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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hello from Verona :

SAM_1259   I was going to post HELLO yesterday but we had computer (adaptor) problems which were only solved this morning, and now I am a day behind in telling you our story. 

Better at least get started. 
The trip was uneventful.  Plane left Rio on time, arrived in Paris on time, the little puddle jumper to Verona left out of terminal 2G so we made the right choice when buying the tickets  - giving ourselves 4 hours between flights.  Two just wouldn't have made it.  Our flight out of Rio landed and parked on the tarmac and we had to load onto a bus and be taken around and around the airport (seems that way) and then unload down on the ground floor.  Finding our way out of that mess and to the bathrooms.... then to 2G which is a bus ride away, around and around the airport - we were on the ground about 2.5 hours before going through security at 2G.  This section  has  a new, and very comfortable lounge to wait for your flight, but without services like money exchange or choice of eating
places.  But it was a comfortable wait.
SAM_1264 The little plane, and I am not exaggerating when I call it little, carried about 45 people.  It had one seat on the left and two seats on the right side of the plane. There was only luggage racks for very a small carry on on the right side.  the Plane was an EMB 145 – a Brazilian made plan.  Considering that Brazilian tennis shoes last 3 months at the most I was a little nervous as we took off. Don’t yell at me!SAM_1268
SAM_1277 By 7:00 in the evening we were checked into the hotel, had had showers and were back out on the streets, SAM_1292
   SAM_1280 getting our bearings just as the sun was setting.  We bought fresh peaches and apricots at a street market to have with our breakfast, walked all the way down to the river and on our way back ate dinner in our first ‘Italia Profunda’ restaurant.
Trattoria Colonna – via Tezonne, 1-37122 Verona – We rated it a 6 - nice Tortiini & Brodo, table wine was fine, service fine, baked veal was commercially prepared with gravy…. no didn’t do it for me. 

Bread was BAD – price was okay for what we ate.  Six is probably being generous.  It may move down as we have other places to compare.
Rating words - Very good (nice), good (nice), fine, doesn’t do it for me, bad.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Week. Italia Profunda

Su RIO/VERONA AF 445 leaves at 19:05 arrives Verona 30/8 17:10
Mo Arrive Verona 17:10 Visit Verona
We VERONA-Sirmione – Desenzano – Gardone - Verona Visit IL VITTORIALE
Th VERONA Visit Verona


Visit Arezzo-
Su The Joust of the Saracen -Arezzo


Here is our schedule for the first week in Italy – hope to see you following along.

Tchau – Ginger & Camillo

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A bunch of this and that

Where to start?  This week, the last month, even this past year has gone so quickly that I need to stop and count to ten.  But that won’t happen for another couple of months.  On Sunday scan0032Camillo and I will leave for 3 weeks in Italy. I know, I know HOW TERRIBLE!  No it will be great, it is just that this year has already been packed so full, even for us it is FULL and so it all seems a little much.
Starting in Verona we are driving south, right down the ‘backbone, and into Rome.  We are calling the trip ‘Italia Profunda’.  I don’t know if this is Portuguese or Italian but the meaning for us is to ‘get to the core’ of Italy.  We will not go into any large cities, nor stay in big commercial hotels but in small B&Bs, and we will eat only in little out of the way places.  We will taste the local foods and drink the local wines.  We go to Rome because Camillo’s sister lives there, and we can’t go to Italy without visiting his sister, but that is the only BIG destination.  (Photo from a similar trip in 2004 – Assisi is in the background)
I have bought a journal to log the places, the foods and the wines.  Now all I have to do is show unusual discipline and actually write in it.   We have only reservation in Verona and in Arezzo.  In Verona we needed a meeting place for the friends that are joining us, and in Arezzo Gubio.jpg (1) there is a festival which will fill the local hotels, the rest of the trip we will find a place to sleep as we go.  If I can get it done before we leave I will post a map that we tend to ‘sort of’ follow.  I will try to post from the road – but who knows when or where we will find internet connections.
Okay that is the first part.  The week we return to Rio, we have meetings in Rio about the database project I have been working on since my return from Oslo.  Associated with that is a long list of things that need to be finished.  A week after that I will go to Houston to work with the engineers in the Houston office.  That part of the project will last two months.  Right in the middle of that time I need to visit with my mother in Michigan, then Thanksgiving dinner to cook (Whoopee!) and then finally back to Rio the first week of December.  (not to forget the birth of our first Great-Granddaughter in December, Christmas, New Years, Marissa’s birthday, and last but not least the twin’s birthday – but we are used to that being our December so no problem!)
SEE what I mean.  I hope you can keep up cause I feel worn out already - I have to write it all down to remember.   Come back to visit Flowers to try and keep track of me.  Write me comments so I know you miss me.  I will post as often as I can from the road, sharing our experiences and a ‘few’ photos as we go.  Tchau!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Local Mysteries – What am I?

A few weeks back Camillo and I went on a Sunday morning tour to a (non-working) coffee plantation just outside of the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan area.  If you read that post you would have gotten at least one of these mysteries.  Although not from ‘My Town’ these items could have been found in Nova Friburgo if I looked hard enough.  They are all very indicative of this area of Brasil.  Well maybe not the last one, but the timeline is right.

What am I?

DSC_4910 I am a hand made angel.  I am made of straw & grass with a bit of lace to dress me up and I carry real dried flowers for color.  I have brothers and sisters, cousins and aunts made of corn cobs and dried husks, and bright yarns and fabric, but we all have a family resemblance that is unmistakable in our hand painted faces.  I would make a very nice gift for the US Thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner table.

