Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category

Rio de Janeiro – Good-Bye

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Time to wrap it up. We are heading home for Christmas. This trip was a dream come true. What a time to be alive!

Packing Up

Packing Up

Final Flight Home

Final Flight Home

Bye-bye Rio

Bye-bye Rio

Up, up, and away

Up, up, and away

Up, up, and away

Up, up, and away

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Rio de Janeiro – Carmen Miranda Museum

Monday, December 21st, 2009

One of the things I really, really wanted to visit was the Carmen Miranda Museum. All I needed was some fruit for my head and a pair of sky-high platforms. We found the museum (with some great effort) and to our surprise, it is free. Yay! The tiny museum has lots of her costumes, shoes, trunks, and headpieces. There are TVs with scenes from her movies and performances looping.

Museum Building

Museum Building

Museum

Museum

Pose

Pose

Grandios

Grandios

Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda

Museum Sign

Museum Sign

Inspired

Inspired

Trees

Trees

Some impressions of Christmas time in Rio.

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

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Rio de Janeiro – Beaches

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

The beaches are really important and interesting to see in Rio. They are very different. There are different crowds, different atmospheres, different goals at each one. Walking from beach to beach you start to pick up the various vibes. A big thing is beach volleyball. Of course, played by men in Speedos who are ridiculously tanned. After our samba school excursion, we did a big tour, me still sporting my phony tattoos and got a better understanding of the Rio de Janeiro way of life.

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

Beach

We had such a good time at the Copacabana Palace, we decided to go, try a different restaurant and decided to hit the night club. While we were eating, we watched a parade of girls, all dressed in amazing dresses go to the club “Bar do Copa”. Of course, we wanted in the action. We were surprised to see such a mix of women–specifically in terms of age. There were young girls in their 20s to what could easily be described as cougarlicious women in their late 40s and early 50s. We got a bottle of champagne, drank, people watched and of course danced.

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

Copacabana Palace

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Rio de Janeiro – Samba School

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Off we go to the samba school which is VERY local. No tourists in sight–except us. Since I have ink, I have immediate street credibility. I am starting to panic because people are loving my work. Those people that can speak English approach me. I am not happy about this at all and am worried about getting busted.

Samba School

Samba School

Dancers

Dancers

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

The Band

The Band

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

The samba school looks like a big hockey arena and they are practicing and it is packed. We are dancing, drinking beer and watching amazing dancers, great costumes, awesome musicians and lively drummers providing the beats. We are thrilled.

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

Samba All Night

We don’t leave until dawn. We are coming back for Carnival.

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Rio de Janeiro – Rio Scenarium

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

We are looking for authentic things to do. We have heard good things about the Rio Scenarium. A samba club. We get dressed and when we were in China, I had purchased a bunch of temporary tattoos. If you know me, you know that I am not a proponent nor a fan of ink in any form. For some reason, I had been saving these temporary ones for months–and waiting for just the occasion.

Ready for the Night

Ready for the Night

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Well, out they came. Not one, but two packages and I created a sleeve of flowers. The moment they were on, I went badass. I kept saying to Marc–don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I’ll look after you this evening.

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

Rio Scenarium

So off we go to the Scenarium. There are a bunch of ladies singing and I feel like we are at a Portuguese wedding. I start falling asleep in my chair while we are waiting for things to really get going. The place is crawling with tourists and after two hours, me fighting to stay awake (not all that successfully), Marc claims that this place sucks and we are going to the Samba School.

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Rio de Janeiro – Sugarloaf

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

We decide that we need to go to the top of Sugarloaf. Sporting my new tiger T-shirt, we go.

Base Station

Base Station

Going Up

Going Up

Going Up

Going Up

View of Cristos

View of Cristos

View of Copa Cabana

View of Copa Cabana

Sugar Loaf

Sugarloaf

Frame

Frame

This Way

This Way

This Way

This Way

It is actually fantastic and I would recommend doing both, Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. All about different perspectives.

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Rio de Janeiro – Buzios

Friday, December 18th, 2009

So in our book, one of the places we need to see is Buzios. Why is this fishing resort town on the map? Well because it was Brigitte Bardot’s favorite place “on earth”. We got picked up at our hotel and took a bus to the town. We were starting to lose our minds because when we make a rest stop, the bus is waiting on people that are shopping, taking their time, clacking. The break was 15 minutes. Some assholes were gone an hour. Of course, we waited. The Germ wasn’t happy…

Buzios Beach

Buzios Beach

Buzios Beach

Buzios Beach

Boat Tour

Boat Tour

Buzios Beach

Buzios Beach

Kids

Kids

Buzios is charming. There are all kinds of interesting stores, restaurants, and cafes. We take a boat cruise and have a fantastic view of the town. It is a little fishing village turned into a resort town. I am thinking about Kristi–our resident Brigitte Bardot the entire day.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Kisses

Kisses

Buzios

Buzios

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Rio de Janeiro – Favelas

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

The next day we decide to take a tour of the favelas–pretty much the ghetto. We go with this couple from LA. The girl is Brazilian. It is something to see. What do you do when you run out of space? Build up.

Favelas

Favelas

The Favela of Rio is one of the largest and functions as a mini-city. There are stores and winding roads and of course lots of people hanging about. We have been instructed on when we can and when we cannot take pictures. We go inside someone’s home and all I can think about is the struggle it would be to hike your groceries up and home. Clearly, there are no big Costco shops if you live in a favela.

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

Favelas

The stairs were each so high, it was powering your quads to climb them. We got to our host’s favela and the one thing about being high–you have an incredible view. We took some pictures and then back to the tour we went.

Favelas

Favelas

We only later find out that there is a huge epidemic of TB in the favelas. Really? Information we would have appreciated knowing before we went. It really was something.

Favelas

Favelas

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Rio de Janeiro – Cristos on the Corcovado

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

When my baby, when my baby smiles at me I go to Rio de Janeiro…

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and dress cut down to there…

Tall and tanned and long and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking and when she does…

It is official. I can’t stop singing.

Rio feels like the South American version of Nice. I keep saying this and we later find out that their waterfront is based off our beloved South of France. No wonder we love it here.

It is the end of the journey. Time to splash out. It is oddly enough the first time that we have started saying Merry Christmas, despite the fact that it is quickly approaching.

We have a list of things we want to do. Things that have been recommended or listed in our trusty “1000 Things To Do Before You Die”. The city is full of beautiful people (however we thought everyone was going to look like Model Giselle–and not so much) who are ready to play.

First things first–we are itching to see Cristos on the Corcovado–the massive landmark statue of Jesus with a 30-meter span of his arms stretched out. We take a taxi, then a tram (which is reminiscent of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong). We were not prepared for the magnitude of the statue. Just massive and beyond impressive. We are moved. We are having a great day and are snapping pictures like mad–just in time. Clouds eventually roll in, (while we are still there having such a great time and staying longer than others) and no sooner had the clouds rolled in, Cristos disappeared. What is great about the Corcovado is that you have a great view of the Sugar Loaf and the renovated Maracana football stadium.

Base Station

Base Station

Base Station

Base Station

View of Sugar Loaf

View of Sugar Loaf

Cristos

Cristos

Cristos

Cristos

Cristos

Cristos

Cristos

Cristos

The JW Marriott was a stone’s throw away from Copacabana Palace (CHECK THIS) and is significant because it is stunning AND because it is where Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire first danced together on screen. We go for a fabulous dinner in the most stunning, over the top, gold guild room. We love Rio!

Copa Cabana

Copa Cabana

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