Posts tagged ‘Americas’

May 7, 2021

The St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza!!

And while doing my walks in wonderful Fortaleza I came upon this magnificent monument. I like to update for you and me the visit to the St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza!!

And as I am in town ,why not tell you more about the city of Fortaleza, in Cearà State. It is more famous for the beaches and carnavals, but it has wonderful architectural monuments for all to enjoy.  Let me tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as folks need to know more of it, me think.  Fortaleza  is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

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Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pero Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (“Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption”), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a village 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará state in 1799.

Now let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza.

The Metropolitan Cathedral is a historical monument, headquarters of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza. It was built on the site of the old Sé Church. The work took 40 years to complete, and was initiated in 1938 and inaugurated in 1978. It has capacity for 5 000 people and its towers reach 75 meters high. Occupying most of the Praça Pedro II square, also known as Praça da Sé, in the historic center of Fortaleza, the temple stands out for the architectural grandeur and the beauty of the stained glass windows.  Saint Joseph is the Saint bound to the Cathedral.

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The first main Chapel of the Fortaleza Church had its construction authorized by the Royal Order in 1746. In 1795, the work was finished. In 1821, the São José Chapel was in ruins, needing to be rebuilt. In 1861, after the rebuilding, automatically, the mother Church became a Cathedral. In 1938, a survey was made and a crack was found in the bases of its construction, by the sea side. The Cathedral was then again condemned and demolished in the same year. In 1939, the first stones of the new Metropolitan Cathedral  aka St Joseph was launched, designed by the French engineer George Mounier and that, like the other, took 39 years to complete. In apparent concrete, neo-Gothic style with predominance of eclectic and Romanesque elements, occupying much of Praça Pedro II, was inaugurated on 22 December 1978, with references to the Cathedral of Cologne and the Cathedral of Chartres.

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The Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Joseph was inaugurated in 1962, honoring six Saints who died young: São Domingos Sávio, Saint Pancracio , Saint Tarcísio and the Saintes Maria Goretti, Inês and Luzia. For this reason, it was devoted it to the young, calling it the Crypt of the Teenagers. In the Crypt is the Chapel of the Resurrection and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in addition to the remains of several prelates buried therein. The Crypt was reopened in 2011, after one year and four months of renovation, in which was placed a granite floor, a new lighting, an air conditioning system, and completed the altar. Currently, the Crypt allows to accommodate 350 seated persons.

The official Catholic Archidiocèse of Fortalezahttps://www.arquidiocesedefortaleza.org.br/

The Brazil tourist board on the Cathedral of Fortalezahttps://www.visitbrasil.com/attractions/metropolitan-cathedral-of-fortaleza.html

The Beaches of Fortaleza on the Cathedralhttps://www.praiasdefortaleza.net/catedral-metropolitana-de-fortaleza/

There you go folks, a nice monument indeed and worth the detour while in Fortaleza. I had a great time there and looking forward to a return. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 7, 2021

The Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption, Fortalezal!

And lets stay in wonderful Brazil shall we! There are usually the big cities known to all but the country has a lot more to offer and I went into my road warrior trip into Fortaleza from Natal. Let me update this older post for you and me on the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption in Fortalezal!

So I bring you now over the Atlantic ocean to my old world and a wonderful country of Brazil. I have written several posts on Brazil, and been all over the country for years as well as lived there for an extended period. It has so much to offer in history and architecture often overlook by visitors.  I like in my small way, try to change that, and show you other parts of Brazil, the one from a historical, architectural point of view that are off the beaten path trips all worth the detour. This is the case of the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption in Fortaleza, State of Ceara of Brazil. Hope you enjoy it.

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For this part it merits to tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as it is the State capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

forta-castle-left-side-may16

Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, (split discovered world between Portugal and Spain) , the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pedro Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a city in 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará State in 1799.

The fortress (Fortaleza) of Our Lady of the Assumption is located on the left bank of the mouth of the Pajeú Creek, on Mount Marajaitiba. It currently houses the headquarters of the 10th Military Region of the Brazilian Army. The construction was launched in 1812, in honor of the anniversary of the Serene Lord Prince of Beira, Mr. Pedro de Alcântara.  It presents the shape of a square with 90 meters on the side, with bulks at the vertices, under the invocation, respectively, of Our Lady of the Assumption (northeast), São José (southeast), Dom João (northwest) and Príncipe da Beira (southwest). Initially with five pieces, it was funded with public funds and private donations, aside from donations of materials and services, from volunteers and slaves. In 1816, the fortress was armed with twenty-seven gun pieces.

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Between 1846 and 1857, new buildings were erected, which hosted several military units such as the 11th and 15th Infantry battalions, the Military School of Ceará, the 22nd and 23rd battalions of Hunters, among others. Also known as the Turtle Fort, it was well preserved in 1906, and disarmed in 1910. At the time of WWI it was used as a barracks, between 1917 and 1918, by the 1st Independent Battery of the 3rd District of Costal Artillery. The Fortaleza of Our Lady of the Assumption, currently functioning as the headquarters of the command of the 10th Military Region, is one of the most famous sights of the capital of Ceará, having as highlights the history of the fortress, the museum and Phanteon of General Sampaio ( Patron of the Infantry divisions), the prison where was Bárbara de Alencar and also the statue of Martim Soares Moreno are located. The fort can be visited by prior appointment with the social communication of the military region HQ. The visit is made in the company of a military officer who addresses topics of interest on the monument, namely the Plaza de Armas (Arms square), the cell where Bárbara de Alencar was detained and the Chapel of the fort.

