For Thanksgiving of 2009, I visited the Sanders family in California for the first time in a long time. I stayed with my cousin Megan who lived in LA at the time, and we had such a blast that we planned a big trip for 2010. We decided we needed to get out of the country and go somewhere new – so South America it was! We got a pretty good deal through Latin America for Less, that was going to take us to Brazil and Argentina over the course of a week and a half. It’s been almost 6 months, but I wanted to recap our fun time in the blog.
When we jumped of the plane our tour guide Maria d’Fatima (or something like that) was looking for everyone in our group and gave Megan the tour sign for a bit and Megan had to operate as the unpaid tour guide! She did a good job though.
Our first day was a whirlwind. We were bused from the airport to our hotel in Rio – passing by thousands of Flavellas on the way. I was amazed; I’d never seen so many. Our first thing to do was to find an ATM when we got to the hotel, and we ended up going to five ATMs before we could find one that worked and was in English! While Megan spoke Spanish, the Brazilians didn’t care to switch from their native Portuguese tongue to Spanish or English. We eventually got our money, and decided it was time for Brazilian beer, empanadas, and a walk on the beach. We quickly learned the Brazilian guys were sketchy, and most meals would have lots of cheese and white bread involved! Sadly we didn’t feel comfortable staying out late (as two girls) and retired to bed early all our nights in Rio.
We did stop for lunch at a restaurant near the hotel, and got mini beers (they were kind of cute), and we also had an order issue when the waiter brought us an extra egg dish we didn’t want. We really just wanted rice and beans (yes, we’re cheap). We ended up going to a very expensive fish restaurant that night where we spent any money we were trying to save at lunch.
The remaining day in Rio was spent on the beach – where we found out the men are much more scantily clad than the ladies. We also met Maria d’Leatharina, who rented us a really cheap umbrella and should have been using an umbrella more of her life. There was also a run on the beach thrown in there somewhere. We walked to Impanema for lunch and the day was ended with a Churrascuria-style meal as well as a crazy Samba show where I was of course pulled up to dance. And, they went through almost all the countries in the world and pulled up tourists from each. Somehow, we avoided getting on stage for that. Latin America for less was definitely cheap, but wasn’t what we were looking for as far as demographics went, so we spent a lot of time doing our own thing. Rio was good to see, but I don’t have any will to go back anytime soon.