Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the way back I'll be 640 pages lighter

We made it to Brazil without incident and are currently enjoying a few days of the good mountain life in Monte Verde, Minas Gerais.

The route we flew was fantastic, a new flight LAN started offering in July. It's billed as a direct flight from San Francisco to São Paulo, but there is actually a refueling stop in Lima. You get out of the plane in Peru, go through security, have enough time to pee and buy some water, then get back on board. In all, it's 9 hours on the first leg, then 4 on the second. Definitely recommended for people flying down to Brazil from California.

On the plane, I read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" from cover to cover. I don't think I've ever read so much, for so many uninterrupted hours, in my entire life. Doing the math, I was averaging about 50-60 pages per hour. The book was fantastic, and I can't wait to read the next one in the series. Hopefully I'll find someone in Rio who wants to read the book, and I'll buy a replacement copy for my mom once we're back in the US. That baby takes up a lot of precious space!

Rico and I have been enjoying our time in Monte Verde immensely. This is where we really have the opportunity to have a vacation while in Brazil. We're up in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, with no obligations or people to see for several days. Our time will be spent eating delicious food (Rico's dad is a professional chef, among other things), drinking vintage wines, running along trails and hilly dirt roads, getting massages at the spa at Rico's dad's hotel, and sleeping. Lots of sleep.

Then, once we're feeling duly rejuvenated, we'll head to Rio to deal with all the pending issues that come from owning a home in one place and living in another continent entirely. We haven't been back to Rio since March 2009, and the to-do list regarding the Casa Rosa is, unfortunately, a long one.

We're also looking forward to attending Rico's cousin's wedding, to which I will be wearing a very loud, very neon-red, very va-va-voom formal dress. That is if my arse hasn't doubled in size from a miscalculation of the gourmet food: running ratio during our week in Monte Verde. :)

Speaking of clothes, so far the carry-on suitcase capsule wardrobe has treated me quite well. I'm trying to photograph my outfits so you can see what kind of a toll efficient packing has on fashion. Hopefully the trade-off is minimal!

Tonight at dinner (mandioquinha soup, cassoulet, pear confit), I sold my Fiesta trade bead bracelet off my wrist to one of Rico's dad's friends. A very unexpected sale, but one that left me super happy. It's always such a thrill to tell someone about the Mozambique Island trade beads I'm so fascinated by and have them "get it". It's moments like this I must remind myself of when the accounting and website updates and creative droughts get to me.


stacie said...

Have a wonderful time and kudo's on the sale of the bracelet!!!

NOLA said...

Oh Ali - I love reading entries like this. Sounds like totally everything is fantastic! Enjoy!!

(And yes, I'd appreciate photos - I'm skeptical about my ability to pack like you did ...)

aimee said...

Sounds fabulous!!! Enjoy:)))
Maybe I'll get that book for my flight from Kona to Portland, OR.

Meg said...

The Girl Who Played with Fire is even better! I'm just finishing it now - the commentary on sexism is great (and makes me mad!). We are not post-feminism or the need for it.

I wore my Fiesta bracelet all weekend. Reese loves to look at all the different colors and Robin wants to chew on it! Everyone loves it! I can't wait for my friend to get her bracelet.

Ali la Loca said...

~Stacie - Thanks so much. Now that I'm one bracelet down, I have an excuse do do some shopping for Brazilian jewelry!

~NOLA - Photos forthcoming, except those of outfits that involve leggings. Certain things are simply better left off the internet. :D

~Aimee - Definitely recommend Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for a long flight. I barely even felt those 13 hours pass I was so involved in the storyline.

~Meg - Can't wait to read it! I love the idea of Reese looking at all the colors in the Fiesta bracelet. My mom used to have a bunch of colored fabric swatches she'd carry around in her purse - they were the source of endless hours of entertainment for me when I was little. And Robin wanting to chew on the bracelet is a great thought, too. How fun! You'll have to let me know what your friend thinks of the Isis bracelet. xx

Safiya Outlines said...


Glad you're having a lovely time in Brazil (you even made running sound good and I'm jogphobic).

Like eveyone else, I'm in awe of your packing skills. That looks like a great bag though, where did you get it from?

Ali la Loca said...

~Safiya - Running on trails (or outdoors in general) is the only way I find it pleasurable. Treadmills and running on a track are akin to torture for me! And yes, you are right - this suitcase is awesome, and totally the key to my packing success. Details to come in a new post.

--jenna said...

Hey, I'd be happy to take that book off your hands! I tried to read it when working at the library, but the teen sci-fi novels were just too tempting to resist!

waylan said...

Hey Ali,
I'm from SF too! Hope the Bay is good to you.

I was looking up Owen Jones' 'Examples of Chinese Ornament'... and you were result #2! nice. (have you seen his classic, The Grammar of Ornament?)

anyway, to keep this on point:

the US adaptation is coming out soon!
Fincher (Fight club, Se7en) directed the US version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the score was done by Trent Reznor (NIN).. and the title track is a collab with YeahYeahYeah's frontwoman..
the trailer is heartpumping, seizure-inducing, but suuuuper intriguing. i am anticipating it, and will make it just the 2nd trip to the theaters this year... hah.

(I dearly wanted to see Empire of Silver but that was sadly a really short run. people just don't know what's good... -- written/directed/co-prod by a lady in Palo Alto!)

anyway.. going to dig into your blog more later.. have fun in.. Rio?! lucky.