Feeds:
Posts
Comments

July 16, 2014

Today is day 36 for us here in Brazil. This is our final day in the country. Our bird back to the U.S.A. takes off a little after 09:30PM this evening. God willing we’ll be back on American soil first thing tomorrow morning.

There really isn’t anything to report for today. Today is what I can a dead day in traveling. We’re kind of in limbo. You have to be out by 10AM. You have to leave your bags someplace. You try to figure out something to do until it is time to go to the airport.

I probably won’t see you tomorrow but I will soon. I’ll try to put together a final wrap to the trip over the next day or so.

Hope to see you again soon.

Tchau!

July 15, 2014

Today is our 35th day here in Brazil. It is our last official day of the trip. We’ll be here pretty much a full day tomorrow but our overnight flight home leaves at 9:30PM local time so we’ll be heading to the airport somewhere between 5-6PM local time.

Today was lazy butt day. I’m sure PURPLE doesn’t approve but we both slept late, she worked a lot, I worked some, we had an early lunch since we had no breakfast and we basically hanged really close to the apartment all day. Boo…but I’m exhausted and sick so I need it.

Dinner tonight was at Tremezzo. Another excellent dinner. Highly recommended.

Tomorrow we are homeless. We have to be out of our apartment by 10AM. There is another American couple on the way in as we speak. So our host will place our luggage in his extra room downstairs and we’ll try to figure out how to be homeless for about 7 hours before we head to the airport.

Hope to see you here tomorrow. I doubt it as I’ll be completely out of pocket but it is what it is.

Tchau!

July 14, 2014

Finals Argentina v Germany

Finals Argentina v Germany

Today is day 34 for us here in Brazil.

Germany are World Champions! Deutschland Weltmeister! No matter how you say it like honey dripping off the end of your tongue. Four years of planning this trip with tons of go, no go decisions along the way and we’ve finally culminated with me not only attending my first and perhaps last World Cup Final but I got to see my beloved Germany take the trophy home. I really couldn’t be any happier. The crowd and environment were truly electric from the start of the closing ceremonies through the presentation of trophy. The stadium literally stood packed full of both German and Argentina fans until well after the trophy was presented. What a sight it was to see. I’m so glad I finally got to experience it.

Now onto today…

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

Today we’re up early and attum. We’re off to see Christ the Redeemer this morning. I made reservations Saturday morning and barely got a morning reservation for today! The place is hopping I tell you.

So our landlord called two taxi companies and none could provide taxis. Late already we headed down to the busy corner and tried to hail a taxi for way too long. None were available. Every taxi was occupied. Finally we decided to head across the plaza and see if we could catch one there. No success for way too long again. Finally a taxi let somebody out right in front of us and we snagged it. We were off to our appointment albeit it seriously late.

Then we hit traffic. A wall of it. There are two ways there so we u-turn and go the other way. Another wall of traffic. So we sit. And sit. And sit. Finally we get to our appointment about 45 minutes late. We’re a no show. However, they were kind enough (aka we got there early enough in the day still) that they rescheduled us for an appointment two hours after our original one. So we sit around for roughly half that before we finally figure out that yes indeed, if there is space on the train, they’ll take you regardless of your appointment. So finally around 11AM this morning we began our climb of the mountain to Christ the Redeemer.

Man oh man this sucker is up there! He’s much more imposing that close up as well. Has to be, being the son of god and stuff like that. The views of Rio are absolutely spectacular from this vantage point as well. Unfortunately, you have to experience this with roughly double the capacity of the place. Everybody and their dog is up there. They’re laying on the ground trying to snap photos from that angle. They’re doing selfies from every corner. They’re blocking the stairs down to the viewing area to take pictures of their friends below. They’re hogging every sliver of concrete rail available. This jesus dude is pretty freaking popular apparently! We did manage to muscle a view pictures before calling it Christ Almighty. Caught a quick drink in his cafe & bar overlooking the ocean before heading back down his mountain.

Then the fight for a taxi began again. We tried this side of the street. That side of the street. Up. Down. Thought I had one but self righteous taxi driver said get in the line across the street. Finally and literally 30 seconds later not so self righteous as long as the money spends taxi driver showed up right behind him and after dumping his previous patrons we were off to the races.

The races to sit in traffic. Jesus (sorry, I just saw you and now I’m using your name) this town is nuts today! So we sit in traffic where traffic normally isn’t according to our taxi driver. I believe these guys because they do this for a living and they hate sitting in traffic more than anybody else. Finally, around 2PM local time our taxi driver drops us off at the same plaza where we departed 5 hours earlier. We’re 7 hours into this day and we’ve done 1 thing that I thought we’d have wrapped up well before noon.