The 10th Battalion oficial site, more info in Portuguese. It will tell you how to contact the military for a tour visit of the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption

The official 10th Battalion post in Fortaleza:  https://www.10rm.eb.mil.br/index.php/component/content/article?id=473

The beaches of Fortaleza has more on the Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assuncao: https://www.praiasdefortaleza.net/fortaleza-de-nossa-senhora-da-assuncao/

Hope you enjoy the tour and when coming for the beaches take your time to walk in the city and see this marvel of architecture and history of Fortaleza, Cearà, Brazil.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 7, 2021

Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba,Cearà, Brazil !

And let me brings out to what I considered an off the beaten path trip to lovely Brazil. I was with my usual road warrior head and took a trip to the State of Cearà in northeast Brazil and saw this beautiful beach; one of the natural wonders of wonderful Brazil. Let me tell you a bit more on Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba, Cearà State, Brazil ! This is again updating an older post in my blog, plenty more on Brazil here!

So I am bringing you down back to South America again. Needless to say been all over the continent and plenty in Brazil ,even lived in Curitiba (see post) for a few months. The choices are endless, and will take me or any plenty of time to see them all. However, I am trying lol!  One of the highlights of any trip to Brazil are the beaches, and this one is gorgeous near the bigger city of Fortaleza (see posts).In Portuguese, Praia da Lagoinha!

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Paraipaba is a town in the State of Ceará. On the banks of the Curu River, it has one of the largest irrigated projects in the world, where several varieties of fruit are found, and among these, the cultivation of coconut is the main agricultural activity of the region. The town has an exuberance of approximately 14 km of beach that extends from the mouth of the river Curu to the Barra, formed by the tranquil waters of the lagoon of Almécegas the unparalleled beauty of the beaches, dunes and lagoons that exist along the entire coast.

At 11 km from the town lies the Lagoinha beach,precisely at main road Avenida Beira Mar,  which is well known for its dunes and coconut trees. In the format of half-moon, a cove of weak waves, surrounded by yellow dunes, reefs and coconut trees with fresh water, next to Morro do Cascudo where is the port of rafts.  Formed by a cliff of about 50 meters high, Lagoinha beach still retains a primitive natural landscape consisting of golden dunes and a vast and verdant coconut trees that go to meet a sea of calm waters and a stunning green. Lying at a distance of aprox 120 km from bigger city Fortaleza.

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To better enjoy the trip to Lagoinha beach, the indication is to make a delicious and adventurous ride in a vehicle known as Pau-de-Arara (an irregular flatbed truck). Soon make the crossing of the lagoon on a raft and buggy ride through the beach, make it more exciting to stay on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. One of the most sought-after tours is for the Almécegas lagoon, also known as Lagoa da Barra, which has boats that cross its clear and clean waters. The final stop is in front of the many tents located both in the lagoon and on the beach, which offer a good service, highlighting the famous fried fish and seafood, plus delicious coconut water well chilled. The village is at the top of the hill and has a gazebo that allows a panoramic and magnificent view of the beach.

The Brazil tourist board on a video of Cearà Statehttps://www.visitbrasil.com/states/ceara.html

The Fortaleza tourist office on the beacheshttps://www.visitfortaleza.com/beaches/

The Cearà State beaches on Lagoinha beachhttps://www.praias-360.com.br/ceara/paraipaba/praia-da-lagoinha

Very nice beach worth the detour . Hope you like the tour of another nice beach of Brazil.  I highly recommend to stay in the Vivamar Hotel right on the beach. The Praia da Lagoinha was a very nice experience and always looking forward for a repeat.

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And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 7, 2021

Monastery of Sao Bento, Vinhedo,Brazil!

Another of my off the beaten path trails in Brazil, and an update of an older post to enjoy by  you and me. This is one great opportunity visiting a friend native of the town of Vinhedo, in Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Coming inland into Sao Paulo State, better known for the big city is awesome. You feel the real people, the real country of Brazil. I have a friend here and when visit there is a funny story.  Oh yes the main attraction for me was the Monastery of Sao Bento or St Benedict and the Wine Festival! However, my friend had the in-laws visiting and I was put in a hotel nearby. He was so busy, I went out to seek a place to eat. I found one very nice superb meal, as I speak Portuguese. When back together with him and the family I mentioned the restaurant was very good and he never been there! A while after, maybe a few months, he called me and told me had a gathering of friends and took them there to eat and were all impressed with the food, prices ,and services. The end story is I can tell you where to go even in your own town lol!!!

Now let’s get back to the sights of history, architecture I like so much and tell you a bit more on Vinhedo. Where?

Vinhedo is a town in the State of São Paulo. It is located in the mesoregion of Campinas, 75 km from the capital of São Paulo. The region of the São Paulo Plateau was inhabited by several indigenous groups, some from the coast, which sought refuge from the wars and slavery moved by the Iberian colonizers. Others, lived in the region since before colonization. With the arrival of Europeans to the South American continent, the region was traveled by the Bandeiras, which occupied land considered unexplored and hunted Indians for slave labor, as well as seeking natural resources such as noble woods, gold and precious stones, during the 17C. For this, the indigenous tribes were decimated or expelled from the region. African slaves were introduced to forcefully assist in the Bandeiras or work in the newly created subsistence crops that were forming. At the end of the 19C coffee growers settled in the northern region of the municipality of Jundiaí . Many of them taking advantage of old farms that since the 18C produced sugar and brandy.

