Sunday, August 12

Today we stayed mostly at the hotel, reading and getting ready for our company visit tomorrow.  Here's the recap:

We had an excellent breakfast and not too expensive. We went for breakfast at 11:15 and found the restaurant had closed until 12:30, and that for Father's Day lunch. We were hungry, not having eaten since Montana Grill last night.  We spoke to a staffer who said we could get room service delivered to the pool bar, which would allow us to sit in the sun and enjoy the beautiful weather.  When they brought it, we had melon, guava, cereal, eggs with bacon, turkey sausages, milk, coffee, a pitcher of hot milk (for the coffee? Or maybe they meant to put hot water in there?) a plate of turkey with american cheese, butter and marmelade (no toast) and teabags (no water).  But for R$20 (about $11) it was an excellent meal.

We wandered around the complex some more, and found there's a room for watching tv, projected on the wall, as well as a 40-seat theater. Here's today's theater schedule:

Feeling adventuresome and confident in our skills from the mall last night, we walked next door to the only shop near the hotel which does not involve walking across a highway, a Texaco with mini-mart. We bought some snacks and sodas to get us through the days without paying minibar prices. While hanging around afterwards we noted we could see Campinas International airport from our vantage point. We know it's an ATC tower because CJ saw a plane landing in front of it.

The hotel/resort caters to families, and has an extensive "MiniLand" for the kids, including a pirate ship:

Castle with a stage in front:

A friendly airplane with video games and a slide inside:

A play house with a working water wheel. They spent a lot of time and money on the amenities, see the inside of the play house:

CJ is geting in touch with his playful self, checking out the Formula 1-styled track that uses kids riding cars. The one in pit row has working lights.

It's all overseen by this mother giraffe and her baby.  She kept a stern eye on us.

Among our purchases were some sodas.  Brazilian Coca-cola is a bit sweeter than in the US, and is very good. The soda on the right, Guarana Kuat is Coke's entry in the guarana market. Guarana is a berry with more caffeine than coffee and is very popular down here.  The center soda Guarana Antarctica has been made in Brazil since the 20's.

For dinner we ate at the hotel buffet which was excellent, albeit lightly attended. They eat late here, they open at 7pm and we were there at that time. No one else came in for half an hour, and those were other Americans. The locals didn't come in until closer to 8.  They had such neat things as gnocchi in osso bucco sauce and filet mignon medallions in a burgundy sauce. For dessert they had a mighty selection and I must say the strawberry tart was the best I've ever had.

Feeling stuffed after dinner, we wandered some more, to see if CJ could see the Southern Cross.   Those who have followed my adventures know how excited I was to see it for the the first time, and it is a notable event for a traveler (so says CS&N).  (Well, at least one from the Northern Hemisphere) While looking for a good spot, we came across this game, called Kata Kuka. We will be checking it out, as it looks like something out of a Survivor challenge. The warnings posted next to the door may deter you if you have heart conditions, claustrophobia, etc. 

Even if we don't get to play the game, I did finally find a good spot where I could hold the camera reasonably steady and get a couple decent shots of the Southern Cross.

Tomorrow it's back to work. See ya!