Saturday, February 27, 2010

A movie worth seeing...

So maybe there has been a lot of hype about it, but I think it deserves it.
Last night my husband and I went to see Avatar 3D.

We both agreed that the plot line was typical Hollywood, with the usual catch phrase that can be used for many films:
Good vs. Evil
Nature vs. Man
War vs. Peace
even Religion vs. Religion....

but the show was so cool. The special effects for this movie are out.stand.ing!!!
You feel as if you are swaying with the natives, feel as if you are part of the gung ho war speech, feel the crazy looking insects are swarming around you.
It was a throroughly entertaining movie, and worth the little bit of extra money to see this movie in the theatres! Don't wait for the DVD, see it with the cool 3D glasses and enjoy a nature that is made up, but very beautiful and serene.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Just rambling...

My daughter and I got back to Brasil on Monday. I feel like I have been catching up with everything until yesterday.
I slept most of the morning because it was raining so I couldn't make it to my tennis class (and my body was crying out for some rest!).
It has been nice to have some rain after such humid, hot days.
Today is also a little cooler with the grey skies hanging around.

I just finished another Mitch Albom book, "Have a Little Faith". It was another great read. I like the way he writes and describes what has happened in his interviews and relates it to his life. They are true stories, so you know it is true (duh)...but yet, his books always seem to take me on a journey within myself. It makes me think about things that are always hanging around in my mind, but maybe I just don't let them come to the front. I keep them hidden in the back...
behind the to do list, the move planning, the vacation coming up, the children's school, the animals, the...endless list of small, daily things that tend to take over.
This book talked about one's faith and how two man perceive it and pass it along. I won't give away too much, because I hope you all have a chance to read it!

Coming up next week, we are going to Buenos Aires, Argentina! I am very excited about this trip. I have always wanted to visit this city that the Argentineans like to call the "Paris of South America". We are going for about 3 full days with a travel day in there too. I can't wait to see a Tango show! I am not sure which one to pick...the more touristy or the more traditional. I tend to like more authentic traditional ones, but I have heard the one that is a little more touristy is a heck of a show! I will let you know after we get back.

We still do not know where our next adventure is taking us. This is a bit frustrating and the hardest part of being an expat. Just waiting to find out where your life is headed...
that's a strange feeling. I always like to think we are headed on a journey that has no end...at least not until God calls us!

And last but not least, a photo that makes me smile and I hope it makes you smile too :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Extremes




Just a short week ago my daughter and I were here:

Which we moved onto here:
(and despite the sun, the wind was quite strong and chilly!)

But, nothing compares to what we are in now:




How fun is this? At least for those of us that only visit!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What a trip...

This has been one of the most special trips for my daughter and I.
I hope that she remembers this trip as fondly as I do.

I do not have nay pictures yet because I am waiting for my new Canon 50D to be delivered TODAY!! I am so excited to try it out!

We have had a great time just having fun together. She is so positive and such an inspiration for me. For instance, yesterday we rushed out of the house to get to mass on time. When we returned, I realized that I locked us out of the house!
She just passed it off as if it is an every day occurrence.
"It's ok Mom, everyone makes mistakes!"
So we just rolled with the punches, bought some lunch, shopped a little, and waited for the locksmith to come.

The air has been a little chilly for us. Remember, Brasil has been in the upper 90's lately, so we are not accustomed to 60's! Being on the water makes it feel even chillier! Today seems to be warmer, so as soon as I sign for this delivery, we will be out and about. I am not too thrilled that it could happen anywhere between 7am and 7pm though....I am hoping it comes soon!

My daughter is enjoying the house, the yummy US milk and donuts! It is funny what you miss...
even I am enjoying the milk, and I am not a huge fan of milk, but boy, this one tastes good!

So onto another glorious day in our home....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Day of Love, a letter

Happy Valentine's Day!
This goes out to my husband and my son.

Hubby, you are the most amazing person I have ever known. Your patience somehow overcomes every part of you, and astounds me how you keep it. Your love for me is rich and whole and I feel it every time we talk, cuddle and kiss. I know that we are walking this road together through the best parts of our lives. I know that we face any obstacles together and united.
I hope that you feel my love for you every day and that we have many more loving years together.

