Thursday, May 26, 2011

The things you can get up to in Rio

On our last night in Rio, after the wedding, we were invited to go nightclubbing with members of Marcele's family.

I declined but David and Lisa went and such was their evening they did not come home until 4am.

They had a lot of fun in spite of language barriers and had an insight to nightlife in Rio.

David even came home with a non permanent reminder of their night out together:-

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And so life goes on...............

When we were still in Rio Lisa spoke to Jackson on the phone and asked what he would like us to bring home for him from Brazil.

She suggested we could bring home a monkey for him but he opted for a ball instead.

We have had such a lot of fun with the ball we managed to buy at the supermarket when we got home.

I think a simple rubber ball is a whole lot easier maintenance than a monkey.

If you are small enough you can even sit on the ball, that is, if you can work out how to not let it roll away from you:-

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our last day in Rio

It was probably the warmest of all the days in Rio and we decided to go to Ipanema.

Brazilian art seems to have a style of its own and this bull statue was no exception. Love hearts and images of the Statue of Christ interspersed?:-

As it turned out we did not get to see too much of the famous beach but we did get a bit of an overview of a totally different part of Rio and it was good that we had the opportunity to do so.

Lisa's iPhone had proved invaluable on our travels, providing our main means of communication, not only with phone calls and text messaging but also as a language translator.

Latterly she discovered a GPS that was able to lead us to a very nice restaurant called Bazzar where we shared our last and very nice feast of Brazilian fare.

While we were at lunch Aaron rang and said that Marcele's family would like to see us once more before we left so after we finished eating we made our way to their apartment and enjoyed a leisurely couple of hours with the newlyweds and family.

From there a couple of more taxi rides and finally the airport and our flight back to Dallas.

Bye, bye Rio - what a wonderful opportunity and experience.

I would never have dreamt of having a reason to visit South America but then I wasn't to to know that one of my sons would decide to marry there. Such are the changes in our global village. It has been nice to part of the happening scene.


We met Jessica several times whilst in Rio.

She is a very close friend of Marcele's and it was nice to get to know her just a little.

Her understanding of English was limited but she did the best she could and we found her to be really lovely.

Not only was she a bridesmaid at the wedding but she sang solo and with the church youth group for the occasion. I noticed that Marcele,as the bride, could not resist and joined in with the singing as well in parts.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A candid view of a Rio wedding

We made it to Rio and we made it to Aaron's wedding.

My photography on tbe day was not that good but I will share with you some candid shots of the big day.

Aaron gathered at the church with his seven groomsman:-

The bride's Dad was patiently waiting:-

As well as the bride's mother, bride's bouquet in hand:-

David and Lisa were pariently waiting too:-

The service was an hour late getting under way but finally the bride did arrive:-

The wedding finally got under way:-

My photography was not too good but three professional photographers were there to make up for that:-

I did not get an image of all of the bridesmaids together but this is of Daniellee, a friend of Marcele's who did her hair and make up:-

The flowers at each table at the reception were truly lovely:-

The cake was lovely too:-

Even if the centrepiece was somewhat unusual to my way of thinking.

The catering was excellent and for after treats this table had a massive display of sweets all beautifully packaged. Amazingly it all disappeared very quickly:-

Congratulations to Aaron and Marcele for a wonderful wedding day:-

It has been worth every minute. My thanks to David and Lisa for all of their input and for being an essential part of my being here. I could not have done it without you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sugar Loaf Mountain

Aaron and his fiancee, Marcele, were able to join us for an excursion to Sugar Loaf Mountain:-

I had been a bit dubious about making the cable car ride, which was in two stages, but at the end of the day I have to say it was all very worth while and a highlight of our visit:-

When the first part of the journey was completed we were on a large platform area with juice bar and lots of seating. If you chose to stay here and not go any further it was a lovely location with fantastic views back over the city and out to the ocean. We could even look over the Copacabana Beach where we had been just a couple of days before:-

Located as part of first base was a helipad, doing a roaring trade, taking tourists for an aerial excursion around Rio:-

The excursion would not have been complete without the second cable car ride and as we got to the top the sun was setting and it was supposedly 19 degrees C. with a definite chill factor happening.

There was just enough time to take some sunset photos before descending in the dark. Our group of six got separated along the way, which all added to the fun of the day. Eventually we all met up again at the base.

My one sunset photo was of the famous Statue of Christ:-

Most images of this show a solitary statue, so it was interesting, at this height, to see that there is companionship by way of a collection of communication beacons. Quite a lot happening up in them there hills (oops, mountains).

Location:R. Aprazível,Rio de Janeiro,Brazil

Marmoset Monkeys

When we go down for breakfast at the b and b we are more than likely to be met by a family cluster of marmoset monkeys.

They have laid claim to the balcony and hang off the window bars expectantly waiting for some one to feed them some banana.

They are quite tiny, sitting about 6 inches with a tail about twice as long, they really do have pulling power by way of cuteness.

We feed them sugar bananas from our hands, about 2 inches per monkey and they happily munch and come back for more if they can.

Location:R. Aprazível,Rio de Janeiro,Brazil

Friday, May 20, 2011

We made it to Copacabana Beach

The Copacabana Beach was our activity for day two of our time here:-

It was very nice and we found a nice beach side cafe where we could sit and take in the atmosphere.

Going on a Monday, not as many people there as there otherwise might be. However, there were some regulars. Additionally, the weather has become cooler and so a lot of people standing around on the beach were wearing regular casual clothing instead of swimwear.

I did not actually see anyone swimming and it seemed to me that the breakers were too strong for this but I did see some surf boarding.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Perched Up on a Cliff

Perched up on a cliff, close to where we are staying in Santa Theresa, Rio de Janeiro, is this lovely late 19th century dwelling.

