Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carnaval in Belo Horizonte

Yes, I know.  Carnaval is "officially" over.  It is Ash Wednesday, and stores were back open today, and I even saw a few school vans driving around.  But I was so busy having fun, I didn't get around to posting until today.  Back when were were in the states (hard to believe, it really was only 2 1/2 weeks ago that we left), I briefly entertained the thought of heading to Rio for Carnaval.  But since we've never been, I thought I'd postpone that trip until we could all go together.  And from all that I understand, Carnaval in Rio isn't really for kids.  Then we were going to go to Campos Altos with a family from the kid's school, where they have a "traditional" small town Carnaval party (i.e. not historic city drunken craziness).  But we were a little late at making arrangements, and renting a car was more expensive than we had anticipated (duh, it's Carnaval).  So, we opted to stay at home in BH and make the most of it here.  And I have to say that I'm glad we did.  The Carnaval fun started for us last weekend.  We had a few friends over on Sunday for Indian food, and in the middle of the afternoon we heard and INCREDIBLY loud noise.  We convinced the kids to put their shoes on and go for a walk.  We walked out the front of our building, and there was a bloco passing by!  On our quiet little street!  It was the bloco for a bar that's around the corner from us, and it was really small, but it was my first bloco, so I loved it.  People were dressed up, singing and marching to music blaring from a car stereo.  We only walked about 200 feet with them, but it was fun to see it.  No pictures though, because we had to hurry out of the apartment to catch it.

On Thursday, the girls had their "grito de carnaval" at school.  They dressed up, brought confetti and serpentina (streamers) and celebrated at school.  There was a band to greet them when they arrived:

I didn't get to see them at school, because I had to take Sebastian to his school.  Which is a whole other blog post of itself.  But Matt didn't take any pictures of the butterfly (Beatrice) or of Dora, who had spent the night at a friends house and came to school covered in eye shadow, blush and lipstick.  I really wish he would have got a picture of that.  

Friday was the Carnaval fun day at Maple Bear.  I brought scarves, the kids dressed up and brought confetti and serpentina and we just danced and ran around.  Which is about normal for playground time.  But I had fun.

Saturday we invited some friends over for pizza and beer.  Yum!

Sunday we went to a friends house for churrasco (barbeque).   They made ribs, picanha, and tropeiro (a mix of beans, farofa, eggs, and other yummy things).  After we had been there for 5 hours, I was starting to get the kids ready to go, but the hostess told me I couldn't go because she hadn't made the cake yet!  Oops!  So we stayed for another hour and ate Rocambole, a rolled cake filled with dulce de leite (a thick creamy caramel-like sauce made from sweetened condensed milk).  

Laura and Bea

Kids watching a move


Beatrice got a hold of Marcio's camera and took this and many other pictures

Monday we went to another friends house for a Carnaval party.  We went to these same friends house last year for Carnaval, and I was AMAZED at the quantity of confetti that was thrown.  This year was no different.  Except that they held the party in their salão das festas (the apartment buildings "party room" that can be rented).  And I was stilled amazed by the amount of confetti.  Let's just say that there was confetti in my underwear, and I will be sweeping up confetti in our apartment for at least the next week.  We ate more ribs, lots of salgados, candy, sweets, chips, guacamole, cookies and danced and played and danced.  The kids swam and played video games.  And I had a LOT of fun. Unfortunately, no pictures.  We were too busy having fun to even pull the camera out.

On Tuesday,  we went to a bloco in Santa Tereza.  It was small and very short for Brazilian standards (only about an hour), but it was perfect for our tired American kids.  We just don't know how to party like Brazilians.  At least not yet.

My mom made me come

Me and Beatrice

The skinny dancer

The not so skinny dancer
I loved the dancers in this bloco.  As my friend Corinne said (via FB), in BH you get to see the non-ripped, non-siliconed sambistas.  It was nice to see people looking like people, with normal bodies. 

And it was loud.  

But we had fun, thanks to our many friends here.  Now it's time to get back to work for my one day work week.  And then it's a weekend with at least one party.  Thanks Brazil!


  1. Thanks for the experience! Loved that you had confetti in your underwear, what a word picture!

  2. Sounds like an excellent time! We also have entertained doing the big Rio Carnaval the past two years, but like you, we have offspring. Just not the right scene. Maybe next year we can all spring for a baba to watch the kids and we can all do the real deal!

  3. Well, felt ALMOST like I was there!!!!