Monday, March 31, 2008
This part of Pennsylvania is the Ridge and Valley province. You can see we are on top of a ridge here.
Picured above is a plane coming in for a landing at the Domestic airport in Rio.
After seeing Sugar loaf, we went back to the hotel and walked around a bit. We then checked out and headed to the airport for our flight to Sao Paulo.
We arrived to Sao Paulo around 5 pm. It was supposed to be an hour flight, but the weather had been bad so the traffic was backed up. Oh joy. We finally landed. Phew. Once checked into our hotel, we met the big group at the Unique hotel for dinner. The restaurant was on top of this very unique hotel. But, here is a view from the top of our hotel, The Blue Tree Towers Faria Lima:
Anyway, dinner was nice. At this point in the trip, we met a lot of Tati's friends and family. There was a retired Brazilian Olympian Swimmer there, Fernando Scherer. And a lot of Matt's mom's friends were there.
After dinner, a bunch of us went to a dance club. Pete and I didn't stay very long. It was very crowded and LOUD. This is when I realize I am not as young as I once was. I couldn't wait to get out. And everytime they opened a champagne bottle, they would light a flair and stick it in the bottle. Oh my. I couldn't help but think if there was a fire, we would all be in trouble. Kill Joy, I know. So, we went back to the hotel and fell asleep!
Friday, March 28, 2008
On Wednesday, Matt had set up a Favela tour with Anderson Sa. People do not go through favelas on their own.
The favelas have federal gaurds placed at the openings to keep the people of the favelas in and to keep others out. I was a little uneasy standing there. And why were we touring a favela? A few years ago (maybe 4), Matt made a movie called Favela Rising. It is about Anderson Sa (AfroReggae) and what he did after a horrible incident in his favela. So, with that, Matt wanted us to see a favela and what a group is doing to try to make positive changes within the favela. Some us left after the first favela while the rest of the group continued with the tour.
I was in the group that went back to Ipanema. I had lunch with Ben (Pete's old friend from high school) and his wife, Emmy (and their 4 month old baby). After that, I pottered around the streets of Ipanema and then donned my Brazilian bikini and went to the beach. Soon after I arrived, Pete showed up. It was close to 6 pm.
OK, it's obvious that I am a gringa with that white skin. Yikes. But, what the heck, we were having fun.
After the beach, Pete and I met his old high school friends for dinner and another couple went with us. By the time we sat down, it was 10:30 pm. Hello! I am usually asleep by that time. It was fun, though. And needless to say, we didn't get back to our hotel until Day 3. Ha.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
We walked toward the beach and turned a corner to see Matt. Pete called out, "Macho!" Matt turned toward us and gave us a big grin. What luck. The group was meeting at the front of the Caesar Park Hotel at 10 am to get on some buses and head to the port. Matt had chartered a boat and was taking the group to Niteroi for the day. Pete ran back to the hotel to get our swimsuits and towels. The group was going to have lunch on the beach and hang out for a while once we arrived by boat.
About half of the group took the little boat to shore while Pete and others dived in and swam to the beach. I took the little boat. Tati is pictured below in the little boat.
Matt giving the thumbs up! The lady in green is his Aunt Beth.
This is Pete diving in. He is a fish.
Once we all got to the shore, we had some typical Brazilian food of fish stew and beans and rice. And the restaurant made caipirinhas. I had talked about wanting to get a Brazilian bikini. There was a little shop there, and I bought one.
This lady was so patient. I think in all, she sold about 8 swimsuits. (One woman from our group had been given money to buy suits for people back home).
We got back to the hotel around 7 pm and then went out for dinner and dancing. It was a late night for us, especially since we had only arrived just that morning.
This is what we saw on our way back to Rio that evening. I was feeling pretty lucky to have walked toward the beach that morning. Thanks to Pete's intuition. What a day. And that was just the first one.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The news that Eliot Spitzer paid a lot of money for sex was a shock because of his squeaky clean reputation. But the fact that people still partake in the oldest profession should not be a shock. Or that someone has cheated in their marriage. Unfortunately. I do feel bad for the family and the fact that he was a repeat customer is indicative of a deeper problem. Perhaps, a dead marriage or an arrogant man that forgot the law applied to him. Either way, it's a sad situation.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
- The Sweetest Thing by U2
- I feel Lucky by Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Love Shack by B52s
- Always on your side by Sheryl Crow and Sting (this is awesome)
- Yellow by Coldplay
- The way I am by Ingrid Michaelson (love this song)
- Follow you, follow me by Genesis
I can't believe how clear the sound is. It is amazing. Now, I need to buy an iPod. I just didn't get what all the hype was about before. What fun!!! :) Gotta go, I'm off downloading some more music...
Saturday, March 08, 2008
We picked up this mask in Chichen itza in Mexico about 3 years ago.
Pete got this mask when he was doing research in Borneo.
And these masks are from Bali.
I guess the only mask I have been involved with picking out is the one from Mexico. I wonder if we will find any in Brazil?
I said we were running errands. We need a white outfit each (casual) for the dinner the night before the wedding. Does anyone know how difficult it is to find white pants for a man? We finally found some on Landsend.com. Hooray for them.
For lunch, we ate at Baby's. It is a 1950s diner in State College. I don't know why we haven't been there before. It was so kid friendly and just an all-around-feel-good-place. We definitely will be going back. The milk shakes were to die for. They even have little juke boxes at your booth. I must remember to bring lots of quarters next time.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Last summer 6 of us went to New York City for the weekend. It was a blast. I think it is time to start planning our trip to England! :)
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
It was around 1997, and I was living in Wisconsin. There was a little ski mountain near by and we had just had a humongous snow storm. I had made reservations at the ski area for the weekend, so I was really excited about the timing of the huge snowfall. So, I'm standing in line for the ski lift. It's my turn. I scooch up to my spot and everyone is talking and having a good time while they wait for their turn. When I turn around to look behind me, I notice that I need to move over a tad. While trying to move over, I stepped on my left ski with my right ski and lost my balance just as the lift came up behind me. In a spit second I was up in the air and then down on my stomach--legs and arms sprawled out. I had snow on my chin and one of the skis popped off. The silence was deafening. You could hear a pin drop. The ski lift operator came over and helped me up and asked me if I wanted to go up. "Oh, you bet I do," I thought. There was no way I was going to turn around and face that crowd.
So, what is your most embarrassing moment?
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
It just doesn't make sense to use corn to make ethanol. It will drive the cost up for farmers, which in turn, will make food more expensive for us. It costs more to make ethanol from corn than it does to make gasoline from petroleum. Think about it. Maybe sugar cane should be the answer. Why is there such a push to use corn to make ethanol?
Our garage apartment is almost finished! It is about two days away from being complete. This thing was originally going to take 6 months--oh yeah. It's just 3 years later! I'll try to post some pictures later.
Nothing else to post. It's kind of boring around the house--which, come to think of it--isn't such a bad thing. I guess I should be cleaning or something.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Pete took the kids home, fed them, and then took them outside to build a fort. Here are some pictures:
It was really good snow for building a snowman.
I think right after this picture, Clayton ate the marshmallows (buttons) off of our snowman. The chocolate chips kept falling off and Cody was eating those. I couldn't believe how balmy it felt. Man, I have been living in the north too long. :) You can see the rest of the photos here.