)
Here they are neighbors that get the money together for a band that sits on top of a huge truck with the biggest speakers that they can fit underneath.  Then as the saying goes...

build it and they will come.
Well, they come by the hundreds if not thousands...a lot of drinking, screaming, singing, whistling and even some peeing in the streets or between two cars works!
The people dress up in everything you can imagine....and look at the girl in this foto 
she thought I was taking her picture!

Well, the big news is that not only are we going to the Sambodromo tomorrow night, but...


Click on the name above to check out the school...I know, it is in Portuguese, but you can look at the pictures.  I am not sure which costume we are wearing...we get it tomorrow!  How excited am I???

Obviously, more to come!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's that time of year....

Now for all of those that live  outside of is not any time of year (well, maybe in New Orleans).  For us  inside Brasil, it is time for 
This means that everyone is partying, almost everything closes, and the streets are constantly packed with people, music, party hats and festivities.

I have 6 extra adults staying in my that equals up to:
8 adults, 2 children, 2 dogs and a cat.
It makes for an interesting and lively time!
We love having our family close by, especially to celebrate Carnaval.

This year we will all be attending the Sambodromo on Monday.
We will see 6 schools....including some of our favorites!
I will be sure to post about this all after Wednesday of next week.  So please understand if I am not around commenting, or reading, or posting......

I have included some shots of where I have taken the family....
As we say here in Brasil:
Bom Carnaval
(Happy Carnaval!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This is especially for my bloggy friend Mythopolis.  We are all helping in his construction work...and salad is a big part of the green areas ;)
This salad consists of Red Tomatoes, Lettuce, Arugula, Carrots, Green Peppers and Onions.
Yummy!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Flying High in the Sky

I feel at a loss for words today (probably makes a few people happy!)  There are so many ideas I get when I read other's blogs, but then I end up just not forming any coherent sentence about the subject....

So I thought I would just post another picture!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, Monday...

We changed the clocks back an hour here in Brasil this is amazing how much that little change of an hour can make.  It felt good to sleep in on Sunday.  
Today while I was walking Bella at 5:30 though it was a little disappointing.  Usually I start the walk in the dark and get to watch amazing sunrise!

But today, the sun was already out.  will that change my wake up time with Bella?  No, but I will miss those sunrises that sometimes appeared to be a fire in the sky!  So, onto watching the sunsets :)

Have a beautiful week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

The easiest medical exam EVER

One of the benefits of living overseas is that sometimes you get some perks that alone you might not be able to afford in the US.
One of these is a club membership.  We belong to a great club where we have many friends (including Gabriela!) to have fun with, play in the park or swimming pool and even have lessons.

My children take tennis there, but there are not any swim lessons.  They have taken some form of swim lesson since they were both 6 months old.  They hadn't taken any here yet in Brazil, which was really bothering all of us.
In Venezuela, at our club there, all 4 of us had the opportunity to swim.  The kids were practicing their strokes and my husband and I were on the "team".
Finally, within these past two weeks we ended up joining another club.
Now, this club is extremely cheap, and even would be affordable in the States.  It is more of a school for many different sports....
swimming, synchronized swimming, gymnastics, tennis, soccer (one of the biggest teams where we live), etc...
(is this long-winded or what?  but I haven't posted since Monday, so I thought you all would be ok with my blabbering :)

So, to swim in this pool you must get a "medical" approval from their physician.  Well, we walk in and he takes the kids blood pressure, asks a few questions, like blood type (in case of immediate need of a blood transfusion I assume), allergies... and even comments on my beautiful daughter's ears and how she could have surgery to make them flatter against her head!
then gives the stamp of approval.
Now, that is not the easiest medical exam ever as the title of this post proclaims
Then we come to me...
I want to swim for me, not on a team or in any adult classes.....
he asked if I had a bathing suit underneath my dress because he wanted to see my abdomen (? I can not even possibly imagine what for).  I said no.
He says, ok no problem.  Take off your flip-flops.  Now that started it all.  He looked at my feet (and so did I truthfully...trying to figure out what the heck seeing my bare feet would determine to make me fit for a swim in a pool)
Then he asks me to turn around and lift my arms.  He looks at my back....I guess it needs to be straight to swim....
and yep, I got the seal of approval.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I am sorry that I haven't had the chance to read/comment on everyone's blogs.  I have been extremely busy these days with one thing or another...too much to go into now!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Funny for Monday

