Saturday, February 2, 2013


We're heading into the final weekend of trying to figure out what to pack in the suitcases and boxes that will go with us on the plane versus what will go in the sea container. We're moving to Michigan - back to the snow (at least at this time of year)! The packers will start on Monday, and it's about to get crazy around here, so I guess it's time to write a goodbye note.

This was a relatively short stay (18 months), but I feel like we experienced so much while we've been here. Of course there are many things that we still haven't done; places still yet to visit. We still haven't made it to Rio, for Pete's sake!  But I think we've made the most of our time here, and these are good reasons to come back and visit.

Playing futebol on the beach.
I'm thrilled that Andy and Sam and Otto have gained a great knowledge of the Portuguese language. And while I have a pretty thick accent and am constantly using incorrect verb conjugations, I am very happy and proud of my own new language skills. (We plan to keep the Portuguese up as much as we can. I've bought some workbooks to take with us, and hope to find a teacher there, at least for the kids. We're told that there are several Brazilian families that live in our new community, so we hope to make friends with them!)

I will miss the people. Many in particular, but as an entire population as well. I'm excited about our move, but sad at the same time. When I walked past the boys' school the other day (all their classmates started the new school year this week), I teared up. The teachers and staff were so sweet and supportive to us.  It's hard to say goodbye, but I'm so happy that we came.  I'm so happy and honored to have met you, Brasil.... You are forever in our hearts and will always be a part of us, and we'll keep in touch! 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dancing windows

If you look outside on the right kind of day you can see something unusual from our kitchen.  I like to call them dancing windows, and I've only seen them a handful of times. The first time I saw them on the side of the building across the street, and it took me a while to figure out what it was.  

The sun has to be in the perfect position to reflect the light onto the neighboring building, and the wind has to be blowing strong enough to move the windows, sustain the movement, then die down for a bit so the window will close again, AND the wind has to be blowing from the right direction.

I just caught a bit of footage on this day.  There have been days when it's been much breezier and the reflections from the windows are going all over the place. I love those days.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Book's on the Table

Our favorite commercials nowadays are for an online English course.  The premise is that one of the fellows is doing very well with the course, and his sidekick buddy is eternally trying to convince him that he's learning English just fine without the online course.

This was the first one we saw that made us giggle.

This one had us singing "The Book's on the Table" for weeks! The song was produced several years ago (tongue-in-cheek, I think) because this is one of the first phases learned by Brazilians learning English. 

Here's the latest one that's been on.


As I was looking these up I saw there is a series playing in Argentina with two other fellas, speaking Spanish of course.  I'm rather fond of our goofy Brazilian guy; it's what you're used to, I suppose.  :o)

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Boys of Summer

Today we went on a walk.

It was a pretty day. Sunny. Hot, in fact!

Why don't you put your suits on?
Because you might want to get wet!

So along the way Andy and Sam decided they should stop at every rinse off spot along the beach. (We usually avoid the sea water because, unfortunately, the salty water stings Andy's dry skin.)

The water was cold, but refreshing!

You don't realize just how many rinse off spots there are until your children make it a goal to stop at ALL of them.  They started calling them checkpoints

"Time to stop at another checkpoint!"

This past year they've been renovating the kiosks along the beach at each canal.  They've turned out very nice!

The landscaping along the beach is so pretty.  I love these red plants in the background.

One of the main tasks was to visit our friend Valda who makes pasteis.  She and her husband have two carts.  One is closer to our apartment, and then they have this one on the beach. 


Container ship coming in.

Valda and her helper hard at work.

She was telling us that she had a group of gringos come by a couple weeks ago that didn't speak any Portuguese, and they had a hard time communicating and figuring out what they wanted to order.  So she said they are going to have signs made up with English translations.  We volunteered to do the translating for her! So I took some pictures of the menu so we can write it up.  :o)

On our walk back, we visited the lion statue...

and ended our outing with the swings.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santos Majestic

Here's a very well-done time lapse video of Santos. Enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Bathroom

I made a comment on Facebook last year about this crazy bathroom that I encountered.  It's the women's bathroom at the restaurant Van Gogh here in Santos, and I've never seen a bathroom like it before, nor do I anticipate seeing one like it ever again.

It's our favorite place to eat pizza, and their other food is good, too.  But it's worth the trip just to see the bathroom.  (Women's only. Otto, Andy, and Sam tell me the men's room isn't the same.)   When we were there last, I remembered to take my camera so you could see it, too.

This is outside of the stall where the sinks are.

This is INSIDE the stall. Never will you experience so many angles of yourself, ahem, "using the facilities".  Oh, and no smoking, by the way.

And apparently because people have had problems finding the door to get out, they've installed these helpful arrows on the floor pointing the way to the exit.

It's really something to behold.  The pictures don't do it justice!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Straight No Chaser

This 12 Days of Christmas performance is from 1998 so it's a bit dated, but still great....