Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Dreams & Goals rundown

Here is my yearly rundown on my 2013 goals:
  • Whenever I say "I never..." write it down, and by the end of the year try about 60% of what I never did before. (unfortunately I had to factory reset my phone and I lost my list of I never's and couldn't remember all of them - and then I stopped writing them, this list was as of August)
    • See a Fox
    • Eat at Red Plum (local restaurant)
    • Try Korean Food
    • Drive in NYC
    • Get divorced and remarried
    • Had a threesome/orgy
    • Smoked a cigarette
    • Tried any drugs
    • Eaten eel
    • Been to Europe
    • Buy & use canned chicken
    • Attend a show/concert/play alone
    • Have ice cream with pineapple
    • Watch any episode of any of the housewives (Beverly Hills S4 E8)
    • Tried an apricot
    • Had hot Chinese mustard
    • Played Clue Jr.
    • Been to Baltimore
    • Had lemon meringue pie
    • Used my food dehydrator
    • Saw Swiss Family Robinson
    • Saw King Kong
    • Had Whiskey
    • Float down a river in an inner tube
    • Been to the Caribbean
    • Been to an NFL game
    • Tailgated
    • Been to MetLife Stadium
    • Had a brown shelled egg
    • Had escargot
    • Had beef jerky
    • Played hand ball
    • Rode on a motorcycle
  • Be more spontaneous
  • Be in the moment more...enjoy the time when there, and stop trying to look past that time.  Enjoy the person I am with, as I might never see them again. And if I don't want to be somewhere, well, suck it up and ENJOY it anyway. 
  • Move --> moved back into apartment 7/2013
  • Spend less money on clothes than I did last year
    • 2012 - not less than $2,514.70 (I lost some Quicken data)
    • 2013 - approx $1,611.42 
  • Try 10 new foods
    1. Korean Food.  EUI Special; thinly sliced beef with vegetables in broth with stew & rice (1/4/13, see above link under I never)

    Korean Food at Don's Bogam
    2.  Panna Cotta. I went out to Park Avenue Winter for NYC restaurant week.  A very interesting combination of textures, this was cranberry and brown sugar crumbs.  It was much more flavorful than I thought it would be.
    Park Avenue Winter - Panna Cotta

    3.  Fuyu Persimmon. While at the farmer's market, I saw some things I've never seen before, and figured this would be a great opportunity to try something new.  I went with the Fuyu. It sort of looked like a tomato but smelled a little sweeter.  When I got home I googled the Fuyu to discover it was a persimmon, and ways to eat it.  One suggested peeling the skin, even thought it is a tree to mouth food.  I peeled it and sliced it in circles to see the pretty star pattern.  The fruit was soft and sweet. I actually really enjoyed it, wish I had more...but it was a $1 for the small guy...so it is one of those things I'd have to keep my eye out for in the future - I think their season is September - December.

    4. Hot Chinese MustardI don't like regular mustard, so to try this was a little difficult.  As my picture shows, I didn't enjoy it.

    5. Hot Chinese Oil - I was having dinner over my sister's house and the hot oil came up.  who liked it, who didn't.  I haven't taste that yet, so I figured why not?  I put it on my dumpling.  It was good, I enjoyed it.  

    6. Eel - the best way for me to taste eel was in sushi.  So, while I ate it, there were other flavors that distracted me, like the asparagus (that was the first time I had asparagus in a sushi roll also). 

    7. Guava - I went to a fruit stand and decided to pick up three new foods, but this was the only one I tried.  I liked the guava, but the seeds were a little hard for me.  

    8. Apricot - The apricot size, shape and feel reminded me of a small peach.  But it was sweeter, it had a really good flavor; when I was done with the apricot, I wanted more. Delicious  I hope to buy these more often...although they aren't as prevalent in the grocery store as other fruits, I had a super small selection on purchase date.

    9.  Red Snapper - I eat a bunch of fish, but I have yet to have red snapper...I thought it was time to try it.  I made it an Indian version - using turmeric, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, Greek yogurt, etc.  The marinade was delicious - I am going to make again with chicken.  The red snapper wasn't bad...not my favorite, but I'd eat it again.

    10. Lemon Meringue Pie - I was out with a few friends and one ordered a lemon meringue pie slice.  I never had it, and I remembered my list of nevers...and figured I should grab a fork and taste a bite of her's.  I did.  I didn't like it, but then again, I am not crazy about lemons...so I had a feeling it wouldn't rise to the top of my favorites list.

