• Today is the grandbaby’s first birthday, with full rights to Brazilian-style party, churrasco cookout, vinagrete (Brazilian version of galo de pico, much superior), brigadeiro chocolate sweets, passion-fruit mousse. The thunderstorm has blown over, we hope the ground dries before 5 p.m.
• In the photo, the daughters-in-law and daughter (middle) are fixing the brigadeiros and the other sweets with coconut. They have to be rolled by hand.
• An incentive to keep my gray-speckled beard: the other day I got the Senior drink discount at Jack’s Hamburgers. Any squeamishness at people thinking I’m old is overcome by this Scottish-blood satisfaction at saving a penny. Nothing comparable to this in Brazil.
• When flying with family, the good-looking daughter gets x-rayed. One gets this suspicious feeling it’s not a coincidence. Maybe I’ve been in Brazil too long, where people generally don’t trust officials with badges and clothing patches.
• During our 25+ years, we’ve never taken a vacation. We’re considering this our first. On the flight to Houston, the Lord gave each of us an empty seat next to our economy straight-jackets. More room, more rest.
• Oh, the travel tips: travel light, don’t carry valuables, be flexible, go during off-season, take plenty of sunscreen, fingernail clippers, and patience. And enjoy. Like me.
UPDATE: The Missus says we’ll have the fantastic, unique Brazilian cheesebread, pão de queijo. Life just went up another notch.