Lunch was at Terzzeto Cafe. It was good. I liked it despite throwing their food all over my shirt. This shirt has taken a beating on this trip.

The afternoon was lazy. I’m pooped and hitting my wall at this point. Hung around the room and did basically nothing other than screw off and nap a bit. Sometimes you just need that.

Dinner was a return trip to Felice Caffe. I really dig this place. It wasn’t quite as good as the first time but I still really dig it.

Hope to see you here again tomorrow.

Tchau!

July 13, 2014

Finals - Argentina v Germany

Finals – Argentina v Germany

FINALS DAY!!!

The day has finally arrived. Today is day 33 for us here in Brazil and the main reason we’re here has finally arrived. Today is FINALS DAY!!! Today we finally get to attend our first and perhaps even last World Cup Finals game. I’m so excited right now. I look at these tickets and they are like gold bars in my hands.

My beloved Germany takes on the boring Argentina team today. Hopefully Argentina will show up and decide to actually score goals today. If not, I hope they are suitably punished by Germany for not trying. I desparately want just a wee bit of excitement in my finals match today. Go Germany!

I’m finally decked out in my Germany jersey this morning. I even brought along my club team Bayern Munich hat to compliment the ensemble. Hopefully it will bring the German team a little good luck and a win for the cup.

Germany Uber Alles

Germany Uber Alles

Early rise today followed by an early breakfast and early preparations for a trip to the world famous and historic Maracana Stadium! Kick off is at 4PM local time but the closing ceremonies start closer to 2PM local time. Gates usually open 3 hours beforehand and it is roughly a 35 minute train ride with no hiccups so we’ll be out of here by 11AM this morning. This will be a full day commitment! I’m posting now in case I can’t make it back later this evening. If I can I’ll update this post later. In the meantime enjoy the glory that is World Cup!

Maracana

Maracana

Hope to see you here tomorrow.

Tchau!

July 12, 2014

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

Today is day 32 for us here in Brazil.

It is Pity Game Day! Yes, Brazil and Holland get to duke it out for third place today. Poor guys. Why not just let them go home and get a few days holiday in before having to report back to league camp? Oh yeah, Sepp Blatter can’t sell more Budweiser tax free if he let them go home a few days early.

Still sick by the way. Well at least it isn’t raining. Yet.

Spent the day, mostly all of the afternoon, taking a long walk down the beach, up to and across the lake and then back down to the rental. We threw in a lunch at D.R.I. at the corner of Rua Vinícius de Moraes and Rua Barão da Torre. It was good. I’ll try to post a note later.

Quick beer stop on the way back to the rental then a couple of hours front of the boob tube to watch the pity game between Brazil and Holland.

Dinner was some simple pasta and soup here in the apartment. We’re both fully spent after four hours of walking today. Onto the morrow. That’s when the real fun starts.

Hope to see you here tomorrow.

Tchau!

July 11, 2014

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach

Today is day 31 for us here in Brazil.

…and I’m still sick…

…and it is still raining…

Today started slow enough. Roll over. Roll over again. Think about it. Roll over again. Finally sit up. Think about it. Think about it. Finally stand. Think about it. Walk. Start hacking up lung parts. Make coffee. You get the idea.

After hacking up lung parts and making coffee (priorities, right?) there was email to check, laundry to do, etc… So things continued at a slow leisurely pace throughout the morning.

So what do you do after a lazy start? Of course! Go to the beach!

The internet crapped out right after breakfast so it was time to head to the beach and work on the tan. I think we spent almost 3 hours on Ipanema Beach this morning/afternoon. Got back to the apartment a little after 3PM local time. It was cool. Nice and relaxing catching some sun, walking around a bit, people watching, etc…

Lunch was light and casual leftovers in the room.

Finished up the laundry, surfed the net a bit (I think Cindy was working) before heading out for an early dinner.

Dinner tonight was at Restaurante Fazendola. Simple pizza and empanadas on the plaza alfresco around the corner from the apartment. It worked. Hit the spot. Quick swing by the market on the way back to the apartment and a little more internet and TV and such and it is off to see sand man.

Hope to see you here again tomorrow.

Tchau!

July 30, 2014

Corinthians Stadium

Corinthians Stadium

Today is our 30th day here in Brazil. WOW. Thirty days for one trip. That’s a lot of days to be on the road non-stop.

Time for a recap of yesterday since we were traveling all day and away from the computers. Yesterday we flew to and from Sao Paulo in the same day to attend the Netherlands v Argentina game here at the World Cup. Needless to say it consumed the entire day and it was a whirlwind trip at that. We were pretty much spent by the time our heads hit the pillows late last night.

