December 28, 2011

Gingerbread House.

I love coming home to do projects with my mom. Our childhoods (all 8 of us) were punctuated with moments of creation - guided by our mom - braided bread, cookies for each holiday, gingerbread houses, crafts, sewing projects. She is the queen of positive reinforcement. She knows exactly the moment to insert a little chime of encouragement and when to take a little hand to guide it. Marguerite and my mom have always had an immediate connection - even when they are speaking to each other in two different languages, they have their own sign and eye language that fuses them and they take each other in.

December 18, 2011


Thanks to our lovely John Derian, we found the perfect light fixture for one of the rooms in our house. It is a turn of the century piece with crazy reflectors and a germane size for the space. Xavier is pretty sure it is a chandelier from a French theater. All good things come from...

We're excited.

December 17, 2011

Rio: The beach.

Rio is amazing because of the variety of beaches. Almost the entire sprawling urban area is lined by beaches (and mountains) and each of the beaches are a bit different. There is Copacabana and Ipanema, of course, but then, as the coast winds around, there are many other little coves and beaches that provide different vistas and seascapes and waves. Lovely.

While Xavier was examining beach trash and finding treasures that really suited him, I was doing yoga. Sand is my favorite surface - especially when pregnant because it gives underneath you.

December 15, 2011

Rio: Get to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

...And from the other side of the city - Sugarloaf Mountain, where the views are equally good (maybe better, in fact). A cable car ferries you up to the top and then beauty sits below.

December 14, 2011

Rio: Do Corcovado.

Of course making the trek to visit Cristo Redentor on Corcovado mountain is a requisite Rio thing. There is actually a hike you can do to get to the statue and I was pining for the hike the whole train ride up when I caught glimpses of the trail on the way through the rainforest. Not many people elect to take that route - even more reason to do it. You'll agree, I am sure, once you are on the train, congested like a snotty nose with packs of ravenous tourists. I bet you would see monkeys on the hiking trail, too. My dad would definitely take that version.

The views of Rio from the top are phenomenal.

Furthermore, there are creatures up there who await your arrival. Rather than an ice cream, candy bar, french fries stop - one of the food joints by the Art Deco Jesus is pure whole fruits. Lined up - pineapples, mangos, bananas, papaya, guava, melons. You point and then someone glibly chops and you are presented with beautifully sliced fruit. So delectable. This little one, with her nose that extended and moved up and down in her search for food was our friend. Xavier complained how much time I wanted to spend with her. She liked pineapple and mango and was so sweet and domesticated. She had a batch of babies just below. I think she liked me especially because she could tell I was going to have a baby too.

December 12, 2011

Rio: Stroll.

Get a little bit lost. But only a little bit. In our wanderings, we did end up strolling in neighborhoods that changed abruptly on us - in just a few streets - and our presence was regarded somewhat dubiously. That said, I had heard so many frightful tales of villainy in Rio before coming that I was paranoid (I left my nice camera at home in fear). It turned out that, in general, and when I knew where I was wandering, I felt quite safe. I was also so charmed by the people in the city. The Brazilians we met were warm and their eyes rumple nicely when they smiled.

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