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.