Posted by: chriswode | June 26, 2014

Final Day in Brazil :(

Well all good things must come to an end…and our last day in Brazil was at hand. But we were going to make the most of it…starting with a dawn wakeup in order to get to Cristo Redentor and Corcovado before the crowds and in order to get back to watch the huge USA vs Germany game at 1pm. Most of the group was up for it so 3 cabs loaded 12 of us up for a similar drive we had just made the day before to the game. This time the drivers stopped at the top of Tijuca at a great vantage point overlooking the city and Cristo overlooking it. Pics ensued as a couple monkeys played in the trees. Then back down into the city and than back up the road to Corcovado with a stop at a heli-pad halfway up for another great vista of the city and the statue.

Morning view over Rio and Corcovado

Morning view over Rio and Corcovado

View from up in Tijuca forest

View from up in Tijuca forest

Photo Jun 26, 4 25 43 AM

Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf

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Smartos

Smartos

Wodinho and Confusson

Wodinho and Confusson

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Cristo Redentor with Barra da Tijuca in background

Cristo Redentor with Barra da Tijuca in background

Team Brazuca

Team Brazuca

Finally we made it to the base where tickets are purchased and the line is for the quick bus ride to the base of the statue. The line was short so we were up before we knew it and made our way up the steps to the base. Its nothing but amazing views up from one of the highest vantage points in Rio and we got great pics of us with the statue and overlooking Rio, Maracana, Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra and so on. Then it was back down to the base to find our taxi drivers and make our way back to the house to go watch the game. Everyone was glad we got this quick trip in.

Maracana in background

Maracana in background

Joe and Cristo

Joe and Cristo

Cristo and Smarto

Cristo and Smarto

Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf

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Photo Jun 26, 5 53 56 AM

The plan for the US game was to walk down to our beach neighborhood in Barra to watch the deciding USA game. Back to the same spot we watched Germany vs Ghana which was perfect for our big group. Lots of USA chants and songs and more facepainting as we hoped for the best…it got really nervous as Germany were leading late and Ghana were just a goal away from knocking us out of the World Cup again…but Portugal and that Ronaldo guy finally saved us with a goal and the celebrations for advancing out of one of the toughest groups was done.

Team Brazuca at Rio house

Team Brazuca at Rio house

Getting ready for USA v Germany

Getting ready for USA v Germany

watching USA vs Germany

watching USA vs Germany

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So the party made its way to the beach for group pic, swimming in the ocean, kicking the ball around, caipiroskas, biers and overall enjoyment of our environment on our last day. After a while many made their way back to the house to pack, chill and watch who would likely be the US’s opponent in the next round, Belgium. But with it being our last day in this beautiful city I wanted to enjoy the warm evening on the beach, especially as you can grab caips from the local beach vendors. So Joe-Anna, Tara and I chilled longer and took it all in…even meeting some guys from LA and joining them at a bar to watch the 2nd half of Belgium vs Korea. Finally we made our way back to the house with plenty of time to pack and get ready for our 10pm van pickup back to the airport for 1:30am departure. Chants of SLG arose from the rest of the house members…the G this time meaning “group” as the 3 of us had a few celebratory beach caips. A great final day indeed as we said farewell to our host Alex, who didnt want us to leave, as well as Fredj who was staying 1 more night. Back on a plane bound for LA via Panama City. What an amazing 2 weeks with incredible friends who made it an unforgettable trip.

walking to beach celebrating USA win

walking to beach celebrating USA win

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Fabian and Duncan couldnt wait for their special celebration

Fabian and Duncan couldnt wait for their special celebration

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Kicking it on Barra beach

Kicking it on Barra beach

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Final Team Brazuca pic in Brasil

Final Team Brazuca pic in Brasil

Posted by: chriswode | June 25, 2014

Back to Rio for France vs Ecuador

Well after an amazing 2 days in Buzios, reluctantly the group got up early for our 9am van pickup for the drive back to Rio…it was a reluctant trip not only for an early start but as everyone fell in love with the place…many thanks to our friend Ian who highly recommended it as I do to any that are planning a trip to Brazil. The early start got us to the house in Rio just in time for a quick shower and change for the Proano family’s highly anticipated Ecuador game. They donned their best Ecuador gear including jerseys, shirts and flags and garnered support from whoever else among us willing. This time our host, Alex, was heading to the game as well to watch his homeland France. So he led us to the bus stop down the hill and it proved to be a way better way to go…much cheaper than taxi and metro as well as quicker and less crowded. It was a cool drive up and over the Tijuca rainforest which is the said to be the largest urban rainforest in the world. Then back down into the middle of town to our stop for a decent mile-long walk thru the city to the Maracana. Of course a stop was made on the way for pregame food and drinks and enjoy festivities and music.

