Friday, September 19, 2014

Goodbye World Cup 2014-São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro

     Delali and I arrived in São Paulo on June 28th.  I was very excited to come here because my good friend Henrique is from this city.  We met on a free walking tour in Edinburgh, Scotland and then met up again in Madrid, Spain.  I still can't explain the magic of Europe...  It is so easy to meet up with people in another country.  I love it so much!  

     When we first arrived, we were greeted by our friend Pedro at his home early in the morning.  At this point, I was really over all the late night/early morning flights.  Feeling exhausted all the time is not a good feeling. 

     We stayed in São Paulo for about a week and Delali and I really took this time to do some much needed relaxing at home.  We also spent a lot of time with Pedro when he wasn't working.  He took us to different parts of the city.  He was a wonderful host and we were very lucky to be welcomed into his home.  We also met up with Henrique a couple of times when he wasn't working.  The first day we hung out, he picked us up from Pedro's house.  It was a special moment to see him on this side of the world.  He and his girlfriend Carol took us to Estadio Municipal, which was an awesome World Cup museum.  

First night out after a Brazil victory.  The streets were filled with people.

Henrique and I

One of the best football museums I have ever been to.

Delali's cousin Mawuena and his wife Lily were also in São Paulo.  We spent an afternoon having lunch and shopping with them.

  Street art in a park.

 I went Havaianas crazy in Brazil!

Pedro and I

Night out on Villa Madalena.

     We left for Rio de Janeiro on July 5th to be there for the World Cup Final.  We had to be there... especially if Brazil won the World Cup.  The atmosphere would be insane!  Delali stayed a night in Rio with a friend while I stayed across the bay in Niteroi.  Lucas and Joao met one another while traveling in South America and decided to host a bunch of people during the World Cup.  There was about 8 of us staying at the apartment at any given time.  What a crazy, beautiful experience!  So many different people from all around the world in one place together.  It was one of the craziest, under slept, fun, lovely, eventful and memorable weeks of my life.



 Gustavo and Lucas rocking it on their guitars.

 Small beach on the Niteroi side that Joao took us to.

Joao and I

 Angie and Rodrigo making the most delicious empanadas I have ever had.

     Watching Brazil lose to Germany was a very difficult experience, but I commend the Brazilian team for making it as far as they did.  Lovely, talented players that I really enjoyed watching play the beautiful game.  Brazilians love football with all of their heart and being in their country for the World Cup watching their team play, was one hell of an experience.

Forza Brasil!

 The famous Christ statue.

 Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum

Enchilada dinner for the gang.  Love all of these people!

 Every night was a party night!

 Rio de Janerio

Maracana Stadium


     The night before the World Cup final was an experience like no other.  Thousands of Argentines came to Rio once they made it into the final against Germany.  Angie and Rodrigo are from Argentina and I really wanted to join in on their experience.  We all went to Copacabana where there were thousands of Argentines singing in the streets.  Angie and Rodrigo were so excited and I was really moved by this gathering.  People on the beach singing, dancing, and just having so much pride for their country.  I still have all the Argentine cheering songs in my head from this day.  I'll never forget this.

 Angie and I

Miss these boys!

     After all the partying, we were all a bit tired and decided to take it easy for the final.  Just a few of us were together to watch.  We all supported Argentina in honor of our friends, but unfortunately it wasn't mean't to be.  The winners of the 2014 World Cup was Germany.  2 years ago when Bayern and Dortmund beat Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League, I said that the German team was going to win the World Cup.  I love being right!  I didn't want them to win, but I believed that they deserved it. 

     I cried when the World Cup ended because it was the most amazing experience.  I can't put into words how much I love football.  The players, the fans, the lifting of the trophy, the stadiums, the experience...  all so magical!  A memory I will hold very dear to my heart forever.  Brazil, thanks for the trip of a lifetime!

Last night in Rio, partying in Lapa.

Goodbye World Cup 2014, until the next one!

"So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good". -Helen Keller

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