Day Three-Brazil

Bom Dia! (Hello in Portugese)

Today we “traveled” to Brazil and it proved to be a very fun adventure.

We visited the Santa Ana Zoo (which neither of us had been to before), where our friend Jenny has been a zoo keeper for 8 years.  We went to high school with Jenny and her and Sean graduated the same year (Class of 96-wootwoot!).  It was like a reunion of sorts!


She contacted me a few months ago (after hearing about the STAYCATION) and offered to give us a tour of the zoo, since they had several Brazilian animals! Perfection! She is pretty much the nicest person ever.  She met us at the gate and took us through the entire zoo and farm, explaining everything and every animal to us–we got the VIP treatment!


She hooked us up and let us “meet” several of the animals face to face, like this Binturong.


And this toucan.


And this bird, which may or may not have sang the theme song to the old BATMAN tv show.  


These little guys (the Golden Lion Tamarins) were my favorite.  They are currently on loan from the Brazilian government to the United States.  So cute and small….but totally sassy and capable of a major scuffle.  



Miss K loved running through the zoo and seeing all the animals play.  Especially the monkeys, jumping branch to branch. 


We were so gateful to Jenny, who took the time to show us around and also expose us to this very cool place, that is pretty much in our backyard!  A pass for an ENTIRE family for a whole year is about 50 bucks!  There is a park, jungle gym, snack shack, gift shop and tons of animals.  It’s a wonderful place to come and see all of God’s creations.  We loved it!

Thank you Jenny, for making our day!


We headed to a local Brazilian BBQ for dinner.  I was looking forward to this BIG TIME.  Anytime you can consume massive amounts of meat, I’m IN.


We were joined by my handsome brother Jonathan and his girlfriend Joelle.


Our waiter was from Brazil and sure knew how to slice up and serve some mean cuts of meat.  I think I ate like 9 different types.  Done and Done.



Dinner was wonderful.  And filling.  And especially appreciated after the heartburn wore off. Miss K especially enjoyed the beef brisket.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  It was delightful.  And fattening.  Which all good food is. Duh.


And it’s late, so I don’t have time to take a picture, but my friend Meghan made sure to drop off her contribution to our STAYCATION.  A “one piece” bathing suit in neon pink.  And by one piece, I mean that one piece of fabric loops around your body in strategic areas (and no…this was not tested or tried on by either of us).  She thought it was fitting, seeing as we were traveling to the bathing suit capital of the world.

 I saw it fitting to use it as a coaster.  Because that is about how big it was.  Thanks for the laugh, Megs!  It was certainly entertaining!!

Jonathan’s suggestion for where we should travel next:


Tomorrow: Washington DC!  (I’m most excited about this one!)



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32 responses to “Day Three-Brazil

  1. Julie

    I was just talking to my friend, Eileen, about going to the Santa Ana zoo sometime soon! Looks like another great day. Love DC coming tomorrow!!!

  2. The zoo was an inspired idea. I love the Tamarinds too. 🙂

  3. We went to the zoo yesterday too! And saw some tamarins!

    You have such great ideas – I want to do this for my kids now!

    I can’t wait for DC!

  4. That sounds like fun! We’re right outside of DC, so for us DC is a field trip, but I’m excited to see what you do! It is a great idea that we will need to try next summer.

  5. gina

    We love loVE LOVE the Churrascaria!!! There’s one in West Covina as well….oh man I’m drooling….my favorite actually is the “salad” bar…oh yum.

  6. Liz

    What super fun pictures! I have not been to the zoo in so long, I’m inspired to go now!

  7. We the readers must see pictures of this “bathing suit” IMMEDIATELY.

    Oh, and 50 bucks for an annual pass to the zoo? That’s fantastic!

  8. Your Brother

    1) That picture of me is terrible
    2) We had so much fun
    3) Whats the score on monopoly now? 🙂

  9. holdingontowater

    Aspectos como todo o trabalho que você investiu nesta viagem realmente estão pagando. Tanto diversão

    Have to think of something really creative to write for DC since I know the language!!

