Saturday, January 31, 2015

And it's off to Rio we go!!!

On one of our phone calls during Joe's traveling, he mentioned that he might be able to get away at the end of January through the first week of February.  This would be perfect, because the kids didn't have to go back to school until middle of February!  We could squeeze in another trip on our list!  Here was the thing.  We had a feeling that Joe would be offered a job soon.  It had been in the works for months.  So we weren't sure how much longer we would be in Chile, and there were still 2 major places we had yet to see.  So, when Joe said this, I of course jumped on it immediately, and booked a trip for us to
 Rio de Janeiro :) 

Joe went to San Francisco and indeed got the job.  He would be the new Late Stage Portfolio Committee Finance Head.  What does that mean?  No clue ;)  Naaahhhhh, I'm teasing.  We've been talking about this opportunity for a while.  And it's a great one.  He will be traveling back and forth between Switzerland and San Francisco as he manages these 2 teams that need a bit of a boost.  I'll brag just a touch because I'm so proud of Joe.  His new boss called him up last July and asked if he would be interested in the position.  Joe told him yes, but he wouldn't be available until at least December of 2014.  The boss said, "Oh no, Joe.  We need you now.  The latest I can wait is October."  Well, that wasn't going to fly, so we kind of wrote it off, although it was quite the roller coaster ride. October came and the boss called again.  Timing wasn't great because the local CEO had just announced that he was moving to a new position and would be leaving Chile.  There was no way as the CFO, that Joe could leave at the same time.  He broke the news to the would be boss.  I'm not available until April 2015.  
Well, when you are really good, people seem to figure out a way to wait for you and make things work.  Joe is that good ;)  So after all of the formalities, he got the job.  
When he got home from the official announcement in San Francisco,
we took advantage of the slower summertime schedule down here and hopped on a plane to Brazil.
Tickets are quite pricey in the summer time, so we worked a bit of a cheaper deal and spent the night in Sao Paulo before making our final descent into Rio.  Ok, it wasn't really a full night.  Ended up being like 3 hours of sleep-- and with all three of these kids in a full bed, it was a little tight and tense at times as one elbow was thrown into another's eye and someone was breathing down someone else's neck, and of course there was the problem of the blanket stealer.   But eventually they all managed to fall asleep.  And we were back at the airport bright and early for our last hour to Rio.  I was already tired.  And apparently sick.  But I'll get to that later.  

When we landed in Rio, grabbed a taxi from the airport and he drove us through the traffic and the huge city until we were close to the water and in Leblon.  The wealthiest and safest neighborhood in Rio (and apparently in all of Brazil).  Our friends, Marcelo and Juliana, who are from Brazil, told us that this and Ipanema were the only neighborhoods to stay in.  We would enjoy ourselves and not have to worry so much about the crime.
Taken from the back of the taxi as we drove passed Rodrigo de Freitas Lake.  What a coastline!!!!!!!!!  Those mountains were incredible!!!!!!!
We couldn't wait to get out and explore.
It was impossible to find a hotel in Rio that would hold 5 people.  So, we went another route and rented an apartment (Leblon House 1) which was just 2 blocks from the beach.  It worked PERFECTLY for us. 
We were all exhausted, and so we decided we would just go out and explore the couple of blocks that surrounded our apartment to get a feel for things.  It was impossible for us to know that this was the only clear, blue, sunny skied day we would have in Rio!
So, we headed off and found the cutest downtown area right around the corner from our place.  Lots of yummy looking restaurants and Acai bowls on EVERY CORNER.  Not to mention the Avocado smoothies!!!!!!!!  We were going to be IN HEAVEN!  
We found ourselves at Leblon Beach and couldn't resist getting our toes in the sand.   "Why didn't we put our swimsuits on?!!!!!"  The kids all whined.  But the thought of walking back to our apartment to get everyone unpacked and changed and back out at the beach sounded like wayyyyyy too much effort for our tired minds and bodies.  And the sun would be going down shortly anyway.   "Let's just enjoy it for a little bit before the sun sets and we'll come back another day to have the full experience."  Thankfully, everyone seemed too tired to disagree :)

And so we walked...
and talked and walked...
and ran...
and chased birds...
and ran faster...
and chased even more birds...
and maybe even chased Mom.
The ocean breeze and the warm water has a way of awakening your senses and your soul.  Suddenly, we all forgot about how tired we really were and just wanted to enjoy this gem of a beach!
Saved this picture purely for the guy in the white speedo.  He was quite the gem.  He was HYSTERICAL.  It seems that most have high self images in Brazil, according to the choice in swim wear that we observed in every single direction we looked.  But this guy took the cake.  It was fantastic watching him strutting down to the water and up again, over and over again, so all could enjoy that gleaming white speedo.  I'm laughing even now as I reminisce.  
Jake couldn't withstand temptation any longer.  After turning my back on speedo man, I suddenly saw this:  Kate, rooted in that spot, watching her brother run, arms extended, and fully clothed, into the ocean.  I don't blame him.  Oh, that water felt so good. 

The questions was:  Would Kate throw caution to the wind and join him?

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