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From 1948 onwards begins to be officially held the Grape Festival of Vinhedo, at the Piazza Sant’Anna. In 2009, the Grape Festival held the Wine Festival, which in 2019 will be in its 57th edition and which was currently incorporated into the calendar of events of the town of Vinhedo. The festivities takes place in Jayme Ferragut Municipal Park and receive thousands of people, both local and tourists. It has several attractions such as exhibition and sale and auction of fruits, crafts, amusement park, concerts with national renowned artists, dance performances, regional bands in various musical styles, varied performances, food court, parade of horse riders, motorbike rides, among other activities. It has become the main attraction of the town of Vinhedo.

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The other nice thing to see here on a hill overlooking the city of Vinhedo very nice indeed. The Monastery of St Benedict (Sao Bento).

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In the year 1649 on the site of the village of Santos, on the Paulista coast, and sensitive to the needs of those who passed through this bustling Port village, the Benedictine Frei Gregório de Magalhães, Superior of the Brazilian province of the Portuguese Benedictine congregation, decided to establish a small monastery that served both shelter for monks who use the port, and spiritual stronghold for those who wish to recover from the day-to-day assignments. In 1650, the monks of Sao Bento (Saint Benedict) receive, in donation, the Hermitage of Our Lady of Desterro, with the lands attached to it. As soon as they are established in Santos, the monks take charge of another Hermitage of Our Lady of Monte Serrate, received in 1652 the ownership of the same. For three centuries, the monastery of St. Benedict was a small monastery, being affectionately called by the Benedictines the  “Mosteirinho de Santos “ or monastery of Saints.

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In the 19C, the Benedictine Order of Brazil was almost eliminated due to the anticlerical laws that closed the novitiates of the order. With the advent of the Republic and the separation of the Church and State, German monks from the congregation of Beuron arrived in Brazil and repopulated the monasteries, accepting novices. In 1905 the Monastery of Sao Bento de Santos became independent Priory and began a re-flowering of monastic life. However, the story took a new course when Brazil entered WWII. Due to the presence of Germans among their monks the monastery was closed and the monks forced to leave Santos in 24 hours. A Benedictine monk from São Paulo took over the monastery for several years, not interrupting the Benedictine presence in Santos, especially in the shrine of Our Lady of Monte Serrate. The monks, expelled from Santos, spent a year in the capital, and two more years in Jundiaí, Sao Paulo State, buying the Bela Vista Farm, in the city of Vinhedo,  settling in the year 1948. Unfortunately, the community didn’t bloom in vineyard , and after the war, the few monks  divided themselves between the care of Santos and the administration of the enormous farm in Vinhedo. The new name was that of the Monastery of São Bento de Santos in Vinhedo.

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In 1963, then the prior of the Monastery of St. Benedict of Santos in Vinhedo and its small community, decided to ask for help to the Archabbey of Saint Vicent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The hope and faith of the vineyard community were rewarded when, in 1964, the then Archabbot of Saint Vincent, sent the four first monks to Brazil. The community then became part of the American Cassinense Benedictine Congregation.  At the beginning of the 1970’s, the community built and inaugurated a new monastery, settling definitively in Vinhedo. Then the American monks, along with the surviving Germans  reduced the large farm, built a house of ecumenical retirement such as the Casa Siloé, and began an ardent work in the communities of the region, founding Parishes such as the São Sebastião (St Sebastian) and Nossa Senhora de Lourdes ( Our Lady of Lourdes), and several communities, in addition to developing an intense training program for religious, young people and couples in the Casa Siloé (house of Siloé).

Official site of the Monastery of Sao Bento in Portuguese

The city of Vinhedo and things to seehttps://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/pontos-turisticos/

The city of Vinhedo on its last wine festival news: https://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/2019/02/27/57a-festa-da-uva-e-9a-festa-do-vinho-de-vinhedo-ultrapassa-a-marca-de-100-toneladas-de-frutas-vendidas/

The official Monastery of Sao Bento: http://mosteirosaobento.org.br/

There you go the whole story on Vinhedo ::) a nice town in inland Sao Paulo State of Brazil. If you ever around this around do come for the Wine Festival and the Monastery of St Benedict, it will be worth your time and money, me think. Hope you enjoy the tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 5, 2021

Ecological park and Divine Chapel in Mexico DF!

And bringing back this old post, also brings back many nice friendly encounters in the city of Mexico or CDMEX or DF (Distrito Federal) of many friends who are still in touch and always looking back to visit again. Let me take you to an off the beaten path seldom seen by visitors , to see more of the city. The Ecological park with its Divine Chapel is a pleasant time away from the buzz of the city to enjoy it.

Doing my tour of the world and having visited Mexico on many occassions over the years , driving and walking the city and country! I have seen a lot of interestings places but it seems the small quant picturesques places are the ones that reminds me of how much there is to see and enjoy in our world.  This is the case of a small Chapel in the Ecological park of Peña Pobre, this is the Chapel of the Divine Providence!

