Geranium seeds

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Distractions in Brazil

My dear readers:
First of all, my heartfelt apologies for neglecting this blog. Summer was busy, and before I knew it I felt out of the habit of writing. You know how it goes. Here´s to a rebirthing of this blog with the beginning of Fall. *Cheers*

The busyness of last Summer started with a trip to Brazil to see family. It was a real family affair since my husband and little boy went with me, and the trip was a success. Little did I know I would be in Brazil again in a couple of months, this time by myself. My dad was hospitalized with pneumonia, and when I heard he had been intubated, I decided to book a last minute flight.

I grew up in a beautiful city on the coast of Brazil. At seventeen, I was ready to spread my wings and explore different sceneries. I didn´t really think that it would be a permanent move or that I would be raising a family in a different country. But, that is how it turned out. I love my life but sometimes I wonder if I would have left if I had understood how difficult it would be to live away from parents who get sick, to raise children away from my family, and to live away from the ocean. Ah, the ocean. My beloved.

It is wonderful to be here but also bittersweet. It´s hard to enjoy my hometown while also caring for my dad and missing my little boy and my husband terribly. Every mamma knows it´s not easy to have a good time when you´re away from your little one for an extended period of time. And even though it´s only been a week, I had never been away from Lucas for more than one night!

So, this has not been the usual leisure vacation in Brazil. But, I am still making the most of it and have certainly made use of wonderful distractions and self-care rituals in this wonderful place called home.

1) Toes in the Ocean

Praia da Costa Beach, in my hometown

I love the ocean. I always have, but now that I live away from it, I really appreciate it. Something about standing in it and watching waves crash on the beach makes everything alright. Nearly everyday since I´ve arrived I´ve come for a short jog on the beach, which ends with my toes in the water for a few minutes. Ultimate self-care.

2) Desserts, desserts, desserts!!

Brazil has the best yogurt. That seems random, but it´s true. I stocked up on my first day. But I´ve also been sampling some of my old favorite chocolates and everything sweet.

The intensive care unit where my dad is hospitalized has very strict rules in regards to visitation. Only one person can stay with him from 11:30 am to 7 pm, and two people can visit for 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. I have been alternating with my sisters and stepmother.
One afternoon I was killing time at the mall until visitation time, and saw a bakery named “The best chocolate cake in the world.” Of course, I had to try it! It was good: layers of merengue with real chocolate in between. But, I still wouldn´t say it was the best in the world. So, I am going to have to continue on my mission to find the very best, which means sampling many more different kinds. I´ll let you know how it goes.

The self-titled “Best chocolate cake in the world”

This leads to the 3rd great distraction and self-care goodie in Brazil:

3) Coffee!!

I have had cappucinos or otherwise good coffee everyday. Doesn´t get much better than that.

By the way, this is what the McDonald´s McCafe looks like in my hometown:

Life is sweeter in Brazil.

Not too shabby, huh?

Here´s one more picture of the beach in case you are in the unfortunate situation of being away from the ocean. Picturing yourself here works too.

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