Saying “Tchau” to Brazil…

Sadly, yesterday, we had to say good-bye to Brazil…

Monday started out very leisurely, which was well-needed, given our busy weekend. In the afternoon, we headed out to Ipanema with some new friends that we had made in our hotel. Our hotel had what seemed like a good idea – allow the fine jewelry company H. Stern to pay for a taxi ride out to their headquarters, which was in Ipanema, and all we had to do was take a 20 minute tour. So we got said ride, took said tour, and then got the jewelry sales pitch. Beautiful jewelry was presented to us in all shapes and colors. Our eyes lit up, like those cartoon characters do. Some in our party (I won’t say who) gave in and succumbed to the pretty shiny jewels. Boo did, too…

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I got such a horrified look from one of the salesmen while taking this photo. He’s probably thinking, “Weird Americans!”

After that, we headed out to do some boutique shopping. Having resisted the pretty jewels of H. Stern, however, I was not able to hold out against the cool, funky jewelry of Sobral. (Check out their USA website here: http://www.sobralusa.com/) Thankfully, their only US store is in NY, otherwise I might visit every week. Then again, my next stop is New York. Uh oh…

We then headed to the beach in Ipanema. Is the “Girl from Ipanema” running through your heads right now? 😉 Unfortunately, we had encountered our first non-sunny day in Brazil so it was definitely not a day to hang out there too long. But the waves crashing on the beach were pretty dramatic, reminding me of home and our West Coast waves.

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Ipanema, with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background

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The fun sidewalks of Rio

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Waves on the beach. You can also sort of see the favelas on the hill in the background

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Everyone trying to get a photo of the waves on the beach

The funniest thing happened in Ipanema. Remember Colin, the guy from North Beach in SF that we met in line at the Brazil/Argentina border at Iguacu Falls? Well, we’re walking along Ipanema, and we totally run into him! Small world…

Anyway, onto our adventure. One friend in our group suggested going to this place called Cafe Colombo. Since she has been living in Brazil for a couple of months, we decided to take her advice and join. She introduced us to a different way of getting around the beach areas – the shuttles. Basically, these are 16 seater vans (similar to the death trap that drove us into Rio – see previous blog) that drive up and down the beach. A woman stands at the door of the van, shouting out the window and telling people the destination of the van. Then, people get in. It’s kind of like a bus and taxi rolled into one. It was a very interesting experience and a chance to see some of the locals. By the way, Cafe Colombo ended being closed, but in this case, the adventure was more in the ride than the destination.

So we wanted to go out of Brazil with a bang and we did. Well, it was more of a bang to our credit cards, that is. We got a recommendation to go to a restaurant called Marius’ for our last night in Brazil. Most of the recommendations given by the locals have been on point, so we thought that this would be a good last meal. The restaurant is churrascaria style, with a buffet, and a choice of having either just meat or meat and seafood delivered to your table. We sat down and ordered drinks. Then, the waiter came and asked us if we wanted the meat or meat/seafood combo. I’ve learned to do this in Rio – I asked how much per person each would cost.

“R$115 (approx $57 US) for the meat, R$170 ($85 US) for the meat/seafood.”

Uh oh. Well, we had just ordered drinks, and I couldn’t think about slamming back a caipirinha on an empty stomach, so we decided to stay. And I must say, it was the best churrascaria I have ever had, the meats were fabulous and the service was top notch. As Ro often said throughout dinner, “For this price, it better be.”

The funny thing is that once we sat down, the servers zip-tied our purses to our chairs. They said it was for our security. But I wonder if it was to keep us from skipping out on the bill? Hmmmm….

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No escape possible…

Well, we went out of Rio in style, at least. Yesterday morning, Ro and I were up at 2:30 in the morning to take a 6am flight out of Rio. Last night, we landed in Miami and were happily reunited with Fanny and Jared and went to a yummy Guatamalan restaurant. Then, totally exhausted, I fell asleep in Ro’s comfy sofa bed. This morning, my body is so time-confused that I was wide awake at 5am. The side effects of travel…

Later today, New York!

2 responses to “Saying “Tchau” to Brazil…

  1. The Sobral jewelry is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the rings and other pieces you bought. Have fun in NYC. Don’t spend too much (time or money) at Uniqlo. ;-D Are you planning on MOMA? Wish I was there too.

    • I was looking at the US Sobral site and their prices are almost double what I paid in Brazil! I can’t promise anything about Uniqlo 😉 , but it’s definitely one of my stops. I don’t know if I’ll have time to visit MOMA, we’ll see…

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