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The Capilla de la Divina Providencia  was built in the 19C and early 20C in what was the old paper factory of Peña Pobre. The factory had its chapel dedicated to the Divine Providence (Capilla de la Divina Providencia) , although it is also known as St. Peter the Apostle (San Pedro el Apostol).

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It is now in the middle of the ecological park of Loreto and Peña Pobre located at the corner of Insurgentes Sur and San Fernando, near the center of Tlalpan and the archeological site of Cuicuilco, a place with a very old history where there was a civilization prior to Tenochtitlan and was buried under the lava of the Xitle volcano.

At the beginning of the 20C the Lenz family, of German origin, was established in the place, who inaugurated the first paper producer in the Valley of Mexico, the factory of Loreto and Peña Pobre. The factory remained operating from 1928 to 1987, when it was closed as a result of the protests of environmental groups, which denounced the heavy pollution that the factory produce. Currently, in addition to the Peña Pobre Ecological Park, Plaza Cuicuilco Mall (Plaza Inbursa) is also a vestige of what was the factory, as some of the original parts of it are preserved.

This park belonged to the paper factory Loreto and Peña Pobre, hence its name, and now have taken advantage of the terrain, not only as a green area, but also as a place to develop the creativity of children and make them aware of the importance of environmental care. For this there are workshops with different activities, located where the workers of the factory had their homes before.  The Chapel and park are at Avenida San Fernando 765, corner with Insurgentes Sur, open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 8h to 18h. You can get there on the metro line 1 and then microbus station monumento and short walk to Peña Pobre, free admission. I came by car of course!

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The shopping of plaza Inbusa on the site of the above the map let you see it capilla is chapel: http://www.plazainbursa.com/mapa.php

My fav reviews page YELP on the Plaza Cuicuilco to see the old paper factory and picture 11 is the Chapel: https://www.yelp.com/biz/plaza-cuicuilco-m%C3%A9xico

I have to say that in combination with the above I met some friends of over 20 years here and we had a great time at the Sanborns restaurant (nice chain) which is across from the Chapel. Avenida San Fernando 649 right on the park. webpage: http://www.gsanborns.com.mx/

Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path site of Mexico city and a lovely place to eat as there I ate in the restaurants of the Mall! At Sanborns!!! The routine lol! Enjoy Peña Pobre and the Chapel of the Divine Providence or San Pedro el Apostol

 And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 9, 2021

Quant, nice, small Morretes!!

And here I am updating this older post in my blog from beautiful Brazil. This one was going way south into natural heavens often missed by visitors to the country so can be say an off the beaten path to Morretes in the State of Parana! Let me tell you a bit more about and see my other post on it.

Well on a nostalgic run of my trips in Latin America several years back to 2008! this time . I was living / working in Brazil at Curitiba (see posts) and had a car so drove all over Parana State.  My trip here was two folds, once they told me about a nice little train ride, and took it. Seeing the great rides and the roads not far, and with a Chevy Prisma car , decided to come back by car. Both events were fantastic. Let me tell you a bit about Morretes.

The name “Morretes ” is a geographical reference to the Morros (Portuguese for “Hills”) that surround the city. Founded in 1721 on the banks of the Nhundiaquara river , this calm and collected colonial town rests on an emerald-green plain at the foot of the Serra do Mar.  The city is known for its restaurants in which one sells the Barreado , at typical dish of rib-sticking meat stew cooked in a clay pot. Also,since colonial times, Morretes has been a traditional producer of cachaça. The distilleries still use the original alembics, and age the liquor in special wooden barrels for at least seven years, for flavors that are unique to the area. Most of the distilleries can be found on Estrada do Anhaia (Anhaia Street). Also produced in the area is a special type of banana liquor (pinga de banana).

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Things to see here in addition to your walks along the Nhundiaquara river are

Saint Benedict’s Church (Igreja de São Benedito), (see post) the Saint Benedict’s Church whike in in 1760, the Brotherhood of Saint Benedict was founded in Morretes.

Old Bridge (Ponte Velha)  Its structure of steel brings an old and glamorous aspect making it even more attractive. The bridge is used to pass over the Nhundiaquara river and gives access to restaurants, that I will tell you below. Pedestrians share the space with cars, considering that there is just one street band. Therefore, one way car or person lol

Marumbi Peak (Pico do Marumbi): Located in Paraná’s sea mountain, the state park of Marumbi remains with natural wealth of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, it’s the perfect spot, because there are waterfalls baths, trails or even climbing.

Flower Street (Rua das Flores): The main street of Morretes, a boardwalk on the banks of the Nhundiaquara river with its historic mansions such as the house where Dom Pedro II slept, Marco Zero, fountain, restaurants and the city’s first telegraph. The loveliest colonial buildings are clustered around Praça Lamenha Lins (square) as well as the Flower st, mentioned above, the cobblestone walkway that runs along the river.

