The Canadoca has a CD of music in English that incorporates her name into each song, for example:
"Little Canadoca had a farm, EIEIO"
"Oh how I want to go to Canadoca's house..."
"If you're Canadoca and you know it, clap your hands!"
You get the idea.
Turns out there's a Portuguese version too, of course. I can't stress enough how much Portuguese I've picked up from the Canadoca watching a bit of Xuxa every now and again. (By the way, Xuxa is the blonde grinning kids Brazilian pop star. The Canadoca loves her.) Portuguese teachers always told me to watch children's television to learn more Portuguese wbut before now I really couldn't handle it - I didn't really even like kids' tv when I was a kid, rather I would try to sneak to watch episodes of Another World with my parents ;)
Back to the topic at hand: what a cute gift, a personalized CD for the little Brasileiro or Brasileira in your life. The site they provided on the card doesn't seem to be working but here is some contact info if you are interested:
Leite Musica & Cia 2226-7289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year I spent hours doing Christmas cards. Bought them at Costco in Canada, designed a photo montage to put in the card, printed the photos in Brazil ($$$), handsigned them, wrote a little poem on a slip of paper and decorated it with stickers, spent over an hour at the post office getting postage for all of the different places they were going, which took a full two hours to attach to the envelopes, only to have most of them arrive long after Christmas had passed despite mailing them at the beginning of December. It was truly a project.
This year I found a smarter expat solution. Shutterfly mails out personalized Christmas cards for you from the US! I am pretty sure I spent less on them this year than last, and even with having to manually input all of my addresses (a one-time thing) I still think it was less labour intensive than last year, and going forward now that the addresses are there, it will be a breeze.
If you are looking for something to do in Rio today, there is a World's Fair set up at the Jocquei Club with artisans from around the world. Today is the last day and it runs until 10 pm. Mr. DRL and I went last night and bought some salad tongs from a booth from India and some cachaca and sausage from Brazilian vendors along with some very interesting candied fruit. Pretty random I know but it was a fun hour or so! Not a bad place to do some Christmas shopping.
Anyone have recommendations for Punta del Este, Uruguay? Restaurants, nightclubs, activities, things to do, things to avoid? I'd appreciate any suggestions or help you can provide, Familia DRL is heading there soon for some R&R, hope Santa finds us!
Rio's current situation in the favelas (Police Pacification) is an opportunity for the police foces here to reinvent themselves. Rio's police have been largely feared by the public for a number of reasons - the Tropa de Elite films tell some of the stories...
I hope that the police rise to the occassion and that a few bad apples don't manage to spoil the bunch.
There are signs of hope.
The other day, the Canadoca and I inadvertently walked through a large crowd of police officers with large guns setting up for some sort of exercise or operation. I was a bit nervous, then glanced over at one point to see the majority of them staring at my daughter with broad grins, waving frantically at her trying to get her attention with their huge, in some cases tattooed arms as their assault rifles dangled from their shoulders. What a photo that would have been... I chuckled to myself but noted that they must be looking for someone scary and we should get out of there..... then continued on to a main street to be met with more police pulling over vehicles, directly in front of me, an officer first just drew, then pointed his gun at a motorcyclist he was pulling over. I backed away, then the group of officers I'd just passed, noticing my hesitation, sent over the biggest representative to accompany the Canadoca and I through the situation, telling me I could pass and it was fine and perfectly safe. By this point the officer and the motorist he'd just pointed the gun out were old buddies, thumb's upping each other before the motorist was on his way....
I've become accustomed to seeing guns and big ones at that, but pointed guns still really creep me out.
Did I mention that this one is only for people with what I would call entirely too much money? In other words I think it's very cute but a ripoff nonetheless...
If you fall into this demographic and are looking for matching shorts for dad & son (or dad & daughter), head on down to Vilebrequin at Shopping Leblon, home of the most expensive swimming trunks in the world. Not sure if Vilebrequin is as outrageous elsewhere as in Brazil (imported items are often several times the price they would be elsewhere). Yes, there are many colors and patterns to choose from. I hope you don't snag them on something!
