terça-feira, 23 de julho de 2013

Did you really think it was over?

Ha, ha!!! Fooled you! Adventure Camp means you're in for the wildest time in your life - on ground, on mountains, in snow, in air, urban or nature experience! Here we are, in Newark, New Jersey, after traveling for 2 days trying to catch a connection to Brazil. First, we heard in Vancouver, as soon as we approached the check-in counter, our flight would be delayed 3 hours... actually 4, but then a bit more, until we finally left already knowing we had missed our flight to Sao Paulo in Washington D.C. Alright, we got to Dulles airport around 1:00 am and proceed to Customer Service to know what would become of us until our next possibility of flying. After long lines, angry people, crying children, we got vouchers for accommodations and food and a promise to board the next day on the same flight. Washington, late morning and delicious breakfast at Mariott, we were all ready for our next adventure and positive we'd be making it that night. We arrived pretty early at the airport because we had to take a plane to Newark and then make the connection, so there we were enjoying the stores and lunch at Mc Donald's. Turns out our flight was delayed and in midst of great confusion and the attendants completely unsure what to do, the flight was canceled due to extreme weather and they were rebooking everyone again. When my turn came, as the man took my boarding passes, they announced over the loudspeaker the flight would be boarding soon. Great! There was a bit of suspense as I waited for the man back and the boys already boarded without me, but in the end we were all on this very small plane headed to Newark. Sorry, not over... We spent altogether 6 hours on this tight plane, between taxiing on ground, waiting for free pass from controllers, landing in Philadelphia for fuel, and waiting in Newark for a gate. We got to Newark, naturally, after our flight to SP had left, meaning we'd have to go through huge lines at Customer Service again and pray they'd give us vouchers one more time. After patiently and kindly insisting with the attendant who was clear on a no-vouchers policy due to weather, somehow she heard my pleas and gave us accommodation for the night and food for the day, oh, and a boarding pass to SP same time the next day (almost forgot about the flight!). So, that's where we are now, about to leave the hotel to Newark airport and spend another 8-9 hours until it's time to board our flight at 10:00 pm. How about that, huh? Did you think Dallas 2011 was exciting? Wait till you live the Newark adventure!!!

domingo, 21 de julho de 2013

Our fantastic journey comes to an end...

What can we say after so much was lived and experienced? I don't think we'll ever be able to express it all in words but you'll surely notice in the kids' behavior and general attitude, because much has been learned from these 21 days away from home.
What I can surely say about my troopers is that they've been the best companions and comrades I could have ever wished for on such a trip. They were very much appreciated wherever we went and I was always complimented on such polite and friendly boys I had. I can only thank them for all the patience and tolerance they've practiced with me, and the great opportunity of getting to know them better and enjoying good times.
Below go our last pictures of the fantastic day we had yesterday at Granville Island and Science World. We walked the whole path along the sea wall all the way to Granville and the view was just stunning, with gorgeours apartment buildings on our left and the sea and boats on our right. And, of course, the sun shining and the sky blue as can be!
As for you parents, I must thank you for your trust and confidence, for I know how precious these boys are and I'll always be grateful for having had the chance to share so much together.
Now, get your rice and beans ready, Brazil, because we're coming home!

sábado, 20 de julho de 2013

Our last adventures...

Playland, Robson St., Gastown and Burnaby Village Museum

Yesterday we had a full day with our group of the camp. We went to Playland, an amusement park, in the morning and part of the afternoon, chilled out a bit at Stanley Park, had some yummy burgers at a nearby restaurant and then headed to shopping at Robson Street (somewhat like our Oscar Freire and Jardins). The park was good fun and the kids enjoyed quite a few rides and stayed with another friend they ran into from Clube Paineiras.At Stanley they played "truco" while I lay on the grass just dozing off a bit. It was another beautiful day in Vancouver and some very hot sun. Our dinner was delicious! The original burger with French fries and juice. At Robson Street, kids were given some boundaries but they could go out on their own with their buddies, and so they went. More shopping and more gifts... I'm impressed with how much they worry about getting things for those they love and cherish; I hope you all appreciate this hard work they've put into finding you the right present.
Today was a day for sightseeing and some great spots! We first headed downtown to Gastown, which is a tall building from which you can have a great view of the city. It turns out it's the coolest street ever! Designer stores of clothes, furniture, lighting, you name it. Besides, there are all these bistro-type restaurants with their tables out on the sidewalk, and many trendy people. It was quite a surprise, as the boys were not all that excited about visiting this place. In the end, everyone loved it!
In the afternoon, we rushed to Burnaby Village Museum, which is like a live museum with a small village preserved from the beginning of the 1900s. It's amazing! It looks like the studio of a movie set in that time. The houses are perfect with all the furniture and everything inside. There is a commercial area as well, with a general store, pharmacy, bakery and so on. The interesting part is that the people who take care of each space are dressed accordingly and will tell you about the history of that part of the village. I wish we'd had more time to spend there, because we arrived 30 minutes before their closing time, so we had to make our visit really fast.
Tomorrow is our last day and we'll be going to Granville Island and Science World. Who knows what's in store for us? We'll do our best to take in all we can in these last moments of such a wonderful trip. Get ready because we're coming home!!