Ecuador fans on bus to game

Ecuador fans on bus to game

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Fabian getting his full facial

Fabian getting his full facial

Back at the Maracana the Ecuador fans were hopeful of a result to keep them alive in the tournament. Face-painting was in full force as Fabian got a “full facial” as he called it with the Ecuador colors covering his entire face. But it was not to be as a stronger France team won what turned out to be a rather dull game.

Proanos for Ecuador

Proanos for Ecuador

Wodinho, Smartacandro, Joe-Anna, Tara and Mike at legendary Maracana

Wodinho, Smartacandro, Joe-Anna, Tara and Mike at legendary Maracana

Thumbs up

Thumbs up

Erik had to get this pic

Erik had to get this pic

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Fabian = superfan

Fabian = superfan

France vs Ecuador

France vs Ecuador

The return bus trip back to Barra was even more entertaining as the bus driver careened down the hill on the narrow, winding road that drops from the heights of the Tijuca forest down towards the beach in Barra. Finally back to the house after a long day on buses and most were content to chill and order pizza as we were set for a super-early wakeup call in order to get to Corcovado (the Christ statue) early. The younger set, and Mackerer, took host Alex up on a night out at a club in Lapa where they just seemed to take multiple “smart faces” to send back to us at the house via text.

Erik faces

Erik faces

Smart faces

Smart faces

Posted by: chriswode | June 24, 2014

Buzios Buggy’s

After a great night in Buzios it was to be a great full day on day 2.  The plan was to rent buggies, hit the beaches and check out the entire area.  Buzios is set on a peninsula of rolling hills, narrow streets, coves, and lots of beaches and actually feels like an island.  After breakfast BMack and I were standing on the main street and noticed a pink buggy heading our way…Fabian in his buggy.  Duncan and Erik had grabbed one as well…in yellow.  So we headed down to the rental place and Fredj and I opted for the cooler, more powerful steps up instead of basic ones.  He got a jacked up red one with big wheels and more powerful engine.  I got a cool looking orange and yellow one with more power…we were ready.  So Joe-Anna, Tara, Aubrey and I jumped in ours while Fredj and Gito (Mackerer) started their bro-date in theirs.  We cruised around the streets and hills and found great picture spots overlooking the different views of beaches, coves and the ocean.  We stopped at a few beaches to take pics and dip into the nice water.  Then we found a great overlook with a total view of the “island” and one of the best beaches, Ferradura, which is situated on a big horseshoe cove with beautiful houses and boutique hotels overlooking it.  We headed down to the beach and grabbed chairs on the beach for a few cold beers and caipiroskas.  Finally we headed to Praia Joao Fernandez to meet up with the rest of the group on the beach.

 

Photo Jun 24, 4 03 45 PMCove at Praia Forno

Thuggy

Thuggy

Driving Ms Daisy's

Driving Ms Daisy’s

Fabian's Pinky

Fabian’s Pinky

Pinky and Bright Yellow

Pinky and Bright Yellow

Fredj, Wodinho & Gito

Fredj, Wodinho & Gito

Nice tanktops bros!

Nice tanktops bros!

Photo Jun 24, 9 18 17 AMOverlook of Praia Joao Fernandez

Photo Jun 24, 9 41 24 AMAt Praia Forno

Photo Jun 24, 9 41 03 AMPhoto Jun 24, 9 56 39 AMOverlook of cove to Praia Forno

Photo Jun 24, 10 45 40 AMJoe-Anna, Tara and Aubrey at Ferradura

Photo Jun 24, 10 26 49 AMChillin’ on Ferradura

Photo Jun 24, 10 48 10 AMPraia Joao Fernandez is one of the coolest beaches in Buzios and within walking distance of our house, though some took a water taxi there from the center of town.  Everyone was in the water or playing soccer or volleyball or chilling on the beach sipping on drinks.  Just as the sun was beginning to set we decided to do a sunset group buggy cruise.  So 16 of us loaded into the 4 buggies and set out on a similar course we had taken during the day beach hopping.  We raced and heckled and stopped and got some great pics just as the sun had set and created some amazing pics.  Pinky and Yellow could not handle the horsepower from Red and Orange though thus received most of the heckles.  Definitely one of the best moments of the trip.

