It doesn’t feel like travel anymore.
We live here.
It still doesn’t feel like home sometimes, but it’s more familiar now. Life is pretty normal, full of things like work, laundry, riding my bike and figuring out what’s for dinner, with the occasional weekend in the mountains with friends. Those weekends in the mountains are a really nice break for both of us! I get a break from my hermit ways at home and my familiar neighborhood, and Brian gets a break from work and his cell phone.
I’m still going strong on my two photo projects. Some days I have to really look around and make myself find something to take a photo of, especially those hermit days when I stay home. I think I’ve already shot every single corner of the house, but I still manage to pull it off. There have been a few days when I only left the house for the specific purpose of getting a photo of something that’s not inside these walls. Gah, that is so pathetic.
But I do it, and I’m always glad I did.
So here are my five favorites from each set this month.
My lovely bike! Our wonderful neighbors took me to the bike shop and helped me not only choose the right bike for me, but negotiated quite a discount as well. Then they took me out on a beautiful 26 kilometer tour of our city, including a stop at the city park where we refreshed ourselves with an ice cold coconut water direct from the coconut. We’re planning on another ride this coming week, and I’ve joined two local bike clubs in the last two days so hopefully I’ll be out riding quite a lot more.
It’s both lucky and unlucky that Brian also enjoys my hermit ways. We tend to spend our weekends holed up together at home, just enjoying each other’s company and the current new release movies on the box.
I got me a new book! Reading in Portuguese has been my single biggest help in learning the language and I’m looking forward to getting started on this one. Alas, I will read it while I’m at home on the couch. See: Hermit.
We did manage another weekend up at Monte Verde with our friends (photos and stories coming soon, I swear), and then a stop at the home of Andrew’s parents for a belated Easter lunch. His parents are Americans who have lived here for over forty years, and they are not only some of the friendliest and most intelligent people I’ve met, but they adore Dalmatians. How can you not love people who love Dalmatians? And look at that sweet face!
Bullseye. Sometimes you find art right there in the grocery store parking lot.
Our town has some pretty incredible graffiti on most of its walls. This is not some of that art, but I liked it just the same. I have absolutely no idea what it says.
I love this tiny chapel on Andrew’s parents’ property. Tiny, rustic and seems part of the landscape. How gorgeous is that blue door?
Occasionally these bright blue autumn days do actually lure me out. Can you blame me? Temperatures are averaging somewhere around the mid seventies to low eighties, and the puffy clouds are so stark white against the deep blue that they almost don’t seem real. I am amazed that our little industrial city of half a million people, only an hour drive away from Sao Paulo’s eleven million people and all of their cars, doesn’t have a smog problem. Our skies are crystal clear.
This was Brian’s second weekend with me up in Monte Verde, and we took him to the hidden waterfall for the afternoon. He loved it as much as I knew he would, but what’s not to like? A beautiful (but cold) river forming a tall, narrow waterfall with a little swimming hole at the bottom, a wide open lawn under more blue skies and puffy clouds, and a property owner that welcomes you with cold drinks and home made food to order. And we had the place nearly to ourselves. Bliss.
The winner for the “Most Unexpected” afternoon we’ve had here so far? We went to a local sports field to watch some good old fashioned American Football, complete with helmets, pads, pigskin and goal posts. We heard about it through the Facebook grapevine and decided to give it a shot. Brian was bored, but only because he hates American Football anyway, but I had a good time. It brought back memories of high school games and Peewee football with my son in New Jersey all those years ago. Good times.