August 11, 2007 - Brazil, Day 1

Curtain rises: About 8 hours into the 9.5 hour flight, sunrise over the southern Atlantic.
Previously, Jill and I met Evan, Kyle, Kevin, Haley, Beth, and - quite literally - Aleesa at Hartsfield before heading to Rio.

Fast forward: The hazy/smoggy mountains northwest of Rio.

The stars catch a first glimpse of Rio's 'burbs.

Rosario picks up the group from the airport and takes them past the infamous favelas, the worst of Rio's slums, dot the hillsides of this otherwise beautiful city.

The tourbus passes Rio's harbor, typically one of the
seven wonders of the natural world.

Finally the cast arrives at the first of the houses.

As soon as we walk up the long steps to the house, Fernanda starts making us caipirinhas, Brazil's national drink, a stiff concoction of a local tequila-ish/rummish drink, limes, and sugar. Strong stuff!
Time-check: 10:30am.

A few drinks later and Kevin and I find ourselves in the kitchen a-makin' drinks, too.

On the pool deck, we hear a chopper. Steve tells us that people get washed off the rocks a few times a week (especially in the summer) and rescue divers are called in. This person was lucky and got hauled up in a basket.

Evan and Kyle try out the hammock.

Beth is immediately in vacation-mode, too.

Sill snoozing.

Night falls in Rio.

Kevin and Jason play on the rocks that jut into the upper house.

Abigail, Hyun, and Kyle get ready for the evening.

Onto dinner at Porçau - the nicest Churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) in town.
Think Fogo de Chao, but actually there. (BTW, Fogo is pretty darn authentic, I must say.)

Hyun, Aleesa, and Kevin sit with clean plates. This was clearly within a few seconds of us arriving, because

...very soon, the sommelier brought Malbec...

...and the gauchos brought meat...

...and more meat...

Abs and Beth, two of the eight hot chicks here this night. With the houses full, there would be twelve hot chicks (and seven at my house with only me to stare take care of them...

That's the first day through dinner. Next page - a local club in Ipanema...