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Old 05-02-2014, 03:46 PM   #16
Ashli
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Thank you for bearing with me! I finally have time to get back here with some more info!

Our Itinerary:

June 11 – Fly to Manaus, Brazil (Flight times aren’t too bad at all; nothing like our 17 hr flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg!) We fly from Jacksonville, FL to Miami (super short flight), then Miami to Manaus (only about 5 hrs).

June 11 – 15: Manaus

June 15 – Fly from Manaus to Natal

June 15 – 20: Natal

June 20: Fly from Natal to Recife

June 20 – 27: Recife (actually staying in Porto de Galinhas, about 35 km south of Recife)

June 27: Fly from Recife to Brasilia

June 27 – July 1: Brasilia (the capital of Brazil)

July 1: Fly back to Manaus

July 2: Fly home



For those who aren’t too aware of Brazil geography (I couldn’t have pointed out anything but Rio on a map before we started our trip here, so don’t feel bad!), here’s a little info on these cities.

Manaus is actually located in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest! How cool is that? It’s a big city, but it is pretty isolated. It’s in the northwest of Brazil, very close to the equator, so despite the fact that it will technically be winter when we are there, the average temps for June have highs in the high 80s, lows in the 70s. It is also very humid here. (Sounds pretty much like we will be right at home, coming from Savannah!) There is a really cool effect in Manaus where the Rio Negro meets the Rio Solimoes to form the Amazon River. The two rivers are very different in color due to the different types of sediment they carry. The Rio Negro (as you I’m sure can tell by its name) is very dark, almost black, and the Rio Solimoes is a very light tan color. When these rivers meet, there are several miles of river where the waters have yet to mix and are completely separate, with one color on one half of the river and the other color on the other half! I think this is really neat and we plan on taking a ferry that is offered onto the river to check it out.

Natal is a city on the Brazilian northwest coast. It has beautiful beaches, and I am definitely a beach person!! (I told Kyle how excited I was that we are finally going on a major trip that includes tropical beaches! Not like we don’t live 30 min from Tybee…but how exotic and cool does a “Brazilian beach” sound?) Natal was first visited by Portuguese explorers in 1501, and then a fort was established there in the late 1500s, so there are also some really cool historical sites we plan to visit. The weather should be slightly cooler than Manaus, being by the coast, but not by too much because we are still close to the equator. Low 80s for the high, low 70s for the lows. June is their rainy month, but I have been told by people who live there that it is usually a rainstorm in the afternoon each day and that’s it. Sounds like Disney in June, no?

Recife is also on the coast, and is actually quite a large city. It is about 300 km south of Natal. We are actually staying in Porto de Galinhas (which means Port of Chickens, which I find hilarious for some reason), because it was pretty close to impossible to find accommodations in Recife. It is just fine with me though, because Porto de Galinhas has gorgeous beaches. It has actually been voted “Bes tBrazilian Beach” for the last 8 years running. This is where Brazilians go for a beach vacation, the way people in the US go to Florida. It is renown for its beautiful pools that are formed by coral reefs that are very near the shore. Brazil has a big problem with sharks (I will NOT be going in the water in Natal), but this area has much fewer issues because it is protected by the large reefs.

And finally, Brasilia. Brasilia is located in what I guess you could call “east-central” Brazil. (The country is an odd shape, so it’s kind of hard to assess cities in the middle.) It is the country’s capital. Brasilia was a designed and planned city (just like my SavannahJ ) and looks absolutely stunning in pictures I have seen. I am not usually one for big cities, but I think I will enjoy Brasilia immensely.

So those are the cities we’ll be visiting! I know what you might be thinking… “Wait! You mean you aren’t going to Rio?? But it’s BRAZIL!” Rio actually was originally in the plan between Recife and Brasilia. However, when the draw for the World Cup happened (when they decide which teams will play where and on what days), we realized that if we stayed in Natal instead of going to Rio for a few days, we could see a second US game. The USMNT won that decision, as they pretty much always will for us when it comes down to it. Sorry, Rio.

Speaking of the matches we will be seeing in the World Cup, here they are (we had our tickets prior to the draw, and added the second US game afterwards. We like to plan our trip around where we would like to go, then work the games in):

6/14: England vs Italy (in Manaus)
- this is funny to me for two reasons. 1. England was also the first team we saw play when we went to South Africa for the 2010 WC. 2. England is my least favorite team in the world (sorry, Cheryl!!!), and from my experience their players tend to play really poorly when I am in attendance (be it for a national team game or a Premier League game). I am ok with this.