    11.  Escargot - I was with Mountain Man and he suggested escargot as an appetizer.  I haven't had it, and not that I wanted to impress him, but I was all about new adventures and trying new things...so I said sure...it isn't a delicacy for no reason.  I had two on a small piece of bread.

    12. Chicken Heart - At Fogo de Chao in Rio de Janeiro, they brought the chicken hearts over a few times, finally I said I'd try it.  It was very tough and chewy.  I didn't like it.   

    13. Oysters - I tried my first oyster with Mountain Man in San Diego.  I was nervous, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I expected it to be big and chewy, but instead it was big but soft.

    14. Hominy - I tried hominy as part of a food cooking challenge.  I have to say, I liked it, I would definitely eat it again.

    15. Spam - I tried this as part of the same cooking challenge.  As soon as I cracked open the lid, it smelled like cat food.  I pan fried it and added it into brussel sprouts and whatnot...but it was disgusting. I will avoid this going forward.

  • Spend less time on Facebook
  • Get my photo taken in 5 interesting places
Dallara Indy Car Factory (6/24/13)

Yellowstone National Park (8/2013)

Christ the Redeemer (9/2013)

Iguassu Falls (9/2013)

5.  Pacific Ocean (11/19/2013)

My resolution roulette challenges:
  • Plan a monthly get together with my family friends
    • January (holiday party), February (diner), March (Applebee's & trivia), April (going away dinner), May (diner), June (Applebee's), July (March Madness party),  August (bar), September (pizzeria), October (home), November (home), December (holiday party)
  • Do 12 hours of charitable work
    • 3 hours in a soup kitchen 1/18/13
    • 2 hours tutoring with Biology 6/9/13
    • 3 hours working local carnival 6/29/13
    • 3 hours working local carnival 6/30/13
    • 4 hours working local carnival 7/2/13
    • 6 hours working local carnival 7/4/13

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

holiday traditions

In the honor of the holidays, I thought I would share some of the holiday traditions that my family had:
Christmas Eve we would go to my Grandmother’s house.  She made this delicious pepperoni bread as an appetizer while she was finishing up making dinner.  She always had several gifts for us, and it was fun to begin Christmas the night before by opening up some presents.  (now, 20 years later, my family still does Christmas Eve but we all still remember my Grandmother and her starting this tradition and honor her by making less delicious pepperoni bread)
Christmas morning after we opened our gifts, my dad would make this elaborate breakfast of eggs, bacon, home-fries, pancakes, waffles.  It was such a nice leisurely morning.  While we ate we would play a board game as a family.  Games we played included Life, Clue, Balderdash, Scattegories, Scrutineyes, Monopoly and Rummy 500.

New Year’s Eve we generally ordered Chinese food and my parents bought cherry 7-up and filled up a champagne glass for us to toast the New Year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

virtual date: mystery box cooking challenge

For my second virtual date, I thought it would be fun to show off our cooking skill and creativity.

I asked 25 people to name a single food/ingredient, for the most part these people did not know what other people selected.  I wrote down the items in order received and when I thought there was enough, I shared the number with my date, and told him he could eliminate a few to pick the numbers from 1 - 25.  Having him eliminate random ingredients was a good idea, because over the course of the few hours of collecting items, ideas were forming in my head about what to make...but then when something was eliminated, that changed things.  Brought it back up to a level playing field.

This is what was given:
  1. onion
  2. hot peppers
  3. cumin
  4. cilantro
  5. basil
  6. hominy
  7. sausage
  8. apple
  9. ginger
  10. spam
  11. bacon
  12. asparagus
  13. jicama
  14. shrimp
  15. brussel sprouts
  16. bell peppers
  17. capers
  18. pretzels
  19. kale
  20. snow peas
  21. lime
  22. quinoa
  23. mozzarella
  24. raisins
  25. cabbage
At the selected time, we have 60 minutes to prep and prepare a dinner using a minimum of 13 ingredients.  We can use very basic extras like salt, pepper, oil, butter, etc.  

There are a lot of green in there...I hope I can get creative enough to pull something off...that is edible.  My goal is one main dish and two sides.  We'll see how it goes.

I cut up half the apple and put it in the food processor, I mixed in juice from the lime and added part of the hot pepper.  I marinated the shrimp in this marinade and closer to the end time, I sauteed the shrimp and added the kale and cut snow peas.

