#barkenport: our first time hosting friends overseas

In the days when Dave was getting paid to hike (it wasn’t all a walk in the park, ha), he made a friend. Chris and he shared military backgrounds, formative religious experiences, and a love of music and craft beer–not to mention all the ups and downs that came with the trails (#trailpunsfordays). It’s not often Dave connects with someone on this level, so naturally, I was curious to find out what his wife was like…and more importantly, would we connect?

We did. Allison is a teacher, so there, the end. Just kidding. I also discovered we share the love of God, the fear of anxiety, and many perspectives of the Midwest. None of these are light subjects: but that’s how I like my friends…deep and meaningful.

So…Dave and I were absolutely thrilled when they did the unthinkable: they made a trip to Brazil happen!

Here they are arriving, after three planes and a scary amount of hours.

Since they arrived on Christmas day, we made a special request of Santa to make a stop here with some Brazil gear and beach toys–and of course, champagne for the grownups.

That night, we made sure to fill their bellies with a traditional Brazilian churrasco: fire-grilled steak, chicken and sausage; garlic bread; veggies.

Chris might have had just a little bit to much fun with the skewers…

Not to worry though…we worked that off in our apartment’s indoor futsal court, of which the boys fell in love and for which they begged on a daily basis 🙂

(That actually became one of my favorite parts. Eventually, we brought down games and adult beverages to the game room and we played while they played. It was great!)

After an exhausting night of settling in–after an exhausting bout of travel–we were off to Rio together. I mean, come on, you can’t come to Brazil and not see the beaches of Rio! While there, we spent lazy days at the beaches and one crazy, whirlwind day of sightseeing.

We came back to Sampa just in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve on our beautiful balcony, where we danced, played with glow sticks, watched Brazilian coverage of events we didn’t understand and enjoyed multiple fireworks (noises or sounds). Don’t mind the blurriness of these photos…because let’s be real, when aren’t NYE pics blurry when you’re too busy being with friends!?

Once we hit the new year, we all realized the Barkers had only wet their appetite for Brazilian beaches. So, we booked a last minute getaway to Santos: the sea of sand dollars (win) and poop floating in the water (fail). We enjoyed shots on the beach, drip castles and reflections, and one helluva sunset that included a car fire and a rainbow (#nofilter).

All these trips and big moments don’t even include the small moments…which might even be my favorite. Cooking together. Games. Slow conversations on the porch. Naps. Field trips (packed in our car like sardines) to the malls for delicious coffee and snacks…and the hunt for the perfect Havanas. The boys’ addiction (justified!) to acai. Once again, seeing our new home with eyes of foreigners.

Naturally, as the time arrived for the Barker’s departure, my heart grew sad. I was crying at the drop of a hat. Allison said it’s because they brought a little piece of home with them.

But, no, it’s not that.

It’s because, without a doubt and with no better way to say it, we absolutely fell in love with the Barkers. Including their kids. Most definitely their kids. Cayden and Corbin are just delightful little boys, and to see them play together was a joy. So cheers to you Chris and Allison for being fantastic parents. You should be proud.

The Barkers leaving with a piece of our heart…

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Allison Barker
    Feb 09, 2019 @ 15:05:44

    Love, love, love!!! The trip was not only amazing, spending time with you and Dave was priceless! We loved every minute. Thank you for being gracious hosts! I absolutely loved the time we got to spend and conversations we have! #barkenportforever



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