DSC_4893 I am another stage of a banana tree in bloom. These are my newest Bananas, when you buy a ‘chiquita banana’ at the grocery now you will know what the little dry stems, often hanging off the end of your otherwise perfect banana are.  I would even make Carmen Miranda’s hat proud.

(I have to admit I am fascinated with the banana tree. People plant them in their yards in Houston and they just make a mess, looking bug eaten and moldy.  Here they go through a continuous bloom and are quite beautiful, and this time of bloom I’d never come across before.  I will post a series soon to see if we can follow all the stages of a banana tree. GingerV)

  DSC_4857 I bet you guessed I’m a potty chair for the little master.  But my real use seems to be another mystery, even to me.  The little girl that tells you about the house and its contents says that the chair was too heavy so they drilled a hole in order to be able to lift it….?  That sounds just made up to me.  I have to say that the hole has been there since my awareness of time so I think it natural that I have a hole in my seat.   Maybe my creator needed to hole in order to make me round and concaved …. do you know why I have a hole in my seat?   If you do send me a comment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MTFSO – Local Mysteries

What am I?

See Sunday Post for answers to these mysteries!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

FSO – Roads and Pathways



We have done this topic with slight variations several times.  Makes for a challenge to come up with another angle.  I guess that’s what happens when you are posting your 73 MTFSO.  There may not be any new ways to show my town.  But here I go giving it another chance.

      Below our house in the mountains is a small road that winds its way through the forest.  It is just wide enough for one car -  but if necessary any car that you might meet will pull way to the side or back up until there is a small safer place to pull over.  The road is steep; it is dirt and stone and ruts, graded over a bed of old construction material.  I imagine that it started as a trail through the wood in which the forest people walked to go to church on Sundays and to get their home grown vegetables to market. 

      Now many have small trucks, Fuscas, motorbikes and bicycles, and the path gradually became a road.  Lucky for us if you walk about 2 KM to the other end this small road meets a larger dirt road which is wider and better maintained and most people choose to drive the other direction, leaving the road below our house quiet and undisturbed, making is a great place to walk 30 minutes down the hill and 45 minutes up – more depending on how often you stop for a quick photo.   

DSC_4766 DSC_4778 

DSC_1180 (2) Rest and hike in Friburgo (16) 

DSC_4781  DSC07913








Monday, August 09, 2010

The Fusca Revival: Part 3

I have been thinking about this car; its history and how it is surviving way past the time that other cars have given out, both in practical usage and in body style, its likability.

I would bet that in Friburgo this car is one in every 20 on the streets.  Never in the Cadima Shopping parking, my car and others like it park there - like the boring, yellow newer model I showed you in my last post.  These older models line the street outside, parked bumper to bumper in front of the repair shops, the plumbing supply stores, the paint and construction stores.  On the ten Kilometer drive from my house to the gym I have counted 15 on any given day, many times seeing colors I’d never notice before.

From the bus window when coming back from Rio, as we pass over the highest point and start down into our valley, I see the police checkpoint and notice a fusca in the lot of crashed and otherwise repossessed cars.  On Friday last week Camillo drove me up to the checkpoint and we ask the policeman manning the store (!) if I could take photos.  He probably thought typical tourist – but who cares I got my photos.  

When seen up close there were TWO fuscas.  They looked like they had been there a while.  Sitting in the elements, surrounded by a small lake of rain water.  Maybe since before the revival because surely the government would auction these off if they new they were sitting on a gold mine.  Enjoy what I enjoyed.

SAM_1150 SAM_1149 SAM_1145

SAM_1146 SAM_1147 SAM_1141 SAM_1139 SAM_1144

I wanted to adopt them and take them home with me. A treasure trove.

Fusca Revival: part 2


The Fusca has been a part of the Friburgo landscape for as long as I can remember.   They seem to have been a favorite with the farmers and the forest people since they came onto the used car market. 

No matter how old, how rusted, how many parts seem to be missing, you could see them tooling along the roads, dependably getting their owners where they need to be.  Easy to park, manual transmissions all, inexpensive to operate, longevity way back in their ancestry.  Always and still are a car for the people.

Over the years I have seen them around in all sort of conditions.  They seem to have been mostly white or beige.  No frills, wearing their original faded paint, often missing back seats, floor boards, bumpers or fenders but doing their jobs with pride non-the-less.  

SAM_0092 SAM_0090 SAM_0089 SAM_1170 SAM_1174 

Maybe six months ago, although it might have stated much sooner than that, I began to notice snappy new paint jobs; flashy colors: bright red to bright pink, midnight blue to baby blue, forest green to olive drabs; bits of fresh chrome had been added, running boards, and custom covered seats.  There are two shops that I know of just in Mury that specialize in bringing life back to these little cars.  Taking parts from one to make up for the loss on another.

SAM_1168%255B3%255D  SAM_1163 

Until they can sell a new and shiny Fusca, in any color you might like.

SAM_1048  DSC_4534 SAM_0651   SAM_1078

SAM_1079 SAM_0605

The new models can’t come close to competing with these babies as far as I am concerned.  It is almost worth learning to drive stick just to be able to buy myself one – I think in Turquoise.  No burgundy….. No that orange one is really my favorite.  No maybe deep fire-engine RED!

 SAM_0997 DSC_4532