Touristic Train (Serra Verde Express): Leaving from Curitiba, the train goes to Paranaguá’s direction, passing through, and stopping, in Morretes. The train, which goes about 74 km between both Paraná’s cities, is compound by 18 wagons divided in three classes: economic, touristic and executive.this train offers fantastic scenery as it meanders its way down in elevation through the Mata Atlântica. The ride from Curitiba (from where I took way back in time) From Paranaguà, there is service on weekends and holidays Need to check the site for the latest schedules and pricing. This is a great train ride and a must. Let me give you the official webpage of Serra Verde Express train : https://serraverdeexpress.com.br/

In addition to the walks and the train ride I came here to try the Barreado dish as above.  This dish is credited to the Portuguese more than 300 years ago that came here.  The dish consists of one or more types of second and lean beef, such as the palette,maminha and duckling, seasoned with onions, garlic, pork rinds, peppers, laurels and cumin and cooked until discolored. The preparation is mixed with manioc flour , and served with rice and sliced banana . The secret in the preparation is the cooking time in the crock pot-about 20 hours-enough to shred all the meat and keep it hot always. After cooked, the fibers of the meat loosen up resulting in a thick and tasty broth and seasoned to taste. And I try it first in style at Ponte Velha right on the banks of the Nhundiaquara river. The service was memorable , the food enormous quantities and the price to die for…webpage: http://www.morretespontevelha.com.br/

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The City of Morretes contact info to get there better: http://www.morretes.pr.gov.br/localizacao/

An unofficial tourist page on Morretes in Portuguese: http://www.guiageo-parana.com/morretes/morretes.htm

The Brazil tourist office on Morreteshttps://visitbrasil.com/en/destinos/morretes.html

There you go another small spot in the world map for me but always thankful of the welcome and the experience by all locals. Something to remember forever. Enjoy Morretes, Paranà, Brazil.

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 24, 2021

My Florida, wonderful memories!!!

And why not continue in memory lane and bring back this wonderful experience to remember forever. Let me update text and links on my memorable life in the State of Florida USA, just before my moved to my beloved France. Hope you enjoy as I and thanks again for reading me over the years!

If you search my blog you will see several posts on Florida. I am reminicent of my previous lives. Read and you will notice I lived for 18 years in Florida in addition to four years of University studies!!!while living in NJ (see post).  Florida is the Sunshine State incorporated into the USA in 1845. It has about 1,350 miles (2,170 km) of coastlines so a water lovers paradise as well. The earliest settlers were here before those northern claims…. when in 1513 a Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed and named it La Florida ( land of flowers) as it was during the Easter season or Pascua Florida.

You have several sources for tourist info depending on the area you are going. I lived in Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, both in Volusia county, as well as in  North Miami, Hialeah, both in Miami-Dade county; and finally, Miramar in Broward county.

North Miami is a totally different city than Miami in fact there are about 7-8 towns with Miami on the name including the county!!!

Some of the things to see in North Miami are: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) ,The Miami Auto Museum with large collection of classic cars, Hollywood cars, mini cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles from the collection of Michael Dezer, The Oleta River State Park is the largest urban park in the Florida State Park system. The park is located on 1,043 acres (4.22 km2) – 993 acres (4.02 km2) of land and 50 acres (0.20 km2) of inland water – on Biscayne Bay; the park contains one of the largest concentrations of Australian pine trees found in a Florida state park; and The Arch Creek Park is an 8-acre (32,000 m2) site at the junction of N.E. 135th Street and Biscayne Boulevard , just the area I lived! , and offers many opportunities for botanical, historical and archaeological study. It has a museum/nature center modeled after an early Florida pioneer home, displaying Indian artifacts dug from the grounds, and live animals from the nearby hammock. Remains of the original coontie mill are still visible across the creek, and the park exists as the only preserved archaeological site in the County.

The city of North Miami on things to do: https://www.northmiamifl.gov/514/Things-to-Do

Some of the things to see in Daytona Beach, other than the beach itself of about 23 miles or 37 kms are :City Island (married my Frenchie here) , City Island Ball Park, Daytona Beach Bandshell and Oceanfront Park Complex Seabreeze Historic District , South Beach Street Historic District, South Peninsula Historic District, the Tarragona Tower , Daytona 500 Experience, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach Boardwalk, Daytona Lagoon Water Park, Halifax Historical Museum, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Main Street Pier , Museum of Arts and Sciences,(best  Cuban museum outside of Cuba), and the Ocean Center.

The city of Daytona Beach on recreation: https://www.codb.us/891/Activities-Recreation

The Daytona Beach tourist officehttps://www.daytonabeach.com/

Some of the things to do in Ormond Beach ,other than the beach are: The Casements is a mansion , famous for being the winter residence of American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. It is currently owned by the city of Ormond Beach and is used as a cultural center and park, Bulow Creek State Park is a Florida State Park next to the Atlantic Ocean. The park is adjacent to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, and close to North Peninsula State Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area and Tomoka State Park. Tomoka State Park within the park is the site of the Timucuan village of Nocoroco, located on the Tomoka River. The site was inhabited approximately a thousand years ago.

The city of Ormond Beach on leisure services: https://www.ormondbeach.org/258/Leisure-Services

Some of the things to see in Hialeah are: Great transport hub served by the Miami Metrorail at Okeechobee, Hialeah, and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer stations. The Okeechobee and Hialeah stations serve primarily as park-and-ride commuter stations to commuters and residents going into Downtown Miami, and Tri-Rail station to Miami International Airport and north to West Palm Beach. The Hialeah Park Race Track is a historic racetrack on a site covering 40 square blocks of central-east side from Palm Avenue east to East 4th Avenue, and from East 22nd Street on the south to East 32nd Street on the north.The Hialeah Park Race Track is served by the Miami Metrorail at the Hialeah Station at Palm Avenue and East 21st Street. Originally opened in 1922 by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and his partner, Missouri cattleman James H. Bright, Hialeah Park opened as a greyhound racing track operated by the Miami Kennel Club. The Miami Jockey Club launched Hialeah’s Thoroughbred horse racing track on January 25, 1925. Even Winston Churchill visited in 1949. There are plans for a redevelopment complex but still going on unfinished.

