Diary/Photo Journal

Long Week July 06 - July 17, 2014

Our last week and then some in Brasil included a lot of visiting family and friends.  We were fortunate enough to stay with Cassio, a long-time friend of Gerson's and what a place to stay!  Cassio lives within a forested reserve (or so it seems) and we felt quite at peace within his sanctuary. 

The view from our bedroom window Cassio's newest baby - 1971 VW Van

The first order of business was to go to the Curitiba fair and take in a beautiful day among the Curitibanos.  We wandered through the boulevard of classic cars, sought out a quick breakfast of Pastel's (a fried "pastry" with meat, chicken, shrimp or cheese inside) and meandered through the hundreds of kiosks. 

The making of the Pastel:

Lay out the dough, stuff
the pockets with meat,
fry to a golden brown
and enjoy!

Boulevard of Classic Cars

Harleys and similar motorcycles
are becoming a bit of a status

Whenever we are in Curitiba, going to the fair is a must do, just as having BBQ's and eating lunch and dinner with family and friends.  We did not deviate from our routine and spent time with Renato and Cinthia (celebratory birthday BBQ for daughter Laura).

Renato was our Master Chef

Picanha ready to go

Renato, Gerson, Renato's brother,
Jacyr, Cassio and Cinthia

Laura with Nico and Bella

Nico knows that good things come
out of the kitchen window

The week was filled with taking care of many little things and as was, is and always will be typical in Brasil, the little things take the most time to get accomplished.  However, we always find time to enjoy Gerson's family and with the World Cup winding down, to definitely find the time to watch the remaining games.

Unfortunately, we witnessed Brasil's breakdown and ultimate thrashing by Team Germany in a 7-1 rout that left Brazilians stunned (at the score, but perhaps not so surprised at the loss) and the rest of the soccer world thinking they were grateful it did not happen to their team.

Lunch with La Familia:
Tio Sebastiao, Gerson, Tia Marilda,
Cousins Bruno, Cleide, Celso,
Bernardo,  and Edson

Tio Sebastiao played goalkeeper for
Curitiba Juvenile in the 1950's and
they won several championships

Our car in full support of
Team Brasil

Watching Brasil vs. Germany
with many friends, old and new

A rather somber discussion
ensued after the game

I think this picture says it all

It took a day or so for Brasil to recover and lick their wounds after their loss at the feet of Germany and Curitiba was a bit quieter the next day.  But life went on and that meant more visits with family and friends and more great food.

A dinner of cod fish (bacalhau) with friends
Mauricio, Andrea, Lauro, Julio, Wilma,
Tere and Paulo (sorry, no picture, just a great
time and great food)
Vinicio and Gerson in Vinicio's sweet shop and

No trip to Curitiba is complete without a day or two at Lake Capivari with Tere and Paulo.  Although it was winter in Curitiba, the weather gods were very considerate and we were blessed with almost summer-like conditions while at the lake.  We had a couple of days there to unwind, solve the world's problems and enjoy the company of good people. 

View from our bedroom window

View to the house from the pool deck

Tere stirring our lunch (so good!)

Gerson with "Turko" (caretaker for the
property) and his recent catch

The ramp was a bit too steep for a
non-4 wheel drive vehicle - so Gerson
and his, ahem, body to the rescue

Lake Capivari and especially Tere and Paulo's place is quite special to me.  It is an unpretentious place and the home creates the perfect environment for how time at a lake should be spent - eating, laughing, swimming, eating, fishing, boating, eating, playing...

What I like to do at the lake -
relax and read in the sun

One of my favorite treats -
cooked pinions from the Pinheiro tree

A beautiful Pinheiro tree

Glorious Jacaranda trees in bloom

Due to a few loose ends that needed to be tied up, we decided that I was to go home as scheduled and Gerson was to stay in Brasil for a couple more weeks.  We decided this because I was to start a work assignment upon my return and Gerson could best take care of Brasil business while in Brasil.  So goodbyes were said around Curitiba and we enjoyed a last supper with good friends and great laughter.

Last supper with Vilma and Julio,
Tere and Paulo

Delicious Moqueca (wonderful shrimp stew)

Flying from Curitiba to Sao Paulo
nice view to local Islands (I believe,
Isla do Mel)

I made it home safe and sound after a long 24 hours in transit.  Looking back, this trip was one of the best we have had and made all the better by all the wonderful people we spent time with, the World Cup and of course, those whales!  It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I am looking forward to 2018 when Team USA makes us even more proud!


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