Friday, January 10, 2014

My "Mandatory" Activities to Make a Trip to Brazil Complete

Disclaimer: this is a personal list. My husband or family may not agree or care for most items. I am the annoying "want-to-have-it-all" person in this family. ;-)

I will probably have to edit this post multiple times so I can make this list more "exhaustive," but I want to start it while these thoughts are still fresh in my mind!
  • (most important) Going to Curitiba, Paraná to visit my extended family on both sides (this is the city where I spent four years of my childhood, ages 4-8, and all my vacations growing up).*
  • Seeing as many old friends & their children as possible (this time we only saw four+families and that was very sad indeed!). Ideally spending some time (a day or so) with the closest friends and/or staying at their houses.
  • Traveling to Caldas Novas and/or Olímpia (both Hot Springs resort places, in 2009 we went to both!). This time we didn't do it, but the sea water was so warm in Maragogi that it didn't matter! I guess any fun time spent in water (pools or sea) counts here.
  • Grocery shopping for industrialized food to bring to the U.S.: heart-of-palm; pre-cooked corn flour to make corn-based "cous-cous" & some other items. (I did do this, but not as leisurely as I'd like).   
  • Eating at Ráscal, an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant that has an amazing all-you-can-eat salad bar & gourmet pasta that exists only in São Paulo & Rio. --> I haven't eaten there in many years, maybe the last time was back in 2009. (?)
  • Shopping for clothes in Monte Sião, MG and/or for old books in used bookstores in São Paulo and walking around commercial areas in São Paulo. (didn't do those) Going to the crafts fair (feirinha) in Curitiba or shopping for hand-made crafty clothes & accessories in Maceió -- did the latter in a rush & bought nearly nothing.     
  • [to be continued] if needed
Optional, but desirable:
  • Visiting sigh-seeing locations with the kids. We do this rarely (e.g. in 2009-10 we went to visit a second cousin near Brasília -- the capital -- so we took the kids to see the city. I really want to take the boys to Rio de Janeiro and Foz do Iguaçu, two of the most prominent picture-perfect "postcards" of Brazil.

* I went there every time I went to Brazil except two weekend trips and this last trip. K hasn't been in Curitiba since Dec. 2005, if I'm not mistaken.

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