Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Attempt #1 and Copacabana

As we sat during lunch, the sky continued to clear up and the sun decided to peak through the clouds.   We had been waiting for a break in the weather so we could head up to see the Cristo.  Maybe today would be that day!  We said our farewells and made our way back to our apartment to pick up a few things and then grabbed a taxi to make our way up to the world famous statue.  
We bought our tickets and then headed down to board a little bus that takes you up to the very top.
What do you know?  As we got there, the clouds started to close in on us again!  Still, we climbed in hopes that if we waited for a bit, there might be a moment when we could catch a glimpse at the Cristo and the view.
Well...we were out of luck.  This was about as good as it got.  Those clouds closed in on us so quickly when we arrived, that even after just a few moments, we couldn't even see people on the other side of the monument, let alone the spectacular view far below us.  We were enveloped in a cloud and it wasn't going anywhere. 

This was our best glimpse of the Cristo and it lasted all about 3 seconds.
The monument is behind us... haha.  You'd never know it!

While we stood waiting for the clouds to part, we ended up striking some conversation with a local who had brought his friend up for the first time.  He was a friendly guy but disgusted that they had paid to get up here and couldn't see a thing!  We talked about a number of things and finally the guards came around to tell us it was time to leave.  They were closing.  So, we all headed back down to the parking lot and said our goodbyes.  We were expecting to grab a taxi, but lo and behold, there was not a taxi in sight!  And this was not a short jaunt down the hill with the kids!! We weren't sure what we were going to do.  Everything was shut down.  As we stood there looking at each other, the guy and his buddy pulled up next to us in their minuscule auto and asked us if he could give us a ride down the hill.  Joe said "Sure!" right away and as we loaded all 5 of us into the backseat, I was slightly nervous and shocked that he said yes so quickly.  One thing I LOVE about Brazilians is their open and friendly nature.  It's fantastic! Yet there was a small part of me that was terrified because we had been warned again and again to be careful in Rio.  Tourists are an attraction to the locals and here we were hopping into some strangers car.  Joe only speaks very basic Portuguese, so it wasn't like we were conversing in Spanish the entire time. 

Well, here's a picture to show that we survived.  Haha.  They were extremely friendly and even dropped us off right in Copacabana so we could go check it out.   They wanted to be Facebook friends immediately.  Made me laugh.  The boys faces make me laugh in this picture too.  "Who are these guys and what are we doing?!"  We said our goodbyes for the final time and they headed down the sidewalk and we crossed the street and headed toward the sand.  It was time to check out Copacabana...

The sand sculptures are enormous and they line the the walkway on the the beach.  Every time we could see one coming up, the kids would run to them.  They LOVED them and asked every time:  "Can we build one like this?!"
My cuties in Copacabana... sing with me now!

There wis Sugar Loaf in the background.

Once the sun set and it started to get dark, we knew we needed to leave.  It wasn't extremely safe to be there after dark.  So, we flagged down a taxi and had him take us to a restaurant.  After we got out and paid the guy and he took off, we realized it was the wrong place and had to find another taxi to get us to where we wanted to go.  Dinner was delicious!  It had been a long day and we were all ready to go home and climb into bed.  When we came out of the restaurant, we were hit with the biggest thunder, lightning and rainstorm yet!  
The streets were flooded within only minutes!!!  
We were able to track down a taxi, but needless to say, we were SOAKED when we arrived home!  It had been a good day.  Nice hot showers and jammies were put on.  No one protested when we turned out the light.  

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