However, there were just as many restrictions as there were options. If we could get the flight, we couldn't get the hotel for the same days, or vice versa, or we couldn't get on the same flight, or we'd have to make a ton of stops which was unacceptable with a baby. In the end, out of all our destination possibilities, Rio won. I'm dramatically shortening this because it was a straight-up nightmare trying to coordinate flights, hotels, dates and right in the middle of the planning, Drew started getting blown up with interviews so we actually had to push the vacation from August to September, basically starting the whole process over again. It was so much hassle we almost gave up and had another staycation. Then we had to get a passport for the baby and visas for all of us and that about made me vomit with how expensive it was. So much for our free vacation. And oh yeah, we went ahead and put the house on the market because things weren't hectic enough.
BUT, we prevailed and soon enough it was time to go!
Crossing everything hoping we get first class.
It didn't work.
Please baby Jesus don't let the baby scream her face
off the whole way there.
I look so tired because we were running around last minute
trying not to forget stuff, which I totally did.
Who forgets swim diapers when you're going to the BEACH??
The baby did wonderfully on the flight. It was a night flight, thank God so she wasn't too disoriented. However, she sleeps in complete darkness and that was not happening with the commotion of the meal service, lights, movies and she wasn't sure if she was supposed to be up or asleep or scream so she did all three. It was only after Drew built a mini-tent over her seat that blocked out light and sound that she finally slept and once she was down, she stayed asleep. I didn't sleep much because I was constantly peeking under the blankets to make sure she didn't roll off the seat and every time I dozed I jerked awake expecting to find the baby on the floor. Thankfully, she didn't and after ten hours we arrived in Rio.
It's always so cool to hear the welcome message in a foreign language when you travel. That first time you hear the language is so wonderfully disorienting and I love it! For the record, Portuguese is nowhere near similar to Spanish so I was way out of my element. I could sort of read things but I couldn't make heads or tails of the spoken language. At one point, I was near tears because I was so frustrated at my inability to communicate because that has never happened to me. Speaking Spanish and French, I have always been able to get around and be understood so this was all new for me.
I resorted to the point-and-smile when communicating with the driver taking us to the hotel. Thank God he had a sign with my name on it and he knew where he was going but I felt really helpless and kind of rude when I wasn't able to make small talk with him on the way there. We sat in silence and checked out the scenery. It was very industrial and not pretty at all. I remember thinking I hope our hotel is prettier than this.
Which it totally was! Palm trees, pretty lobby, friendly staff and I was happy! It doesn't hurt that Drew is Platinum Executive Admiral Gold Star Professional Traveler with the hotels because we got to use the extra special people line and we got to go straight to the room - with a bottle of wine and plate of cheese as a welcome gift! Now that's what I'm talkin about!
We slept most of the first day but the second we went straight to the beach.
The hotel had its own beach for the guests and there was a particularly colorful one joining us. Apparently, the Miss Universe pageant was in Sao Paulo the night before and he was a photographer for it. They came to Brazil for the pageant but spent a few days in Rio before heading back to the States. I didn't pay him too much mind until he put on the wig. I sat up when he put on the sash. When he put the crown on and started jumping around and posing, I got out my camera.
Hanging out with Cal, I mean Miss USA
Turns out, Miss USA wasn't very nice. Let that be a lesson: don't piss people off or they'll make fun of of you on the beach in Rio.
Not bad for a first day of vacation, right?