Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Welcome to Rio!

(This post was written last Friday, but we just got internet at home, so I'm posting today!)

Jimmy and I have landed in Rio de Janeiro, where we’ll be posted for the next three years.  (As an aside – so you don’t think we jettisoned the boy and dog as excess baggage, they are both enjoying family time in the US.  I’ll return to SC in a couple weeks to bring them both back with me, in time for Mac to start school.)

The arrival in Rio was not as smooth as we would have hoped.  Jimmy and I were on different flights (he was on his official government ticket on one airline and I was on a frequent flyer ticket on another airline so that I can use my official ticket when I return with Mac and Leo).  My flights worked like clockwork.  We boarded on time, we left on time, we arrived a few minutes early and my luggage made it to Rio.  Jimmy didn’t have the same luck.  His original flight was delayed by several hours due to bad weather (which would have meant missing the connection to Rio) so he got the last seat on another flight.  He got conflicting information about whether his luggage would be transferred to the new flight, but what can you do?  His connecting flight to Rio ended up being late, so I arrived 30 minutes ahead of him instead of 30 minutes behind him as planned.  And alas, his luggage did not arrive. 

Jimmy doesn’t pack his carry-on the same way I do.  I had two full changes of clothes in my carry-on.  I will never be stuck somewhere without clean underwear and deodorant.  And clean socks.  And 3 ounces of my beloved Lubriderm.  And my electric toothbrush and Sensodyne.  Jimmy packed his running shoes and his baseball glove in his carry-on. 

After we dealt with the missing luggage at the airport (UPDATE:  3 suitcases arrived Saturday and the fourth suitcase arrived Sunday), our sponsor took us to a wonderful grocery store where we got some essentials for the next day or two and then to the drugstore so Jimmy could buy a whole new set of toiletries.  (UPDATE:  We washed his underclothes and dress shirt that he'd worn on the airplane, ironed the shirt and he wore the same outfit back to the office on Friday.)

Then we were dropped at home for a few minutes so Jimmy could freshen up before going into the consulate.  I chose not to go in with him – I’ll go tomorrow – and so I’ve unpacked all my suitcases, taken a little nap, read and finally showered.

As some of you know, we are living temporarily in an apartment while the residence undergoes some renovations.  The apartment is much larger than I’d imagined from the photos and is quite lovely with the residence furniture they’ve moved over.  It’s such a novelty to not have the same furniture and fabrics that we’ve had the last 17 years!  I wish you could see all the beautiful lamps in the apartment.  Oh my gosh, they aren’t those horrible brass or glass things that everybody around the world has.  They’re gorgeous!  
The apartment has three bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a powder room, living room, dining room and kitchen.  The master bedroom also has a study attached to it.  There is a small balcony that runs along the front of the apartment with sweeping and stunning views of the Lagoa and the mountains called Morro Dois Irmaos.  When I say it’s stunning, I mean it’s STUNNING.  I wish you were sitting on the couch with me right now, enjoying the view and my nice lamps.  That will not get old.  We cannot see Christ the Redeemer from our apartment, or at least I haven’t found it yet from any of the windows.  The complex we’re in has a lot of great amenities but I haven’t checked them out yet except from the window.  I can see the tennis courts and basketball court from Mac’s room, and I know there are pools somewhere down there.

It’s been a very dreary, cool day in Rio.  I can tell you that after only having seen Rio in the brilliant sunshine, when it really sparkles, Rio in the rain is less sparkly.  With that said, the 70-ish degree temperatures have been a lovely respite from the 100-degree weather we experienced earlier in the week in DC.  (UPDATE:  After the first dreary day, the sun came back out and we had a fabulous, gorgeous weekend that we spent outside.  More to come on that.)

FINAL UPDATE:  Today is the official Fourth of July party so I'm off to have my nails touched up.  I do not intend to leave this apartment tomorrow morning so I will update on the last week of activity.  Until then, I leave you with a panoramic shot from our balcony.