Week of December 19 - December 25, 2010
It was difficult to resist a sunny day and not go to the beach so Gerson, Marjorie and I headed off to Antonina, a small port town an hour or so from Curitiba. This jaunt gave us the opportunity to visit good friends' of Gersons, Luis Fernando (Loo-fay) and his mother, Irene (I-reen-ee) and to enjoy some carangueijo (crab).
It was sunny and breezy and our lunch at the port was wonderful. Antonina is a cozy place and Lufe and his family have a very nice home near the bay. Gerson and Marjorie soaked in a little pool time and we all enjoyed hearing some of the "old" stories of Gerson (as he and Lufe have been friends for a long time and Irene was involved in some of their hi-jinks).
||The star attraction, the food!
Gerson and Lufe
Lufe's house is just near the
Lufe, Irene, Gerson and Louise
||Lufe's back yard
Gerson soaking it up
View from Lufe's
Monday was a trip into Curitiba to knock off our "to-do" list and with the idea to meet up with Marjorie's family at this terrific German restaurant (Schwarzwald) we always make sure we get to when visiting Curitiba.
||This is a tasty fruit called
"Lychee". It's exterior is spiky
and once opened like a jewelry
box, inside is this soft, gooey
gem of the fruit. Just pop into
your mouth, gnaw and suck
around the seed and the flavor
is lightly sweet.
||A few down a typical street in
The outside tables are always
Just a random person walking on
And to dispel that our traveling is all play and no work, we put in a little hard labor time to help Carlos and Marjorie with their Christmas rush at their wine shoppe. First, we delivered a few Christmas baskets around the city and then we actually worked in the store.
I could not resist joking that the economy was so bad in the United States that I had to go to Brasil and work under the table. Flavia actually teased this to a customer who was eyeing some of the dates that I had wrapped and he bought the package with a laugh. Those were special dates indeed - wrapped by genuine illegal American labor!
||Adega Boulevard - wine shoppe
Adega Boulevard's Christmas baskets
Gerson tying bows
Louise separating and wrapping dates
|Gerson and Louise
showing off their
We did venture a bit more downtown as we had a few more errands to run and we just happened to get over to the Coritiba Football Club (Coxa "Koh-shah"), Gerson's soccer team and buy some team 'stuff'. Gerson's eyes always light up when he sees green and white and he was a happy boy buying his shirt and fuzzy soccer ball to hang from the mirror and his stickers and, and....
As this was nearing Christmas Eve (which is the main night of celebration for many Brazilians), the people were out and about, hustling and bustling here and there, shopping and visiting all around the downtown area. You could feel the festive spirit in all the cacophony.
Every Christmas Eve, many of Gerson's long-time friends (from surfing days and such) get together in a place called Barigui (bar-eh-gwee) and meet for beers and bullshit. As it is a "guy thing", Gerson tottled off for a few hours to enjoy his man-talk (IE: gossip).
Beautiful Portuguese influenced
Gerson posing with his
||This very cool mural represents
fantastic places to visit in Curitiba -
(L to R - Niemeyer Museum, the Cathedral, the Botanical Gardens, etc. Even the church in which Marjorie and
Carlos got married is shown -
the white church behind the Cathedral).
Gerson and his old buddies
Gerson made it back in time for our Christmas Eve (or rather, Newtonmas Eve - for those of you that celebrate Sir Isaac Newton's birthday on the 25th) and we had an outstanding dinner of traditional Bacalhau (back-a-ylow, a salted codfish). In keeping with tradition, we all ate too much, complained that we ate too much and proceeded to fall asleep while watching TV.
||The table is set
Felipe doing the
Felipe caught in the
Marjorie and Felipe
Familia Feliz and guests
- Louise, Gerson, Marjorie,
The star attraction, the Bacalhau
Having the intimate family dinner was very, very nice and then on the 25th, it was time to get ready for the big family lunch. Marlene, Marjorie's caretaker (as she works fulltime preparing food, cleaning the apartamento, doing the laundry, etc. for the household), provided the much-needed additional help to get the building's common room prepared and sort the food that arrived via the guests.
Both sides of the families were well represented and inasmuch as a lot of food was consumed, there were many more stories being told and laughs being had.
||Gerson getting ready for the day
Marjorie making sure all is in order
Carlos and Marjorie preparing the
The toast to all
||Flavia and Marlene
Gerson and Marjorie
It was nice to see family that is difficult to spend time with otherwise as they are spread out over the city and some live a bit further away. Also, we were quite amazed at how much Gerson's younger cousins (sons of Celso) had grown up and past even Gerson!
||A Familia (or as I call it, the
Too pretty to eat (yeah, right)
Dona Mani (right) - Carlos' mother
Gerson with Tio Sebastiao and
||Marilice (Carlos' sister)
and her husband, Paulo
Gerson dwarfed by
Eduardo's (Carlos' brother) family
The nice thing about the get-together was the merging of the two families. There are rare occasions when the two sides meet and there was a mutual enjoyment of conversation and billiards. It was good to see everyone.
||Juliano (Marilice's son), Flavia and
Flavia and Dona Mani are in the spirit
Gerson being hustled by Lele
Gerson and Celso
|What being with family
is all about:
After clean up, it was time to enjoy the sunshine that added to the beautiful day. Some people may enjoy a white Christmas, but I much prefer the color of sun.
|Marjorie and Gerson making the most of
their Christmas Day
I love this view from the apartamento
What a nice week with all the good things in life: Family, friends, food and fun (oh, and for Gerson, football and beer).
Home Page Brasil IV Diary Index Brasil IV page 2 Brasil IV page 4