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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Travel Diaries: Rio 2016







It still seems so surreal that I was at this years summer Olympics. An opportunity came up that I could not pass up. With only 3 weeks to plan, I booked the flight and met up with friends there.

Let's be real though, with all the negative media in regards to Rio that was out right before the opening ceremony, I almost bailed out. As cliché as this might sound, thankfully I listened to my heart and took the solo flight there.

I spent 2 weeks in Rio with some great friends. They had planned months in advance, so I just made sure that once I secured my flight I helped with the cost of my stay. They booked through Airbnb.com (if you haven't visited the site, you must, It is great for finding a stay for your next getaway!) Our apartment was small and sweet and made us feel like we were actually living like locals!

YES, we made sure to do all the beautiful touristy (this is a word right?) things.

Picture taking was difficult since I tried to only take out my phone or camera in tourist locations.

First Stop, Sugarloaf Mountain!





The view from atop the Sugarloaf. Isn't it beautiful?



 Christ the Redeemer (One of the 7 Wonders of the World)



These pictures do the statue no justice. It is beyond beautiful, as if the statue alone is not enough, the view from the top is mesmerizing. This is a must see! 




Botanical Garden

#5 of 600+ things to do in Rio de Janeiro as stated on TripAdvisor. Not as if we had not done enough walking on the trip already, we did a lot more walking here too. There was too much to see and my camera did not skip a beat.


They were not really posing for the camera, just eyeing the food I had near by. 



Beach'in

Rio de Janeiro is famed for two of the most beautiful beaches; Copacabana, and Ipanema beach.


Ipanema Beach





Transportation:
I was traveling there alone so it was very important for me to find reliable(aka SAFE) transportation to and from the airport. I came across this website, Mozio and they provided the best service for a very great price. Check them out.
Rio also has an awesome subway system which helped us get around a lot. That however, did not stop us from also walking a lot ( I mean like 7 miles a day..ahhhhh). Taxis are always available or walking is always an option too.

Food:
They have plenty of options. I had some Pizza, vegetarian burgers, a lot of FRIES, just to name a few. I will also say that they serve white rice and black beans with EVERYTHING. Oh, and I wish I would have packed some hot sauce. 


(Team USA Women's Beach Volleyball)

Let the games begin! We attended 6 events of which included: basketball, beach volleyball(x2), indoor volleyball, track and field and soccer. 

(Women's Soccer Semi-Final)

(Team USA)

(yes, that is indeed the fastest man in the world)

When we were not cheering on team USA, we would cheer on Brazil. It was so much fun learning all the cheers.


My Travel Style

(winter season in Rio, yes in shorts)








 My first questions every morning, " So are we going to do a lot of walking?" The answer always seemed to be yes. Sneakers were the answer. I loved being able to dress up and yet still look casual.









Did someone say coffee? Ran into this cafe on our way to Copacabana beach. Can't go wrong with a corner café.


Favela in Brazil

This was probably one of the best parts of my trip. Thanks to a friend we met while at one of the olympic games, she took us to a Favela she happened to be working at. What is a favela? a slum in Brazil, the place they say you should stay away from. While we did make sure to be careful, we loved being able to interact with the children. While this was the day before I left, my friends went back the next day and brought all the children gifts. Geeezzz, I wish I didn't have to miss it! 


    (Via: Ashley Velasquez Facebook)

This trip would not have been possible without these sweet friends...If your reading this, thank you.
Brazil, everything about you is so beautiful. I enjoyed being able to learn about your culture your food, and beautiful people. Thank you for doing a great job at hosting the 2016 Olympics.


New Video on my YouTube Channel. Check it out! 




Mil Besos

XOXO,

Alessandra Laura

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