Friday, December 20, 2013

Summertime Livin'

I've been off work since Thursday, and I think today was the first day that I didn't wake up sore. It's nice to finally have my body back, and I'm excited to get back to training now that I feel recovered. Well, I'm still glad we have a few more days to relax before we head back to work!

After a busy day of hiking and tourist attractions on Wednesday, we spent most of Thursday working on our Christmas tans by relaxing at the pool and strolling along the beach. Actually, Max didn't exactly "stroll". He was in the water taking on five feet plus waves while I watched. I know that large waves lead to water up my nose and sand in places it shouldn't be, and well, I wasn't in the mood. I enjoyed the sun by sunbathing, taking pictures with friends, and walking around the beach. The pool area has the best view of the mountains and the beach, so it's not so bad just laying around there either.

I would come to Rio just to sit by this pool.

My man and I <3

Across the street at the beach

Gabby, Georgia, Fred, me, David, Alix, and Steven!

We took one by the pool,
so we had to take one by the beach, too!

Getting acrobatic


The boys and their speedos!

All the men in Brazil wear speedos and all the women in Brazil wear thongs. Max and I are a bit too nervous to jump on the bandwagon. Besides, my buns are a little too white for the sun, and I don't think there's any amount of money that can get Max in a speedo! For now, we will leave the Brazilian swimwear to these gorgeous boys and their six packs!

David enjoying the waves! He's famous, y'all. FAMOUS.

Max and Max's beard by the pool!

After a day of sunshine, I was exhausted. We headed back to the room, and it took all of fifteen minutes for Max to get bored. I have NO idea where he gets his energy from, but I really hope he doesn't pass it on to our future children. I like my sleep too much.

Once Max stopped pacing and figured out what to do with his energy, he asked me, "you want to go play some wall ball?"…because I play lacrosse and because I don't want to sleep right now. I didn't want to go, but I'm glad I did. It was hilarious and inspiring to see him playing wall ball because the locals were staring so hard. They have probably never seen a lacrosse stick before! Everyone who passed by was so interested, and even the life guards were paying more attention to him than the water. I hope he has the chance to teach some locals the game! We might have to bring some more sticks out after our next trip to the USA.

We got our energy levels up after a day of relaxing and wall ball, and we spent all of that energy today being tourists again and lounging by the pool some more. This morning, we woke up and went with friends, Kate and Paul, to see the Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue. Paul is the drummer for Corteo and Kate is his girlfriend, and they are both from Australia. Why does every other English speaking country have a better accent than mine?

Anyways, we took a car to the base of the mountain to buy our tickets. While we were waiting in an hour to two hour line, these random Brazilians walked up to us and asked us if we wanted to use their service for R$5 more, which is about $2 US dollars. We decided to risk it, and boy am I glad we did! We took a van about halfway up the mountain and got out near a helipad. The views were incredible, and we could see Christ the Redeemer up ahead.

Handstands on the ledge are my favorite way to scare my family.

Max and I!

Pao de Açúcar is in the background, which is where we were on Tuesday!

If you look close, you can find Jesus. 
…or maybe you already found Him?
(see what I did there?)

Kate, Paul, and Jesus

More handstands...

Handstand with Jesus

Rio de Janeiro!

After our quick stop, we jumped back in the van and drove the remainder of the way up the mountain to see the statue. It was windy and the drivers here are worse than NY taxi drivers on drugs, so I was fully car sick and ready to blow by the time we reached the top. Luckily, fresh air and my feet on planet earth put my stomach back in my body.

We climbed the steps to reach the top, and were happy to see the most incredible views of Rio! Also, you're on equal level with the clouds and some passed right through us. Unfortunately, I'm not brave enough for handstands on ledges as high as the clouds or else I would have tried. Maybe after some more time in the circus!

Climbing up to see Jesus!

The view of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas from Cristo Redentor.
The lagoon is an artificial lake popular for the cafe's that line it
and the runners, bikers, walkers, and other exercisers that use the track
around it!

Pao de Açúcar

Kate, Paul, and Jesus
(plus photo bomb girl on the left)

Jesus and me

Jesus, Max, and me

Max and I mimicking Jesus

Another view of Rio

Christ the Redeemer

Jesus and Paul, who has hair like Jesus

Taking it all in!

Max and I in the clouds! Sorry about my right eye… ;)

I love this picture that Max took! #artsy

Sipping on our abacaxi (pineapple) and maracuja (passion fruit) juices!
I'm never going to be able to drink juice in the US again. 

After our juice, some snacks, and a lot of car sickness by Kate and I, we made it back to the hotel. We didn't get back until later in the afternoon, so we didn't have time to go to Ipanema or Copacabana like I had planned. Oh well, I guess we can do that another one of the days between now and the next ten weeks that we are here! Instead, Max and I laid by the pool some more. It was pretty decent substitute. I fell asleep while I was sunbathing at one point, and I woke up to a guy saying, "Senhora?". I opened my eyes to find that my husband had ordered me an água do coco from the pool bar. Alcohol free and hydrating, and I didn't have to order! Husband of the year, y'all. There's just something special about drinking fresh coconut water out of a coconut, poolside, with the sounds of the ocean in the background, and the view of the mountains in Brazil.

After the afternoon sun had passed behind the mountain, we went back to the room to rest. Since Max isn't so good at resting, he asked me if I wanted to go down to the beach to watch the sunset. I had just gotten comfortable, but I sucked it up and headed down with him anyway. I'm so glad he doesn't like to miss anything because I would have been so upset if I would've missed this sunset! Pictures never do a good sunset justice, but hopefully this will give you a taste!


Havaianas, sand, and sunset.

 Today, I saw Christ the Redeemer, laid by the pool, and watched the sun go down in the arms of my husband. Max and I are experiencing life in an incredibly unique way, and we know every blessing is a gift from God. I know that my subtitles above in the Christ the Redeemer pictures were punning on our time with the actual Jesus, but there is nothing funny about the way that we are being blessed by this time of adventure. We have been able to see and do so much just in the few months that I've been working with Cirque, and I know that God has a plan for us that will surpass all we can ever ask or imagine. He already has shown us more than we could ask or imagine!

When we look back on these days, I know we will see the Hand of God in the painted sunsets, sky views of cities like Curitiba, Montreal, and Rio, and in the talent that He has given me. I am not sure why God picked acrobatics as my greatest talent, but I hope and pray that I use it for something bigger than myself. The gifts from above keep rolling in, and Max and I can only pray that we continue to be closer in spirit to the one and true Christ the Redeemer no matter the circumstances.

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