I asked about it and was initially told that it was a monastery but our hotelier tells me it was built as a private residence but is now divided up into apartments:-

Built on a granite base it does look rather grand and apparently, if you live there, you have the most magnificent views.

I was not tall enough to take this shot so David took it for me.

Same dwelling but framed with ferns and bouganvillea which are growing over our breakfast balcony - very pretty.

Location:R. Aprazível,Rio de Janeiro,Brazil

The View From our Place

Our place of residence, a bed and breakfast, is built against a cliff face.

As you walk up the stairs from the bedrooms you see the flora, in abundance climbing the cliff face:-

My photography does not do the cliff face justice but it seems to stretch a long way:-

Apparently what we see at the top of image is the edge of rainforest.

From there the marmoset monkeys come for banana treats from the breakfast table:-

I have also sighted bright coloured butterflies and birds but the weather is against us at the moment and will have to wait for the clouds and rain to clear before we see more of that.

The temperatures have been quite mild since arrival, today a little on the chilly side. Today it is raining and it remains to be seen whether we will be able to go out at all. Along with the rain there is a definite chill in the air and I am grateful for the warmer clothes that I brought with me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In Rio For a Special Occasion

Two days ago, David, Lisa and I arrived in Brazil. The reason, to attend the wedding of my oldest son, Aaron.

He has found a lovely Brazilian maiden and we have arrived a week ahead of the wedding to do a few touristy things and to meet and get to know the bride's family.

All credit to them, they know some English, and have been excelling themselves in trying to communicate with us. Far better than me and my total lack of speaking Portuguese.

Aaron's fiancee is doing her best to talk to us and it has been amazing to me to see Aaron speak in their language. When he arrived in Brazil, the first thing he did was enroll in a language school and it was one of the best things he could have done.

The wedding is on Saturday and then they fly to Sydney the following week for a second ceremony with friends and family.

Following that they will visit with us in New Zealand, spend some time in Australia, catching up with friends and then on to London and back to the reality of work.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Times Have Changed

When I visited Dallas last July I had just been given an iPad and there was not one in David's household.

Jackson tried mine out and now they not only have one but two of these devices.

He is very clued in about what you can do with the iPad and yesterday while using mine he very quickly knew what to do to find some free games to play that were age appropriate:-

One of his favourite activities on the iPad is to check out a website that promotes families playing board games rather than watching TV:-
David and family have quite a number of very good board games and, if possible, they choose games where all participants work together for a common cause rather than competing against each other.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is This the Next Rudolph Valentino?

When you have finished swimming in the pool, you just have to dress up, don't you?:-

When Jackson came to visit with us in New Zealand when he as three we made pikelets (or pancakes as we call them here in Texas) together and it was something that has never been forgotten.

Yesterday, before I had finished my morning ritual in the bathroom, there as a tap tap at the door and there was Jackson, wanting to know if Nana could come and make pancakes for breakfast.

Bathroom routine was speeded up somewhat for the more pressing challenge of the day. Jackson now has more dexterity in the mixing process which was good to see. He just loves being involved in the making of the pancakes and so pancakes it was for breakfast.

Summer Time in Dallas

May in Dallas and the weather is warming up for summer.

Lisa and I were out and about yesterday and at one time the temperature outside was in excess of 100 degrees F.

Jackson and Brennan have found a fun way to keep fresh in the pool. What is supposed to be a basketball hoop is a fun way for them to cross the pool together.

Location:Robinson Terrace,Rangatira Park,New Zealand

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You have heard of lollipops, well how about cake pops?

While Lisa and I were out yesterday we stopped by at Starbucks for some refreshing drinks and Lisa asked if I would like to try a cake pop.

Being me I had no idea what a cake pop was but I was willing to give it a go.

Mine is the pink one on the right. Quite a nice bite size treat to have with a drink when you feel like a snack but not something too big. I enjoyed mine.

Monday, May 09, 2011

From Quilt Block to Quilt

Our local quilt group does a monthly quilt raffle at the moment.

One of the committee members, Julie, provides the group with the pattern and instructions and whoever is interested can make as many blocks as they like and enter them into the raffle.

You get one draw for each block you enter so the more blocks you make, the more chances you have of winning all blocks made.

This block had particular appeal for me. It is called Disappearing Nine Patch and is relatively quick and easy to make. The theme for the block was to use conversational fabrics so that the blocks could be made into an I Spy quilt, a great favourite with young children.

I made 4 of this particular block and entered 2 in Linda's name and 2 in mine.

There were enough blocks made to divide the raffle into 2 draws and Linda won one of the draws.

She was gracious enough to let me have the blocks so that I could make them into an I Spy quilt for my grandson, Jackson, who I will be seeing in about 24 hours from the time of writing.

So, one block became one quilt:-

Backed with polar fleece, I hope it will ecome a favourite cuddle rug for Jackson and that there will be plenty of opportunity to play I Spy or any other game that may take his fancy.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Goodbye to Taupo - for now..........

Last autumn I used enjoy looking at this tree at the end of our street.

The way it is situated with the low stone wall and the fallen
leaves I found very appealing.

In spite of the enjoyment I never quite got around to taking pictures.

This year we have had a severe storm recently and a lot of the trees in our neighbourhood have already shed more leaves than usual, including this one.

Even so, with less leaves, it is still a pretty sight.

I will be away from Taupo for three weeks, travelling to Dallas and then on to Rio de Janeiro and I know that by the time I return all signs of the beautiful autumn colour and leaves will be gone.

I am glad to have captured the moment today.

It will be great to be away for this time but I will miss my family, home and the lovely location we live in.