Monday, December 05, 2011


It's been a week of massive socialization for little old recluse me! Wednesday, I took a road trip with the ladies up to Petropolis and Itaipava, towns tucked away in the mountains just an hour or so outside of Rio. I highly recommend the drive, especially as the days get hotter. It's perfect for a weekend getaway. Here's a peek at some amazing architecture:

We visited an incredible orchid farm, Orchidarium Binot, where I was seduced by the spiky, scented, eerily spider-like blooms of the more exotic varieties.

Tables upon tables, greenhouse upon greenhouse of orchids...and they let us just wander around to our heart's content, taking pictures, sniffing blooms. I love orchids, but I'm not a pretty flower kind of girl. I like the macabre, the slightly erratic, the one that looks so lovely until you get close and realize it's about to bite your face off. I'm not entirely sure I can keep this poor critter alive, but I'll do my best. After all, orchids survive best on very little water, so perhaps it is the perfect plant for me! Here's a photo of my lovely:

From there, we made our way to the Luis Salvador factory store, where handmade ceramics greeted us. Being an inveterate klutz, I was a little nervous about walking around inside. Gorgeous things were stacked and displayed all over the place! I indulged in a few treats for myself, mostly items that would have been on a wedding registry, had we had space to bring stuff to Brazil. I've been hosting parties without a tea pot...situation resolved. A nice big serving tray and an ant-proof cookie jar helped round out my kitchen necessities, while the rest of my box was filled up with wedding and hostess gifts for the coming year, along with a few other trinkets. Our car was loaded to the gills when we returned!

We passed lots of antique shops, places with reclaimed mirrors, windows, etc. Prices seemed very reasonable; I suppose this is why people make trips up here and in this general region to furnish their houses. If we have space, someday, in a container...I might be tempted to bring a table or something back with me. Provided I can ensure it is bug-free, as most wood in Brazil, according to my sources, is untreated.

All in all, a wonderful, productive trip!

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