The brussel sprouts were the most work.  I chopped them up quite fine and sauteed them in some olive oil and a smidgen of garlic.  I cooked 2 strips of bacon and some spam; once cooked/browned I added that to the brussel sprouts.  I stirred in raisins and topped with broken pretzels.

The hominy I sauteed with olive oil.  I cooked the hot sausage through and cut into small pieces.  I mixed the sausage into the hominy and added cut up asparagus.  I wasn't sure if the hominy should have stayed in the balls...or blended, so I put more into the food processor and mixed the extra hominy into the rest.  It tasted good, but didn't look good, so I thought maybe I could try to make it into a patty/cake, so back into the frying pan it went.  However, it didn't stay in a patty/cake, when I attempted to flip it, it fell apart.

I did not use the capers, cumin or mozzarella.

When 54 minutes passed, my meal was done.  It didn't take that long to cook it all...but I wanted to be sure my food was hot when 60 minutes was over.  It all tasted good....well, except for the spam. I probably shouldn't have bothered, but I figured I never used it or tasted it before, why not try it?

My completed meal

My competitor, did not finish in the time allowed, he apparently was a little distracted by household work. He did not use hominy, spam or brussel sprouts.  What I appreciated was the whole time, he was enthusiastic about this idea for a date and his meal looked good too.
his completed meal

Sunday, December 15, 2013

virtual date: dinner and a movie

Most relationships start with dating - the time when you get to know the other person.  However, when you are talking to someone a few states away...that makes dating a little harder.

After all our talking, I decided to ask Mountain Man if he'd like to have a virtual date with me...dinner and a movie.   We'd eat the same thing and watch the same movie at the same time.  He was intrigued.

On Saturday evening, we each ordered Chinese food and we watched Dead Man Down.  We hit play at the same time, and tried to pause when we had to get up so we'd finish about the same time.

During the movie there were a few texts, but nothing crazy, "what a first date!", an "ooohhh, wow, I didn't expect that" or "...answer to your question at minute 37:18".

The concept of dinner and a movie was good.  With the time difference, I ate dinner a bit later than normal. Unfortunately, somehow we kept getting out of sync with the movie. At one point I was on pause for 20 minutes when he caught up....then at the end he managed to get 15 minutes behind me. I am not sure how that kept happening, I know he had to rewind a few seconds here or there to hear a line better.

When the movie was over he called me and we talked about the movie and if we liked it or not.  We both enjoyed the movie quite a bit.

Not sure how to gauge if the date was successful.  I enjoyed the movie and chatting with him.  Do I feel like I know him better because of it? No.  But, by sharing an event I feel somehow closer to him, in the sense that he isn't so far away. If anything we are building a really nice friendship.

Friday, December 13, 2013

bad timing: data

I couldn't wait for tonight so I can transfer my external hard drive to a new 2TB one that I just purchased for only $70, a black Friday deal.  I was going to be really nice and use the old one to backup my parents computer so it was all in one spot, as opposed to on all those small USBs.  

I plug in the old one and my computer doesn't recognize anything as being plugged in. I unplug, re-plug, change the wire, everything.  Nothing works.

That is 10 years of documents and pictures...sure I have most of the pictures on snapfish, but that isn't ideal.

How many backups do we need to ensure we don't lose stuff?  

Maybe I can get lucky and find someone to fix it, but when my computer crashed a few years ago...no one could retrieve anything...sure it is different, but, I am not too hopeful.  

So, I (probably) lost data and now I am not a good daughter backing up the parent's computer.  Well, I could buy another one.

I guess that is the kind of luck I've been having this month.  Hopefully it gets better :)

And maybe it is a sign...maybe losing the last ten years of my digital life was meant to happen - let go of the past to move on.  I hesitate to think that is the case because many of my pictures were travels where I healed and learned more about myself as well as gained comfort and confidence in being alone and traveling alone.  But the past is the past...and my future is just starting.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

misleading advertising

I was on the United Airlines website and found a flight I wanted.  I clicked it to begin the checkout process and then I saw that I could save $50 if I apply for the United credit card.  I figured, why not...I travel.  I'd love to save $50 off this overpriced airfare and get extra miles...even better.

