Travel Journal

Another week and a Wedding!!!

(Wednesday 22 December 2010) by Brennan-adventures
Hello again folks,
How are you all coping with this big freeze…. It seems to be in for the duration of the winter…. Ugh !!!! We have 2 bedrooms here, so if you get fed up you can visit for some heat!!!! :-D:-)

Things here have been LOUCO, Monday through until Wednesday night we were out every evening. On Thursday evening we were in bed by 9pm… really cannot do all this socialising!!! The weather was wet and grey skies, it was cold enough for me to be in jumpers and trousers.:-(:-|

We had more things to sort at the notaries…. Hopefully now that’s everything sorted. We had a call from the shippers to say our stuff will be moving from England on the 24th Dec….. maybe if all goes well the stuff will arrive by the end of Jan…. then just to find a place to put it all !!!! :-?:-^

I decided in my infinite wisdom to get my hair cut and coloured for the wedding of Fabricio’s brother at the weekend. Well I started the treatments at 1-30 and finished at 5-15pm. Mike was starting to get a little concerned as we were travelling to San Jose de Rio Preto that evening….. you know the rule we have about not driving in the dark!!!! So off we started, rain pelting down and poor visability… The drivers behind us were crazy, passing when they could not possibly see it was clear, at one point a lorry passing the one in front of us forced the car coming in the opposite direction onto their hard shoulder. I told Mike to stay behind the slow movers or I would grab the wheel from him… It was a scary journey… We got to Rio Preto at 9pm a little longer than usual but in one piece!!! 8-O

Next day a look around the shopping centre and supermarket, bought nothing!!!

Let’s give you some info about the wedding…..The wedding we were in town for was the brother of Fabricio, a student of Mikes; Fabricio is studying for his PHD in Southampton. We had met his parents and younger brother last year, also Fabricio’s girlfriend had visited Southampton over the summer so she was familiar. However we had never met the elder brother who was getting married, so this was a little weird for us.
The wedding was to start at a church about 8-45pm, so we decided to have a substantial snack about 3-30, leaving time for a quick nap before getting ready. The only thing I could find was McDonalds, but Mike had pay by kilo.
All too soon it was time to set off for the church, Mike had printed maps of and taken phone numbers down… thankfully at it happens!!! The rain was still falling and we eventually found the church… well it was a church and in the correct area, I asked someone if this was the church named…… I was told yes. Suddenly we saw flashing lights, like camera flashes and heard music… OMG were we late??? It was 8-20pm, not at all like Brazilians to be 40mins early!!
Looking into the church from one of the opened side doors we saw a wedding taking place, now Mike keeps having a go at me when I say this… so here goes… The people were not dressed in the same type of “RED Carpet” type clothes as the last wedding we attended, these people were definitely dressing down!!!! Mike kept asking me “ Do you see anyone you recognise??”
“Definitely not” was my answer…. What to do now????!!!! 8-O:-?:-\

Suddenly I spotted two other couples walking towards us and the church door, they were dressed in the “RED Carpet” attire I was expecting.. They too looked into the church, then looked bemused; I then showed them our invitation and they nodded, but said this wedding was not the one we should be attending…. Out came a mobile and one of the guys found someone to give him some info....
We were to walk to the front of the church where some of OUR crowd were standing; whew at least we were in the correct place……

Well this was when things started to get a little weird...... picture the scene if you can… At the front of the church there was a wedding taking place, the bride just having arrived at the altar; our wedding crowd certainly did not have any thought about the service being conducted and as our crowd swelled in number so did the noise!!! It reminded me so much of a funeral at the crematorium in U.K. like a factory conveyer belt, one in, and one waiting!!!

The service was short but the whole "walking down the aisle couple by couple" took ages.
Then it was our wedding… The family, aunts, cousins, grandparents all had to walk down the aisle in couples taking a position on a raised area behind the priest. I thought it was a long time to expect oldies to stand!!!! Anyway the ceremony took place and allowed us to get our first view of the bride and groom. One of the nice things though was meeting up with Carlos, (he had been in Southampton at the same time as Fabricio and had become a good friend and part of the Brasil family)… He was there with his brother. The only other people we knew were a professor and his wife from Ilha, although we had not spoken with them.
Once all the walking back up the aisle was done we all had to go to the reception, now these things are held in event spaces; basically a huge covered area with tables and chairs all poshed up with loads of flowers and sparkly glass… looks good ONCE YOU ARE INSIDE !!!!... remind me later about the flowers.
Well the professor, his wife, Carlos, his brother, Mike and I all milled around outside the church. The invitation told us the name of the event place and an address.. Road 3 number 46 San Fernando valley. The Brazilians did not know where this was and strangely enough had not printed a map??!!