My son, my sunshine....
I hope you know that I am missing you so much this Valentine's Day. I think you are an incredibly intelligent and handsome young man. Your laughter is contagious, and I love to hear it. Your kindness and helpfulness for others is impressive. I hope that your life is fulfilling and has the kind of love that your Papa and I share.

Happy Valentine's Day to my two guys!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

There's always an airport story!

....and boy is this a good one :)
(a little long, but well worth the read in my opinion!)

So, this is Friday...the Friday before Carnaval. My children have off this next week of school for Carnaval. My niece is getting married in May, and my daughter is the flower girl. My niece was kind enough to have her bridal shower this week when it is easier for my daughter and I to be there to join in the festivities.

We were to leave tonight around 8pm, fly to Sao Paulo and then on to the US, spend a few days at our new house and then traveling on to the bridal shower. We are both so excited for a few reasons:

1. This will be the first time my daughter visits our new house
2. I just can't wait to get back to our house, plus the furniture is being delivered tomorrow!
3. We are both excited to go to Pittsburgh, see the snow, play in it, and most importantly, take part in this fun festivity!

This morning, I went to my favorite flower market to bring home some flowers for my two boys, (my incredible husband and amazing son) at home for Valentine's Day. When I go to the market, it is a bit of a gritty place, so no need to shower and freshen up before. Much easier and better to do that afterwards (thinking: then I will be ready to travel all freshly showered, etc).

Come home around 9:30, my in-laws (who are spending their winter with us as they always do this time of year) went to the beach, the dogs were walked, and I started making the arrangements. They turned out very pretty. I was almost finished with the third one, which my family was going to take to church on Sunday, when I get "the call"....
11 am:
It's from my husband saying that AA called him and said that the 8pm flight to Sao Paulo has been cancelled. If I wanted to get to the airport at 1pm they could get me on another flight to Sao Paulo and then could make my connection (which is at 11:25 in the evening).
He gives me a phone number to call, which I do, and start exploring my options with an agent in Trinidad....
She says that yes, the flight is cancelled, and I am not confirmed on a flight at 1, but they were working on it.

Do you know how far it is to get to the airport....
on a Friday...
on THE Friday before Carnaval?
Plus my daughter is still in school....
at least an hour on a good day...
IT'S ALREADY 11:30 PEOPLE!!

As we continued speaking on my cell phone, I called my husband to figure out what the lady said to him. She stated strongly for me to get there at 1. The Trinidad lady was still working on confirmation with Varig (another Brasilian airline) for the 1pm flight.

I went into a crazy rush mode....
I literally, threw everything that I was going to pack after my shower into the suitcase:
(luckily I had packed most everything the day before):
my cosmetics bag, the bathing suit for my daughter I forgot the other day, a sweater, my computer, the video camera, cables, etc...
I forgot the tooth brushes and comb, but remembered the roll brush to blow dry my hair :)
No big deal...
I throw on clothes, yes, w/o shower, and hope for the best. I figured that I would at least be better off at the airport trying to find another flight, than stuck at home trying. There are many flights to Sao Paulo daily...so surely something would be available before 11:25 at night?!

I run to the car, tell the driver to step on it and call the school...
I tell them, you have 10 minutes to find my daughter and get her to the white gate (it's lunch time where they could be anywhere playing afterwards!) Luckily, she must have been easy to find, and there she was waiting for me. Now, I made the guards a little upset I think. As I ran in, grabbed her hand, said let's go quickly, ran out the door and jumped into the car...
I saw them looking at me evil-y from the rear view mirror. For the record, I called the school back and asked to apologize to the guards.
They take their job seriously, which they should, seeing as the school is next to one of the worst favelas in town!

We were blessed because we actually made it to the airport by 12:15. I ran to Varig/Gol and they can not find any flight for me :( AGH!!
I went to AA and there were only 2 people working, and not looking too concerned. They had on Ocean Air uniforms (another small airline). Luckily someone was standing there that spoke English and must have saw the desperate look in my eyes. She told me to go see these two Ocean Air ladies and they would take care of me!