I clicked the link and filled out the application.  In seconds I discover I was approved.  I go back to the United website to finish my purchase, and it won't go through.  The flight was put on hold, so I tried again the next morning.  I called United to explain to them that I can't purchase this flight with the new credit card - while I didn't have the card, it shows in my account.  They tell me I need the card code on the back and it must be activated, therefore I have to pay with another card if I want the flight.  I attempt to explain to the customer service rep that I signed up for the card so I can get the $50 off...it defeats the whole point if I have to pay with another card.  I talked to her supervisor to explain, and she too said that another card is needed.  I told them that the adversiement is misleading..that I can not get the $50 off that flight because any flight would not work until after you get the card, which could take up to two week - and I read the Get Details.  If that was the case...I wouldn't have applied for the card.  I asked because of the misleading advertising and now all this time on hold, if they can just discount my airfare by the $50 and I'd give them a credit card over the phone.  No, they claim they can't change the price.  42 minutes...I didn't get anywhere.

I called the United credit card company to ask them to stop the credit card application, but they said they can not do that. I told them I no longer wanted the card because I was not able to use it to purchase my ticket.  They didn't care.  I have to wait until I get the card and then call them back.

I know I am not a special frequent flier, I am just a regular person.  But I want all of you to beware of this advertising.  Sure...the deal is correct $50 off your first (and only) statement...so that credit does NOT roll over to other months.  You'd have to consciously one day say, hey, I want an airline credit card, let me do this now, a few weeks before I book a flight.  Then once you get it, then sure, you get your $50 statement credit.

I did end up purchasing the flight anyway because it was the best time/date/price combination I was able to find in the two week period.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

my invisibility cloak

How many women spend about an hour in Dick's Sporting Goods, in the hunting section and then wandering around...and not one man speaks to her?  

Sometimes I wonder if men just assume I am taken...and why shouldn't I be? I am decent looking and sweet and of that age to not be single.  

So when I got home from the store and other errands, I spent some time feeling my body to see if I had on an invisibility cloak...that would explain a lot.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

my accomplishments

Sometimes I feel like my life is so boring and I haven't accomplished too much...here are highlights.

In 4th grade standardized testing, I was in the very high percentile for analytic understanding, 9 yo.
I came in second place in my 5th grade sprint around the school on field day
At 11, I received the most amount of popcorn in my class every week in school based on participation, attendance and manners
I came in second place in a science fair at 12
Taught myself how to type at 14
I had my first french kiss at 15
I passed my driving test on the first try at 16
I graduated high school in the top third of my class (there were 500+ kids) at 17
I flew on a plane for the first time (and without a parent) at 18
I received two star pin awards for excellent customer service when I worked at a bank; at approx. 21
I graduated from college at 22
I feel in love for the first time at 23
I traveled internationally for the first time at 24
I received my MBA, and jot my first 'real' job at 26
I took my first solo vacation at 27
I became CPR certified at 28 (and again at 33)
I bought a condo at 29
Read over 50 books in one year at 31
I paid off my credit card debt at 33
At 34 I went to South America

Saturday, November 23, 2013

long distance, is it worth it?

A long distance romance, I wonder if it is worth it. The space between visits and the spending of money to travel...all for a hope that it might work.  Dating and love always start out as a gamble - but most time if it is local, it seems like less of a risk.

And then what do you have? Short gaps of time to make up for all that time in between.  And that short burst of time is spent evaluating the person, trying to have fun and wondering if it is worth it.

I can easily justify the expense of travel as money that would have otherwise been spent on local dates, well for me, I paid for ManFriend for a year and a half, but I am sure in a more equal 'relationship' the expense is more evenly divided.  But then how often can I really pull that off more frequently? I am broke, I don't have a ton of vacation time...and where is it leading?

Is it worth it?

Friday, November 22, 2013

San Diego with Mountain Man

I had a great trip to San Diego.  It was a work trip with enough personal time in between that I was able to spend a lot of time with Mountain Man.

We went to really nice restaurants, danced the night away at a work function, spent most of Sunday watching football and seeing our fantasy football team lose for the second time this season, had drinks, and then spent a good portion of our last day sightseeing - Coronado Island, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs, Mission Beach and La Jolla.

The week flew by, and the last day was bittersweet....not knowing what, if anything, lies ahead.

our shadow at the beach at Coronado Island

Point Loma Lighthouse

me at Sunset Cliffs

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

sharing your baggage

I've often wondered when an appropriate time was to share your baggage with other people.  Of course, one could not share it at all, hoping it would never make an appearance.  I like honesty and if asked, I will share - but sometimes I worry that my baggage would make others treat me differently.

My baggage of course has to deal with the emotional abuse I went through and a man who thought me so insignificant that he carried on with a double life.  I worry that when a man hears that - he will think he can also treat me that way as well because it happened once before; maybe that is all I am worth in their eyes.  