That night after a long previous night and tiring day out and about most headed to Rua das Pedras (Stone Street, as that what the main strip in town is) for dinner, drinks, etc.  Dinner of crepes at our favorite place, Chez Michou, where everyone eventually met up.

Team Brazuca on Praia Joao Fernandez

Team Brazuca on Praia Joao Fernandez

Team Yellow Buggy

Team Yellow Buggy

Bromance in Yellow Buggy

Bromance in Yellow Buggy

Tara, Joe-Anna and Gina at Joao Fernandez

Tara, Joe-Anna and Gina at Joao Fernandez

Team Brazuca Buggies

Team Brazuca Buggies

Team Bruzuca Buggy'n

Team Bruzuca Buggy’n

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Team Orange Sherbet Buggy

Team Orange Sherbet Buggy

Group sunset pic

Group sunset pic

 

Posted by: chriswode | June 23, 2014

Bound for Buzios

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Buzios

It was time for our side-trip to the “St Tropez of Brazil” called Buzios. This resort town is about 3 hours away and we had secured a nice 20+ passenger bus to take us. It was a bit of a slow start as we were to be picked up at 10am per Pedro…but house owner Alex said he thought he heard him say 11…and after an hour of waiting it showed up and we hit the road. All were a bit tired but Duncan, aka DJ Bummers as he had been coined by the 20-somethings in the group for his less than stellar song choices, got his music going and about halfway in some of the beers started flowing and we were ready to get there. Our house again was excellent with plenty of room for our 19 people, a pool (which no one went in), big yard and a nice little view of the ocean from our hillside vantage point. Cida the owner met us and got us settled and then we all headed into town on the short 10-minute walk down the hill to the main street on the water. Its a gorgeous town that has the feel of an island as its actually a small peninsula with juts and fingers of land and water forming multiple beaches amongst hills and amazing homes and boutique hotels. The main street is heavily cobbled making it hard to walk on even without any influence and is awash with shops, restaurants and bars. The last Brazil group game was about to start so we found a good restaurant where we could all sit outside and watch. The whole town erupted with each of the 4 Brazil goals scored including some fireworks. The day marked the unofficial/official 4-year anniversary of Joe-Anna and I dating plus the night became Brian Mackerer’s unofficial bachelor party so plenty of shots showed up, more drinks and more chanting. All of a sudden Brian appeared in some brand new Brazilian super short tights which caused an uproar of laughter and pictures of course.

IMG_2268IMG_2266Our favorite spot Chez Michou

We ended up at the hot spot right in the middle of town which was a cool crepe restaurant called Chez Michou. Typical open place with tables right on the sidewalk and people spilling into the walk-street. Even though its their off-season the town was jumping since Brazil played and won and it turned into an awesome night meeting people from Brazil, Ecuador, France (uh, Duncan) and the US. At one point a band rolled up playing cool Brazilian tunes which got everyone dancing in the street. Mackerer decided to grab the parrot head off the restaurant mascot and put it on and walk over to our table…hilarious for us, not so much for the restaurant manager. And then Mackerer’s dream scenario as a capoera troupe appeared to put on a show…cue Mackerer dropping down to just his new white tights to engage them. They werent ready for him and shooed him out of the way so he stretched out on the side as they put on their moves for the crowd. Finally after they did their thing they invited BMack back in to see what he could do. Amazing stuff again and laughs from the crowd but he had improved from his performance in Salvador and the stretching had worked.

dancing phool

dancing phool

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Chez Michou’s newest busboys…and Duncan

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Posted by: chriswode | June 23, 2014

Belgium vs Russia and USA on Copacabana

Day 2 in Rio was to be a big and eventful one starting with going to the 1pm Belgium vs Russia game at the iconic Maracana and then the huge USA vs Portugal game at 7pm. We opted to catch cabs to Ipanema to ride the metro to the stadium which worked out great and was plenty of fun. Along the way in our packed railcar were plenty of chants and heckles as usual, especially as our group of 19 took up half of it. The best moment was when 4 Scandinavian guys in their 20s ended up standing next to us and of course Erik said something in Norwegian to them to which they responded excitedly…during the back and forth the best chant of the trip went out in full voice by most of us…”Erik found his children…Erik found his children!” They found it funny too and we had some laughs about them asking their new “dad” for money for beers and if they were moving to live in Manhattan Beach with him. We got a pic of course.