6/16: US vs. Ghana (in Natal)
- this is the US’ first game in the group stages for WC 2014. Our last WC game in 2010 was also against Ghana. I was also at that game. I am SO ready for revenge, I cannot even begin to tell you. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS GAME!!!

6/19: Japan vs. Greece ( in Natal)
- this is going to be a fun one. We saw two Japan games in WC 2010, and they have exceptional fans. We really had a blast with them. In fact, the only non-US shirt that will be coming on our trip is a Japan shirt that Kyle got for this game. (I am just happy that it’s still a red, white, and blue shirt. ;-) )

6/24: Croatia vs Mexico (in Recife)
- Two things about this game: I am a HUGE Real Madrid fan, and one of their most outstanding players this year (Luka Modric) is on Croatia’s team. Also, I hate Mexico’s team almost as much (like within a hair’s breadth) as I hate England’s team. I think you know who I will be rooting for here.

6/26: US vs. Germany (in Recife)
- I am very excited about this game. It will be the US’ final group stage game and likely extremely tense. We beat Germany in a friendly last summer…I’m just gonna leave that out there for the haters. I will also say that I was at the US’ final group stage game in South Africa when we HAD to win and did. That was the 91st minute game. I am not entirely sure my heart/brain/stomach can handle another one of those.

6/30: 1E vs 2F (Round of 16 game) in Brasilia
- Don’t know who will be in this game yet, but WC games, especially in the knockout stages, are ALWAYS exciting.

Ok, I was going to add a few more things about our preparations, but this has gotten ridiculously long for one post, so I think I’m going to stop here for now. I hope you all haven’t run away! I should be able to post more this weekend. Please stay tuned!
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:28 PM   #17
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Hey, the comments about England are fine. I gave up following our national team a long time ago (I think 1998 if I remember right? ) There's only so much disappointment you can take and I don't think we play particularly well either. I suspect they'll get hammered by Italy if I'm being honest... I know, not very patriotic!

Reading this has taught me a lot about Brazilian geography. I'm ashamed to say I only really knew about Rio... I'm looking forward to learning more through your travels....
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:44 PM   #18
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Thanks for the geography lesson on Brazil. Like you and Cheryl, I only knew where Rio was. I did know about the spot where the two rivers met as a friend of mine from college saw this a few years ago and posted a picture on Facebook. It was really cool and I'm sure it is probably more awesome in person!
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:11 PM   #19
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The trip sounds amazing. I can't believe you'll be starting in Manaus-- talk about jumping right into the jungle! From what I've read, the humidity is really intense--maybe not so bad in winter, but I'm thinking it'll be worse than what you're used to! I've never been to Brazil, but almost moved there permanently when I was a kid. They were just building Brasilia at that time and asked my step-father to be a part of the new national orchestra planned for the city. He accepted the job and we were in planning mode to move, but they had so many delays with building the city that the deal fell through. I've read several books about the pink dolphins in the rivers in Brasil-- hope you get to see them. The great thing about flying to Brazil is-- no jet lag! Flying straight south has its merits.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:13 PM   #20
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The sounds fabulous! I can't wait to learn so much from your TR!


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Old 05-02-2014, 09:58 PM   #21
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You all will cover quite a bit of Brazil in this trip. I've always thought Brazil would be an interesting country to visit. I can't wait to learn more and virtually visit through you.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:33 PM   #22
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You have some great games on that list!! And love the cities you chose - better than going to Rio I think. Everyone does that!
Your report is reminding me of some of the good, and not so good, moments of the last WC. We're so excited at our house for the games to start!
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Hey, the comments about England are fine. I gave up following our national team a long time ago (I think 1998 if I remember right? ) There's only so much disappointment you can take and I don't think we play particularly well either. I suspect they'll get hammered by Italy if I'm being honest... I know, not very patriotic!

Reading this has taught me a lot about Brazilian geography. I'm ashamed to say I only really knew about Rio... I'm looking forward to learning more through your travels....
I'm glad to hear you were not offended by my comments. I have learned a lot about Brazilian geography through planning this trip too. It's pretty crazy that it's such a huge country, but it is not very commonly known aside from Rio and the Amazon. I guess it's kind of like Russia... in my mind Russia is Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Siberia. Obviously it's so much more than that, but that is all I really know of it. Good thing the World Cup 2018 is in Russia - I can learn about that country too!

