Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Part 2

Beach strolls, decadent food, sky high views with the complete color spectrum, caipirinhas, the heat and the sun….these are a few of my favorite things.  From Copacabana we headed to Flamengo Beach and easily found a spot to dig our feet in. And what a view, we had a calm ocean and a striking Sugarloaf Mountain. The area was far less touristy than Copacabana and the locals took in their daily dose of Vitamin D by standing, not laying. All around folks, in groups and alone, stood and rotated like clockwork. Given the name of the beach, I immediately associated it with brilliantly pink and orange flamingos, known for their water side standing. The Brazilian tan is often envied and so its clear their practice is strong. Stand, take in the appropriate amount of sun, be alert and rotate. We felt like amateurs, bringing our towels to nap on and roast like lobsters and so we most definitely looked the part… tourists! Read more

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Part 1

Rio de Janeiro…say it out loud. Saying or hearing the name elicits an onslaught of meaning paired with sensual images of danceirs with fast hips and tanned peoples on the beach in barely there swim suits. The name alone sounds like a song and she turned out to be a true city’s city. She’s got it down, from the fine dining, one of kind libations, fancy dressers and a landscape for everyone’s liking. The streets jut upward with piles of apartment living and are lined with pastry shops, cafes and a never ending stream of taxis. The city transitions into beaches dotted with colorful umbrellas and then into the ocean with its myriad of coastal coned islands breaking the horizon.

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Hunting Hot Springs and Northern Lights in Iceland

The morning after our night in Akranes was foggy, a night after too much wine foggy. Despite the late night, we decided to get an early-ish start to our trip to the Snaefellsnes Penisula, which is in the western part of Iceland.

We grabbed some coffee and pastries from a café in the main square of town. Side note, from our experience coffee is served in teacup like quantities in Iceland. Makes you wonder what our American deal is with needing venti and trenta size coffees. So in preparation for the effects of a caffeine addiction we stopped at the regional grocery store, Bonus (which has a pink piggy bank for the “O”), for some caffeine of the “gives you wings” variety.

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FROZEN CASCADE

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Sliding through Southern Iceland

When there is real work to do it seems we pray for snow days even as adults. In this case, the morning sun was a happy signal that it was time to play. We were free. We threw on our full gear knowing we could shed layers and then packed up for the day. Matthew having traveled in many cold climates had made my packing list and we were nearly identical as we headed out. Thermal underbar, ski pants, flannel jacket, down vest, raincoat, boot liners, ski socks, hiking boots, neck warmer, hat and gloves. We also had purchased some walking level crampons, which came to be an absolute essential on the icy pathways and frozen cliff sides.

MORNING CHI

Traveler True: Yaktrax Walkers for winter travel. We had been advised by REI staff to use a more heavy duty version but due to the price we decided to go with a basic pair and were in no way disappointed. We knew that if we were gonna take on any extreme hiking we would be able to rent mountaineering crampons.

http://www.rei.com/product/760280/yaktrax-walkers-unisex

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