Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ilha Do Mel

This week, I had my first double dark. We decided to spend the two days off by going on a little vacation with some friends from work. Fabio, an artist on the show with me, and his girlfriend, Glaucia, are from a city near Curitiba, so they organized a trip for us to Ilha Do Mel. It wasn't an easy trip for them to plan, but we are so grateful that they did! Ilha Do Mel translates to Honey Island, and it is a small island located off the coast of ParanĂ¡, Brazil. From Curitiba, Ilha Do Mel is about an hour and a half drive plus a twenty minute ferry ride.

Leaving the mainland!

Duke and his son, Daxton, on the ferry

Arriving to Ilha Do Mel

We walked to our pousada, inn in portuguese, which were little cabanas right off of the beach. The cabanas were air conditioned and had beds, which is pretty much all we needed for a two day stay!

The Pousadas!

Second floor in the pousada

Be thankful for your foot-thick mattress tonight!

The pool at the pousada

When we arrived at our inn, there was a dog that started the two day journey with us and followed us all over the island. He became our pet, and Max would have taken him home if our hotels allowed pets! Everyone called him Melvin by the end of the trip, except Alix, who preferred Spot. Regardless of his name, he literally spent the entire weekend with us, so you'll see him in many of our pictures. On the note of pictures, I also want to say that half of these pictures are taken by Max and I and the other half are taken by Alix on her new Canon! Thanks for all of the pictures, Alix! <3

Max meets Melvin

My girl, Alix, in action

After dropping our luggage off, we walked to the other side of the island for a bite to eat. The spot where we ate lunch was on the top of a hill, so we had quite the view of the island and the ocean.

Lunch with the group!

Views from the lunch spot with my bearded man
(Cue Wilson/Tom Hanks jokes)

Tacia chasing Dax! Little boys tend to make their mommies do that.

Alix and I soaking it in. Also (unfortunately), my lats soaking in my cover up.

Lee and Melvin being adorable

Our lunch took about two hours because there was one lady cooking all of it in a small kitchen, so we were definitely ready for some beach and sun afterward! We decided to walk to a surfing beach so that some of the boys could surf. We had to hike to the beach, and like most of Ilha Do Mel, the scenery was breathtaking even before we arrived at the beach.
Nothing like some father-son action to melt your heart
I love this big guy! Notice Melvin leading the way, too.

Quad workout that I wasn't expecting

Starting the climb!

From the top looking behind us

Form the top looking ahead of us

The engaged couple!

The girlfraaaand couple!

The abs couple!

The married couple! 

The "novatos", aka newbies to Corteo

After the trek, we arrived on to the beach and enjoyed the afternoon! We were all pretty exhausted from the shows the week before, and laying around on the beach for the day was the perfect way to rest up. The entire weekend was overcast, but it was a great blessing because the weather was cool and the sun wasn't overpowering. Plus, we all were able to avoid getting burnt by the sun and ended up with nice tans! I can't lie… tans are on my top three list of favorite things about going to the beach.

Surfers on the waves!

Can't avoid the circus life even on a beach

Max joining in on the circus fun!

Melvin doing what Melvin does best.

Abbey doing what Abbey does best.

After a day in the sun, we headed back to the pousanas. My nap on the rock wasn't up to par I guess because I took another nap and did a little reading before we showered and headed to dinner. For dinner, we had tons of salad, beans and rice, and fish, shrimp, and beef. It was family style, so we all sipped our caipirinhas and passed around the plates. The food was very authentic to Brazilian cuisine, and I'm always happy to be eating fresh fish right on the beach!

Quite the dinner view, huh?!

Our second day there, Tuesday, began with nice long morning of sleep, and then a trip to a part of the island with another great beach and a cave! It was only a five to ten minute walk from our pousada. The view was, again, breathtaking. We also had some time for more handstands, obviously.

The beach next to the cave!
Alix and I are on our way to the cave



All the girlies

Entrance to the cave

The view from the inside of the cave looking out

The cave is at the base of this gorgeous mountain!

Some of us decided that the remainder of the day on Tuesday should be spent relaxing on the beach. Some people went on a hike and others took a hike to a fort, but I wasn't up for anything but pure relaxation. We had a great time talking, eating frozen acai, and enjoying God's creation. Although our afternoon didn't contain a lot of action or exercise, it was well spent recovering our minds and bodies before a new week of shows in Curitiba.

The novatos!

Daxton's first surf!


I think it's time to train a new catcher!

They're duo is just a tad shorter than ours...

Our vacation ended with another group dinner. The trip was a great opportunity for Max and I to get to know the crew better, and we had such a great time with these members of our Corteo family. I'm afraid this double dark will leave high expectations for the dark days to come! I can't say enough how blessed we are to have this opportunity to fulfill dreams, travel, and meet new people. To God be the glory!