Saturday, October 14, 2006

Brazil Part 3: Sao Paulo

This time we visited one of the world's largest cities: Sao Paulo. We went to the SP Zoo and I don't need to say that Sam had so much fun. He loves animals, especially lions and the monkeys. We went to a Museum where we didn't have to pay anything to enter and we enjoyed it so much. There were lots of originals paintings by famous artists like Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, etc. We were amazed that no one tried to steal them. Besides being one of the largest cities in the world, Sao Paulo is also one of the most dangerous. Marcia made Bryce grow a goatee, wear dark sunglasses, wear a Brazilain soccer shirt, and he had to leave his hair a mess so that he wouldn't look like a clean cut American, fresh shaven American.
View of Sao Paulo City. As you can see in the video below and this picture, the city is monsterous. This is the size of city Marcia was used to when she came to Salt Lake City for the first time, and was very suprised at how small it was. She kept asking people where the "real downtown" was.

In Sao Paulo, we also went and visited Marcia's family. This is her aunt and cousins. These people were very nice and gave us some great food.

Visiting my grandma was one of the main reason of this trip. She is a 99 year old Japanese lady who went to Brazil in her early 20s, who speaks Portuguese with a very thick Japanese accent, who sings all the time when she is not talking and who had a "crush on Bryce". She used to say: "handsome husband, Marcinha really lucky"

**If you have viewing these videos, try this page in Internet Explorer. They seem to work a little better there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Finally... Brazil Part 2: Rio de Janeiro

It took us so long to post the 2nd half of our trip to Brazil. To be exact, it took us 6 months. But here it is. While we were in Taubate visiting my parents, we took a quick trip to Rio, the famous Copacabana Beach City and where the Christ Statue is.

Sunny Day on Copacabana Beach. Our hotel was just across the street from the beach. The sand was incredible. Very soft and white. It is a famous beach for a reason.
Christ Statue ( Corcovado-Rio)
Rio City View from the Christ Statue. The land feature in the upper left of this picture is called the Sugar Loaf.

This video is of us on the Beach in Rio the first day we were there. It was a little cloudy and I let him fall in the water, sorry Sam. The waves and wind were very strong. If my dad and brothers were there, we would have had a lot of fun body surfing, but as it was, I was a little intimidated by the large waves and no one there to participate in the buddy system with me.

This is a video taken from the lookout at the foot of the Christ Statue. As you can see the view from up there was breath-taking. The land is very hilly and extremely lush. As we just started driving up the long, windy, cobblestone road that lead up to this incredible monument we saw a chubby guy on a bike struggling his way against the steep slope. Marcia asked our Taxi driver: "Do people ride their bikes all the way to the top?!?!" He replied that some do, but "not that guy."

**If you have problems viewing these videos, try our site in IE, the videos seem to work better there.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Brazil Trip Part I. Taubate

Taubate: Our trip started here. (Well, it is interesting to know that American Airlines moved our flight without telling us, so when we got to the airport they said that our plane was leaving in 5 min and we wouldn't be on it, so we had to fly out a day late) Marcia's Dad picked us up from the airport in Sao Paulo and we drove the 2 hours to her house.

Here is Sam sleeping on the plane:

Here is us and Marcia's dad playing with Sam at the local park in Taubate (Marcia's hometown)

Here we are playing cards with Samia and with Marcia's dad. We stayed up till late quite a few times playing "buraco" or "hole" in English.

Also there is the little European village called Campos do Jordao near Taubate. We rode a ski lift up and it was fun to just look around. It was like a little different world inside Brazil. We took a tour around the town, and our guide was very funny. We talked to him and found out that he was LDS and planning on serving a mission.

Here is Marcia's good friend Juliana, her son, and her boyfriend. They were great people and we spent a couple of nights with them. Sam got along really well with Thomas, (her son) who is 10 years old.

This is Marcia's friend Tarsila. Marcia has been friend with her since she was born. Marcia used to hold her in her lap when Tarsila was a baby. Marcia liked eating at Tarsila's house so much that she asked Tarsila's mom to make us a meal while we were there. AND SHE WAS RIGHT! It was good.

This is the nursery for the ward in Taubate (the whole nursery, 3 kids - including Sam). Sam did not want to leave!

Marcia's dad put this shirt on and I thought it was funny, so I took this picture.

The biggest thing about Taubate was the time we got to spend with Marcia's parents. It was great! We got along really well. Marcia's Dad (Pedro), Sam and I liked to have Sumo wrestling fights. (we only watched japanese TV while in Taubate, so we saw a lot sumo wrestling)
Thanks to Marcia's Mom, Teresa, We did a little dancing at the church in an institute activity. It had a live band and was a lot of fun.

We did a lot of visits and had a good time meeting Marcia's friends and neighbors. In the video you'll see Iris and her husband Newton.
One really beautiful place near Taubate was Ubatuba. The city has like 100 beaches, and they are amazing. It is a shame that it was a little cloudy. I did get to try my hand(feet) at surfing. It was fun. Marcia's dad and I had a lot of fun jumping around in the waves. He moves around really well for 71! And of course Sam loves the sand! Then there is a quick shot of us in the car when fog was so thick we couldn't see anything! Lastly there is a quick clip of Tarcila and her family. She made us some amazing food. Man, I love Brazilian food!!