Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ja’Vonne with a caipirinha
Bonnie getting Reals

We’re here!  We arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil today.  So excited because it’s been at least 7 years since our last visit and we have been anxiously anticipating our return.  Rio is such a magnetic city.  It’s so full of life that as soon as you leave you’ll want to return.

What I immediately noticed is that it’s a familiar place.  Not much has changed.  Of course, they’re getting ready for some big events that are coming their way.  The Catholic gathering in 2013, World cup in 2014 and The Olympics in 2016.  There’s highway expansion going on, areas inside of and just outside of Rio that are being built and renovated.  The area is buzzing with excitement and anticipation of these events and for good reason.

Flying in you fly over the Christ the Redeemer statue, that iconic figure that is symbolic to Rio, Sugar Loaf, the twin peak mountain with excellent views and the city itself and massive population.

We waisted no time and headed to a BBQ lunch or Churrascia.  We went to Churrascaria Palace just down the street and around the corner from our hotel (Windsor Excelsior).  Oh boy, what a feast.  Caipirinhas made table side with muddled limes, sugar and cachaca (a cane alcohol).  This is the national cocktail and you have to be careful because it is tasty but can be lethal.  A salad bar, which we, sad to say, passed by.  A sushi bar that we looked at but did not partake.  and the main feature, grilled and slow cooked meats brought to your table on large swords and carved on to your plate.  This is what we feasted on.  Lamb, steaks, pork loins, sausages, chicken, shrimp, ribs and so on and so on. 
We definitely called uncle.

Howard Little leading the Samba line

After a bit of a rest and with full bellies we went to Plataforma, a Brazilian show that showcases Brazilian culture throughout the countries history through song and dance.  it’s sort of a variety folk show.  You can dine at the restaurant or just go to the show.  The show has been around for many years and is still a favorite and a must see.  Just like the other sites of Brazil it has become synonymous with Rio.  The announcer has been their for years and does a run down of visiting countries in the audience and then selects a few to come on stage and sing their national song.  This too is part of what makes Plataforma fun and exciting.  I can only imagine what this would be like during the Olympics.

After a long day we’re settling down for a long winters nap at our hotel, The Windsor Excelsior.  A four star hotel on Copacabana. Excellent location and views.

Well, I’m beat and must know lay down to sleep to prepare for tomorrows journey to Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer), a tour of Ipanema and a visit to a Samba school.

I also have to say thank you to our wonderful guide Giordana.  She has been excellent, friendly and knowledgeable.

Until tomorrow.
Photosby Howard Little/Video Twist Productions