Week June 29 - July 05, 2014
We were off first thing Sunday morning and it was a couple of days of pushing the driving so we could be in Rio De Janeiro by Monday night. We made it easy enough and looked forward to a couple of days with our favorite local, Jacques (see Brasil IV - 2010, page 4).
||Hazard on the road - drunks
Coming into Rio and a couple of
||Motorcycles zip in and out of the
cars with great speed and this is
what happens when they misjudge
Back of million dollar apartments
Our view to the FIFA Fan Fest
Jacques sent us off with a smile
We spent an easy day with Jacques and prepared to watch the knockout round game of USA vs. Belgium. When we arrived at Jacques' home in Copacabana, we were not aware of his proximity to the FIFA Fan Fest location and we heard the fans before we saw the party. Realizing that we were one block away from the Fan Fest event on the beach, we brought out our Team USA best and adorned ourselves in red, white and blue. Jacques saw us off with a sincere "good luck" and we walked to a party with thousands of Team USA supporters.
||At the entrance
Some interesting ways of showing
Can never be enough red, white
Even a Ghana was cheering for USA
||The flag being seen and the
National Anthem being sung
by thousands on the beach
Another colorful fan
We merged with thousands of fans (estimated up to 10,000 people) and the Team USA supporters greatly outnumbered the Belgium hopefuls; however, that was all they needed as Belgium won, 3-1. No shame in the loss for Team USA, they played an amazing game and played it to the very end. Even when leaving the Fan Fest area, American laughter and cheering was heard and it seemed that many more than Gerson and me were proud of Team USA's performance in the World Cup. Looking forward to 2018!
And a funny side note, during the entire trip, I had been especially careful of my belongings so as not to become part of a theft-victim statistic. Well, at the Fan Fest event and just prior to the game, two young American ladies asked me to take a picture with one of them (as I was rather decked out and had been asked on several occasions to have my photo taken). The photo was snapped and I felt a slight nudge against my thigh and began to walk over to where I saw Gerson standing. Within a few steps, I realized something was amiss and a quick look to the aforementioned thigh pocket showed that half of a pair of my pom poms was missing. Of all things, I strongly suspect that the only time I had something stolen in Brasil, was by an American. Ironic?
||The start of a very good game,
although USA lost 3-1, it was
an amazing performance and
Team USA did us very proud!
||Selfie at the FIFA Fan Fest in Rio
What is wrong with this picture?
Unfortunately, we did not have as much time as we would have liked to stay with Jacques in Rio as we were to be in Curitiba by Wednesday night. We had a smooth drive south and were treated to a spectacular sunset, capping off an outstanding five weeks of travel around Brasil.
We wasted no time contacting friends and going here to dinner and there to family gatherings. We had a terrific visit with Marco and Akemi (Brazilians that lived in London for 24 years and are back in Curitiba - see United Kingdom, page 6) and Marco's family. Gerson grew up across the street from Marco and the extended family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) were all in attendance. Not having seen Gerson in 20-30-40 years elicited a few knowing laughs and stories - yet, Gerson would not translate yet again..hmmm, I am starting to wonder about that boy!
||Our sunset greeting just
outside of Curitiba
||A visit to Marco and Akemi and
BBQ time: Jose
Luis, Mauricio, Gerson, Marcio
Mauricio, Cyntia, Renato, Louise, Gerson, Cassio,
We basically ate and laughed our way to the end of the week!
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