Back so soon?

Yeah, I know I just posted about 5 hours ago, but we just returned to the hotel from our late morning stroll. Well, I say stroll, but it was a haul. I was trying to figure out the distance, but the map that we have does not have any way to determine that. James & I were wishing we had a GPS enabled device that could have tracked our movements. We think that we avoided walking in circles, but that would have told the truth!

We started our trip today by taking a taxi from the hotel to the Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana, or the Cultural Center Building. Our information said that it opened at 9AM, though when we got there we found a sign that said they did not open until noon. On the way there, our taxi driver ruined an “indie” movie shoot. They had this street almost closed off, and were trying to shoot a scene. Here comes us, in the taxi, right up the street. Shot ruined. Anyway…

We decided we did not want to wait for the center to open (maybe we will see it when Chris gets here), so we started walking to the biggest part in the business center of the city, Farroupilha Park. On Sunday’s, they have a giant flea market which more closely represents an arts & crafts fair. Someone could make quite the interesting import business with the prices they were charging.

On the end of the park, we saw an amazing cathedral. They were having mass, but the whole church was open so we stood in the back for about 5 minutes of the service. Quite beautiful

From there, we started walking out of the park, and we found a map. First one we’ve run across the entire time we’ve been here! We realized that we had walked half of the way back to our hotel, so we decided to just walk the rest of the way. This part of the walk was entirely residential. About half way back, we saw Shopping Total. That helped us get oriented to find our way back.

We had lunch at Just Burgers, as we figured we earned ourselves a meal after the tons of walking we did this weekend. My dogs are really barking. I’ve got a couple of blisters, but I’ll push through it.

In a few hours, we’re heading to the other large shopping area in Porto Alegre, Shopping Center Iguatemi. We figure we will wander around there, see if we can find any place that has American football, maybe hang there for a bit. Eventually, we’ll make it back to our neighborhood for dinner, then turn in early as we have a work week in front of us.

On our walks today, we made a couple of key observations.

The first is that the disparity in beauty between men & women is astounding. Think about your favorite family sitcom that has the really hot wife, and the fat husband. We saw that all over the place.

The second is that the pregnant belly is a beautiful thing down here (and I have to agree!). Women wear the same tops as they did when they were not pregnant. That means that their bellies get a LOT of sun!

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