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Erik and his “children”

At the stadium it was a sea of people as the Maracana is almost twice as big as Arena Fonte Nova, holding over 80,000. Once inside our seats were not as good as in Salvador but it was a great atmosphere and a joy to be at. Belgium and Russia fans were in full voice and the Brazilians had their moments to take over the singing and definitely the country most-represented next was the USA with many fans in their stars and stripes gear ready for the game later. The game wasnt the best as both teams slogged it out with sloppy play and little inventiveness, even drawing whistles from the crowd many times. But finally Belgium turned it on late and got a nice goal to win it.

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Train exit to Maracana

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Smart directing traffic

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Joe-Anna and Tara inside the Maracana

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Smarts at Maracana for Belgium vs France

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The Braintrust…and Erik

Back on the metro to Ipanema where the plan was to watch the USA/Portugal game at the Fan Fest on Copacabana Beach. I had just mentioned to someone that I found it strange that I had not seen someone I know yet during the trip…and boom, just as we were about to enter the Fan Fest I hear Alex call out to someone who had his back turned to us…I looked and recognized him and said, “Mike”. Friend of mine Mike Gartlan who represents a few players on the US team and had coached Alex as a kid.  He was down by himself and hung out with us the rest of the night.

IMG_2237The Fan Fest was awesome of course…big area with vendors and entertainment and the huge screen at the front. We made our way forward finally getting nice and close to see the 2nd half of the Algeria vs South Korea game and be in a prime spot for the US game. Between game entertainment was off the charts with great music and dancers getting the crowd energized and pumped. It made it easier on the nerves waiting that hour to enjoy beers on the beach and singing and dancing. We had a full crew with our 20 plus Laird who met up with us. Finally the US game started and the crowd was dominated by US fans chanting and singing. The Portugal goal didnt set the crowd back too much as the US starting playing well, the best we did all tournament. And the tying goal set off an explosion of cheers and jumping. The go-ahead goal by Dempsey sent us into delirium. It was about the be the greatest moment of the trip, soaking up the excitement on the sand of Copababana, on a gorgeous evening with thousands of other US fans…and then the disaster happened. Portugal’s tying goal with no time left was like a giant pin popping the Goodyear blimp. Faces showed shock and disbelief as we trudged our way out of the Fan Fest and down the beach. What probably would have been the craziest party night of the trip turned into a more relaxed time at a cool outside beach hut/restaurant with dinner and drinks before various people heading back to the house for a restful evening before heading out to Buzios in the morning. Oh what could have been…

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Rio Fan Fest epic

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Rio Fan Fest!

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with Mike Gartlan

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Brasilian wanted a US jersey…before the game

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Jerseys Exchanged

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USA vs Portugal

getting ready for USA vs Portugal

getting ready for USA vs Portugal

Smart loves the music

Smart loves the music

Photo Jun 22, 4 03 03 PM

USA vs Portugal on the beach

USA vs Portugal on the beach

Posted by: chriswode | June 22, 2014

Oi Rio

“Oi” is actually the common way to say hi in Brazil and we said “oi” very early to Rio with our arrival at 8am at the airport. I had now taken over lead in organizing group transportation and our guide, Pedro was to be waiting for us. He said he didnt like signs so he sent me a picture of him sitting where he would be…so I sent back of pic of me, and Smartacus, knowing he would be highly visible or at least audible. And it worked as Pedro saw Erik right away and we were good to go. A nice big bus picked us up and drove the anxious, yet tired, group to our next home in the Barra da Tijuca suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Our host Alex, who hails from France, met us enthusiastically as we were his first clients to rent his house. Another score as the house was great tucked into a nice gated community on the side of a hill with great views. It was 3 levels which made it fun going up and down with plenty of room plus small pool and a nice front deck. Sharing rooms with the 2 girls, Joe-Anna and Tara had a plus in they scored the master bedroom on the top level which had huge bathroom with tub and shower, big room and the best view. The traveling party had now grown as the 4 additional girls, Lauren, Gina, Danielle and Vero, had arrived a few hours earlier and were ready to join the party.

