Nov 21:  Paraty

Eli and I wanted to do the Gold Trail (a 5-hour hike), but Roberto checked one tourist center and we checked another and it turns out you can't do the trail without a guide, and the guides don't operate on Tuesdays.  So plan B was a much shorter walk to an old fort on a hill, Fortress Defensor Perpetuo.  There wasn't much there, just the remains of a wall and some cannons, and a museum that was closed.  But around the back was a rocky hill that went down to the water.  We sat there for a while and took in the scenery.  A hot female dog joined us briefly.

Included in the scenery were Jack Sprat and his apparent wife/gf.  I think that's her on the lower rock here.  We couldn't figure out why a guy in good shape would be with a hog like her, but we actually saw a lot of this in Brazil.  Far more good-looking guys than girls, with mismatched couples as a result.

We walked back down the hill and along the beach looking for a place to eat.  We found a nice restaurant next to the bridge but it was expensive.  The lobster was tempting but it really was more of a dinner place.  So we went back to the beach and had grilled fish and pineapple caipirinhas at some shack.  They were playing Brazilian music, but as soon as we white people sat down they changed it to '80s music.  Nice.  Although I noted that most of those songs came out before Eli was born.

We walked around town a little, shopped (Eli was still looking for a cheesy Brazil bikini) and had chocolate ice cream finally (I'd been craving it all trip).

Somewhere here I was petting a goat at the corner store.  You always know you're someplace special when the corner store has a goat.  Like when I was in Hyderabad, India.

Random shop called Talisma, which is also the name of a program we use at work.  An unwanted reminder that I'd be back at j2 in a week.

Checked the Internet and learned that Ryan Howard was named NL MVP.  Sweet!  This was also the setting for the historic IM conversation with my boss's boss:

Ken Ford:  "how's the trip?"
Eli:  "orgasmic"

I signed off and hung around while Eli did some work, but I jumped back on right after the AL MVP announcement came out.  I was hoping it would be Jeter so I could send a congratulatory IM to Poodawg (some of you know what this refers to) but Morneau got it.

Songs I found myself whistling on this day:  Desperado, Waterloo (listening to it on the bus and turned it off mid-song when we stopped) and Buffalo Soldier (from the Bob Marley DVD...I suppose his songs are catchy albeit indistinguishable).

We were feeling too sober so we found a restaurant and had caipirinhas (her 2, me 3).  Lori was walking by and joined us (with a new "tell me about it, stud" hairdo), as did Bob a few minutes later.  Some of the others stopped by briefly on their way back to the hotel.  Radha and Shaneela showed up with a cool hat made of palm leaves.  I was "clueless" as to where they got it.  ;)

Bob, Lori, Eli and I moved on to another restaurant for dinner (that one by the bridge I think it was).  I had spaghetti and shrimp, and we split a bottle of Chilean wine that I chose.  I knew nothing about any of the wines on the list except that Chile is known for its wines, so I made a stab at a moderately-priced bottle, and it wasn't bad.  At the end they gave us shots of some cinnamon drink and tried to sell us bottles, but that would have been devastating, especially because we probably would have cracked them open at the pool later.

Most of the group was back at the hotel pool barbecuing.  I had a conversation with Radha that seemed boring to me at the time, but I realized afterward it was because I was already drunk, and not at my sharpest.  Radha gave me some concoction to drink that might have been purple.  Then John, Lance and I took some of the beers and went out to find a place to drink them.  I walked with them through the cobblestoned streets barefoot in my bathing suit and a towel.  We sat down at some place, and I was still very cognizant because I remember the two dogs resting in the middle of the street as I drank two more beers.  And I peed in the street for the first time on this trip.  We finally returned to the hotel and called it a night at 2:50am, or at least that's when I went to bed after scrawling these notes in my journal.