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Originally Posted by KMB733 View Post
Thanks for the geography lesson on Brazil. Like you and Cheryl, I only knew where Rio was. I did know about the spot where the two rivers met as a friend of mine from college saw this a few years ago and posted a picture on Facebook. It was really cool and I'm sure it is probably more awesome in person!
I have seen it on a show on TV (that was way back before we were even talking about going to Brazil), so when I figured out that it was in a city we were planning to be I was really excited! I think it will be awesome.

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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
The trip sounds amazing. I can't believe you'll be starting in Manaus-- talk about jumping right into the jungle! From what I've read, the humidity is really intense--maybe not so bad in winter, but I'm thinking it'll be worse than what you're used to! I've never been to Brazil, but almost moved there permanently when I was a kid. They were just building Brasilia at that time and asked my step-father to be a part of the new national orchestra planned for the city. He accepted the job and we were in planning mode to move, but they had so many delays with building the city that the deal fell through. I've read several books about the pink dolphins in the rivers in Brasil-- hope you get to see them. The great thing about flying to Brazil is-- no jet lag! Flying straight south has its merits.
What a shame that your move fell through! I'm sure it would have been quite an adventure! I've looked up the humidity levels and temps for Manaus in June, and it is almost right on par with what we experience in Savannah in June/July. Maybe a couple % more humidity, but when you are in the 80s and 90s% humidity, one or two percent more is not really noticable. I'll be sweating like crazy regardless. Good thing I know from living here how much water I need to drink to stay safely hydrated. (Basically constantly drinking water ) I am more worried about the soccer players who will be playing there. I can handle pretty severe heat, but Lord knows I will definitely not be running in it! I too have heard about the pink dolphins and hope to see them! I believe they can generally be found around Manaus.

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The sounds fabulous! I can't wait to learn so much from your TR!
Thanks!

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You all will cover quite a bit of Brazil in this trip. I've always thought Brazil would be an interesting country to visit. I can't wait to learn more and virtually visit through you.
That is definitely one of my favorite things about the World Cup - getting to travel to all different regions of a country and really get a feel for it. It was really interesting to see so many different parts of South Africa in 2010, and I think it will prove just as interesting in Brazil.

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Originally Posted by cubfancolleen View Post
You have some great games on that list!! And love the cities you chose - better than going to Rio I think. Everyone does that!
Your report is reminding me of some of the good, and not so good, moments of the last WC. We're so excited at our house for the games to start!
Thanks! I am so excited for the games to start too!!! I can't believe it's already May. They will be here before we know it. June is just going to be nuts. We're going to the send-off game where the US will play Nigeria (our last game before the WC) in Jacksonville the weekend before we leave for Brazil. I am so ready!
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:42 AM   #24
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I'm glad to hear you were not offended by my comments. I have learned a lot about Brazilian geography through planning this trip too. It's pretty crazy that it's such a huge country, but it is not very commonly known aside from Rio and the Amazon. I guess it's kind of like Russia... in my mind Russia is Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Siberia. Obviously it's so much more than that, but that is all I really know of it. Good thing the World Cup 2018 is in Russia - I can learn about that country too!
I wondered if you'd be heading there. I really hope things quieten down before then, as right now it's not good with everything happening with Ukraine. I would like to go to Moscow and St. Petersburg one day. I enjoyed the World Athletics Championships in Moscow so much last year that I added the city to the list, but it will be a while before we get there - the political situation needs to calm down a lot before I'll even consider venturing there.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:38 PM   #25
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I wondered if you'd be heading there. I really hope things quieten down before then, as right now it's not good with everything happening with Ukraine. I would like to go to Moscow and St. Petersburg one day. I enjoyed the World Athletics Championships in Moscow so much last year that I added the city to the list, but it will be a while before we get there - the political situation needs to calm down a lot before I'll even consider venturing there.
Yes, I really hope Russia will get it together and be more stable by 2018. I can absolutely understand why you of all people would be hesitant about going there, with what you had to endure in Egypt! Politically unstable countries are definitely scary.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #26
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Thanks for the map and explanation. I feel like I could fake my way through a Brazil geography discussion now!
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:50 PM   #27
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I dint know very much about Brazil until now. Heck, I didn't even know pink dolphins existed! We're excited about the World Cup in our house too. I'm looking forward to hearing all about this adventure!
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:05 PM   #28
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Thanks for geography lesson about Brazil. Always felt that Brazil deserves a pavilion in EPCOT.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:09 AM   #29
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Thanks for geography lesson about Brazil. Always felt that Brazil deserves a pavilion in EPCOT.
Am I remembering right that they had one in the Millennium Village? I seem to recall they did and we came away thinking theirs and Sweden's were the best.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:20 AM   #30
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Great plans! What a great trip this is going to be!
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