Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 4 - Rio

We started the day at the beach. The locals were out in full force. My JCrew bikini with a full coverage butt was the most conservative suit on the beach. Seriously, no matter how old or how in shape they were, the swimsuits were skimpy. I was expecting everyone to look like Giselle but the Brazilians come in all shapes in sizes just like Americans. And I'm not sure if I feel like I should applaud their high self-esteem for going so skimpy or if I should think they should dress more for their appropriate age or body type. The cariocas (residents of Rio) all looked like they had wedgies with their thong bikinis.

We had another delicious lunch at Espelunca Chic. The Husband had fried balls of cheese and beef and gorgonzola croquettes. I had shrimp and cheese pastries. We did some shopping and bought some Havianas but didn't find anything else.

After a nap, we headed over to Sugarloaf for the sunset. You take 2 cable cars to get all the way to the top of the mountain. Sugarloaf is 10 times better than the giant Jesus. Much better view, delicious drinks at both levels of the mountain. They even have a disco there. And much better shopping than the tacky tourist store selling plastic giant Jesuses. We hung out there and watched the sunset and had some drinks and took a bunch of pictures. Then it was off to dinner.

We went straight our giant orgy of meat, also known as a churrascaria called Porcao. You get a card you turn to red to stop the meat from coming and green signifying you want more. As soon as we sat down the meat started coming from all angles. Even when we had our red stop sign up they didn't stop. While the food was delicious, the whole thing was pretty disgusting. Too much meat and everyone was just stuffing their face. After this experience I don't feel the need to go back, especially as going to one of these restaurants such as Fogo de Chao in the US is pretty expensive. I'm honestly surprised this all-you-can-eat event was invented by Brazilians instead of Americans. Buffets and all-you-can-eat meals strike me as quite an American thing. However, a single filet will do just fine for me. To make matters worse, the manager saw I was trying to take a picture of the waiter with the skewer of beef and called a few waiters over to pose around me. So embarassing. But now I have pictures of myself and the massive amounts of beef. That's a picture to frame. After dinner it was straight to bed to sleep off the beef.


Beef and gorgonzola croquettes

Fried cheese balls

Shrimp and cheese pastries

Outside of the restaurant

Coconut waters at the beach

Cable cars up to Sugarloaf

View of the city from Sugarloaf

On top of Sugarloaf

View from Sugarloaf

View of Corcovado from Sugarloaf

View of Rio from Sugarloaf

Me on top of Sugarloaf

On top of Sugarloaf

Sunset from Sugarloaf

Disco on Sugarloaf

Me and the meat orgy at Porcao

The Husband and the meat orgy at Porcao
Thoughts on our hotel: The Praia Ipanema is in a great location. Right along the beach, in a nice neighborhood. Most hotels in Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon are on or very near the beach so I don't think it particularly matters which one you choose in terms of location. The rooms were very nice. We had a large king bed and there was also a table with two chairs. The bathrooms were nice too with decent size counters and a nice shower. The hotel breakfast was extensive and complimentary. We liked there was a place in the lobby to eat or have a nightcap although it was expensive for what you get but that's to be expected at hotels. The only downside was the pool was closed the whole time we were there. The front desk offers some tours but the prices were high. You're better off doing some research on tripadvisor.com before leaving and booking through independent operators.

Thoughts on the city of Rio de Janeiro: Rio is now my favorite city in the world. I love how integrated nature is into this extremely urban area with the mountains and the beaches and the lagoon in the center of the city. I love how the beach is such a large part of life in Rio. We'd heard varying reports of problems with crime in Rio. We didn't have any problems while we were there and at no time did we feel unsafe. We did take taxis everywhere at night and we also didn't walk along the beach at night. The cariocas are very friendly and laid-back. Some spoke English but a lot didn't. All in all we can't wait to go back.

1 comment:

WeezerMonkey said...

Love the pics of you guys at the churrascaria!