Of course I know I deserve more, but will they? I know a great guy is out there somewhere who when he hears my story will feel so bad he'll want to make it up to me and cherish me to make up for all that lost time. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

not all at once, please

It is strange when out of the blue many people contact you.  That is the kind of week I had.

First, I reached out to Bank Boy for a 7 mile hike, which I will do with him tomorrow.  Of course Bank Boy used to be a little obsessed, but he hasn't asked about getting intimate in months. I think we've developed a friendship based on our enjoyment of hiking.

Then ManFriend texted me again...slightly less than one week since we saw each other.

Of course in between this has been texts and emails with Mountain Man.

Greasy (the guy I had sex with right after SI) messaged me asking if I was still single, he wanted to set me up on a blind date with an oral surgeon.  I was surprised since he knew me when I was a train wreck, but I appreciated it none the less.

And the most shocking was when I was on LinkedIn and I saw SI's photo.  LinkedIn and I aren't getting along.  I blocked SI's emails from LinkedIn, so either he has a new email or we have a link.  First, the ex-mistress keeps looking at me, then SI's best friend...now his photo?  I was happy to see he looked wide and fat and his glasses were so dark. OK so he didn't reach out...but I still saw him, kinda.

Finally, Cop#1 reached out to me too.

All this in the last 3 days.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

considering a time-out

The government has shut down/on hold...and I am considering doing that with my blog for a while too.  As much as I have enjoyed writing regularly - and it really helped me during my depression - I am in a different place right now where it seems more like a chore.  My recent posts are all fluff and boring. I have a lot I want to share...but I have a reader or two that I don't trust/want to know what is going on, which makes writing/censoring the posts difficult, and not worth it yet.

I will post when I can, about something 'real'.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

not dying

I met up with ManFriend last Thursday.  He is not dying.  I sat there listening about his cancer and his very optomist treatment plan.  I asked him "I still don't understand why you asked to see me" to which he replied, because we are friends.   I laughed a fake laugh and since I knew he wasn't dying (yet) I let it all out.  About his selfishness, his ungratefulness, I asked if he really gifted my earrings to some woman (he said that she took them) and I told him all that made me spend a few hundred dollars in STD testing when it could have all been avoided if he acted like an adult and did that whole thing he kept talking about, being honest.  I told him that our 'love' was a sham, that it wasn't love because people don't do those things.  And when I was done, he wanted to know if he should leave, he didn't expect any of that and was truly shocked that I wasn't happy.  I didn't plan on saying anything to him, I was there just to listen...but the way he was acting and the things he was saying, it didn't make sense.

He didn't leave.  He told me about some of the woman he was invovled with in hte last four months.  The most recent was an ex-druggie, ex-convict, smoker with a child...and I was thinking, really? You gave me up for that?  Why does that keep happening to me?  SI preferred an ex-stripper, bartender, high school graduate.  It really makes me wonder about me and about the men I chose.

Then we talked about football and started laughing and enjoying the company a bit more.  When we left, he said he had a nice time and he hopes we can hang out again since he is up this way a lot.  I looked at him and didn't say anything....really?  No, I told him he could update me in a few weeks about his diagnosis/treatment but I didn't want to see him again.

So there was no kissing, there was no inviting him back to my place.  And I didn't need the closure...actually seeing him made me think about all that stuff again, and I didn't need that.  I have been so happy the last 2-3 months, which is why I knew I wouldn't fall back into a routine with him that made me a little miserable.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Iguazu Falls

This beautiful place is  called Iguazu Falls, Iguazú FallsIguassu Falls or Iguaçu Falls.  It was about a 2 hour plane ride from Rio and well worth the extra few personal days.

After we landed, we decided to take a helicopter tour.  It was $113.01 for about 10 minutes, but worth it.  From above we see the river, the falls, and the national park.  It was a great thing to see before actually seeing them, it made the experience even more majestic.
We stayed at the Hotel de Cataratas (another post about this hotel) which is the only hotel within the national park on the Brazil side.   The Brazil side has a walkway that provides amazing views and a walkway to the edge of the falls...where you get soaked by the mist.

woo-who made it to Argentina!
But who gets enough of waterfalls? One side wasn't enough so we decided to get a visa (reciprocity fee) from Argentina because we heard it was even more amazing from there.  We hired an English speaking driver for the day who brought us to the park in Argentina and then to dinner for a wonderful steak.

