Copacabana & Ipanema (Rio Day 1)

Almost a year later, I am finally getting around to my coverage of our week in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. It was a trip that we had been talking about since basically the day the Olympics location was announced in 2009. It was a major bucket list item for us and the anticipation was incredibly high. The fact that the Olympics was chosen to be hosted by such a beautiful city was just an added bonus for us. Friends of ours had been into the idea of going to the Olympics for almost as long as we had been talking about going. The fact that 7 years later, the four of us were headed to Rio was amazing. We marveled at how long we had been friends and how long the trip had been in the works on the entire way to Rio. Due to the high popularity of flying into Rio at that time, the majority of plane tickets prices were at a premium. We lucked out and booked tickets literally on the first day we could out of Toronto for about half the price from any closer airport. Saving over $700 a piece was worth the 6 hour drive.

Unfortunately, the anticipation meant the trip couldn’t quite live up to it. Now don’t get me wrong, the Olympic aspect itself was absolutely amazing and the feeling of being there was something I can’t quite describe. The part that didn’t live up to the hype, Rio itself. I will go into it more in further posts, but I just didn’t love the city (none of us did). I thought that China was the hardest place we had been to in terms of communication, but it was difficult in Rio outside of the Olympic venues, and even then there was still a bit of a communication barrier. We didn’t find the food great at all (both in and out of the Olympic venues) and that made it even harder. I totally loved the Olympics even with all the logistics issues Rio had, and hope that we can go back to another Olympics. But as for Rio, this will likely be my one and only time in the city. I would love to go back to Brazil, just a different area.

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Palawan: Summary

I almost forgot that I hadn’t published this yet, so oops. It’s a bit later than normal upon return from a trip. Palawan was a place I had pushed to the top of my travel list about a year ago and the timing of our trips this year, made it perfect timing to visit. We hadn’t done a relaxing beach vacation for a long time, as it’s not our favorite type of trip, but relaxing for a week was amazing. It’s a beautiful island and incredibly affordable and while busy, there are plenty of ways to avoid the crowds

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May 2016

May started with getting back into routine from returning from our trip to Palawan, Philippines at the end of April. At the end of the month, I visited Boston with a couple of friends for our trying to be annual girls trip and to celebrate one’s upcoming wedding. Also in May, I had a wedding shower for another friend. It was a busy month, but a good one in spite of the relatively chilly weather for May. May also had the first boat ride of the season (though without getting into the water!). We also booked tickets to Disney Food and Wine Festival in October!

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Flashback: Naxos Sailing Trip, Greece 2011

On our final day in Naxos we took a sailing trip. We originally had planned on taking a day trip to Mykonos, but the trips had just finished their season due to weather. We were walking along the boardwalk in Naxos and spotted a sign for sailing adventures. The owner and his wife were sitting on the sail boat and noticed us looking at the sign and they waved us over. After talking on the boat for a bit and asking questions about the trip, we decided to book the day trip with Captain George.

We took the day trip sailing tour to Koufonisia Island. Koufonissia consists of two islands, Kato and Pano. Kato is largely uninhabited, but does have some nice beaches and a few select services. Pano is the smallest of the inhabited Cyclades islands. Pano is where the majority of hotels and restaurants are located. There is a boat service between the two multiple times during the day if you are staying on Pano. We visited Kato on our day trip. The island itself was gorgeous and looking at pictures of Pano now, it looks even more gorgeous and would be an excellent place to visit in the Greek Islands, if you truly want to experience beauty without the masses.

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