Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This is a long post without stitching...

We are home from Brazil. It was a fun trip and very relaxing. We did not see or do a lot other than enjoy our friends, good food and good fun. Our flight was delayed by 12 hours due to mechanical problems in Miami so we did not get into Sao Paulo until late Friday night. On Saturday we went to Central Market and ate the famous Mortadella sandwich at the Bar Do Mane. It was just a huge, amount of deli meat on bread. Since I am not a fan of deli meat, I only had one bite but there were these other little fried delights called pasteis. They are filled with all kinds of meat, cheeses, hearts of palm, or fish. Some of the best were filled with a white fish. On Saturday night we went to a really nice Italian restaurant with some friends. The gnocchi was the best I have ever eaten and one friend hit his private collection of wine and shared some very nice bottles. After dinner we went to a hotel bar to listen to some music. Finally the night ended at a bakery where we bought a cake for Sunday.
On Sunday we had a traditional family day with lots of meat. Above is a picture of some of our friends that attended the cookout. One of the first things that came off the grill was chicken hearts on a stick. The kids ate this stuff like it was a real treat. I wanted to try one but I could not get past the smell. Below is the bread my husband was cooking in the outside pizza oven. One little girl carried a loaf around like a baby doll. It was delicious.

We spent most of our time in the pool. The days did not start early and we were up late about every night so the jet lag never hit us. If we went to bed at 2:00 am it was like going to bed at 10 in Chicago. Dinner was usually not until 10:00 pm or later.

Above is bamboo in Parque Ibirapuera and below are some of the birds in the park.

On Friday we flew to Rio. We stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach. Below are pictures from the pool. Madonna rents out this hotel when she visits her new boy toy in Rio. Friday night we had dinner at a place that served basically a stew for dinner. Leaving this place was the only time I was truly scared in Brazil. They have one lane streets that go both up and down the hill. We were 3/4 of the way down and a group of young men came up the hill. They should have backed down but they were not giving up. Cars started piling up after them and behind us. Our driver ended up having to back clear up the hill. This would have been a great place to get car jacked or kidnapped. The driver was from the hotel so we are not sure if he was armed but this car was not armored. Fortunately, we got back to the hotel safely.

I am in the back. Pretty bold of me to post a picture of me in a swimsuit on a blog...

Brazil is incredibly expensive and I really do not get how this works. The people for the most part are have or have not's. A house keeper is paid $600 dollars a month and works 6 days a week. If you are on the have not side of things, life would be difficult. They have a national credit card. You can pay by debit and it comes directly out of your account. If you pay by credit, the full balance is paid on the first of the month out of your account. If you buy a $100 dollar shirt, for example, you can pay for it over 4 monthly installments of $25 dollars each or you can pay for the whole thing. Items produced in Brazil are reasonable but not many things are made there. A car is taxed at 135% of the purchase price and I won't shop in Chicago because of 10% taxes.

Overall we had a fun trip. I would go back to visit our friends. I am happy to be back in my relatively safe, inner city neighborhood with my sparkly jewelry which had to stay at home. On a stitchy note, I did teach my friend to cross stitch. She made a picture for her brothers Christmas present. She even designed a second project that she is starting on shortly. We may have another stitcher among us:)

Finally, I thought I would share a baby picture. I did not get to meet this baby because he was born on the day we flew out. This is a baby St. Bernard. The mommy is not very motherly and stepped on 4 of the 6 and killed them. The father of these puppies passed away very young so they replaced him with another male St. Bernard that was 3 months old. Solomon was so cute but he could knock me over even being a puppy. Brazilians are not into fixing pets. These big dogs do live on a weekend farm in the mountains. They have household staff to meet their every need so if they can stay out of mom's way, their life will be good.

My husband went out to the suburbs yesterday and picked up some finishing for me so I will get some pictures posted soon. I also won a nice drawing that I will have to post. Not a lot of stitching has been taking place. I leave for Naples, FL next week so not much will get done there either.

Happy Stitching.

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