Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas from Us to You

Monday, December 2, 2013

Paradise (aka Paraty) for Thanksgiving

We had Thursday and Friday off from school, so naturally we traveled.  We headed to Paraty, the passageway for gold, for the holiday weekend.  It was such a great weekend filled with sun, beautiful scenery, great people, and lots of laughs.  Here are some pictures from the weekend.  

The first day we hung out by our pousada's pool and explored the town.  Day two was a full day private boat ride to multiple islands.  The next day we trekked to a waterfall and then took the Gold Path (although I wasn't feeling well so went home, I think I got dehydrated the day before).  The final day we hung out and headed home. 

The city has this cute little canal.  Once you pass over it there are no cars allowed. 

Lots of boats in lots of colors. 

The streets were laid by slaves back in the day. They were made up huge cobblestones and were very hard to walk on.

The whitewash buildings always had brightly colored doors. 

So charming, I loved the flags.

Lots of artisans everywhere you looked.

Just being cute and practicing the guitar in the street.

Love this man with all my heart.

Leaving the dock...our captain was awesome. 

MONKEY! We got so close to them on one island.

Trekking through the jungle and found a natural pool.

He felt like he was back in Colorado.

Just chilling.

Catch Up...Halloween and My Birthday

Living overseas for four years now my Halloweens have evolved.  Each year I never know what it is going to be, however I always love celebrating.  It's funny because back in the States I could care less about Halloween (except for the candy!), but overseas I like to celebrate because it makes me feel at home.  For our school festival I was a sugar skull, a figure of Mexico's Day of the Dead.  As my good friend Cori was doing my make-up, I thought of Veronica and our first Halloween in China.  Good times. 

Jess and I went to a couple's Halloween party as Jasmine and Aladdin.  We recycled costumes we used in China.  It was a lot of fun, Jess DJed for everyone to dance the night away, and somehow I won best girl costume.

My birthday was amazing, thanks to that wonderful husband of mine. It started with breakfast of bacon and chocolate chip pancakes.  After breakfast Jess shared the this amazing video he made for me.  He secretly got in touch with my family and friends and had them each share a memory.  Let's just say the ugly cry face happened.  At school my students threw me a party and then it was the weekend!   We went to my favorite restaurant (Thai) with our best friends here.  It was super good.  We took an awkward family photo to remember the great night.  

Saturday we woke up and headed into Sao Paulo for the weekend.  It was the perfect combo of relaxing and seeing the sights.  For dinner Jess took me to Tantra, a Mongolian grill.  It was such a cool atmosphere and the food was delish.  Although, I guess if it wasn't we only had ourselves to blame because it was an interactive restaurant where we made our own dishes. 

Sunday morning we woke up and went to an English speaking church!  Coaching basketball I met a coach that is the pastor at this church.  We had been meaning to check it out forever and finally were able to get to it.  It was food for the soul.  We plan on going back once a month.  We wish it could be more, but it's a little far for church.  

All in all, the fall was great.  I'm so thankful for the good friends we have made here and of course for Jess. He always finds new ways to make me feel special and loved.  I hope my next year is as wonderful as this one.  

For my own memory, places I went  and things I did in my in my 30th year: 

-welcomed Santa and celebrated our Lord's birth with the Campbells, Katie, and Mom and Dad
-celebrated New Year's in Denver at a rave (!) 
-braved Rio at Carnival and attended the Samba parade 
-made our house a home 
-went to Machu Picchu 
-began my Masters 
-studied in Madrid 
-went to Campos (again) 
-saw the sunset from Pao de Acucar
-laughed lots 
-fell in love more 
-learned a lot!