Alive and Well

Thursday, February 20, 2014

 // Sunrise from our hotel room. No complaints. // A section of city. // The Dude jumped off our tour jeep while we were stuck in traffic to grab some hydration. He's the bestest. // A view from a friend's hotel room. Pools ran into ocean. //

Gosh, guys. It's been a while. You see, I'm a person that needs time. Time to adjust post-trip. Post anything but the usual, if I'm honest. We arrived back home in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The daylight hours of Sunday were spent in a couch coma. Monday I scarcely resembled a human being. Tuesday brought a bit of normality and by today I'm back to my old self. Turns out I needed a vacation from our vacation, which never happens. Life as usual the second you walk through the door. Because this is real life, after all. I feel strongly that we should begin tripling our 401K contribution so we can one day be those people who take vacations from their vacations.

I had an I'm off to Brazil and will therefore be out of the office for nine whole days post, complete with a clouds-framed-by-airplane-window photo, but even that didn't get a sendoff. Then we found ourselves without cell service, data and all, and internet access only in our hotel room. Which we spent little time in. Because we were in Rio de Janeiro, duh.

// City life at night. // A shady palm. // The graffiti around the city was bad, but they've been transforming it into art. There were some amazing works. // Scenery. //

Would you believe I have yet to download the five million photos I took on our trip? I think of them, get all pitter-pattery, then forget. Gosh, this post-trip funk may be worse than I thought. In truth, that trip was just what we needed. After the tunnel vision of college ended, I needed some separation from the humdrum of our everyday life. Time with my husband sans kiddo. Radical departures from life can sure deliver a new perspective. I returned tired, but ready to embrace impending changes. I'm excited to start Act 2; turn the page; start a new chapter... and every other literature metaphor. This New England winter has been a doozy, but it's easier knowing it will be my last.

There are several Rio posts in the wings, but for now I have a glimpse into the last two weeks. Because my iPhone never takes a vacation.

// Our first full day brought a sunrise tour of the Christ the Redeemer statue, which sits atop Corcovado mountain, and is now officially one of the Wonders of the World. // The views of the ocean and city from its base are incredible. // On the bus ride to the airport on our last evening, I snapped one last photo at sunset. It seemed like the perfect goodbye. //

// The food overall wasn't my favorite, but not terrible, though there were some delicious moments. Stews seem to be the specialty, which seems odd given the balmy climate. The two shown were pretty darn good. Especially the shrimp stew served in a pumpkin. It took everything I had not to dive in face first. // There were also curiously addicting donut-shaped snacks, fruity gelato, and some Chilean wine I couldn't get enough of (nor ibuprofen the next morning, if you get my drift). // The coffee was served one way: strong. // I sipped the contents of too many coconuts to count. They get a big machete, chop a wedge out of the top, and plop in a straw. This is one of those things I've clearly missed out on being a native North American. (Continental U.S., anyway.) //

// After much deliberation, three trips to H. Stern, and a consumer hangover, these beauties now adorn my lobes. I may never take them off. // A Starbucks in Ipanema made the best latte I've ever had. Hands down. // A blurry sunset photo taken from a tour bus. I kind of love it. // Gosh this dude's handsomeness never quits. //

// I frequented O'Hare 4 times in 9 days. We got to be quite familiar. (I had an extra leg on both ends of my trip to drop off and pick up Kiddo in Wisconsin where he stayed with relatives.) // When in Chicago... eat a Chicago dog. // Aforementioned obligatory cloud photo from aircraft. // Customs line upon landing in Houston. Between it and the non-moving immigration line, I almost missed my flight to where else? Chicago. // In case of an emergency landing, this stud will save us all. Seriously. // When in Chicago... also munch on Garrett's popcorn. I favor the Chicago mix: cheddar and caramel. // Thank goodness for Dr. Who. This new tome saved us during a 5 hour layover after two cancelled flights. //

// After sorting through a mountain of mail, I unearthed this beauty. It's official! // This sweet fella developed a total urinary blockage within a day of Mario getting home. Sunday morning he was admitted to the on-call vet and Monday afternoon was transferred to our regular vet for surgery. Hopefully the procedure will prevent these blockages in the future. We are so fortunate it didn't happen while were gone, as he likely wouldn't have made it. He's on the mend, but the poor guy is a bit miserable. A stressful homecoming event, for sure. // Don't be fooled by this lovely frosty sunrise photo. Yesterday my car got stuck no less than four times on unplowed surfaces. Thank goodness I'm an experience winter driver. Two hours of cleanup later... it began snowing again. Oy. New England is making our decision to move very easy. // In the midst of sleep deprivation, excessive flying, and a touch of jet lag, I decided I needed to quit a certain caffeinated brew. Own worst enemy, right here. I felt like I'd become overly dependent, often gulping it down even if I didn't want it. It was time for a breakup. This morning, for the sake of the greater good, I had a small latte. Because I was like a grouchy feral animal. Tea is helping with the transition. A little. //

That's all she wrote (for now). I hope to get back in the groove next week and will be writing more regularly. And sifting through hundreds of photos. And hopefully finding some freelance writing work. So much to do, so much to do. (Which is a good thing.)


  1. Yay!!!!!!! :) Love the diploma pic. :)

  2. What a fabulous post. It has been a miserable winter and Rio would be a great change. I was there twenty five years ago and your fabulous pictures brought back so much of that trip. I probably made three trips to H. Stern, too, and ended up buying an amethyst necklace.

  3. Haha Sarah, I love this pot pourri of photos and tid bits. Wish I could have snuck into to your suitcase to make the trip with you (well, maybe not the immigration line anyway). That sunset picture oh my!!! (Oh, heads up, am still a persona non grata no-reply blogger... tought I would save you the aggravation. Apparently I cannot figure my way out of that one... )


  4. Oh my goodness. What a wonderful time. I am so jealous.


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