IMG_2144View from house/our room

IMG_2141View out other bedroom window

We walked down to the beach, only a 10-minute walk crossing a little waterway and took us by stores and restaurants. The beach was typical with gorgeous white sand, great waves, amazing views, beach huts for food and drinks but a lot more people and action than in Guarajuba. As a matter of fact, a huge guy with a giant ‘fro riding his bike towards us caught our eye…turns out it was Anderson Verejao, the NBA basketball player, who barely fit on his bike as he is close to 7ft tall…funny to see.

IMG_2147TW & JAL view back to house

IMG_2151View from beach

IMG_2150Barra da Tijuca

IMG_2152Praia de Pepe

We hit one of the restaurants with a nice outdoor seating to watch Germany vs Ghana before heading home to get ready to go out into Leblon for the night. We loaded up taxis and all met at a specific restaurant in Lebloon which is cool neighborhood near Cobacabana and Ipenema beaches and all the places and streets were packed. Basically we all stood outside on the sidewalk amongst the crowds enjoying the scene before making our way to a dance club a couple blocks away. The whole time we had been there I only carried some cash, no credit card or ID and to get in we had to have one or the other…and so I actually got in with Marky’s ID..now that is backwards. Inside was a small bar area with just a few tables but an awesome band playing cool Brazilian music that was like a mix of reggae, samba and rock. We snagged a couple tables right in front and took over with most of the girls leading the dancing, joined by Erik of course. After a few hours we were actually headed home but Erik decided he wanted to go upstairs to the real dance club…so just a few more songs for everyone on the big dance floor before heading home…only the place wouldnt let us leave. And now we figured out why they took credit card upon entry as it matched a wristband they gave you which you showed at the bar…this is why some in the group thought drinks were free as they just showed their wristband…incorrect. You had to pay your balance before you wanted to leave and they checked in the computer before they let you out. Not a fan as we a few of us had zero $ on ours and they still wouldnt let us out…their stupid system was down. It felt like we were trapped and took a few minutes and it was frustrating, I thought they were going to turn into vampires…but we finally got out and got home.

IMG_2170Out in Leblon

IMG_2162IMG_2177Great music here…

IMG_2185Fabian loved it

Posted by: chriswode | June 21, 2014

Switzerland vs France

Next up for us was Switzerland vs France back at Arena Fonte Nova, this time with everyone in attendance now World Cup game-experienced. Our route was the same with Andre picking us up in the van and dropping us at the same point to walk down the steep street to the stadium. With the 4pm kickoff we got there early and walked around a bit and finally got tables inside a big restaurant right outside the stadium on the lake…which was perfect for pre-game meal while watching the 2nd half of Costa Rica vs Italy…in which the mighty Ticos took down the Azzurri in dramatic fashion 1-0…awesome! Our group was mixed in who we would lend our support to in the Swiss v France game but all were hoping for a great game. Our seats were even better this time, again just 3 rows up but closer to midfield. The game was an entertaining affair with chants of “Allez les Blues” dominating the scene. And the French rewarded their fans with a bludgeoning of the Swiss 5-2, even having a great goal get nullified right at the final whistle. Postgame we hightailed it back to the house as an EARLY wakeup call was in effect in order to catch our 5:55am flight to Rio (or 5:30 for BMack who didnt get on our flight). All in all it was an excellent 1st week in Salvador with tons of laughs, 2 great games, great house, nice beach and plenty of fun. Obrigado Salvador, Guarajuba, Praia da Forte and Bar do Carlinhos.  Off to Rio and more craziness and a hectic schedule.

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Same cool street in Salvador

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Tailgating

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lake by the stadium

lake by the stadium

yes Costa Rica!

yes Costa Rica!

