Touchdown, Rio!

Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog

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Copacabana Hotel

Clearing customs in Rio was a breeze.  I had heard nightmares about fingerprinting and all, but I had no problems.  My bag made it too -- and was the first one off the plane.  Whew!

I took a taxi to my hotel, the Meridien Copacabana.  My driver spoke no English and understood no Spanish either (although I doubted that actually).  It as a fairly quick ride to the hotel even in the rain and traffic.  I observed a couple of interesting gestures from the taxi driver.  My favorite was kind of a "hook 'em horns" sign like we do in Texas for University of Texas games (in Texas, index finger and little finger only extended) only it was the thumb and little finger extended here, and you wave the little finger very fast.  I am sure I got the meaning of that one down!

My hotel is a typical glass box.

Los Tres Caballeros: Scottie, Tim and Skot at Zuka Restaurant
  Thirty-seven stories, right on the Copacabana Beach.  Sadly, it's raining so hard that I cannot see much of the area yet.  I got checked in, had a quick lunch and went out to explore the beach.  It was still quite gray and misty, so not a lot of folks out today.  I did see the Copacabana Palace, a very beautiful and ornate older hotel just down the beach from the Meridien. 

I went to dinner that night with my friends, Wendy, Dwight, Scottie, Skot and Jessica.  We dined at a place called Zuka in Ipanema.  The restaurant was billed as "eclectic" and it truly was!  We started with a white wine (fairly sweet, but to the liking of Wendy and Skot) and we all shared appetizers on skewers -- hearts of palm, oyster mushrooms, sausage, octopus tentacles, shrimp, tomatoes and potatoes.

CMM Investigators Plate: Entreprenurial spirit is alive and well in Rio!
  There were several dipping sauces to try with them -- cucumber dill yogurt, teriyaki, and a chimichurri.  All were very nice.  The next course was a grilled pita bread with rock salt and a veal consomme shooter.  For the main course, I had veal filet mignon crusted with porcini mushrooms.  It was awesome!  It came with a side of delicious empanadas.  We had a really nice cabernet from Argentina.  For dessert, I had an egg creme pudding with cinnamon ice cream.  It was like a sabayon.  It was great with a glass of port!

When we got back to the Hotel, we were met by a guy who had done a mock up of a Rio license plate with my friends' company on it (CMM Global).  He had evidently seen it on the hotel's meeting schedule, and so did the mock up.  He had messed it up though, and embossed "CMM Investigators" onto the plate!  Skot haggled with the guy and got it for 16 reals! 

 

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Copacabana Hotel
Copacabana Hotel
Los Tres Caballeros:  Scottie, Tim…
Los Tres Caballeros: Scottie, Ti…
CMM Investigators Plate:  Entrepre…
CMM Investigators Plate: Entrepr…
Sidewalk at Copacabana Beach
Sidewalk at Copacabana Beach
Statue near Hotel Merdien
Statue near Hotel Merdien
Hotel Meridien Copacabana
Hotel Meridien Copacabana
Surf at Copacabana
Surf at Copacabana
Copacabana Beach
Copacabana Beach
Local boys playing futbol
Local boys playing futbol
Whats Scottie up to now?
What's Scottie up to now?"
At Zuka Restaurant. Dont get too …
At Zuka Restaurant. Don't get too…
Order me another beer please!  Mak…
Order me another beer please! Ma…
Rio de Janeiro Hotels & Accommodations review
Hotel Meridien Rio -- Now the Iberostar Copacabana
The Iberostar Copacabana, formerly the Meridien Hotel, is the tallest 5 star hotel in the Copacabana Beach area of Rio, and has amazing views of Sugar… read entire review