There are three walkways on the Argentina side and you take a train to get to them, unless you want to walk the path.  Because we were there during a non-peak rainy time, we had to wait about 20 minutes for a train.
When we arrived at the park was raining, hard, but by the time we got to the furthest walkway, it cleared up.  The walkway goes over the river and brings you to the edge of the falls where you got soaked from the mist.

Along the pathways when you look at the falls, seeing a rainbow was becoming common, and really adds a nice aspect to some pictures.

The trip to Iguazu Falls was amazing, if you are ever down in that area, I say go...and stay at the hotel within the park (Argentina has one hotel within their park too) it is worth the splurge.

Friday, October 11, 2013

one two three floor

Do you know the national drink of Brazil?

It is the Caipirinha, which is made with  cachaça, sugar, ice and fruit.  I sampled this drink in lime, strawberry, passion fruit and a strawberry and passion fruit mix.

The drink was delicious and goes down easily.  But it is strong, and many people warn the tourists as they are counting their drinks, 'one, two three, floor'.

There was a day and a half where I didn't feel well, and wonder if it was all the sugar from these drinks. I don't consume a lot of sugar in my regular diet, and I think my body went into shock because it is a sugar cane based alcohol and more sugar is added into it.

The drink is definitely a must try when you are down there!



Strawberry & Passion Fruit

Thursday, October 10, 2013

a churrascaria experience

I had a dinner at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse.  There is a large salad bar and then all the meat you can eat - utilizing the green marker to indicate that you want the servers to continue coming over with their skewers full of meat.  When you are done, you flip the marker to the red side, and they don't come around.

The servers were very attentive of me and encouraged me to eat more and more and more.  I tried little slivers of about 7 or 8 meats.

I am not a huge meat fan...I've really cut back in the last few years, eating red meat about 6 times a year.  But knowing we were going here, I was prepared to eat a lot and was wiling to try new things instead of just sticking to the salad bar and chicken thigh.  It was a fun outing.

Fogo de Chao has several locations throughout the United States and 8 in Brazil.  For those in the NYC area, a restaurant will be opening this winter.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


We took the 20 minute train up to the top of Corcovado, which means hunchback in Portuguese.  The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer was as big as you'd imagine at 125 feet. Most of the statue was made in Rio, except for the head and hands. He overlooks the city and is visible for miles.

The panoramic view from the top was magnificent.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Copacabana Palace

The Copacabana Palace was beautiful and the service was impeccable. I interacted with the front desk, concierge, business center and event staff and they were all so nice and helpful.

The lobby was not as grand as I thought...but as it turns out, they moved the lobby so it would be off the beach - but the old lobby was so grand and beautiful as were the event rooms.

There were only two restaurants in the hotel, but many in the neighboring area.  The Ciprini is among the best restaurants in the city, and unfortunately I was not feeling well the evening the group ate there so I missed out.  The brunch buffet was expensive, but had many great options including shrimp 4 ways, lobster tails, oysters, fish, fruits, filet mignon, vegetables, salads, so many desserts, etc.

The pool area was nice and got very crowded on a nice day, leaving the opportunity to get a seat difficult.  The hotel serves food and drinks in the pool area.

My room was in the tower with the spa & Cipriani Restaurant.  The room was nicely decorated and I even had a balcony.  The closet was nice and the bathroom was huge.  There was no iron, but there was a hair dryer.  Each night at turn down service, the havaianas were placed by the bed.

The day I arrived, was the day Bruce Springstein was leaving...he was in Rio for the Rock in Rio concert.  What a great guy...he shook hands and took pictures with his fans for 20 minutes...several times a day. I took a picture of a colleague's wife with Bruce, but when I asked for a turn he got in the car and left...so although I was inches away and spoke a few words to him, I don't have a photo with him.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Copacabana Beach

The Copacabana Beach
The Copacabana Beach was very pretty, the only thing that took some getting used to was the small little bikini's.  The sand was soft, the water temperature was OK (I was there on their first day of Spring) and the waves were crashing.  There is a great view of Sugar Loaf and other mountains and the curved coast.

The day I was there was a Sunday so it was crowded.  It was great to see how the locals interacted.  There were a lot of fields on the beach, most were volleyball areas but then there were also enclosed areas for another sport that I didn't know.

Coconut Water
The sidewalk next to the beach had great designs for each neighborhood and shops for coconut water and other food and beverages.  The coconut water was heavy!  But it was also quite delicious and all for R$4, about $2 USD.  It is a must try if you are there.
Sidewalk in Copacabana