Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Girl from Ipanema

Today we spent most of our time in Ipanema and Leblon area. I definitely like these areas better than Copacabana. They feel more like a neighborhoods with rows of restaurants and shops, trees overhanging the streets and much cleaner.
That night we went downtown to a neighborhood called Lapa with Scott's friend Bruce. The area is known for great Brazilian restaurants, live music and historical monuments. The cobblestone streets start to fill up around 11pm with all walks of life and lines are long to get into the clubs. This little area reminds me of smaller tamer Bourbon Street.  We went to Rio Scenarium which has 4 levels each with a different theme. They have live bands featuring everything from samba, rock to other rooms with DJ’s spinning hip-hop and techno.
Nothing would be complete if you did not head to Cervantes Restaurant for a late night bite to eat. The restaurant is small and decor is simple. They have great sandwiches and I would highly recommend the ham sandwich with pineapple filling.
A popular juice in Brazil is coconut water called “agua de coco”. They can be found along the streets of Rio or on the beaches. The coconut is cut in front of you to ensure its freshness. Inside the coconut, the water is a clear liquid with a mild taste, not to be confused with coconut milk. As the coconut matures, the water gradually is replaced by the coconut meat and air.
Along Copacabana beach there many sand castles. They are pretty impressive and have lots of detail.
We spent St. Patrick's Day at Shenanigan's Irish Pub.  I was pretty much a hot, sweaty mess most of the night. Ha Ha.. It was so humid and in the 90's!!
A popular place to go on Sunday is the Feira Hippie de Ipanema or Hippie Market. This is a large fair with vendors selling Brazilian crafts, art, clothing, jewelry, lace, ceramics and food. The fair was started by a group of hippies back in 1968 and should not be missed. Also, similar to other markets you can try and bargain on the price.
Another must have while you are in Rio is an Acai icy slush. Açaí is a berry native to the Amazon.Order the "Açaí na tigela" in a bowl with sliced bananas and granola. It is delicious!

Tonight I got my sushi fix, we went to Nik’s Restaurant in Ipanema. Every night they have all you can eat sushi for R$55.00 per person ($30 US) which is an amazing price. I ordered some sake with my meal and when it arrived it came in a rather large square bowl almost the size of a B/B Plate. Scott and I looked at each other and laughed because we had no idea how I was supposed to drink out of it. Well I decided to wing it and just picked up the entire bowl up and drank away. No one said anything so I guess I was doing it correctly or they were amused by me.

Making friends with the local musicians and watching the sunset at the picture.  Paradise!!
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