Crashing Rio

We finally did it.  After 16+ months of living in beautiful Brazil, we FINALLY made our way out to Rio de Janeiro!  It was everything I expected it to be.  Completely touristy with tons of people, beautiful beaches and an abundance of things to see and do!  I wanted to do all the traditional sites, so on day 1 we made our way up to see the Christ the Redeemer statue.  The views were breathtaking!
I'll admit, it isn't the easiest sightseeing location with four young kids.. after 10 minutes they had "seen" enough and were more than ready to move on, but I would go back and do it again in a heart beat!
It was incredibly bright, so squishy faces are the best we got.  Yes, P in picking her nose.. not very princessy, but who wants the pressure of living up to that title all the time?!
Picture proof that I was on the trip too.  Thanks random tourist!  Oh, and what totally threw me for a loop?  Pretty much everyone did NOT speak Portuguese there.  There is a reason these areas are labeled "tourist" attractions.  It was strange speaking to so many traveling Americans all in one place..
Being the sweet mom that I am, I redeemed her from her previous shot and caught this adorable one of the little doll. :)  Your welcome P.
If you've never seen the movie "Rio", add it to your bucket list.  Then watch it this weekend.  Or tonight.  FREAKING HILARIOUS.  I'm sure 75% of the humor would go over your head if you've never been here though, so put Rio (as in the destination, not the movie) on your bucket list as well and then go back and watch the movie again.  Truly.  These creepy little monkeys are some of the stars of the show, and they are just as creepy in real life as they are in animation!
Miss B thought they were pretty cool.. I had to tell her not to touch them.  MANY times.  Rabies anyone??  Eeek.
Princess P had the natural fear that should be present when you see something this freakish that it almost makes them cute in a disgusting kind of way (like furless dogs.. what the?!).  I don't think she forgave her dad for the rest of the day for bringing her so close against her will.
With so many opportunities to snap another amazing landscape shot, I was in photo heaven!  Then my kids would knock me off of cloud nine and tell me they would strangle one another if we didn't do something "fun".  Like, NOW.  Ok not really, but that's how I used to feel while watching my dad film empty field's in Yellowstone in hopes that we might see something.. sorry dad.
 Alrighty kids, I feel ya.  The beach it is!  ..Just ONE more I promise..
How boring we are in the US!  No one ever juggles for money at red lights..  This guy even did it blindfolded!  Needless to say we gave him some change.  He earned it!  I know I was impressed! ;)
Day 2.  Pão de Açúcar (aka "the Sugar Loaf").  After seeing the crowd that was drawn mid afternoon the day before, we opted to wake up bright and early the next day and beat the crowds.  Brilliant idea!
The cable car ride was the hit of the event for our little munchkins.  And they were the hit for the tourists!  I think people snapped just as many pictures of the crazy pregnant lady with four kids as they did the actual scenery we were there to see!  I'm way past feeling like a freak though these days so we just smiled and answered all the typical questions regarding age, etc.
 Isn't it just breathtaking?!  What an iconic city!
While the hubster swapped life stories with a world traveling couple from Australia, I kept the kids busy with a photo shoot by size.  And then it made perfect sense as to why people refer to my kids as "uma escada" (aka "stair steps" out here. :)
Awww, I just love my little stair steps!
The restlessness started to kick in and it was time for beach trip #2 when I saw some beautiful African art sculptures in an over priced souvenir shop and wanted to take a quick peak.  So Mr H and I went in to take a look around while my man chilled with the other 3 outside. 
Across the way there was a precious stone sculpture store that caught my other sons' eye.  He went running in one direction and Princess P in the other leaving my poor hubby wondering who to grab first.  Previous experience has told me to ALWAYS grab the boy, but he went for the youngest.  By the time he grabbed her it had already happened.. 
You see, Sir L is a very "hands on" child.  He constantly needs to be touching something.  When we walk through the grocery store his hand is usually stretched out feeling the cans on the shelves or running his fingers across some poor unexpectant souls backside.. okay, their butt actually, due to his current height level.. causing constant little jumps, squeels and stares followed by me swapping between "Sinto muito" and "STOP touching people!".  I have come to accept that a "serious" discussion with him on my lap is just going to come with him touching my clothes, my hair, and my face, with little to no eye contact.  We choose our battles wisely.  Heck, I'm living proof that eye contact doesn't necessarily mean attentive ears.. I can stare right through you and completely tune you out when necessary.  It's a gift.  Ask my mother.  (Sorry mom!)
Long story short, we added an ugly blue toucan to our family that day.  It's definitely not like in WalMart when you accidentally break a candle and they tell you it's no big deal.  When this thing broke into pieces on the floor, the man practically smiled as he grabbed his calculator.  R$1200 (about $600 US) later, and we were on our way.  We have always wondered what souvenir we would bring with us from Brazil..  I just never imagined it would be an ugly rock bird.  No offense if it's your thing, I just have a hard time swallowing that price tag.. for a rock!  Thankfully my husband rocks (no pun intended), and super glued the little sucker back together.  It resides on a very high shelf in our abode. :)
On our way out of town the next day we stopped in Angra dos Reis.  It was a charming little town.  We originally had planned to spend our Thanksgiving there in a beach house, but it ended up falling through last minute (more on that later).  We were pretty bummed at first, but one afternoon in town was perfect and we didn't feel deprived!
It just seemed right that we get lunch at a quaint little seafood restaurant just off the docks.  Princess P was very decisive.. not that I was surprised by that!
I realize that it looks as though I am letting my 6yr old order off of the alcoholic section of the menu.. rest assured that that wasn't the case.  We aren't quite that exciting around here! ;)
I must say, it was rather romantic eating right on the dock like that.. even if we did have 4 little rugrats in tow. ;)
On our way back to the car we ran into some cool relief.  My kids can spot these guys from a mile away!  It's the Brazilian ice cream truck.. without the creepy music.
I realize that I have become quite immune to seeing favelas (Brazilian slums) on every street corner, but it really is such a sight to see!  With so much character and such a HUGE percentage of the population within its walls, Brazil just wouldn't completely be Brazil without them.  It is the backbone of this country and I truly find it beyond fascinating.  I told the hubster that before we leave, he needs to take me on a walk about so I can get some up close and personal shots of the culture and pure essence of living found within the walls of these so drastically misunderstood areas of Brazil.


  1. As I was reading your post, I was thinking of you "staring right through me" and laughed out loud when you mentioned it! (I also laughed out loud when you mentioned dads filming @ Yellowstone!!)
    $600? OUCH!!! Wouldn't have been the chosen souvenir in my book, but at least there will always be a great story associated with your Brazilian toucan! :0)

    1. Lol I thought you might enjoy this one! It's funny the memories that surface while watching your kids make their own! :)