We took just a couple days right after the wedding and headed to Long Beach on the Washington coast. After all the planning and pre-wedding activities, we both managed to come down with nasty colds, so our time at the coast consisted mostly of eating at really good restaurants (like The Ark), napping and watching videos. Very relaxing, and just what we needed.
But the real honeymoon was in November, when we headed to Brazil for Mitch & Katia's wedding celebration. We spent two weeks there, enjoying the sunny, warm weather, traveling about and meeting lots of friendly people. Special thanks to Mitch, Katia & their friend Isaac, who helped us plan our itinerary and found us good hotels to stay in.
We started off in Sao Paulo, where Mitch& Katia live. We spent four days there, and our luggage -- where the cameras had been packed -- caught up with us on the evening of our second day. Somehow, we really didn't take any photos, except ones of Mitch & Katia opening the wedding gifts we made them, a quilt & a clock. They went over very well, and you can see the photos here.
From Sao Paulo, we were supposed to go to Iguassu Falls, but unfortunately, we missed our plane. The airline, Varig, said its flights for the next two days were overbooked but offered to put us on the waiting list. We decided to just skip it and visit the falls on our next trip to Brazil. Instead, we went to Florianopolis a day early. (We were there Nov. 11-15.)
Florianopolis was a beach community that straddles the mainland and an island, connected by a long bridge. Our hotel, the Priatur Hotel, was just a block from a lovely beach. Unfortunately, our luggage didn't make the trip quite as quickly as we did. For the second time in our Brazilian adventure, our luggage was lost and we had to go in search of underwear! This time, our suitcases didn't arrive until the end of our second day there. By that point, the hotel management (which had helped us repeatedly call Varig to track down our luggage because of the language difficulties) felt so sorry for us they gave us a day cruise that included a tour of an old fort, a visit to an area where dolphins frolic, and lunch. It was too bad that we couldn't understand either Portuguese or Spanish, but a woman from Argentina who spoke a little English would translate tantalizing tidbits, such as "That's the Tunnel of Death!" Unfortunately, she was unable to translate enough of it for us to know how exactly the Tunnel of Death received its name! See some of our photos here.
On Nov. 15, a federal holiday in Brazil, we headed off to Rio de Janeiro. We stayed in the Grandeville Ouro Verde, a 30-year-old hotel on Copacabana Beach. We had a balcony with a great view of the beach. The only downside was during our four days in Rio, it was cloudy every single day! That meant there were fewer bathing beauties on the beach for us to admire! While in Rio, we visited the botanical garden and took the cable cars up to Sugar Loaf Mountain. We wanted to take the train up to Corcavado, a mountain top featuring a 300-foot-tall statue of Christ, but it was so cloudy that all the locals told us not to bother because we wouldn't be able to see a thing from the mountain top. There was even the possibility we wouldn't be able to see the top of the Christ statue! So we skipped it. One evening, we went to the Plataforma, a show featuring ethnic dances, including the samba. It was great fun, and we were really glad we decided to go!
Our last stop on our itinerary was Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. There's a strong African influence in Bahia, which apparently was a port stop for slave traders hundreds of years ago. We only had two days in Salvador, which wouldn't be enough under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, I'd started to get sick before leaving Rio, so we spent most of our time there in our hotel room. Luckily, it was a very nice place, more like a one-bedroom apartment than a hotel room! Salvador has some lovely beaches, but although we enjoyed the views, we never made it onto the sand.
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