Getting to and from Sao Paulo and then to and from the airports to the Arena Corinthians is actually pretty easy once you figure things out. Flights are plentiful to both airports. From there you can catch a bus or taxi to the Metro. In our case we flew into the older Congonhas Airport and took a special bus to Sao Judas Metro station where we picked up the number 1 Azul line. The trick to getting to the correct side of the stadium depends on where you are sitting. If you’re “Leste” like we were you go to the Luz station and transfer to the Express Train Corinthians line. If you’re “Oeste” you go to the Se metro station and transfer to the red Corinthians line. I guess they do all of this in some feign attempt at crowd control to keep opposing teams on separate rail lines.

We did though have a touch and go situation arriving at the stadium. Basically the way they had the crowd routed from the train to the stadium was piss poor. Not bad. PISS POUR. In short they took a huge funnel of people and tried to cram them all through the spout at the same time. It didn’t work. We literally ended up being crushed by everybody around us. It was to the point where many people around me, mostly women who were quite rightfully having panic attacks, were about to start passing out. Finally several of us big husbands and boyfriends had to start pushing people back. I was flat our pushing people yelling at the top of my lungs “STOP ASSHOLES!!! YOU’RE HURTING PEOPLE UP HERE!!!”. We finally got things broke lose enough that people got through without getting seriously hurt. No thanks to the many and I mean many inconsiderate, self serving, there is only me in this universe assholes that still pushed their way through to the front despite hurting others. Think ASSHOLE ARGENTINA FANS HERE. Yes, I’m talking to you assholes. You might be wild and fun but you guys can be world class assholes beyond comparison at times. Thus ends my commentary.

The game was fun to attend but not particularly exciting to watch. Argentina yet again played one of their lackluster games and still managed to squeak by with a win. Dang near everybody is picking them to win this tournament because they think they are that good but by god simply squeaking by winning isn’t everything. These guys are as exciting to watch as paint drying. Scratch that. Paint drying is more exciting. Plus now I get to see them yet again in the final on Sunday! Good lord I hope Germany sticks it to them. I’m tired of falling asleep during the game. That and their obnoxious fans. Sorry, fun, wild and crazy fans.

NOW ONTO TODAY…

Today was pretty easy going. We got up just a little late because of the late return last night. After a couple of hours of slowly getting ready, eating breakfast, checking emails and the like we finally headed out for the day.

Today we went to the Museo do Belles Artes. Well there was some art there but I can’t really say it was Belles. I enjoyed seeing several paintings from the 18th through 20th century history of Brazil but all of it was heavily oriented towards christianity, a view wars, tons of portraits, etc… Almost all of the sculptures were reproductions of famous works in the Louvre, Uffizi, Vatican, etc.. So to sum it up I’d say Brazil has some serious work ahead of them to curate and develop a vibrant art collection and scene in my humble opinion.

After the museum we headed over to a second metro station to grab lunch at a place we read about…

…then it happened…

…our first theft here in Brazil. We were right in front of the metro and literally right in front of us two guys grabbed some guy’s cell phone and took off running. Text book. Just like I’d read beforehand on several websites. By the time I turned my head from where I saw the theft to where they were running they were already over 10 yards away. That fast. No way I or anybody else would catch them even if they were watching for it. Poor guy didn’t know what hit him. He broke rule one about cell phones in Brazil: never use your cell phone outside in an open area. You always step inside someplace to make or take a call. This is why I always leave my cell phone in my rental here. It simply isn’t worth replacing a $650 cell phone. People can wait until I get back to return their calls or messages.

So lunch was at Confeitaria Colombo. This is a 120 year old Brazilian version of a Konditorei. Famous people, mostly artist, frequented this place over the decades since it originally opened. So naturally we had to eat a light lunch and a heavy dessert before heading back to our rental. It was good too. I’d recommend it.

So we head back to the rental and exit the subway stations and…it is pouring. Hard. Buckets. I get completely soaked on the short 1 block walk to my rental. Not good considering I’m still sick. Anyway, it is raining so hard we literally had an inch of standing water on our balcony on the 10th floor while it was still raining. Nuts.

Dinner tonight was at Terzetto. Easily in the top two restaurants we’ve eaten at here in Brazil. I say easily in the top two because PURPLE and I both agree which two are in the top two, we just don’t agree which one is first and which is second. They are that close and that good. We liked it so much we made a reservation for Tuesday night for our last official dinner here in Brazil.

Hope to see you here again tomorrow.

Tchau!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 953 other followers