But things worked out okay; I got a little at-home vacation with Karine, and and Alexandre and I will save the money to extend our US trip a bit.
Karine and I got back to the beach town on Sunday night (Christmas day), and I got to enjoy her company until late Tuesday night, when she got a bus back to Caipirópolis.
Unfortunately, we were rained off the beach all day on Monday. So we used the day to walk around downtown and explore the mall (Karine bought some clothes). We went to the grocery store. We ate some açai. I took my broken watch to a jewelry store and we made friends with the aging watch repair man, because he perked up at my mispronunciation of relógio and informed us that he had immigrated to Brazil from Spain long ago.
We went home and made an early and extravagant enchilada dinner (I typed up the recipe for the neglected cooking blog; check it out here!). Then, we did the only sensible thing there was to do on a rainy evening on the beach: sat at one of the covered beach kiosks and got piss drunk in the rain. It was great fun. We gushed about how happy we are to have each other as friends. Karine tried to speak English with the guy in front of us at the store, where we stopped to buy ice cream and more alcohol. We came home and pestered Alexandre, then quickly passed out on the pullout couch-bed before we even ate the ice cream. And good times were had by all!
We woke up hungover, but there was no time to waste! The sun was finally peeking through the clouds a bit, and we needed to make the most of it. Down to the beach we went!
We saw a little egret catching a fish:
We enjoyed coconut juice/water:
That's right. I censored my own picture. The angle was way too revealing. Have a gander at the nice piece of ass behind me instead. Yum yum!
We went home and ate leftover enchiladas for lunch, then we went for a looooonnng walk on the beach, one that rivaled our marathon walks back in Caipirópolis:
We went out and had sushi for dinner, and just like that, Karine's trip was over! So sad! :( At least we'll live closer together again once I move back inland.
Even though it felt like I'd just gotten home, on Thursday we had to go to deal with new apartment bureaucracy, and then we just continued on to the in-laws' house and stayed there until New Year's day. (That meant I spent 4 out of the last 5 weekends at the in-laws' house, for better or for worse!) We got all the apartment stuff squared away, and now we're just waiting for the keys. :D (The military is dragging their feet a bit [surprise] about giving Alexandre word on when his last day will be, but it's probably going to be around the 20th.)
We did almost nothing the whole weekend at the in-laws' house, and I was going a little crazy with boredom. I did manage to read the ENTIRE book World Without End this week. (In case you don't know, it's over 1000 pages. Beautiful sequel to the Pillars of the Earth!). Alexandre and I also went for a run one day and for a walk the next. But other than that, we just lay around the house like the spoiled slobs we are.
We did, however, manage to get ourselves all dolled up for New Year's Eve. We just stayed at home with the immediate family (so nice -- no maids or weird aunts), but we made ourselves pretty to please Alexandre's mom. She even helped "decorate" me with a colorful necklace, and then insisted on taking a bunch of pictures (OK, I kind of insisted, too).
the birds and I match (the MIL bought some of those paintings for our new apt, too, by the way. I'm excited!)
Guess who was sick of taking pictures?
The food and company were pleasant as always, but the highlight of the evening was DEFINITELY getting Alexandre's mother drunk on wine and champagne and watching her dance around the house, trying to translate and sing her own English rendition of Michel Teló's "Ai Se Eu Te Pego":
For God's sake, those girls! Quite possibly one of the worst songs ever produced, in English or in Portuguese. I don't even know why I'm embedding it.
Then, once the (Globo TV) clock announced the new year, the MIL ran around the house shouting "Happy 2012!" in Portuguese and insisting that she, Alexandre, his sister, and I make a sort of dancing conga line train down the halls in order to announce the new year to the sleeping relatives. PRICELESS. I really wanted to record her, because I think her getting drunk is a once-in-a-decade event, but I was too worried I'd break the spell.
So now it's 2012, and while 2011 had its good points and gave me a lot of learning experiences, it kind of sucked for me in general (mostly because my grandpa died and I had to live in this shitty town for Alex's military job). I guess that means things can only get better, right?
Happy New Year!