In March of 2002, we along with our friends Jon and Melissa Summers made a 10 day trip to Brazil. Our primary purpose was to attend our friends wedding (Luciana Galesi and Scott Sandschafer); however we couldn't do it without visiting some of the cool places of Brazil.  We made time to explore Rio de Janeiro, Foz Do Iguaçu (i.e. Iguassu Falls), and Sao Paulo.

Rio de Janeiro

(Days 1 - 4)

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Foz Do Iguaçu

(Days 5 - 7)

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Sao Paulo

(Days 8 - 10)

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Currently under construction!

Click on the image to go to that portion of the itinerary.

Day 0 - Thursday, February 28, 2002:

Flight from Chicago O'Hare, connecting via Miami, to Rio de Janeiro

The trip started on an ominous note when I had been very busy with work but still managing to find enough time to stress out Dana.  All the while, Dana was proceeding to pack and load the Limo with our luggage.   In hindsight, we only forgot one thing the address to a long time child hood friend, Matt Summe.   Matt is a Brother in the monastery and happened to be stationed in Rio.  However, since I forgot to put his contact information on Dana’s checklist, we forgot to bring it.  Dana is the ultimate trip planner.  I am convinced her and our friend Gautam Shah would be the ideal trip coordinators for any trip to any location.

Our flight to Miami on a 767 at 6:25 PM CST was rather uneventful.  We booked business class tickets, so we did have a few customary perks associated in flying with the highbrow.  The most memorable event on the flight was probably the fact that my seat was broken and constantly declined.  I was fully reclined every 10 minutes or so.

Upon landing in Miami, we received our first of several fortuitous events to take place on this trip.  We were upgraded to first class on the three-class plane to Rio.  First class on an international flight is truly a step above the rest.  So, we were excited.  Dana and I were the first two people to board the plane.  After walking past security and the gate agent, we were greeted by two sets of closed doors both boasting their restricted access badges.  This seemed to be a quite a conundrum to us, perhaps because of our giddiness to depart to Brazil, our fifth continent in the past two and half years.  

Anyway , we looked at each other for a few moments, when a security guard removed himself from a chair he was well attached to, and approached us with a grin.  He stepped on gray patch of grate before the door – not unlike the patch you would see before an electric door at your local supermarket – and oila the door opened.  Truly a miracle (sarcasm intended); perhaps we are not as highbrow as we thought.  :-)

Door complications aside, we were sipping champagne in our luxurious first class seats not three minutes later.  Dana and I carefully examined our additional film options, duty free catalog, and the other countless literature provided in first class.  We also were graced by truly one of the best flight attendants in our flying history, Julie Woolsworth.  She started off well by assuring our champagne glass never passed the halfway mark, proffered film selections, and ensured everything was exactly as we wanted.  She gave us three films AI, the Fast and the Furious, and Tortilla Soup (which she said Dana simply had to watch); theses are all in addition to the standard four films offered in the rear cabins.  However, she earned her superb status when she gave us a bottle of 1982 Dom Perignon, because we missed our window for Duty Free purchases.  If only all flights could be graced by Julie, at least all of our flights would be nice.

It is worth noting, we were greeted in Rio by a plethora of people offering their taxi services.  Some using such advanced techniques as having scantily clad attractive ladies taking taxi orders.  Sex sells, even when it comes to choosing transportation from the airport.



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