Boy, they certainly did! Thank you Ocean Air and AA!! I got on a basically chartered flight. There was: my daughter and me, another Mother, Father and 2 kids....
oh and the pilot, co-pilot and 3 crew members.
Yes, 6 passengers, just to help out AA!!
After the short flight we were escorted to the AA service office where they gave us a hotel room and dinner voucher....just for a little inconvenience! I mean, we rushed a lot, I was little nervous with the scenario of not knowing if I was actually going to have to cancel my car reservation and furniture delivery for Saturday...
but it all worked out beautifully!

And here we are now, waiting for the flight to the US!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Caqui
one of my favorite exotic fruits


Monday, February 8, 2010

Cruising along...


The boat trip was fun yesterday.
The day was very pretty for a ride, but a little hot!

We sailed out into Guanabara Bay and cruised along to see the majestic sailboats, surrounding city and beautiful view.

As you can see from these photos, it takes quite a large crew to sail these boats. I would like to board one of these, be a member for a few days, and just watch what it takes to maneuver all of the different sails.



We continued to sail along, and though the seas were not very rough, some members had queasy stomachs. We decided to turn around into calmer waters and found ourselves for a couple of hours having fun splashing in the water near Praia Vermelha. The refreshingly colder water helped everyone to cool off, settle their tummies and let the kids have some real fun jumping and swimming in the salty sea.

The beaches are always crowded when the combination of summer and weekend collide. Try to think of it as a can of sardines...how many can you actually cram into such a space? The umbrellas are a colorful mixture and look like the ones from the tropical drinks.

There is a domestic airport right on the bay, and sometimes you could swear the planes are flying right onto the water....or right over your heads!



This is a museum of Oscar Neimeyer, a famous Brasilian architect. This museum reminds me of a Jetson's cartoon. Maybe we can fly around the city in it!

It was an enjoyable, different way to spend a lovely Sunday!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friday Night, Date Night

Last night my husband and I went on a "date".
We had a delicious meal at a French restaurant....
well, actually, my main course was not to my liking, but they were very generous and did not make us pay for it. I respect that, even though I didn't ask for it. From a restaurant as high ended as the one we went to, it is nice to know that they try to take care of their customers.
As for the appetizer, cheese crusted bread, my husband's dinner and the amazing dessert, it made up for my not so great choice in the main meal!
The appetizer was my favorite scallops in a light curry sauce. Here in Brasil, as also in Peru and Venezuela, you find the scallops with the soft coral still attached. This is not allowed in the U.S., but it makes them even yummier!
The Crepe with Maracuja (Passion Fruit) was a perfect end to the meal. It was light and fluffy, filled with a smooth, creamy ricotta cheese-like filling. The Maracuja sauce was tart and sweet, all at the same time....all adding to the overall wow factor of the dessert!

Then we went to see a surprisingly different movie starring George Clooney, called, "Up in the Air". I always find it funny to hear how they translate the titles. Here they call it, "Amor sem Escalas". Translated, this means Love without Stops. Now, it makes sense for the movie, seeing as it was a kind of love story, and took place through airports at times....but still, a little funny!
This movie did not have a typical Hollywood happy ending...and it made the movie all the more endearing. Go and see it if you have a chance...well worth it.

Tomorrow is the sailing...pictures to come!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Parade of Sailboats

Along with the bloco last Sunday,

there was a festival happening.

These sailboats representing different countries came sailing past our windows.
They were so pretty just dreamily floating on the seas in this beautiful sunny climate.

This Sunday they are taking leave and we will be on another boat following them!
We were invited, with a few other families, to rent a smaller boat and sail with and around them as they leave Rio and return to their proper homes.

I will be sure to take more pictures for you all....boy, I wish I had my new camera already!
Just a few more weeks and I will..., er..I hope!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just another Sunday....

that is,
Just another Sunday during the lead up to Carnaval!

Please give me feedback of the video, since this is the first time I am trying to put a video on my posts!
Thank you...enjoy :)


video