Mike volunteered the information that he had a google map so it was decided we were the ones to follow…. WRONG decision, suddenly Mike realised we were on the correct dual carraigeway, only we were going the wrong way. Carlos had realised too and was at my side frantically telling me to pull over; his brother had GPS on his phone…. Well that explained the NO MAP !!! 7-):-^
We all turned around then Carlos was in front, well I am sure he was in training for F1, remembering it was pitch dark and raining.... off he took like a rocket….. Eventually we found the sign saying San Fernando Valley, the 3 of us screeched off right onto a dirt track road…. A huge sign telling us it was san Fernando Valley but NO street signs and 4 roads to choose…. MMMHHHH???? If in doubt take the one facing you, so off we went, deeper into the countryside and muddy roads, this was the first time we had been off road in the jeepy-car, and I can say it behaved really well, didn’t help us find the events place though!!7-)>:-(

Just as we were getting to the top of a hill - all stop, we could see a large building covered with green lights at the top of the next hill, it was unclear if this road was going to take us there. Carlos had a mobile signal and Mike thankfully had written the number of the events place down… a quick call and we were none the wiser!!! The decision to turn around and head for the main dual carriageway was taken, maybe there was another road signed to this place… Well you do live in hope in these situations!!! :o)

Carlos in front again, brother on phone… Us following as closely as we could with Carlos “Massa” driving!! Suddenly another sharp right off the carriageway and we were alongside the building with the green lights, was this it….

MMh.... well no this was a MOTEL, but another sharp right and we were heading down another dirt track; this time with purpose….. At the Motel there were 3 other cars hovering, with wedding guests obviously as lost as we were!!! Suddenly a small sign and attendants helping to park cars… WE HAD MADE IT…Yipee. :-D
Time now???---- 11pm!!!!
Now there was just the small problem of high heels and soggy ground, a tiptoe to a concrete path and all was well.

Back to the flowers… These were very cleverly done, they had very large vases half filled with water for stability, then at the mouth of each vase was stuffed a block or two of oasis (the green foam stuff you soak with water then stuff flowers into). Into this was a beautiful arrangement of flowers… which in the heat of Brasil cost a fortune… There were Roses, Gladioli, Alstromeria and lots of other “tender” flowers. These huge vases lined the walkway into the event space. We were offered Champagne on entry.
Once inside it was like entering another world, very swish with at least 100 tables seating 6 people…. However either loads of guests had got lost or they just set all the table so people had plenty of options of where they could sit… For us it looked very strange, infact looked like lots of people had let them down at the last minute. :-\
By now it is 11-30pm and then Bride and Groom enter the room. They go to the dance floor and have a dance, say thanks for coming, then start moving around the room speaking to people. At this point the food starts, firstly a buffet with loads of different types of cheese and fruit, crackers and pate. I decided fruit and cheese was the best option for me.
At 12-30am the “hot” meal was put out on the buffet, Walking along the buffet I saw, beef stew, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, rice and two of the largest salmon I have ever seen… each was at least 5 ft long. Asking what did not have Garlic added, I was thinking yum salmon…. Can you guess what I was going to be able to eat?????? ONLY mashed Potato!!!…. So back to the fruit again, thankfully there was still plenty there. I was absolutely starving as the last thing I had eaten was at 4pm, another thing learned take my own food at all times!!! >:-(

The bride and groom looked lovely and were having loads of photos taken, stopping at each table. The dessert was lots of different types of sweets and tiny truffles, all yummy !! Buy this time it was
1-30am, I was wilting so we headed back to the Hotel, luckily it was easy to find, so bed by 2am !!

Next day a lazy start, and when asked what I wanted to eat, I growled McDonalds please… I needed savoury meat and it was the only thing I knew I could eat safely. After filling the belly we travelled back to Ilha, I hate to admit it but I enjoyed getting back to the slow lazy way of here instead of the hectic city driving!!

Today I had a horrid day, I had set up to talk to load s of people only to find the internet was down for 2 hours, suddenly it came on so a quick call to Mum…. And quick it was…. The gardener arrived and as they use strimmers and blowers I rushed up to close the sliding glass doors in the T.V. room….. BANG one of the glass door exploded and glass was everywhere…. I couldn’t believe it.... a pile of glass and slivers all over the carpet, chair, floor and poolside. 8-O:-(8-O

Well Mum was quickly told I would phone the next day while I tried to decide the best course of action…. Luckily Rose, the maid was there and she said it had already happened twice to Marilene, well I then felt a whole lot better. She said it was the heat that caused the problem with the glass and also the design of the doors are not robust enough. Now we go on holiday to Rio on Thursday so we needed this secured quickly. Gilberto to the rescue, he organised the carpenter to come and fit a wooden door… It slides the same as the broken glass door only in wood. We have decided we will not replace the glass in the door until Marilene is due back… thought if it has happened twice before, we do not want the huge cost again of repairing it for a second time if the glass breaks again… so we are looking a little “oarey” as they would say in Scotland!! We now are all secure again.

The other thing that happened was squirting 12 packs…8-O:-(>:-( You would not believe it but I picked up a 12 pack of beer only to be soaked as one sqirted all over me, then replacing it with another I put it in the trolley and collecting a 12 pack of soft drinks took it to the cash point…. Well after paying I was walking out of the supermarket when one of the soft drinks can squirted all over me… the man to the rescue this time. He then replaced the soft drinks pack, by the time I was loading the new 12 pack of beer into the car yet another tin had burst… so back to the supermarket with it…. 3 different packs all bursting…. Maybe I should just lie down tonight instead of going to Rotary !!
Well here is hoping you all have a great Christmas in the place you want to be, and your New Year brings everything you hope and wish for.
Love Laur xx

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