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Switzerland vs France

Joa-Anna ready for France vs Switzerland

Joa-Anna ready for France vs Switzerland

inside Arena Fonte Nova

inside Arena Fonte Nova

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Smarts in even better seats

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Smart wuins the girls’ pic

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great seats

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Norwegians

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Our view

BMack Duncan Fabian and Fredj across the field

BMack Duncan Fabian and Fredj across the field

France celebrates another goal

France celebrates another goal

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Frenchie actually invaded

Posted by: chriswode | June 18, 2014

Beachin’ it

The next 2 days was dominated by beach and pool time around the house in Guarajuba and our favorite beach bar, Bar do Carlinhos. It was nice and relaxing for everyone to be able to do their own thing and chill at the beach or watch games at the house or the beach bar. Tuesday was highlighted with the next Brasil game as they took on our rivals Mexico. With a 4pm kickoff the plan was to head to Praia da Forte, the next beach town up the coast 5 miles away. We had a prime table reserved for us in the best restaurant to watch the game so everyone donned their new personalized Brazil jerseys and we cabbed up. The main street is a long street of shops with everything from fine clothes and knick-knacks to restaurants and thankfully an internet cafe. Its a really nice area and street that runs right into the water with a nice view of the beach and coast.

The Brazil game brought quick closures to many of the stores as the locals were preparing to watch the game. Our restaurant filled up and the atmosphere was great. Unfortunately Brazil could not find the back of the net as the Mexico goalkeeper made some incredible saves and the game ended 0-0…but that didnt stop any of the Brazilians or our group for keeping the party going. Some local girls we befriended led our group (mainly the girls) in some good Brazilian dancing as the game commentary turned to music.

The next day was all at the beach playing futebol with local kids and then another game with some random Argentinians, French and Brazilians. Thiago and the crew at Bar do Carlinhos enjoyed our company most of the day as we posted up to watch games, eat seafood and enjoy many libations. Thiago had already given us a few of their t-shirts which we showed up in telling him we were ready to work…they got a kick out of it and pretty much gave everyone in our group a shirt. Pictures taken of course.

A couple nights we BBQ’d up some nice meat and chicken at our cool BBQ area by the pool or hit up a local restaurant with great Italian food on a lake a few minutes walk.  All in all it was a great way to start our time in Brazil.

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Coconut

Coconut

Mr Green has a lovely bunch of coconuts

Mr Green has a lovely bunch of coconuts

IMG_1838View of our beach: Praia Guarajuba

IMG_2011Praia da Forte main street

IMG_2016Gito and Smartacandro

IMG_2021Gito, Dzekinhosa, Smartacandro and Dempsinho in Praia da Forte

IMG_2027Brazil vs Mexico

IMG_2032Wodinho and Volei watching Brazil in Praia da Forte

IMG_1842Out in Praia da Forte

IMG_1851Smart takes over the stage

IMG_2058Beach futebol

beach futebol with Brazilian kids

beach futebol with Brazilian kids

soccer on the beach in Guarajuba

soccer on the beach in Guarajuba

IMG_2067Newest staff members of Bar do Carlinhos

IMG_2069Bar do Carlinhos

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milking Erik.....

milking Erik…..

Posted by: chriswode | June 17, 2014

USA vs Ghana

After a great Germany game and finding our way into the Pelourinho area to find a suitable place to watch the US vs Ghana, we found a really cool area of Salvador with tons of people in the myriad of  restaurants and bars. The area sits atop a hill overlooking the ocean and is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets. Hordes of Germans filled the area along with Portuguese, the local Brazilians and quite a few Americans. We got some great pics and then attempted to find a place to watch the game.

Salvador

Salvador

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ready for USA win

ready for USA win

looking out over Salvador and Atlantic Ocean

looking out over Salvador and Atlantic Ocean

BMack entertained the hundreds of people in the main square with his capoeira skills as he jumped into a demonstration with some people from a capoeira school…in his Deutschland skivvies (we have vids by the way), Fabian and I worked our way thru the maze of streets and found nothing but packed places but finally found a cool spot on a back patio with a big screen and room for our big group. The tension and nerves were high as the game started…except for Erik who was barely even watching. The dream start of Dempsey’s goal brought an explosion of emotion and cheers that drew in a crowd to join us. A group of Brits enthusiastically joined in with their great chants like: “He plays on the left, he plays on the right, that boy Clint Dempsey, makes Messi look shite!” And ” Jurgen Klinsmann’s having a party, bring the vodka and the Charlie”. We had to ask what “Charlie” means…ask a Brit (its cocaine). This livened up the scene even more and made our “USA, USA” and “I believe that we will win!” chants stronger. Ghana’s tying goal just about brought us to our knees but there was still belief. One solo Ghana fan could be heard heckling us and emotions were low. But John Brooks’ winner with 5 minutes left caused an eruption. Hugs, tears, yells, chants all around.  Alex broke the record of most hugs and kisses of guys in one night.  Unbelievable! The demons of 2 straight World Cups vanquished. 3 points and the start we need for this World Cup. The van ride home to Guarajuba was amazing. More USA chants, more reminiscing, more heckling and voices lost. It was a dream day. Thank you USA.

