After our long week in Sao Paolo, we got on a plane for an hour and landed in Florianopolis, a beachy, laid-back, touristy island known for it's beaches and seafood.
We picked up our car, and asked the rental agent how to get to our house. We were a little unsure when she said, "Just go this way," and vaguely pointed northwest on the map. "Don't worry, you won't get lost." Turns out, she was right. As in Sao Paolo, the signs pointed the way at every turn.
We quickly dropped our bags and headed across the street to the beach entrance. This being winter, there were only a handful of people on the beach. The beachside bars were just opening, and we found a couple chairs to finally relax and start our vacation.
A beer with a view.
Do you see the sleeping dragon?
And our home in Floripa for the two days? One of the nicest houses we've rented, directly across from the beach path to Praia Mole.
The master suite of our 2-bedroom, 2-bath modern beach home. From the back patio, you can see the sleeping dragon and the surfer statue.
But we couldn't sit on the beach all day, so back to town we went on Avenida Rendeiras, with a parade of hotels, bars and restaurants on our left, and the Lagoa da Conceiçao on our right.
This is not a Gilligan's Island kind of lagoon, more of an enormous salt-water lake, big enough for white caps and kite surfing.
At Nosso Bar, we took our waiter's suggestion and enjoyed a full-bodied, unpasteurized pilsner from Brazilian brewery, Coruja, with our lagoon-side view. Brazil has a history of making German-style beer, dating back to the early 1800s when Germans first began to arrive in southern Brazil.
And we had to stop at the market in town for supplies. Yes, we were only there for two days, but browsing grocery stores is one of my favorite activities in foreign countries. Some of my interesting finds: super wavy Ruffles with ridges (ribs); bacon-flavored ramen (lamen) noodles); fiery hot sauce that Anson almost died eating the night before; tiny packs of Nucita, a sweet snack spread; pasta sauce in a bag; bacon flavored microwave popcorn; dark beer; Brazilian wine made from the Tannat grape.
Our new friend, Fernando, who sets up shop each day at the entrance to the beach path and sells jewelry he makes from wire, stones, seeds, and leather. A true free spirit, Fernando, told us how he wasn't interested in money, just living a good life. I wonder if there's enough room for another table there...?
Day Two was Anson's surf day with Ernie from Nexus Surf, who brought us to the best place to catch waves nearby. No lifeguards on duty!
Ernie led us on a narrow path through the thick vegetation, from Praia Mole to the Galheta nature preserve nearby.
No doubt we never would have found this place on our own.
I beached myself on a well-worn rock while they paddled out.
Check out the video of Anson's first wave in Brazil.
A triumphant Anson!
Postcard-perfect natural beauty.
We spotted Books & Beers, a bookstore themed bar (!) and knew there was a seat for us on the patio.
The menu was literally a novel, with chapters such as "The Compatible Lightness of Being" and "Eat, Harmonise, Love."
We had a drink and watched the town go by from our perch above the boat harbor.We said tchau (good bye) to Fernando and boa noite (good night) to The Surfer for the last time, and before we knew it, our vacation was over. Amazing how much we packed into just two days.