  10. We had passes to SAZOO until Hunter was about five. A great place to go when you don’t know what to do! They even host birthday parties! Hunter’s favorite was riding the train around the little park. Looks like everyone had a great time. Was the bald eagle still there? He was so pretty.

  11. Erica

    The zoo! How fun, I bet Ms. K was in love with the day. Try out the LA zoo if you have not been there, its amazing! (but nothing tops the San Diego Zoo) 🙂

  12. We love the monkeys at the SA Zoo! We saw Jenny the last time we were there…so fun. Such a cute pic of the 3 of you at Greenfield’s…K looks like she is thoroughly enjoying herself. 🙂 Have fun in D.C.!

  13. Carrie

    We are current passholders to the Santa Ana Zoo and we love it!! Dean especially loves the “choo choo”. It is a great place to get the kiddies tired and not to far from home.

  14. So glad you had fun at the zoo, isn’t it a great place! And Jenny is a super nice and sweet person, yay for class of 96!!

  15. Nicole

    I had a pass last year to the Santa Ana Zoo. Ezekiel loved it. We haven’t been there in a while and seeing your post made me miss it! What a great day- you did great for not having a ton of stuff from Brazil!

  16. Kat

    OMG I love Greenfield!!!! Did you have the garlic steak? That’s my favorite! MMMM drooling….

    I’m looking forward to the blog on Funky Town…

  17. what fun! its like being on vacation with you! and neither of us had to pay for travel expenses! 🙂 looks like ya’ll are having a wonderful summer!!!

  18. Michelle Eastman

    Way to go, Jen!

    And I will have to take D to the meat place… he is a true carnivore and he would be in meat heaven!

    It is funny – I hear of staycations about 2 years ago and now they are all the rage due to the economy. What a fabulous way to experience new things and enjoy time together without selling the family cow to do it.

    Happy trails!

  19. kinda disappointed there’s no bathing suit pic! lol!
    will definitely have to check out Greenfield!
    i am getting so many ideas for next summer!

  20. No bathing suit picture?!?!? I’ve got quite a mental picture of it going on right now after reading your description!

  21. Mary

    So, so fun! I want to try that restaurant even more after everyone’s comments about it!! 🙂

  22. oh man…a Brazilian steakhouse sounds so good right now! And I love that little zoo! I grew up in Tustin and used to go there for field trips! Do they still have elephant rides? (hmm…might be dating myself there)

  23. Sounds like a fantastic day from start to finish!

  24. Love the Brazilian restaurants – my husband lived in Brazil for 2 years. I can’t eat the entire day to get ready for it! Yum

  25. jenn

    i will see you in funky town! love the zoo pics — i’m suddenly craving brazilian food!

    i’m the most excited for DC — can’t wait to see what you do with that one :).


  26. what a cool trip to the zoo, especially to have “backstage access”…what an experience! looks like brazil was as much fun as the rest of your vacation…can’t wait to see what washington, d.c. holds for you guys!

  27. WOW! Love the Zoo! You have found some really neat things to do on your “staycation”! I’m loving all your ideas!!

    Couldn’t do the meal though………being a “salad eater” as my 7 year old calls me 😉


  28. What? No body waxing!? That’s brazilian!

  29. Jenny

    Again, so glad you could come to the Zoo! Thanks for posting pics too…umm except for the one of me with a double chin! And I would also like to see a pic of the bathing suit!

  30. I love visiting Jenny at the zoo! Did you know she was on the Disney Channel too! So she’s pretty much a celebrity! And just seeing you eat at the Brazilian BBQ makes me hungry!!!

  31. so cute!

    Next time you are at the Newport Store you should track me down and say hello 🙂

  32. Love your Brazil staycation. Gotta sneak the zoo in there somewhere! 🙂 What a great way to do it.

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