If you are looking for an outing in rio today (leblon) there is a book fair on at de paiva + bartholomeu mitre. Organic feira in behind too! Bought a book for the canadoca...
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Confession - I don't actually know what or who R2D2 is. Mr. DRL insisted I put this on the blog because he claims people will think it's awesome. I suspect this has something to do with Star Wars, a movie I simply just didn't have any interest in ever seeing but now just haven't seen solely because it really bothers some people when they hear that I haven't seen it. And I kind of get a kick out of annoying these particular individuals.
The closest thing to a "Yellow Pages" I've found in Rio - the best addresse in the city. A lot of household type stuff but also has restaurants, services, etc. Wish I'd had a copy when I moved here! I bought mine at Livraria da Travessa.
When I first moved to Rio I used a driver service quite often to get around. Now I either walk, cab or drive myself, and many people think I'm crazy. Driving here is not really that bad if you know where you're going and are used to it.
However, when you first get here and need to get around (and if you are not here with a company that provides driver services) it can be great to hire a driver by the day. I frequently did this with guests as well, to send them off sightseeing, etc.
Last week, when I was at the airport picking up Sogra DRL (Mr. DRL's mom) I ran into a driver we used a lot when we first arrived. It was so good to see him and it reminded me of how much those first few people we met when we moved here mean to us. He helped me so much! I hadn't seen him in well over a year.
If you are looking for reliable hourly or daily driver service in Rio de Janeiro give Alternativa Turismo a call. 4453-3390 If you want someone English speaking, ask for Marco. But be warned, once you get the details figured out, he will then make you work on your Portuguese!!
Mr. DRL and I recently went to Expand Wine bar in Ipanema (Rua Barão da Torre 358, Ipanema +55 (021) 2523 2747) for a lovely meal. We HIGHLY recommend the mushroom appetizer... meant to take a photo earlier but...
The idea of going was of course to pick out a nice bottle of wine to be served with dinner. Their wine prices are actually quite reasonable. After spending quite a bit of time picking out a bottle, little did we know, it was not one of the mere four chilled bottles of the variety of grape we were after. Haha! Oh well! Change of plans... ;) picked one of the four, and had a nice time.
I spotted some great Christmas gift ideas there as well - they have gift baskets/crates with wine and gourmet items at a variety of price points.
Specialty bottles as well:
Did I mention that they also sell Havana Alfajores from Argentina? Dangerous...
Actually, the jury's still out on that one. But if you are looking for fresh (non-UHD/boxed) milk in Rio it is now easily located in the refrigerator section of Zona Sul stores. The bottle looks like this:
"Leite no saco" is also available at the Rio Lisboa grocery store in Leblon, I've been buying it as well, but they frequently run out.
Beware that if you buy fresh and give it to your kids, if they get any sort of stomach upset, the maid will advise you that the fresh milk is "too strong" for them, and that you should water it down. At least, that's what happened to me, and apparently I am not the only one!
Garcia & Rodrigues (Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, 1251 PH: 3206-4100) has a tonne of gorgeous Christmas stuff. No one's surprised by this. They have advent calendars too! For a mere R$24.... ;) Helping to swallow that, well, just think if you buy it now you need to eat almost a week's worth of advent calendar chocolate in order to... catch up.
No, I don't think they put their gorgeous truffles in those bad boys, but if you go there you really should try them. Garcia & Rodrigues has the best chocolate in Rio, in my opinion.
Tonight is the lagoa tree lighting, or as one friend put it: the world's largest artificial floating Christmas tree makes its way onto the Lagoa and the lights are turned on in a dramatic fashion surrounded by a blaze of fireworks....
If you're in Rio, head down to the lagoa today, it is truly a spectacle to see. The fireworks are set to start at 8 pm.
There is a small Bazar (bags/jewellery/home bakes/crafts, etc) at the Sociedad Hipica Brasileira on Lagoa (entrance next to the Clube Militar). It is open to the public and entry is free. It closes at 8pm tonite.