You Get What you Give

Day 19:  ?

Our flight landed at 6:30am and we headed for Immigration and Customs.  Knowing that we had about an hour taxi ride ahead of us before we arrived at our apartment I decided to look at the positive.  I was in Rio de Janeiro and I was walking the same halls that many of my idols walked just this past summer during the Olympics.  We’ve already established in previous entries that I am a swimmer.  Growing up, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always Olympic swimmer.  I am not one to idolize athletes outside of their sport.  Meaning, I don’t follow their personal lives and say, “I want to be just like them”.  We all make mistakes, for me, I admire them as athletes.  My favorite swimmer in the whole world is probably the least liked in Rio, Ryan Lochte.  I have been a Lochte fan since his first Olympic Games.  The other swimmers I admire are Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps, Connor Dwyer and Nathan Adrian.  I admire them because they are amazing athletes who are living the vision of my 12 year old self.  And to walk through the halls of the airport where they walked not that long ago was kind of surreal.  I have never knowingly been someplace that they have been before.  The only thing more surreal than that would be meeting Ryan Lochte in person.  One day it will happen, I am sure of that.  For now, I am going to enjoy Rio and Carnaval.

But first, I needed a nap.  We both did.  When we woke up we went in search of the Municipal Theatre.  The National Theatre of Costa Rica has nothing on the outside of the Municipal Theatre of Rio.  It was gorgeous.  I wish we could have gone inside.  After getting our pictures, we went to get our tickets to the Samba Parade on Sunday.  

We had an amazing dinner at Amarlinho da Cinelandia.  We shared a Churrasco mix for 3 people.  I know, I know.  There are only 2 of us, but I hadn’t eaten in over 24 hours and it had been almost 15 since Brian had eaten.  We were starving.  However, when our dinner arrived it was as if I had done the cooking.  There was enough food to feed an army.  I am not even joking.  There we 2 sausages, a large chicken breast, a large rib eye, 5 sirloins, enough French fries for 5 and enough rice for a large family.  Needless to say, we could not finish it.  We decided to do our good deed for the day and package up the left overs and give it to some homeless people in the square.  They were appreciative and we were happy to help.  In life you get what you give.  If you live a life of service, you gain more than you could even imagine.

On our way back to the apartment we stopped to check out the Lapa Arcs and climb the Escadaria Selaron.  There are about 200 steps, but they are beautiful and the tile is hand laid individually.  The craftsmanship that went into them is remarkable.  After our ascent, we decided to pretty much immediately descend and call it a night. 

We stopped at the market to get a few things for tomorrow.  Carnaval apparently puts Vegas to shame.  Not only can you walk around with booze on the street, but it can be in a glass bottle.  People walk around with handles of liquor all day and into the night.  Street vendors sell beer and other beverages.  

To prepare we returned to the apartment early and watched a movie.  We wanted to be well rested and ready for the craziness of day one of Carnaval.   

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Food is something that brings the world together. Each culture has its own traditions and favorite foods. As a self proclaimed foodie, I was so excited to try cuisines in the countries they originated in. During my travels, I have discovered and will undoubtedly continue to discover culinary treasures around the globe. I am honored to share with you, My Elephant Tribe, the amazing meals I have enjoyed throughout the world.

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