wintercomingYes, winter is coming. Well, it’s hard to believe that it’s almost winter in Rio, where we just spent our last holiday while living in Brazil. It was 88 degrees with sun, surf, and millions of people in bikinis and sungas (men bikinis).

We took three days to soak in the Brazilian tropical weather, as we prepare to head north to Calgary, where everyone warns us, “It’s damned cold!”

As Tom and I sat in beachside cafes and restaurants, we kept a running litany of “will miss” comments: will miss palm trees; will miss looking at the beautiful Brazilians; will miss Brazilian music; will miss caipirinhas; will miss Rio and the Cristo Redemtor, etc.

CR8A smaller list of won’t misses: won’t miss limited-flush toilets; won’t miss Gypsies who take us for fools and targets of theft (yes, they came at us again, but my hackles were immediately up and I pulled Tom away from their grabby fingers. Ooohhh, they had better NOT TRY IT!).

And one more Won’t Miss: getting our credit card number hacked in Rio. Three visits, three hacks. Damn them! And we only used the cards at nice restaurants and the Marriott, no ATMs. Damn the thieves! (And thanks to USAA for catching the misusage!) (I wonder if the Gypsies scanned Tom’s card?!)

As we flew over the coast, I realized anew that we’re going to be a long way from the ocean for four years. We’ll have glorious mountains and lakes, but not our beloved ocean. Ah well, I guess that means tropical vacations in the next four years!

Winter will be a new sensation for both of us, having spent 3.5 years in Brazil and 30 years in San Diego. Reportedly, Calgary has 330 days of sunshine a year (yipee!), but some of those must be VERY SHORT days of sunshine, given that we’ll be at the 51st degree latitude North.

But, I’m not afeared. I look forward to taking long walks in the winterland. Yes, this could be ignorance, but I eagerly anticipate the change, walking along the Bow River on the bike path near our likely dwelling.

Bike/walking path along the Bow River, Calgary. Calgary Zoo is across the river.

We’ll spend July and August in Santa Barbara (Rio’s rival on the USA’s West Coast), and then head North, to the Wall, where winter will last for four years….