Ilha Grande

From our trip with the sister to Ilha Grande, an island a few hours from Rio. Just photos in this one. They can do more justice to the place than I can with words.

All photos by Kitty Non Grata’s sister. She has a much better camera than I do.

More Olympic Prep!

All kidding about my awesome t-shirts aside, it has been amazing to see the preparations for the Olympics in Rio firsthand. I drive past the beach volleyball stadium on Copacabana beach every morning on my way to work, I can see the camera fixtures in the lake for the rowing events, and I practically live on the city’s transportation website trying to figure out which roads are going to be closed when. (Don’t try to get to our apartment during the road cycling events…)

This Saturday, something even more exciting happened for the residents of Zona Sul – the roads and parks around the new metro stations reopened. For the first time in 3-4 years. Can you even imagine? It is a testament to the neighborhood that some of the businesses along those roads stayed open, and I do not envy the apartment owners who lived on top of the construction for all that time.

We went walking down to see “our” metro stop. It has been a hole in the ground since before I arrived, and it was so fun to see people out and excited (and taking pictures, just like me). Traffic in the area has been flipped in places, new signs are up, and the flow is so. much. better. The metro wasn’t an official Olympic infrastructure project, but it is linked to the Games. And man, we are so glad it is finally done. Progress being made right before our eyes.

Olympic Preparations

Olympic preparations are in full swing – venues are turned over to Rio2016, metro is about to open, my temporary employees are arriving… things are happening! It’s exciting. Finally.:)

This article in the Washington Post has a cool visual of the construction of the different sites.

Meanwhile, in the Kitty Non Grata household, preparations look like this:

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Think we have enough Red, White, and Blue?

Ch-ch-changes!

It has been a busy couple of weeks for the Kitty Non Grata family!

My childhood home is up for sale. The mom (henceforth referred to as Madame President) got a new job so the parents are moving! I feel like I should feel stranger about this, but the house has gone through so many updates since I left that it doesn’t really look at all like it used to. Plus, mom’s job is very exciting, so yay!

My sister and future brother-in-law both defended and passed their dissertations! We have a couple of doctors in the house! Can you imagine their house over the last couple of weeks? Two PhD candidates, defending within two days, living together? So glad that’s over!

The husband and I signed a lease for our first, non-government assigned, apartment together! People, I am almost 30 years old and I have never signed a lease on an apartment. I feel like an adult. Next step – buying an actual bed.

We also bought my plane ticket back to America. The end is drawing ever nearer. #I’mgonnamissmyview.  10 weeks and counting.

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Photo by Kitty Non Grata’s Sister – finally a good night image of our view!

Samba, Samba, Samba!

I started taking Samba classes with some friends a few weeks ago, and it is lots of fun and a really, really good workout. I remember watching the Carnaval parades and thinking that except for what the Samba queens were doing, it didn’t look that hard. Ha!

This is more or less how my class went this evening:

Teacher: “Move your hips more!”

Me: ::attempts to move hips more::

Teacher: “Now move your feet!”

Me: ::moves my feet::

Teacher: “Your hips! Don’t stop!”

Me: ::moves hips again::

Teacher: “Your feet! Lift them higher!”

Me: ::lifts them higher::

Teacher: “More hips! Move your feet! Hips! Feet! Together, move!”

Me: ::bends over panting, trying to surreptitiously wipe sweat out of my eyes…::

After class…

Me: “Moving my hips and my feet at the same time is really hard!”

Teacher: “Yes, but that is Samba. Once you can do that, you can Samba.”

 

My consolation was that I was in class tonight with another Brazilian woman who was just as uncoordinated as I was! But seriously guys, this girl cannot dance. But it sure is fun to try!

Sick Days with Sally

Last week I was out sick several days in a row with body aches. Nothing serious, just enough to keep me down. Sally kept me good company throughout the days – she was so floppy at times that I could pick her up and reposition her without her even blinking. Ah to be a cat!

Girl from Ipanema

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Stunning. And Instagram filtered. Follow me for more photos!

Rio is gorgeous. We know this. But sometimes I have to stop and just take it all in and remind myself of where I am. The husband and I are pretty lucky to be here together. This is one of those photos that I like to look at when I need a reminder to be grateful. I think we’ve decided a canvas print of it is going to be our Rio souvenir.  Continue reading