Ok, so I have a few things to write about, but first this...
I was commenting on a friend's blog and my word verification was:  ANTIEVER

I found it so funny it made me chuckle.  Here are a few possibilities for this word:

1. Angst ridden teenager writes in her black dairy...  "I am so sick of this world.  There is too much corruption and too much homework and too much pain and suffering.  I am antiever everything!"
2. The opposite of FORever
3. The cute phrase that a little child might utter in complete seriousness though has their parents in hysterical laughter... child in tantrum: "I never want to go to the grocery store again.  I never want to hear that again, antiever!"
4. The Aunt that has the best, most hopeful name" "Anti-Ever"

haha, well, these are just some silly thoughts to get this week started off with a smile!  Have any good ones?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My two favorite from Paradise

There are so many that could qualify as
"my favorite"....
but these two have to be the ultimates.

This is me strolling along the sand, taken by my husband.

This is a clown fish, taken by me, and now my screen image.  I was even thinking of entering it into some competition...we'll see!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My City

This is an email I received....
take it as an email.  This is not meant to offend anyone, just that we are proud of our city, our Steelers and our people!

A man in Topeka, Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco to work east from there. Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and taking notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign which read "$1,000 a minute". Seeking the pastor, he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor informed him that this golden phone is a direct line to heaven. If he pays the price, he can talk directly to God!

As the man continued to visit churches in Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and around the United States, he found more golden phones with the same sign and the same explanation from each pastor. 

Finally, he arrived in Pennsylvania. Upon entering a church in Pittsburgh, he saw the usual golden telephone. THIS time, the sign read "Calls: 35 cents". Fascinated, he talked to the pastor. 
"Father, I've been in cities all across the country, and, in each church, I've found this golden phone. I was told it is a direct line to heaven, but in other churches, the cost was $1,000 per minute. Your sign reads only 35 cents per call. Why?" 
The priest, smiling, replied: "Son, you're in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now. This is home of the Pittsburgh Steelers -- 6 times Super Bowl Champions, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Pittsburgh Penguins. We have 3 vibrant rivers meeting at the Point of the most beautiful downtown area. We're a city of the best hospitals and the friendliest people in the world! You're in God's country  - it's a local call! "

Monday, February 2, 2009


Could we expect anything less from the team that took so many games to the final few minutes?
49 SECONDS and Big Ben sent a pass to Santonio Holmes!!  Two toes in the end zone, control of the ball.........


They tried to come back but he had a forward pass  interception and 


WHERE is our defense?  They just scored and are now winning 23-20.  We can make a field goal and tie it or touchdown and win it....
but first we have to get out offense to actually DO something this time.

we were almost out of the deep...
penalty and they get a 2 point safety....

4th and 20, they punt.  We unfortunately got a penalty, but at least we have the ball.


Ok, I have faith in my team.  We are the BEST defense there is right now....
so maybe, just a little bit...I feel worried!!!
C'mon DEFENSE!!!

Half Time


We started out fabulously.  Defense was good.... Offensive scoring....
then we intercept at their goal line with a few seconds left on the clock!  James Harrison runs it back for a touchdown!!  He hasn't run that far in 10 years!  

YEA STEELERS!!!  Half time score: 
Steeler 17
Cardinals 7

in case you had a doubt....

I am in full gear (earrings, shirt, barrette) and ready to go.... the only problem is 
 the East Coast of the USA is 3 hours behind me!!! 
Truthfully, I have been ready to go since we won the AFC Championship game!  

Here you can see that no matter where I am, I will always be a Steeler fan....
I support them through good times and bad, and this year, we are going for it all!

can you tell which apartment is mine?

The apartment is also decorated with
the uniform shirts which are a little too hot to wear right now, but they do adorn the living room,
the coasters are ready for your elixir of choice, the Steeler fan doll with sound is ready to go....

now all we need is for the Superbowl to start!!
Go Steelers!