We are having a great time hanging out in Ruiz de Fora, Brazil.
We spent a few days in Rio…walked along Ipanema Beach, hung out in a Bossa Nova/Samba bar, ate a ton of excellent food (fresh papaya, fresh pineapple, great meats, mandioca, and drank my favorite, Diet Guarana!) We also spent time enjoying a beautiful Botanical Garden in the middle of the city, before heading up via tram to The Christ Statue overlooking the city. It was unbelievable how HUGE the city is…looking down upon the city you could hear the city roar from up above. The thing that struck me is that there are virtually no houses and neighborhoods, there are just blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks of high rises.
Yesterday we left Rio and went to Petropolis, which is a city that was built for the King back in the day to escape the heat from Rio. It is up in the mountains. We had a Rodizio of meats there in a beautifully landscaped restaurant and hotel. As we were eating the clouds rolled in across the grounds and even came into the restaurant through the windows…it was really fun. Mariana (our good friend Dan´s fiance) is a great tour guide and we´ve been impressed by her knowledge of the country´s history. She has been tremendously patient with all of our questions and we are really enjoying getting to know her.
We arrived in Juiz de Fora yesterday and spent the evening relaxing and eating crepes filled with all kinds of different fillings at this great little place our friend Mariana took us to. I had a Limonada Suiza which is a lime drink – very strong lime juice with added leche condensada (sweetened condensed milk) then it was blended smooth. Yum – it was very refreshing and delicious.
I continue picking up more of the language while I am here – knowing Spanish helps a lot with understanding Portuguese. I happened to mix up the words for strawberry and chicken – caught in time though so I didn´t order a wierd chicken dessert! Tonight we are heading to another favorite restaurant of our friends Dan and Mariana and then maybe to the theatre to catch some live music.
We´ve taken tons of pictures and I look forward to posting some on my blog when I return.
Well – palavras me faltam – so I am done for now.