The boys are napping, Daniel's at work, and his grandmother and uncle are out. I think this might be the first time in almost a month that I've been by myself. For once, I don't feel pulled in a million different directions by my demanding little boys or overwhelmed by all the to-do's that come along with moving six days before taking an international trip. You'd think I'd sit back and relish these precious moments by reading a book, sleeping or just sitting still, but instead, I feel like writing.

My mind has been spinning so much this trip with thoughts about Brazil, the US, being a Mom, friends, and family. Being in another country always seems to do this to me. Traveling makes me look at life through a different lens. I wish I had more time to write articulately about all the different thoughts that have come up, just like I wish I could somehow make my brain remember every moment I spend with Nico and Leo, both here, and when we're at home. The things we do, the funny, surprising and even profound things Nico says.

For now, here are some photos from our last few days that I snapped with my phone while we were out and about.

With kiosks selling agua de coco all along the beach in Rio, I'd think most parents here would leave their sippy cups at home and hand their child a coconut when they get thirsty. Apparently it's not the norm, since the day we walked home from Ipanema while Nico happily sipped one, so many people stopped and stared as if this was the cutest thing they'd ever seen.

Leo's our little charmer who has been blowing lots of kisses on this trip. He's also started throwing hissy fits, usually when I take my iPhone away from him.

This is what happened the other day on the beach, but then, this Brazilian beauty came to the rescue. Thankfully, she looked past his geeky get-up and handed him a shovel. Had I tried to do that, he would have chucked it, I'm sure, but she really wooed him.

Even though I've been sticking to one pieces lately, I'm still a big fan of Brazilian bikinis. Back in the day, I used to stock up on them. I even brought some home for my friends, praising their triangular bottoms that accentuate bums of all shapes and sizes. American ones tend to hug behinds in all the wrong places. But one thing I don't understand is that women here give themselves wedgies on the beach. For reals. I see it all the time and now understand that it's to show more skin, but still, I just. don't. get. it. The bikinis are sexy enough and this wedgie trick just seems to ruin the whole look. Leo seems to agree. Surprise, surprise: Daniel doesn't.

I've been lucky enough to always have Daniel, a native of Rio, show me around his city. I imagine there are so many things I might not have figured out on my own. Take lanchonetes, small food stands that spill onto the streets all over Rio. Many have these cheesy signs that illustrate menu items that probably turn lots of tourists off. I've been going to them since my first time in Rio and now know the best things to order, such as sandwiches with cheese, banana and cinnamon, or freshly squeezed juices that use exotic fruits like acerola and pitanga.

Nico loves his agua de coco, but he's really into all the fresh juices. Double sipping, too.

When you live in a city that has a big, beautiful beach, I imagine there isn't much need for playgrounds since the two we've found were both deserted. It made me think of our lives in Brooklyn and how much time we spend at different playgrounds and how they're all so elaborate compared to the simple, old-fashioned ones in Rio. I can't think of the last time I was on a seesaw, but we've been playing on them a lot here. 

Today we stumbled upon Colher de Pau, a Brazilian bakery in Leblon that's been around for 37 years and sells classic Brazilian cakes. It wasn't even 10am, but Nico convinced us to get him a brigadeiro, a Brazilian treat made with condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. While he ate it, Daniel complained that Nico's not eating well on this trip, to wish Nico replied: Papai, I only like to eat pasta, fruit and doces (the Portuguese word for sweets).

Being four blocks from the beach has been pretty awesome, but I could use some lessons in how to properly clean off two kids before bringing them back to their 84-year old great-grandmother's apartment. Luckily, she's a laid-back lady and has yet to flinch at any of the messes we've made. I practically burned down her kitchen the other morning making some toast. Huge flames were coming out of her toaster, so I panicked, screamed for Daniel and he put out what could have turned into a huge fire. When Dagmar woke up, her whole kitchen still smelled like smoke and she simply laughed and said she'd been meaning to throw out that crazy toaster. My grandmother would have fuh-reeeaked. Anyway, instead of hitting the beach this morning, Nico, Leo and I got some agua de cocos and planted ourselves at a kiosk with a new play doh set. When we went home for lunch, we didn't bring a grain of sand with us. The plan is to go back this afternoon to play in the sand and water. That way, I won't have to give them a bath twice today.

OK, naptime's over. Tchau, for now!


DC said...

Wow Lia you've been busy!
Hope you are well

DC oxoxo

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Looks like a marvelous trip! I have a friend in Brazil right now, wish I had gone with her now!!!

Peej said...

LOVE the picture of Leo in the pool on the beach, with the big butt right behind him! His expression is priceless!

Ciao Fluffy said...

Looks like so much fun! Wish we were there!!!

Lia said...

DC, it was one of the craziest months ever. Happy to be home now!

Rocky Mountain Woman, Brazil is great. You should definitely plan a trip there.

Peej, I didn't even notice the woman in the bikini until I got home and was looking through the photos since it was so sunny on the beach that day.

Ciao Fluffy, you'll have to come with us next time!


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