Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lake Michigan vs. Brazil's Atlantic Ocean

None of these folks are related to me.

Saugatuck, Michigan vs. Guaecá, São Paulo state

Saugatuck is where I was visiting with a few girlfriends this weekend. Guaecá is the beach that I have visited in Brazil annually since 1996.

1. Saugatuck is sweet water (not the drinking kind but the lake kind). Guaecá is saltwater Atlantic Ocean.

2. Small waves in Lake Michigan. Large and larger waves in Brazil. Guaecá is known as a surfing beach. Surfers in Lake Michigan consist of paddleboarders.

3. In Saugatuck no one wanders by to offer me coconuts, water, beer, shrimp, corn on the cob, ice cream, blankets, hammocks, hats, sunglasses or jewelry. No one offers me anything. On the other hand, every one says hi as I walk by them on the beach. No one has ever said hi to me ever in Guaecá. Unless related to me by blood or marriage.

4. Saugatuck has blondes. Natural blondes. Hello, Dutch descendants. Guaecá has blondes. Not natural. Except me. And Lalo.

5. Saugatuck: Everyone totes in their own food. Large wheeled coolers, snow sleds, children are all loaded up with food and drinks. Brazil: All in-laws loaded up with snacks and a styrofoam cooler of beer. Anything forgotten can be bought.

6. Saugatuck: it costs $6 to park. Guaecá: nada.

7. Saugatuck: public bathrooms. Guaecá: ocean. 

8. Saugatuck: boats that pass consist of one motor boat (large) and one paddlewheel (large tourist). Guaecá: lots and lots of enormous Petrobras tankers.

9. Sunset over both. Yes. Sunset on the Atlantic Ocean in Guaecá because of a jig in the coastline around São Sebastião.


1. Chubbies are everywhere. No one cares.

2. Fried gringos are everywhere. No change.

3. Tattoos are everywhere. Though I think Michigan wins.

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