Jardim Botanico in Rio
Besides the new spare tire I'm carrying around in front of me ....this was one of the greatest girlfriend trips. We did too much of everything. In a good way; lots of drinking, too too much eating and plenty of seeing.
Those beautiful smiling faces I kissed goodbye to throughout the day in Buenos Aires will never know how much it meant to me that they spent the effort & time & money & ....came. It helped that our itinerary featured two of the most beautiful cities in the world as well as my lovely companionship ....but still. So here we go....
Airport pick up - Post picking up the cheery ladies, I took the wrong street on the gps and wound up in the middle of scary centro and fully admitted I was really nervous and they needed to lock the doors and keep the windows up. Yes, welcome to brazil girls! Not exactly the smooth entrance I had planned.
When we breathed a deep one that we had not only gotten ourselves out of centro but also successfully made it to my house in our 1.0 liter car that does a hill full of suitcases with the ease and power of an overaged cripple...it was time for feijoada, sao bento style!
All the lovely paulistas were spending their day samba dancing and eating and we attempted to fit right into the groove. A few honorary caipirinhas later, we continued on to 'pe manga,' a fun bar with a huge tree lit up in the middle, and then into a lounge on lorena in jardins for live music belted from an incredible bonnie rait sounding canadian voice and we created our own dance routine with lots and lots of fresh tangerine caipiroskas till 3am...
Day2 we woke up and headed to Shopping Cidade Jardim for a quick tour and breakfast of pao de quejo and fresh fruit smoothies at santo grau for a little pick-me-up, walked down the sunny side of the street at oscar freire to shoe shop (lots of shoes purchased), havaiana store and pictures, moqueca for late lunch (a taste of bahian food) and the finale at hotel unique where we sat next to pamela anderson and her new surfer boyfriend and watched them make out. She definately had a breast reduction. Champagne and many giggles shared, we were home by 10pm to pack for our very early flight to rio.
damage at the Havaiana Store
I hope I did ok as tour guide in sp. They said they enjoyed centro despite the condition of the people and the area in which I was lost and they wernt scared outside of my driving... Which ultimately cost us an extra 2 hours of getting lost in morumbi and a little passenger car sickness (slash too much vodka the night before) all the while enjoying the spectacle of my 2-year old tantrum with the gps. Anyways. It was a good weekend in the city!
Landed many pao de queijos later and headed straight to the hotel for fresh juice in the pouring rain in Leblon. We paused for an ounce of relaxation, the rain stopped and were off to the botanic gardens. Best way to spend 2 hours in the late afternoon ever, together. Dinner at Leblon sushi. More like, AMAZING dinner at Leblon sushi! Met lots of obama security guys at the hotel bar post dinner. Learned he has teams in place working on telephones and communications, k9s and perimeter survaillance on the ground 4 weeks prior to any trip outside the country usually. These guys worked hard and then got to play hard for another bonus week and had some very interesting stories. They were kinda rednecky so we left as sleep felt more important.
Foggy Cristo Redentor from Jardim Botanico
Got up early to catch the Cristo before the clouds rolled in. Took the trem to the top, clear Christ but not clear city views due to fog. Fresh mango juice and a big ole bug bite on my foot made the view more eventful though. Headed to Ipanema beach, arrived and literally 2 seconds later it started to POUR. Lunch at an amazing bakery down from mile post 9. Wow, yum sandwhich with my favorite burratta cheese! Decided to walk in the pouring rain to find mil frutas ice cream on Rua Garcia D'Ávila with no umbrellas and two kangas. Soaked success! Awesome ice cream with local amazonian fruit flavors and after 2 hours there it was still raining, boooo.
still foggy but worth it
Dinner at copacabana palace on the terrace by the pool. Nice and quiet post the obama frenzy (we were there the day he left the city, he didn't stay there but it was still a madhouse). Headed to the Rio Scenarium in Lapa for the night and ran into a guy staying on our hall at the hotel, he taught us latin moves and we called him Jimmy of the stars (last name la Estrella). Samba danced till 3am with Jimmy of the stars, made lots of friends. My girlfriend K got a marriage proposal from a banker in town from rotterdam, she said no... it one of the best nights of the trip. Later we made friends with our early morning cabbie and he took us to the beach for aqua de coco. Hung with the locals, sipped our recovery drink and we were back in hotel by 330am, checked that off the list. Called for a wake up call for 430am. The front desk said, as in an hour? Yes as in an hour, are you sure? Yes we are sure. Flight to Buenos Aires 8am.
sculpture United Nations Plaza
So the bug bite from the trem grew giant and black thanks to too much samba dancing. It became infected and my ankle dissappeared into something of a cankle. I couldn't walk so I hobbled to the plane, hobbled to the hotel, hobbled to the hospital. Luckily a german hospital in BA was near by. Sent the girls to an afternoon lunch of empanadas and erva-mate while I waited under 30 minutes for my english speaking doctor who drained the bug bite, administered two tetnus shots in a place i wasn't so keen on, gave me antibiotics, explained something about an ¨´itis´´ and sent me home. 90us dollars total for all (yes cheap healthcare and good healthcare!!) including hospital visit, drugs, two shots on the upper butt at the vacunatorim not to be confused with the labotorium or the 4 other ´atoriums´´ that i wandered\hopped on one foot into. Felt sick though so a late afternoon nap was added to the list while girls wondered the city in the rain. Dinner at las lilas in puerto modero lasted 4 hours. it was Ahhhmazing. Cured the bite with the yummiest of steak and wine!
Foot kinda sorta fit into a tennis shoe for the am walk to Recoleta cemetery. Saw Eva Peroni's grave, toured the touristy recoleta crafts market, strolled through the park past the beautiful palaces to the Obelisk. Holiday = parades and demonstrations. Walked to the Colon Theater for local beers and lunch, wandered down Santa Fe for afternoon coffee and shopping. Dinner and tango show for the evening = incredible!
very sexy tango show
The last day in BA the biblioteca was sadly closed (another trip) so off to Florida street for cheap leather and shoes. The gorgeous afternoon was spent in heavenly Palermo Soho at Meridian 58. Otimo. Decided I wouldn't mind moving to the Palermo Soho neighborhood but I think I would deeply miss Brazil too much. It was a long, lovely afternoon with more markets and more ice cream at freddo! Dinner at La Cabrera was nice and quaint for steak but we liked Las Lilas better (try both though if you can!). Still, we shared wonderful bottles of malbec for our last night togther toasting to a perfect vacation of 4 fabulous girls, 3 amazing cities, 2 incredible countries and 1 unbelievable week.
By Saturday morning I could walk again! Goodbye BA, goodbye amazing best friends and hopefully goodbye spare tire in a few weeks!
*travel note to self, check holiday schedule in cities to be traveled in so things looking forward to seeing arent closed.
**written stream of consciousness style on the plane home, please excuse typos!