The city of Hialeah on things to see: https://www.hialeahfl.gov/101/Visit

The Greater Miami and the Beaches tourist office: https://www.miamiandbeaches.fr/

My last town was Miramar, Broward county, before leaping forward to France with after convincing her to live with me in the State of Florida for 13 years she convince me to come to France where we are already 18+ years here ::) as French.

Some things to see in Miramar are : Silver Lakes Sports Complex (where I played softball), Forzano Field (where I played beach volleyball), and SoccerZone Indoor (where I played indoor soccer). The city has over 40 parks, for the entire family.

The city of Miramar on parks and recreation: https://www.miramarfl.gov/1726/Parks-Recreation

The Greater Fort Lauderdale tourist office: https://www.sunny.org/

And things we were fond of while in Florida, was to eat out at a Cuban resto in Altamonte Springs near Orlando with parents; the train ride outside Fort Myers, the alligator sights at Cypress Reserve in the Everglades marshes; the frozen papaya trees in Ormond Beach, yes it can get cold there like down to 25F (minus celsius 0C =32F). The now closed Silver Spring in Ocala where the original Tarzan movie was filmed!

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Go on to watching the Yankees baseball spring training in Tampa, our eating runs into Columbia the oldest Spanish restaurant in the USA since 1905 in Tampa (me and my Frenchie) and then we also visited their branch at Saint Augustine, (me) the oldest city in the USA. The fancy French as always great restaurant La Provence in Miami still going strong!! The visits to Magic Kingdom and Epcot center French Pavilion!(me and oldest son) The visit to the Daytona Beach museum of Arts and Science and the best Cuban arts collection outside of Cuba!!! My university old dorm and apartment house right on Hollywood st off Main St Daytona Beach home of Bike Weeks!!! The Marineland of St Augustine, Miami seaquarium and Zoo as well as Mallory square in Key West, the beaches of Daytona and Ormond (my dear Martine), the birthplace of speed! (world record automobile in 1902). Picking up wines in Coral Gables from Crown wines (me), and up to the concerts at Daytona bandshell on the beach. And our last house in the USA at Miramar. All wonderful memories that I like to share with my readers and keep in my blog for the memories,for history,and for passing on down to generations of my family.

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The State of Florida tourist board! https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us.html

Cheers y’all, enjoy it as much as I do. Florida, the Sunshine State. Always remembered as if for anything else, where I was married and my sons were born! Hope you enjoy the post and do visit when possible me last time was 2015.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 24, 2021

New Jersey ,a story of human triumph: My American life!

And my saga continues not only of updating older posts but bringing my life’s history in my blog. That was my idea from the beginning and I am glad doing it. Thank you all for reading me over the years, and hope you enjoy it too. Let me bring you back to my American experience, Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, and New Jersey was first! Of course, I have other posts on NJ overall in my blog.

I think I came up with a poetic title to this post. After running from left and right wing dictatorships I finally landed in democracy. Not an easy adjustment with a totally different culture and language, but we persevered the American dream , and I made it with my parents. American as apple pie ,even on further lands we came to know and be part of, we will always be thankful of the New Jersey experience. This is my humble homage.

Some background info on the State of New Jersey: It is a state in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States of America (USA) . It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and the state of Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and state of Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states! It is divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey,(mine!) and South Jersey.

Ok so we move on to the county I lived for 13 years of my early life; Middlesex County.  Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area, and its county seat is New Brunswick (where i became US Citizen in 1980) . The center of population of the state of New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in East Brunswick Township, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike. The county was primarily settled due to its ideal location near the Raritan River and was established as of March 7, 1683, as part of the Province of East Jersey and was partitioned as of October 31, 1693, into the townships of Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge ; The county’s first court met in June 1683 in Piscataway, and held session at alternating sites over the next century in Perth Amboy, Piscataway and Woodbridge before relocating permanently to New Brunswick in 1778. My parents below in Edison Menlo Park Mall!

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And now to the town I lived for 13 years and my first contact with the American scene. My English is from here, my last years of middle elementary school, all of high school, my first driving license, sports, worked in parents small businesses as well as industry to save for University studies in Florida. Wonderful early life ,always fondly remember; Perth Amboy Panther forever !!!

Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter on August 4, 1718, within various townships and again by New Jersey Legislature on December 21, 1784, within Perth Amboy Township and from part of Woodbridge Township. Perth Amboy Township was formed on October 31, 1693, and was enlarged during the 1720s to encompass Perth Amboy city. Perth Amboy Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey’s initial 104 townships through the Township Act of 1798 on February 21, 1798. The township was replaced by Perth Amboy city on April 8, 1844. Perth Amboy served as a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 until 1776. In 1684, Perth Amboy became the capital of East Jersey and remained the capital until the union of East and West Jersey in 1702, and became an alternate colonial capital with Burlington until 1776. Thanks for several sites of historical government sites to gather all the information above. 

