Monday, October 29, 2007

Another Onerous Weekend

. . . and if you'll believe that then I have some excellent oceanfront property in Belo Horizonte to sell you! ;)

Yes, truth be told we spent another weekend avoiding anything that might be considered even the least bit strenuous or unpleasant. We started off Friday night by going out with Fabricio and Carla to have some carne e cerveja (beef and beer.) [Courtney: you said you wanted some Portuguese in my blog - there you go!]

Saturday, we started off the morning real exciting: we took some clothes to the cleaners. Then we went to Casa Geraldo's tasting room and tried some more of their wine. This place was right across from our hotel when we visited in July. We absolutely fell in love with the place! The Casa Geraldo Vineyard is in our state (Minas Gerais) but about a 6 hour drive south of here. They have the most incredible wines! Just ask my brother, Travis, and his wife, Brii. We brought them a bottle and they too are lovers of ol' Geraldo now! We also brought back a bottle of their champagne and that's what we used for the toasts at the wedding. Anyhoo, it is awesome stuff, comes at a great price, and we are now the proud owners of 4 bottles. Which, should get us through this week anyway. ;) It's really good stuff - and good for our hearts they say! We just want to be healthy, you know?

So we went all American for lunch Saturday and ate at Subway to sop up the wine in our bellies from the tasting room and then we came back to the hotel. We spent our afternoon laying out by the pool, and then we spent a little time in the sauna. (I would call it a streamroom, but they call it a wet sauna.) It felt pretty awesome though whatever you want to call it! We got cleaned up and went out to supper at a Churrascaria we hadn't been to yet. The food was marvelous as always. On our drive back home, we stumbled upon the stretch of road that is home to the ladies of the night (and also to the "looks like a lady but is not actually a woman" of the night!) The jury is still out on a few of them though - Eric just didn't want to believe that the long legs beneath that short skirt could belong to a man, but I am pretty certain there was an adam's apple on "her" throat! Admittedly, we were a little bit entertained by the abundance of all the colorful characters along that street, but that was eventually replaced with a mixture of disgust and sadness. It kind of makes you wonder how exactly all these these girls (and, eek!, guys) get to that point. What was so much worse that this was the better option???

We drove past an older church on Saturday that we decided we would visit on Sunday. When we got up Sunday the sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning-not a cloud in the sky! We checked the weather forecast and the church's service schedule and decided we should spend our morning at the pool and then go to the 4:00 pm church service. In between those two, we drove up to a city park that is up on one of the mountains on the edge of town. The high elevation gave us some beautiful views of the city even though it had started to get a little cloudy by then!

A shot of the city from Mangabeiras Parque

It had a nice combination of walking trails through the woods, big open green areas, sports fields, and then a central paved area with a huge Koi pond, fountains, restaurants, etc.

This was the only American couple we saw in the park - we had to take a picture! ;)

This is the inside of Igreja São José (the church we attended Sunday). The architecture and the detailed painting of ALL surfaces along the walls inside was absolutely amazing! Construction began on this one in 1902 and completed in 1910 (I think.)

Here is an overhead shot I stole from the church's website. (Notice the cross-shaped design of the church - same layout as all the old basilicas!)
So, another weekend down and Brasil continues to not disappoint! We've had no opportunity for homesickness yet! In fact, at lunch yesterday we were disussing how hard it will be leave this place!!!

1 comment:

Mona/Mom said...

HI there!
I spent an engaging weekend with Dana and Monica at GoldRush days- We spent lots of time looking at all the crafts and eating everything that didn't eat us first... You'll be pleased to know I didn't try to eat an entire 350 pound pumkin!

Not exactly onerous...