Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day one, again

My time away from the internet was good for the soul—like the salt water of the Atlantic and being drenched in sunshine on Joaquina beach in Florianópolis, where Stacee and I enjoyed a peaceful seven days. Well, mostly peaceful, but peppered with moments of zesty behavior too… like when Stacee tried sandboarding.


Remember, comedian Eddie Izzard warned that “it’s hard to look cool when you’re nailed to a plank of wood”, so give the girl some credit. On her first run she didn’t bite it, but if I posted that video I would be doing a disservice to our fifteen years of humor-filled friendship.

On New Years Eve we donned our white, ate superstitious numbers of grapes (saving the seeds, for luck), and hiked our cooler of champagne and cheap Reisling to the beach. We jumped seven waves, cast our wishes, and met a zany group of Paulistas. The night was warm with only the threat of rain, and the lighting over the sea played well with the fireworks. Stacee said my trajectory on the walk back to the pousada (inn) was that of a snake…err, a snake with legs, I suppose. Happy New Years Mission—accomplished.

We returned to Porto Alegre on Friday. The city was vacant of its residents, as expected, but unfortunately even the wonderful cultural centers I had planned to show her were closed. Plus we had three days of rain, so the sightseeing part of her expedition left much to be desired. Friends Marianna and Roberto saved the day, hosting us for a proper home-style churrasco on Saturday, and we enjoyed several meals and charming nightspots with friends. The city and the sun came back to life yesterday, so at least we had one good day to roam the parks and neighborhoods.

I took Stacee to the airport today. In general, I love airports. Every time I have landed at Salgado Filho here in Porto Alegre I have been filled with joy—as every time I have departed from here I have cried. Though the purpose of today’s visit was neither of these, after Stacee and I said our goodbyes, I went upstairs to the lookout and waited for her plane to take off. I stood there for an hour—looking at the city skyline and contemplating each of my visits to this airport—and shed lots of tears.

When I got home I had lots of loving voicemails on Skype, in addition to some funny drunken ones from various friends celebrating New Years Eve. Your timing was perfect, thanks everybody.

Feliz Ano Novo!

Loquinha Gauchinha