Some of the colonial legacy is still around such as the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son of Benjamin Franklin, still stands in the waterfront area of the city. St. Peter’s Church was founded in 1718 by the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from 1875, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving its charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Benjamin. Perth Amboy City Hall, first built as a courthouse in 1714, survived major fires in 1731 and 1764 and is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States, since 1789. The Kearny Cottage, moved from its original location, is a remaining example of 18C vernacular architecture. The site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. Regular service began in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance. A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum. The Waterfront, This is where the city was first settled and one of the few places left in New Jersey that has a historic and marina culture surrounded by water. Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. And this is the area of my last residence before moving on to Florida.

The Outerbridge Crossing, which opened to traffic on June 29, 1928, is a cantilever bridge over the Arthur Kill that connects Perth Amboy with Staten Island, NYC. Known locally as the “Outerbridge”, it is part of a popular route on NY-440 / NJ-440 from the south and west to New York City and Long Island. The bridge clears the channel by 143 ft (44 m), providing passage for some of the largest ships entering the Port of New York and New JerseyThe Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south. A project completed in 2005 replaced a swing bridge that carried four lanes of traffic with twin bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic, an outside shoulder and a bike lane. The city has NJ Transit train service at Perth Amboy station. The station provides service on the North Jersey Coast Line to Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and the Jersey Shore. I had my first train experience in the USA here! going to NYC! NJ Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal. More on the train station here: https://www.njtransit.com/station/perth-amboy-station

My parents below fishing out of Point Pleasant Beach on the Dauntless!!

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My schools! The William C. McGinnis Middle School for grades 5–8; and Perth Amboy High School for grades 9–12.  All from the 7th grade onwards , memories never forgotten and fondly remembered. At home 809 State St coming for visit from FL univ! below picture!

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We came in renting an apartment at 349 Oak Street, then move on to a bigger second floor apartment house at 809 State Street,and finally my parents were able to buy our first house ever at 106 State Street by the waterfront area. My parents had several small businesses in town that I of course help out; from grocery story, men’s clothing store, nightclub with live music and dancers, restaurant, and handyman sales of sundry items all over the State and even into NYC and Philadelphia, PA.

I played baseball on the Babe Ruth World Series sponsored by Chicken Delight restaurant and we won! Played baseball Freshman and JV at High School, intramural Volleyball, and foremost continue my soccer/football paths at the High School as I came over from Madrid, Spain.  All many memories, friendships that I must tell you endure today even after 40-46 years!!! My last visit to NJ dates from 2007 for four days! coming there from France.  A blog post or even a blog won’t be enough to cover it all but the heart is on this post. Thank you Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA; from a grateful citizen.

The city of Perth Amboyhttps://www.perthamboynj.org/

The New Jersey tourist board on gateway region with Perth Amboy: https://www.visitnj.org/nj/gateway-region/history

The Middlesex County official webpage on its history: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/Pages/History.aspx

The Central New Jersey tourist board on things to see includes Perth Amboyhttps://www.gocentraljersey.com/historical-sites-tours/

Again, hope you have enjoy the reading as much as I writing the post. Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey! remembered!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 15, 2021

Casa de America, Madrid!!

In my continuing saga of updating older posts in my blog I bring you back to my beloved Madrid! Yes culture and history are part of any society and without understand it, you are doom for errors or least more of them. This is a cultural center of the Americas in Madrid where all countries of Latin America can meet and exchange culture, arts, theater, and conditions; it is a must while in Madrid to understand the whole of the American conscience (American is the sense of the continent). Let me tell you a bit on the Casa de America of Madrid!

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A place to visit for the culture and understanding  a lot more than just a tourist sight, even if many things will help you understand the things you see as a tourist/visitor of my Americas. I have touch briefly before, but I like to tell you a bit more on the Casa America.

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The Casa de America is a consortium created in 1990 and integrated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the community of Madrid and the city of Madrid. It is coordinated through the Governing Council, the upper management body of the Consortium and the delegated commission of that Governing Council formed by a representative of each of the three institutions plus the Director General or General Manager.

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A bit of the history I like

This consortium has the headquarters of the Palacio de Linares in Madrid.  It is located in the district of Salamanca, in the northeast corner of Plaza de Cibeles, on which opens the main entrance, between the Paseo de Recoletos and the Calle de Alcalá (my street!).  The Murga family’s fortune declined after the Marquis ‘ death in 1902, and the palace, damaged during the Spanish Civil war, was about to be demolished when it was classified as a historic monument in 1976.  It escaped destruction but remains abandoned for many years.  This palace built in 1873 for the Murga family is impressive. Baroque style, it was completely renovated in 1992. One of the peculiarities of this palace is the Casa de Muñecas, or the house of dolls; located in the interior patio of the palace, it was built by the Marquis de Linares for his adopted daughter Raimondita.

Casa de America is a public consortium that aims to strengthen ties between Spain and the Americas, especially with Latin America. This approach is encouraged through the organization of seminars, conferences, roundtables, exhibitions, lectures, projections, concerts, symposia, presentations, workshops, etc.

