I left the day after Christmas and because my mother is paranoid she ordered the car so early that I arrive and hour and a half before the ticket counter ever even opened. When it did open I managed to score an aisle exit row seat. I do a little duty free shopping (to calm my nerves since I'm flying alone for the first time) and have a little vodka tonic (more nerve calming) and head through security for my gate. We board, I take my nice seat, a couple comes over and starts fighting in some language about their seats. I ignore them, put on some music and try to get as Zen as possible before I have to take off and the panic starts to set in. Next thing I know the wife asks me if I speak Portuguese, I say no because well I don't. Next thing I know I have to change seats for take off because you cannot sit in an exit row on TAM Airlines if you do not speak fluent Portuguese. Any amount of zen I had achieved was gone. I change seats. Start knitting and crying, we take off the seat belt sign turns off and I'm back in my seat. Then another woman comes up to the flight attendant complaining about her seat. Next thing I know I'm moving again so she and her friend can be more comfortable. This time at least I just had to move to another aisle exit row seat. I told the attendant that I would switch this last time but I wasn't moving again for landing, thankfully they respected the deal we had made and the rest of the flight went reasonably well. The Valium and wine kind of helped that along but you've got to do what you've got to do right?
We land in Sao Paolo and I have about 30 minutes to make my connector. No one speaks English. Carl, who left on the 22nd, had promised me that when he went through the airport everyone spoke English...I think they all had the day off. I rush and rush and I miss my connection. I spend the next 4 hours at the Sao Paolo airport, hoping that my last email to Carl and his mother have been received and that they have changed the car to pick me up at the new time. I also got stuck into my knitting. FINALLY I get on the plane get to Salvador and to the house.
The rest of the week and half was wonderful. The house Lili (Carl's mom) had rented was made up of 4-5 little apartments so each "couple" had their own little place and then the main house to hang out in. We were about 150 yards from the beach and spent every morning there. It was absolutely beautiful. I did a little knitting while at the beach but mainly I read On Human Nature by Edward O. Wilson that I had borrowed from BGF. If you're not overly religious read it, its great. If you are overly religious you might be offended. Anyway the beach time as wonderful. I little snorkeling and swimming we even manged to squeeze in a dive before we left. We now know why Brazil isn't exactly known for its diving but it was good practice nevertheless. I did have AWFUL mask squeeze when we descended. Luckily I managed to fix that or it would have been an awful awful dive.
There was also a little turtle conservation please in the town called Project Tamar. We visited the little museum one afternoon at saw all the turtles. It was fun. They had a wonderful gift shop too and I helped the turtles out A LOT.
One night half the power in town went out and we had to scrabble to find candles and flashlights. The part of town with power (obviously not where we were staying) we chaos. The supermarket was packed, as were all the stores and restaurants. Ended up being a really fun night. We all played cards and just enjoyed each others company.
New Year's Eve was interesting. I haven't spent New Year's on the beach in years. And Brazilians party til dawn, literally. We all cut out and went to bed around 12:30 but the party kept going till 6:30 am. We could hear all the music from the beach at the house. It was insane.
The journey back on TAM was equally as awful. I'm never flying with them again. Regardless, I had a great trip and I got a lot of sun, a lot of reading done and a lot of knitting done.
Speaking of knitting this is what we've got:
The Anniversary Socks - COMPLETE
The Sweater Sampler - NEARLY COMPLETE
Stockings with Garters (for the Emma KAL on Raverly) - JUST STARTED
Now I just need to get adjusted to real life...I wonder how long that will take?