Friday, March 30, 2012

Rio-Day 2, part 2

We stopped on the downhill trek from the top of Corcovado at a little cafe for a mango fruit bar and Guarana. I LOVE Guarana!

After we got back to the hotel, we went out to the beach and soaked up some afternoon rays. The forecast for Rio when we left for Brazil was NOT good, but we ended up with glorious, sunny skies and cool ocean breezes. The hotel we stayed at had a beach service that provided chairs, umbrellas, towels and water. Fabuloso!
After the beach, we got cleaned up and walked a couple blocks to a Churrascaria that one of the porters suggested. Everything was so fabulous...lots of traditional Brazilian side dishes as well as generous cuts of every meat you can imagine! Tony even ate a chicken heart and I downed an oyster. Fabulous service and they all loved to come talk to Tony once they found out he could speak Portuguese.

And I got chocolate mousse for dessert. In fact, Tony and I decided that we should come back to the States and open a "Dessertaria" a Churrascaria only with all different kinds of desserts instead of meat. I think we'd make millions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rio-Day 2

We slept and slept in our beautiful hotel room this morning and didn't wake up until we were ready to have an adventure. We started with a light mid-morning snack at a Padaria which serves lanches (salgados, which are salty, or doces, which are sweet). We had a couple croissant com queijo e presunto (cheese and ham) that were so delicious! We also had coxinha which is made of spiced shredded chiken baked into dough and then lightly fried. Kinda like a large dumpling. Everything was very good...we even added a couple of vitaminas to complete our breakfast treat.
After breakfast, we met a driver in front of our hotel and he drove us up to the Corcovado. The valleys around the statue were mostly visible, but there were also very low clouds that made visibility a little more difficult. This is Leme beach which is just to he North and East of Copacabana beach.

But the best part of the trip was the visit to Cristo Redentor (or Corcovado). We loved it. So beautiful. So amazingly simple in design but so very grand in scale. Here are some of our favorite shots from the day.

More to come...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rio-Day 1

We made it to Rio! To be completely honest, it isn't at all what I expected, but I love it so far! I love to hear Tony speaking Portuguese, I love that our hotel room looks out onto Copacabana Beach, and I loved the farofa we had for dinner! I love that we got to Skype with the kids. And I love that tomorrow I'll wake up in Brazil.

Monday, March 19, 2012

International Officers' Culture Day

The Inter-national Officers culture day is the most anticipated part of the ACSC school year (apart from graduation, of course). There are 76 countries represented here at ACSC from such unexpected places as Moldova, Turkey, Egypt and India and most of them bring their families with them to Alabama while they study for this year. On culture day, each country gets assigned a booth in alphabetical order in a big hangar, decorate it with pictures, maps and flags, dress in their national costume and make delicious food from their home countries. It.Was.Awesome. We'd go from booth to booth and talk about the food or drink that they were sharing. Almost all had some wine, beer or cocktail native to their country. They were so generous...they would scoop huge portions on little tiny plates and watch as you take a taste. If you like it, they want to give you MORE! So many generous people. Needless to say, by Denmark, I was stuffed. And most everybody that drinks was a little tipsy.

There is a Spanish fighter pilot and his wife (and 3 kids) here that Tony has gotten to know really well. We sat with them at the Christmas party and she was telling me that they had to bring a paella pan all the way from Spain for this activity!! (I love paella by the way.) The kids loved the Canadian maple fudge, Sam loved the pickled herring from Norway, and I loved the Greek food and paella, and the feijoada from Portugal. I asked the Portuguese officer (he and Tony chat all the time in Portuguese) if this is what I was going to eating in Brazil next week. He said that, yes, Brazil got feijoada from Portugal. And they ruined it. HA!

I was so proud of the kids...we have some picky palettes at our house and they all were so good about trying new and strange things.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Treats

I know, I know, I'm just a smidgen behind, but I wanted to share the fun gifts the kids and I put together for teachers and for my visiting teaching ladies.

For the ladies we visit, it was gold pails, gold shred, some "Pot of Gold" chocolate truffles, and a handful of gold chocolate coins, all courtesy of Target's $1 bins. I've had a couple of local ladies ask me about how I come up with my ideas and the best advice I can give is keep your eyes open several months before you might be ready to USE what you see. I found all this St.Patrick's Day stuff back in November when my mom was visiting for Thanksgiving. Buy it when you see it and stash it away for when you'll need it.

For the kids' teachers, it was these cute kiss stickers and tags I found here...all printable and all FREE. I am addicted to these cute Hershey Kiss circles...just print them out on sticker sheets and punch them out with a 3/4" punch.

Anna's class had a St. Patrick's day party on Friday and all the kids were asked to bring a green treat to share with the class. I knew there would be lots of green food, so Anna and I decided to do a green drink. I found these inexpensive little green Hawaiian Punch bottles, we peeled off the labels and then printed out water bottle labels found here, also free and printable. I used sticker paper again and then trimmed them to fit with my paper cutter. They were a huge hit!!

Hope everyone had a happy, pinch-free day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dollar Tree Carrot Containers

Holy carrot cuteness! I ran into our local Dollar Tree this morning looking for gift boxes and found THESE instead!! I can just imagine how cute they would be filled with Jelly Bellys or M&Ms. Go getcha some for your ladies if you're looking for a little something for April!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bird in the Yard's Worth...

...apparently about ten bucks.

Yesterday the kids were out shooting baskets before piano lessons. Anna came running in and told me there was a flamingo in our front yard. My first thought was "No, there's not." I mean, I didn't put any flamingos in our yard. And it couldn't have been a real LIVE flamingo, could it? But general impression, I didn't really believe them. Until I went to see for myself and, well, there was a flamingo in our yard. I giggled all the way to piano lessons, I think because it was so unexpected and bizarre.

Turns out it is a fundraiser for the Prattville High School cheerleaders. As I've stated before, football is HUGE in the South. And Prattville has a very rich football heritage and is consistently nationally ranked. Last year, they played on ESPN. So as part of that heritage, I now have to pay $10 to have the flamingo transferred (via Prattville cheerleader) to another person's lawn.

I have never heard of this before, but Tony says he did a legal reveiw of it for Fairchild. Clearly, I somehow missed the bright pink flamingos in everyone's yards during fundraising season! But we love having Sal (that's right, we named him Sal) in our front yard. For now. But watch out! He could show up in your yard next...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Do I Talk Funny?

I just had the weirdest thing happen. The little kids and I stopped by our ghetto-fabulous local Walmart on the way home from The Lorax to get bread, milk and donuts (the weekend essentials) and the check-out lady gives me this strange look and asks me,

Check-out lady: "Are you from Alaska?"

Me: "Gosh, yes. How did you know that?"

Check-out lady: "I can tell by your accent."

MY accent? This is Alabama, folks. But that aside, I have never, EVER had anyone tell me that I had an Alaskan accent. I didn't even know Alaskans HAD accents.

Apparently, they do. And I have one.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Oh, look. Josh has a little OCD.

Wonder where he could have picked THAT up...