The Casa de America Consortium was founded in 1990, on the occasion of the preparations for the celebrations of the 5th centenary of the discovery of the Americas (by Europeans)  by Columbus.  The headquarters of Casa de America hosted the 2nd Ibero-American Summit in July 1992. S.M. King Don Juan Carlos I and the Heads of State and Government who participated in the summit inaugurated the institution.  The Casa America has since received the most important personalities of the continent: leaders, politicians, economists, authors, sociologists, artists, etc

The activity of the institution is divided into two areas: American Tribune and American Athenaeum.  American Tribune: It focuses on the diplomatic and institutional sphere by emphasizing political-social, economic, scientific, technological and general thinking issues. American Athenaeum: Focuses on the cultural field, and its activities revolve around cinema, literature, music, the visual arts and scenic.

Some webpages to help you enjoy this place fully are:

The official webpage of Casa de Americahttp://www.casamerica.es/

The Madrid tourist office on Casa de Americahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/casa-america

During the visit you can see the different rooms of the palace accompanied by specialists in history and art, and you can, also discover the stories and legends related to the building. Visits can be made in English, Spanish and in mixed groups. Saturdays and Sundays at 11h, 12h ,13h. Buy your tickets directly at Casa de América information point from Monday to Friday from 11h30 to 14h30 and from 16h30 to 19h30.  General admission: 8€. There is now a nice Raimunda restaurant on site.

There you go another jewel in a very nice area of Madrid, not far from my old home when living there. Its a cultural center in a cultural city, enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 15, 2021

Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, this is Florida!

So time to update/revise this old post from 2018 that I did with pictures from my last trip there in 2015. I never lived here but worked and lived in cities around them. This is the world renown Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale in the Sunshine State of Florida USA! Let me tell you a bit on them ok

Times flies, this was my last stronghold in the USA before leaving permanently to France in 2003. I had not been back there since 2009 with the family in 2009, and now had 3 great days in the area. This is the South Florida area where I still have lots of family there!

I was lucky to have on my way back from Mexico the company ok to attend a finance conference in Fort Lauderdale arriving at Miami airport on American Airlines.

One of my cousin was there to greet me and take me to eat at a local Cuban restaurant now very popular for the last 10 years or so;but there for over 30, Molina’s in the nearby city of Hialeah on which hospital my twin boys were born!!! The place was typical of old Cuba and the food very Cuban, something did not had for yearsss! picadillo ,moros rice, sweet plaintains, and a nice corona beer ::) webpage: http://www.molinasranchrestaurant.com/

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Afterward ,I was taken to my conference hotel at Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel; right off the ocean drive and very near Las Olas blvd chic area. This was heavens of course, and this time at no cost! Sublime and I fully enjoyed walking my old area all over. OF course, the hotel was top luxury, the room well the apartment as it was two rooms with living room and bedroom, TV in both in addition to a smaller one in the bathroom. There had bathtub and shower and lavs for two. The wonderful beachside restaurant was wonderful too. A great place ,location, and friendly prompt service. Memories forever. Recommended, my family back in France were jealous! Hotel webpage: https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/fort-lauderdale

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The evening had the chance to eat dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel overlooking the ocean and Fort Lauderdale beach , nice oysters, shrimps, and cocktails mojitos was wonderful right at the bar with a friendly bartender. Needless to say went to bed very late into the morning hours lol!!!

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Once the Finance conference was over, we were invited for dinner as part of it, to the wonderful Brazilian charrusqueria Chima’s right on Las Olas blvd and about 15 minutes walking back to the hotel which me and a group of warriors found out. Chima’s has a wonderful front terrace to mingle and drink, and then great laidout indoor tables for the feast of bringing those different cuts of meats charrusqueria style (call here steakhouse) all night long with wonderful glasses of red wines. Good company and pleasant evening afterward on the way back and at the hotel bar ::) Webpage: https://www.chimasteakhouse.com/

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The last day got pickup by my cousin again and given a ride in the laberinth of roads and tolls the area has become, really change felled big and different already. Saw the new Marlins baseball stadium, the Lincoln Road Miami Beach area, and the bridges before finally depositing me at Miami airport for the trip back home. A nice nostalgic if short trip to what was once call home ::)

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The Florida Marlins baseball stadium on MLB webpage: https://www.mlb.com/marlins/ballpark

Open air Lincold Road Mall on Miami Beachhttps://lincolnroadmall.com/

At Miami before the flight home…. had some snacks at La Pausa in concourse J Mia for a mahi mahi sandwich fries and a glass of California Hogue cellars red wine. A nice send offs indeed. More on the resto here: https://www.shopmiamiairport.com/directory/la-pausa-south-terminal-h-terminal-j-connector/

The flight back was my first ever ,believe or not, delayed in an airport, happening after a heigthening of security tension for the atrocious terrorist acts in Paris, they found two bags checked-in but no passenger so the plane was asked to return to gate!! wait and wait finally departed to Paris. There, as was getting ready to board my last flight to Nantes, once already in the passerelle to the plane we were asked to return back inside as they was a fuel leak on the plane, wait wait, finally took off. Arrive home five hours late missed my twins birthday outing and needed to catch up next day lol! Now ready for another long journey tomorrow to Brazil!!!

The tourist office of Miami and the beacheshttps://www.miamiandbeaches.com/

The tourist office of Fort Lauderdale area: https://www.sunny.org/

Hope you enjoy the short trip ,for me a memorable spot always will be. I am thankful of all my previous experiences no matter what, it always enrich your mind and soul! A wonderful one two combination Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas of Florida!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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