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Sunday, November 17, 2013


This weekend was unforgettable. We were finally able to go to RIO!!!! We didn't come all this way to pass up the opportunity to visit this grand city. We were so excited all week. Friday was a national holiday here so we took advantage and went on our little getaway. When we first were told we were assigned Brazil, immediately my mind went to Rio. My dream to visit this little piece a paradise finally came true. It was everything I dreamed of and MORE!

 We only were there for two days so we wanted to make the most of our time. There is so much to see within the city and OF COURSE we needed a day to just to be at the beach. It was a tall order but by now, we have gotten the hang of how to go about traveling to all these places with a limited amount of time.
Here are some tips I have for those who might come to this magnificent place.
  • Time is money-We've all heard that right? We believe it and have learned that if you don't know a place it's best to go to someone who does. We booked a full day tour with Carioca Tropical. It was really awesome. Our tour guide Jane was the sweetest and funniest little lady. It was a small tour group of 9 people, not too much, just right drove around in a Van. The package included transportation (pick-up and drop-off), lunch at a local and popular restuarant, tickets to Sugarloaf mountain (Pao de Acucar) and Corcovado mountain (Christ the Redeemer). Jane was pretty amazing at getting us in and out of places. It was a holiday and everywhere we went the lines were huge! The lunch that was provided was very good, it was a rodizio style (all the meat you could imagine and large buffet). Everything but the drinks were included. The reason I even mention this is that with  everything included, (food, transportaion, tour guide, tickets to attracitons) it is VERY much worth what you pay for.Alone without a group it cost about R$46 for Corcovado, and R$53 for Pao de Acucar, each attraction is not very close from one another so say you take a cab, and you have to eat so there goes more money, and for me the time you don't spend waiting is line is time you spend doing other things. The best part is that you don't have to worry about anything. Everything is already planned for you.Also being with people that know the area you don't get lost and are safe. So again, if you want to see a lot in little time, get a guide, the only down side is that because everything is planned out for you, your time is limited in each place you visit, but honestly it was enough for us.
  • Traffic- Rio is a BIG city, which means TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC, so just take that into account when you are looking to do everything you want to do.
  • Safety- Rio is not considered a very safe place. You do have to be careful and aware of your things, (as in all places). We were told by our friends (from Rio) to just be extra careful with cameras and things of that sort when you are around the city and stuff. As we were always with others I never felt worried, and in places like Sugarloaf and Christ Redeemer everyone has cameras and there is security so there I believe it is fine. Outside of that you just need to be "extra" careful. Make sure you know where you are and don't just go to areas you are not familiar with.
  • Beaches- My happy place, we stayed in Copacabana,very nice beach, another popular one, Ipanema is also very beautiful, they are a bit crowded but beautiful. Our hotel provided chairs and umbrellas but they ran out, so just in case you should know that are plenty of booths that for a few $R you can get some chairs and Umbrellas to relax. 
  • Weather- make sure you know what season it is....Remember here "our" winter is there summer. If you do come in their Spring/Summer, SUNSCREEN is a must...the sun was BLAZING and let's just say we look a bit like Sebastian from the Little Mermaid.
  • *****a tip for moms: There are elevators BUT there are a ton other stairs and no ramps, so if you can take a carrier I believe it's best.
  • Food- Now that I've been living here for a few months now these our just some of the things that I've come to LOVE.
  • FRUIT FRUIT FRUIT- delicious fruit everywhere. REAL fruit juices are made everywhere here and they are absolutely the best. Jamba Juice= sugar, fruit=fruit.
  • MEAT- As I've mentioned before, Brazil is no place for a vegetarian. Honestly the best meat I've had has been here, and they only use SALT!!!!
  • Pao de Quiejo- my crack, it's cheese bread and I love it. Bread in general here is good, they have A LOT of different kinds of salty pastries if I'm allowed to even call them that...TASTY tasty stuff!
  • Cake- Another thing that I've had too much of is cake, but they sure know how to make GOOD cakes. The worst/best part of it is that you just tell them how big a piece you want from the cake, you don't have to buy the whole thing.......
  • Coconut water- Forget all the coconut water you buy for about $5 a pint. That stuff is NOTHING as it should be. I thought I didn't like coconut water until I tried it here. It is SOOOOOO good, it is my FAVORITE thing here. I drink about a liter a day(no joke)You can buy it by the bottle full or drink it right out of a coconut there is truly nothing more delicious and refreshing.
So there are just a few of the things I suggest you do when you come over to this beautiful city. We had an amazing time.... take a look for yourself.

Christ the Redeemer 

Highlight of the trip; while up at the Christ people were taking pictures just like the statue, David took a notice and out of nowhere started to do the same my heart was doing all sorts of dancing!


Sugarloaf Mountain


Hopefully we get to come back to this very spot for the World cup Next year!

"mom, I'm tired"
One of my dreams, Sambadrome!

Ok, I'm ready for Carnaval!.....Well maybe if the baby stops pulling down my pants and I can keep that on my head for more than five seconds...SOOO heavy I have NO idea how they do it.


My boys, they have the same face

Tiled Wall
Tile from ALL over the world!

We found our cities, Chicago and LA

Of course after that LONG day of exploring the city the next day we just wanted to relax...and we did just that!


We were lucky to get to stay at the Windsor Atlantica  hotel. I didn't want to leave, SO beautiful, the staff was so attentive, the breakfast was delicious and we enjoyed staying there very much!

Monkey see monkey do

once again my little baby imitating what he sees, in the first picture you can see the bellman hailing a taxi behind the bus....then baby David having a go at it.

We went out for Sushi to a place we heard was one of Rio's bests, it was VERY good indeed.

Just like his daddy....soccer, soccer, soccer

We have one more sushi fan in this household

One more adventure for the books, and one more city off our bucket list. We hope we get to come back to this amazing and beautiful place!

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