View over Caraguatatuba on the way to Ubatuba. Don't you just love these names?
<<I promise, at soem point I am goign to break up this entry into a few days at ubatuba, and jsut pretend like I wrote them over the space of the 2 weeks there. I think the highlights reel is basically chronological though>>
So Ben and I just got back from my uncle's beach house in Ubatuba where we had this chill family gathering (plus ben) for like the past 2 weeks. We gto a lot of rain, the place is sorta in the rainforest, but the sunny days we had were unbelievable. Some assorted highlights:
--meeting lots of new family. My aunts brother remarried, so i got to meet the wife, two new "cousins", the wife's sister, and her daughter. Also, my cousin Adriana's kids Nina and Alice were babies last time i saw them, and now they're 7 and 9! so that was really cool getting to know them too
--drinking caipirinhas on the beach.
The family at ilhabella
the first day we got there ben and i went straight to the bar, got sorta drunk, stumbled back to the house in the dark where we found out adriana and her kids had just arrived. I drunkenly said hi, gave them gifts, and then Ben and i both went upstairs and passed out. great first impresisons all around!
--eating breakfast with the birds. Right by the dinner table there's a hummingbird feeder, and my uncle always puts out a little tray with fruit to attract birds. the brids in the area were beautiful! there were these realy colorful green birds that flocked to the tree, yellow birds, blue birds, this one brilliant red bird called a "Tieh Sangue," and tons of hummingbirds.
--BEN AND I ROCK AT EBACH TENNIS ("fresco ball). 29 volleys, bitches.
--i started running with ben.
What can I say? We're hairy.
i hope i keep it up. one day ben was running alone and saw what we think was a tamandua
--this one day, all kids in the house held this goofy "Espactacular!" for us. it was like a magic show (with pretty low end magic, i mean the oldest ones were 10 or 11), some clowning i didn't understand cause it was in portuguese, and acrobatics on the hammock chairs. they were super disorganized, fighting over who got to do what, and the show went on for like a half hour. it was realy cute.
--so we spent a weekend at this island, "Ilha Bella," at my cousin/uncle's friend's house, Carlos and Vera. These two folks have the nicest place i've ever seen. They had this sorta 3 house set up real high up on the island overlooking the ocean.
incredible place we stayed at at ilhabella. More a 3 house mansion complex than a beach house. That smaller dome to the left of the main house is an outdoor barbecue.
the houses are set up so you can't see any other nearby houses, so you feel like you're alone at this beautfiul place. We ate very well too, cause carlos knows how to cook. i tried to learn a little, but we'll see what i picked up next time i try to cook fish. That night Ben and i hit the town. We started out with coffee with my cousin Flavia and her faincee Alex at this wierd cafe. Anywhere you sit, you are looking at display cases filled with random crap they are trying to sell you. after that we wandered around and found 3 bars, only one of which interested us. We got there early, so the place was empty with nothing but us and a Shitty DVD of some concert going (i'm pretty sure it was the same show from 40yo virgin). the drinks were terrible. they were soooo strong, and we made the mistake of trying to drink them with straws, which made them taste worse.
Sunset over the pool at ilhabella
finally the band started at midnight, playing brazilian rock. Really, they played US covers with made up brazilian lyrics. People were singing along, so i guess most of brazilian pop is probably plagiarized rock. Ben and I had fun unsuccesffully flirting with soem girls sitting on the stairs by our table, then later more successfully flirting with some girls we invited over to the table. Afterwards, ben and i stumbled home up this tall hill for like 45 min.
--Our last day at ilha bella, we went to this beautiful secluded beach. my uncle decided to embarass me by starting up a conversation with some girls my age then calling ben and I over and leaving when the four of us started talking. he made me feel like an awkward teenager, it was really funny.
so yeah, that was a long blog entry but hey, it's been a fun 2 weeks.
Ben has been digging brazil, and i'm glad he's here. next week we're going to rio, and then to a beach nearby called buzios (sp?). The airports are kind of a problem though. we were planning on flying out of congonhas, but there have been problems there to say the least. A few weeks a go a plane almost slid off the tarmac in the rain, and a week ago one actually did, killing at least 144 people and starting a pretty heavy fire. we were at the beach at the time, but kept up with the situation from the news. it was kind of annoying, the news never really reported anythign new. last night or the night before, we were watching some higher-up give a speech on teh investigation and he said (loosely translated), "in brazil, we traditional don't look for 'causes.' we don't liek to point fingers.
Beach at ubatuba, AKA "uba-CHUVA" because it rains all the time.
we don't even liek to use this word 'cause.' the word cause implies 'responsibility,' and we're here to identify factors that contributed to the incident so we can minimize them in the future, not place blame on anyone." Now, it was recognized the nigth of the incident that a) the airport floods in the rain because the tarmac does not have special ridges, and b) the pilots had been telling the airport folks to close down, but they weren't listening and were recieving direct orders from someone or some organization to stay in operation (the brazilian FAA i guess). translation: some one is definitely responsible. I thought it was really funny hearing this kind of bullshit, cause i was so used to it from the bush administration, and now here it was again in portuguese. Apparently the president of brazil, Lula, can barely even read.
Breakfast with the local birds
you win, brazil. either way, the airport flooded again a few days later, there was a landslide of some construction material, and now the place is clsoed and it's supposed to be really hard to get local flights anywhere.
so yeah, the short story is Ben and I are going to take buses to rio. i'm going to stop writing now cause chances are you stopped reading. i'll update in a few days on the rio plan. And oh yeah! i've got job interviews this week while i'm in town, so wish me luck!