Sunday, September 22, 2013

Well. Four months later, I am finishing this last post on our trip to Brazil. Pretty quick turnaround...

On our last day in Rio, which also happened to be a perfect day weather-wise, we headed up to Corcovado. This is one of those spots I have always wanted to see in person. We had seen the Christ the Redeemer statue from below over the past few days, but suddenly we were right there underneath it on top of the mountain. 

The vans drive you up a crazy steep hill and drop you off in a parking lot...then you traverse up a few stairs and suddenly you see the back of the statue. 

At this point, you are literally on top of Rio. There isn't much higher than this. You can see for miles and miles. That's Copacabana behind Julie and her parents. 

Can you find Julie? That is Ipanema beach there on the left 

It was one of those days where they sky is so blue that it almost hurts your eyes. I love the way that Christ is portrayed. There were those who wanted Him to be on a cross, but I am so glad they decided to portray Him in His resurrected glory.

There were a few other people up there with us enjoying the view. Ok, there were a TON of people. I don't blame them though, amazing spot. 

These photos give you an idea of the amazing topography and the expanse of Rio. Wow, just wow. I can't believe we were up there. 

Lil travel trooper Zara. Again, she was just awesome. Love that girl. 

Experiencing all of these places with Julie's parents just made it that much for amazing. When you experience a place like this, it is so much fun to be there with people you love to enjoy it together. 

Zara was pretty amazed. this is one of my favorite photos to date of her and her mama. 

After enjoying the mountain top for an hour or so, we made the trek down the mountain. On the way down we were really glad we went up early as there were crazy amounts of people heading up. 

Took one last look at Copacabana and the cool sand structures.

There are a lot of confident people on these beaches. I will leave it at that. 

I should say that on one of the days Julie's parents stayed at the apartment with Zara while Julie and I headed to Ipanema beach to enjoy the ocean. It's no wonder that this is such a popular beach. The sand is like powdered sugar soft, and the water is quite the perfect temperature. There were some fun waves to be body surfed as well. 

How amazing is this little girl? If you are wondering if you can travel internationally with a 6 month old, the answer is yes you can. Just do it! It will be tough at times, but oh so worth it. Imagine how much fun it will be for Zara to look at these photos one day. 
So...from there we went back and packed up and headed to the airport. I think our driver that our awesome tour guide Rafa set up for us was trying to set a world record for the fastest drive to the Rio airport. We all just kind of sat there white knuckled, grabbing whatever we could in the car as we swerved through traffic. Luckily we made it one piece. We flew back to Sao Paulo and said our goodbyes to Julie's parents at the airport as they headed back to Registro and we headed into the city to our hotel as we weren't flying back to DC until the next day

Just a few quick photos of Sao Paulo. We stayed at a really cool hotel thanks to some credit card points. This was the view out of our room. Sao Paulo is HUGE. Buildings for as far as the eye can see. The only place I can compare it to is Tokyo. 

It was pretty rainy so we enjoyed the hotel and a bit of relaxing after non stop action over the previous 9 days or so. 

We ventured into the center of the city. It was eerily like a ghost town. Combo of the fact that it was Sunday, and the world's largest gay pride parade was going on in another part of the city. 

We went to Little Japan and had some Japanese Curry (Sao Paulo has a huge Japanese population). Then we tried to follow the map the concierge at the hotel gave us...bad idea. We got totally lost and well, ended up in not the greatest part of town and suddenly there were no taxis. Luckily, a really nice concierge at a hotel used google translate on his computer to communicate with us and helped us find a taxi to get back to our hotel. It was a pretty weird experience. Not sure we will be going back there any time soon. 

And thus, the four month blogocation comes to an end. Brazil was awesome. We are so glad that we went. It is a memory that we will forever cherish with Julie's parents. How cool are they? They were great travel companions. Julie is a pretty amazing traveler a new mom she totally just dominated and we had so much fun together. The crazy thing is that we covered about .5% of Brazil in the course of the trip. It is a huge country. We'll have to go back again some day.