losmorris (losmorris) wrote,

Family comes for Carnaval

We were fortunate to have visitors for our first Carnaval season. My brother, his wife, their 2 children and the “significant others” of the kids came to join us for the 4 day peak season and a few days of recovery afterwards. So our quiet 2 person home became an 8 person hostel – only adding to the thrill and chaos of the time.

We try to give all our guests comfortable digs with a bed and a door but the third couple gets just a bit less privacy if they want a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Most of our activities were Carnaval oriented, but we mixed it up with dining, shopping, beach visits, tourism, and generally having a good time.

One of central Rio’s more interesting dining spots is the Confeitaria Colombo, a very classy restaurant, bar and historic treasure dating back to 1894. Its 4 bars and restaurants range from a quick sandwich and snack place on the first floor,

To a lovely dining area with either a la carte or buffet service upstairs. It provided a great way to sample some of Brazil’s savory dishes for Jim, Linda and me.

Aren’t they the cutest couple?

More adventurous dining was found on the street where Jim and Richard decided to sample some of the Tapioca offerings. They fry it up like a pancake and fill it with either sweet or “salgada” stuffings and roll it up.

The “kids” also sampled the feijoada (a local bean and pork dish) at the Academia da Cachaça in Leblon – a great place for food and the purchase of Brazil’s national drink.

But what is a visit to Brazil without a stop at a churrascaria? A churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse serving up all kinds of barbequed meat – steaks, pork, sausage, you name it. Needless to say, it is not vegetarian friendly. The meat is brought on long spikes and the customers peel it off with a tool provided at each place. Meals are fixed price and meat lovers can eat to their hearts’ desire.

Banana Jack, one of our favorite beer and burger places also served up a good post-bloco party dinner for the whole crowd.

Lest you think we never ate at home…. Bonnie & Bret whipped together a great dinner one night and Bonnie got to experience what it is like cooking in the summer in a Rio kitchen. The “service” areas (laundry room, kitchen, maid’s quarters) have no air conditioning so one needs to accommodate to the climate. Bonnie’s attire is my typical dress during the summer – bikini top and shorts or skirt! Just avoid the grease splatters.

There is fortunately some respite from the heat in the evenings on the balcony.

One of our first stops was the Hippie Fair in Ipanema, a handicraft fair held every Sunday and an opportunity to buy local affordable art, clothes and such.

Some of the crowd sampled the beer,

While Sean found a classy locally made musical instrument.

Shopping opportunities can also be found on the beach – this guy sells bikini tops.

And Bonnie couldn’t resist so did her best to help the Rio economy.

And speaking of the beach, since it is summer in Rio the crowd came down to enjoy the beach both day and night.

This is Richard’s typical beach pose – not much of a talker but he does know how to relax!

While I, apparently, have stuff going on…..

Sean and Mandy weren’t crazy about the sun but that didn’t stop them from enjoying the beach time.

As always, Jim immersed himself in the experience!

Evening on the beach brings out the beach kittens!

Or just folks enjoying sand sculpture.

After the beach and Carnaval, Rio’s fame derives from a few classic tourist spots that I have shared in other blogs. Well the family had to experience them as well.

Sadly, the weather gods did not oblige for the Cristo Redentor visit…. The clouds hung there every day, but we decided to check it out anyway and here is the view we got at the best moment.

Sean and Mandy, however, got into the spirit!

The weather for the Pão de Açucar visit was much better fortunately.

Rio has some pretty good museums and the Banco do Brazil Cultural Center had an Escher exhibit going on. Who knew that Jim is really a shrimp?

So that’s about it, save a few family snaps and reflections. Throughout the visit, Richard and I stayed very much in love….

Family smiles were abundant.

However, I must admit that the older generation siblings did fade on occasion……

But we had a good role model – the local Ipanema relax-a-cat!


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