21st Birthday, Parati, and PICTURES!
Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
12Trip End Jul 22, 2006
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I write to you all as a 21 year old. YESSSSSSS! FINALLY! Here are 10 reasons why my birthday was awesome!
1) This weekend, we all went to Parati, a town ala Nantucket (sort of ritzy, sort of tourist trappy) for a "cultural learning experience". If a cultural learning experience means a really nice hotel (everyone had their own villa, patio, and queen size bed!) and gourmet dinners (menus outside the restaurants listed the cheapest entree as R$40, or about $18, but imagine if you are paid in reais) then I really want to have another!! Our room even had an extra benefit -- a frog!
2) The night before my birthday, we all went to "Irish Pub Parati" -- though it was not at all similar to an Irish pub, the band there played songs by the Strokes, Kings of Leon, and the Beatles. Before the band came on, I requested Aerosmith, Dream on. We all know what song means to me. Apples, anyone? The band sang Parabens para voce, the Brazilian happy birthday song to me, which was super nice. I ended the band's set by singing My Girl at 2 AM. I loved the band.
3) As my birthday approached, the manager of the bar told me I could have a free drink. I asked for cacaca, the local liquor - something like rum - and when I did not know which TYPE i wanted, he let me try all 5. In shots. This is after a number of pre-birthday drinks. I made it through, and though Parati attempted to bring me down with its crazy stone/dirt walkways (the singer of the band fell the other week and broke his kneecap) I made it home intact.
4) The next morning, I awoke at 9 am to ready myself for the day ahead - a boat trip around numerous islands (this was not a good part of the day). I drank a good deal of strong coffee, and, sunglasses intact, headed for the boat. By 1030, I continued the birthday celebrations by ordering a caiprinha, a cacaca, lime, and sugar concoction
5) At the next stop, we went snorkeling. I saw a number of crrraaazy fish. I fed them a lemon and they enjoyed.
6) It started to rain, as is the norm in Parati around 2 PM. This did not matter. We swam in the rain to a small beach and checked out a huge leaf, crazy crabs, and a giant rock. It felt like we were explorers, the beach seemed totally untouched.
7) When we got back to the hotel, we went swimming in the pool. Again, in the rain. We played Marco Polo - which is way more difficult than I remember. I went back to my villa, showered, and by the time 6 Pm rolled around, we all met, under the guise that we were leaving for dinner. Little did I know that we were having a birthday party for me! We ate lots of cake and sang the birthday song again. I received a book about Parati in Portuguese. I am sure I will be able to read it soon ---
8) We headed off to dinner, and had an amazing meal.
9) We got more caiprinhas.
10) Hung out in the pool when we got back, and then passed out. Sleeping til noon the next day.
While this was indubitably amazing, I wish you all could have been here to celebrate with me!!!
We will celebrate when I return!