I met so many nice people on my first day (see the first picture below) and we hung out, had a big (late) lunch, played games on the PlayStation, and drank beer. Needless to say, I felt right at home. I was so tired from all the traveling that when I laid down to take a nap around 6pm, I continued to sleep into the night and didn't wake up the next day until 8am! But it felt great to get some much-needed rest.
The second day was amazing. We went for a walk around Lagoa, which feels like L.A. or Miami, saw parrots, and drank coconut water. Then, after lunch, Miriam took me to Ipanema, then Leme beach. It was too cool to lay on the beach today, but we're hoping it will be warm enough later in the week (forecast is high 80s, low 90s). After the beach, we rode up Sugar Loaf Mountain in cable cars to an absolutely breathtaking view of the city. I can't believe how huge it is, over 6 million people! That's half the population of the entire state of Pennsylvania. Crazy.
After Sugar Loaf we met up with the rest of the gals at a giant shopping mall. One downside to Brazil, clothing (and pretty much everything else) is very expensive! I was shocked. Grandma insisted that we have McDonalds for dinner because she lives far from the city and never gets to have it, so we ate McDonalds. It was just as bad as it is in the U.S....
Long day! So great to have a wonderful family to take me around the city, though. I can't even for a minute forget how incredibly fortunate I am.