ready for USA vs Ghana

ready for USA vs Ghana

tensions are high

tensions are high

ready to explode

ready to explode

Fabian celebrates

Fabian celebrates

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USA!

USA wins!

USA wins!

3 points!

3 points!

I dont know whats going on here...

I dont know whats going on here…

ok

ok

Posted by: chriswode | June 17, 2014

Gameday: Germany vs Portugal

Day 3 of our time in Brazil is perhaps one of the biggest and most exciting as the group jumped in our van and Andre drove us into Salvador for the highly anticipated Germany v Portugal game at Arena Fonte Nova. This would be a few peoples 1st ever World Cup game. This was also our first glimpse at the city of Salvador as we made our way thru traffic into the heart of the city and got dropped off on a tiny street at the top of a hill. The spot was perfect as we walked down the hill grabbing beers from street vendors along the way taking the opportunity to snap pics of the cool scene below. Near the bottom the Stadium appeared and we were in full World Cup game experience mode. We grabbed a spot on the grass just outside the stadium near the lake and reveled in the pregame celebrations…German fans in their jerseys or lederhosen, Portuguese fans in their Ronaldo tops and Brazilians getting in on the action. Singing, chanting, talking and pics in full force until we finally made our way into the stadium. Some of our group even grabbed the FIFA volunteers bullhorns to lead our own chants. We spit off into our groups of 4 to go to our seats with Joe-Anna, Tara, Erik and myself heading in with Alex, Mark, Richard and Freddy joining us in same section. Our seats were awesome near the corner in the 3rd and 4th rows and our timing impeccable as the teams were about to come out of the tunnel. 51,000+ fans rose in celebration for the player announcements, anthems and ultimately kickoff. And then Germany took over. Our section had a mix of all fans slightly dominated by Deutschland fans. Joe-Anna in her new Germany shirt, Erik in his Scweinsteiger jersey and me in my Germany top were loving it. Super Smart then got super excited as some if the German players started warming up just in front of us including Schweiny himself. So of course Erik made his way into the empty front row to serenade the players and show Schweinsteiger his jersey, ultimately receiving the thumbs up he desired. Two young German ladies behind us figured Erik out quickly, saying a few times “sit down Schweiny” must to our amusement.

The Germany domination on the way to the 4-0 win was a great way to start the day and more fun was had on our way out with more great pics and Mackerer breaking out his Deutschland skivvies much to the joy of all fans who passed by, many stopping to take pics with him. We finally made our way back to the van and headed for the Pelourinho district of Salvador to find a place to watch the mighty US.

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Van ride to the game

Photo Jun 16, 7 30 03 AM

 

 

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Arena Fonte Nova

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Team Brazuca at Arena Fonte Nova

Team Brazuca at Arena Fonte Nova

Smart thinks he won already

Smart thinks he won already

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Smarts

Smarts

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Ready for Germany vs Portugal

Ready for Germany vs Portugal

 

 

 

uh...yeah

uh…yeah

 

 

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Schweiny super excited because Schweinsteiger gave him thumbs up!

Schweiny super excited because Schweinsteiger gave him thumbs up!

 

our seats

our seats

 

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Sweet seats

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Schweiny loves vuvuzelas

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Schweiny making friends

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Our walk to stadium

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Schweiny serenading the real Schweiny

Richard and Wodey

Richard and Wodey

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So Euro the Germans even hated it

So Euro the Germans even hated it

of course

of course

celebrating Germany win

celebrating Germany win

the real Schweinsteiger?

the real Schweinsteiger?

Germans liebe Mackerer

Germans liebe Mackerer

Photo Jun 16, 11 36 26 AM

what are you doing?!?

what are you doing?!?

Brasil vs Deutschland...sorta

Brasil vs Deutschland…sorta

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