On Sunday, Nina invited us to, ‘Zimbauê Celebration & Trançando Idéias’. Uh huh. Yeah. Again, no idea what to expect. So when her and her friend Jane picked us up outside of our condo I asked, ‘where are we going?’, to which she responded, ‘the party, of course!’ How’s that for clarification! Forty five minutes later we rolled down on something magnificent. There was the intoxicating aroma of homemade Feijoada in the air, and people were dancing, playing cards, singing, laughing, eating… there was beer flowing and little kids running around cutting up… I’d say it was like a family reunion, but no body was flippin’ over the spades table.  Although pretty much no one in the bunch spoke English (save for Nina) we immediately felt welcomed.  We were not guests, we were family, no side eyes from anyone, just lots of hugs and love from everyone.  Check out the view–

on our way to the partay!
Cool pic, that’s Jane in the foreground and me in the backseat taking in the views of the neighborhood

 Nina explaining to me the purpose of the party.  I was able to gather that they were celebrating the 23rd year of their organization… and that she just so happens to be ‘The Queen’! Like, seriously. She’s the Queen and head dancer of this very large group called Afro Zimbaue. #HBIC

I also concluded that just like Black folk in the States, they need no reason to party… it was clear that it was going down, anniversary or not!


  Adorning the Queen…

Nina exudes confidence and power.  She owned the moment when she was up there dancing… masterful and inspiring.
There were people of different ages dancing for their family and friends… kinda like being in a church play and your family is looking on all proud and stuff.
bad ass kids dropping ish off the balcony

Dude’s hair was everything.

Hair braiding station…

She demanded to see the picture #LilDiva #MyBrazilianBoogie
There was what seemed to be an endless supply of food and I swear, every time I sipped my beer someone was filling it back to the brim. There was a very communal feel about everything… no ‘there ain’t enough to go around’ sentiment. It was refreshing.
 pigging out… I believe this was my second plate! Best Feijoada ever! 
and of course we partied into the night… we were there for 8 hours and as we packed up, folks were setting up more microphones! #Gangsta

MONDAY, May 21

After getting to know Nina and her friends, I decided it was
time to revisit the wash & go, adopting their model of ‘
simplistic beauty’. With the humidity rising and our frequent beach
visits, it was a good idea in theory but the thought of the tangles,
knots and dry ends had me sweating bullets. I hopped in the shower,
rinsed, applied Redken’s Smooth Down Butter Treat, rinsed again and then,
while still in the shower I applied AG Fastfood in a raking motion,
gathering clumps of hair between my fingers to encourage a curl pattern.
I got out of the shower, blotted my ends with a scarf, got dressed and
rolled out. We headed straight for the beach and I was rocking a full
on ‘ramen noodle’. I hate the feeling of wet hair on my neck and dripping
down my shoulders about as much as I hate soggy socks, but I embraced
the feeling and resisted the urge to fluff or manipulate the curls as
they dried. Once my hair was 80% dry and shrinking, I fluffed a bit to
rid myself of the soulglo situation and was pleasantly surprised at the
results. It only got cuter as the day went on and I think I may even
get second day hair!

80% dry
The awesome beach chair and bartender guy, Jose, from what I could surmise, asked in broken Spanish if I was in ‘novellas’ or music.  With his hands, he made the shape of an afro around his head, gave me the thumbs up and pretended to sing on a microphone.  Then he came in hot… and of course violated the curls, but his intentions were good so I rolled with it 🙂

Later we made new friends and asked Jose to snap a pic, which turned into a bizarre and hilarious photo shoot! 
of them spoke English and we only know 4 Portuguese phrases between
the 3 of us, so it was cool how we connected and had a full conversation
for like an hour!

 She taught me a new way to dap… we also sang Beyonce songs… and they showed us their Samba skills

My hat became sort of a prop, and yes, that’s a gold tooth.
giving face…
Jose stayed snapping portraits of himself between shots of us!
Hair was 100% dry, 6 hours later!

curly beauties I found while exploring…

The waves were SICK and the tide kept surprising us and flooding our little chill space.  Of course my shoes and jacket were carried out to sea… 
Ocean 2, Nikki 0 

And later that night we went back to the same spot for Feijoada. Two Caipirinhas later, toward
the end of the meal, the waiter brought out the desert. 

My response? 

hearty, ‘gracias!’ 

He did a double take, laughed and said, ‘that’s
Spanish not Portuguese dear! Maybe after one more Caipirinha she’ll be
speaking Russian!’ #ShitsReal

Wondering who that handsome couple is? Why that’s Hubby’s good friend and Kappa brother Brandon and his gorgeous wife Tammy. #YoGotDamn #Nupes

So I was thinking… when you travel to a new land, you have to make a friend to truly
experience the culture. Otherwise you’ll never get past the barriers,
and be trapped in tourist purgatory. We made a friend in Greece (our
host, that we still FB frequently!) and I’m proud to say we now have
friends in Brazil. They welcomed us with open arms and I truly feel
blessed for the experience.

More pics later!

what I wore-
Mustard Yellow Skirt and Pink Tank- Forever 21 
Beanie- Gifted from Threadmill 
Flag tank- Gifted from ROMWE
Denim Shorts- Gifted from Romwe