This spring I had the opportunity to race in Ironman Brazil, the Latin American Championship race for professionals. I travelled to this race with my mom. Let me give anyone considering this a fair warning… get your Visa well in advance. The trip was incredible, and it is 100% worth doing, but preparation is the key. We started looking into getting our visas about a month in advance, and ended up getting them from the consulate in Los Angeles during our layover on our way out of the country…talk about cutting it close! Anyways, my mom and I had an incredible trip. I was able to finish in second place and punch my ticket to Kona, so as bad as I wanted to win, my primary mission was accomplished. I want to write this blog to share some of the very cool things we go to experience while in Florianapolis, Brazil.
One of my favorite things during our trip was the litter of puppies that were recently born at the hotel we stayed at. Many cultures view animals differently from one another, but in Brazil they view dogs as part of the family, much like we do in the United States. I grew up with golden retrievers, and as luck would have it the litter of puppies at our hotel were goldens. Everything from their puppy breath, to their cute little eyes, and lovable snuggling make me feel at home during my stay. Lucky I suppose, but this one thing that I will always remember about this trip.
My plan was to stick with only cooked foods before the race, as I learned last December travelling to western Australia, the salad I had days prior to the race could have been the race ending culprit…… My mom and I ventured out to several restaurants and the main standard meal seemed to be a homemade style shredded chicken soup, bread, pasta Bolognese. There was this great restaurant called x where they made crepes with just about every filling possible. So several times I got a chicken stir-fry style crepe, a margarita pizza style crepe, and of course every night, a chocolate with strawberries and ice cream crepe for dessert!
I cannot finish this post without describing my favorite post-race drink too, caipirinha. After we returned home, we had a barbeque at our house with my parents, and my mom and I made several of these for Chip and my dad. It tastes sort of like a fresh margarita with lime juice but served more like a mojito. I hope they can go with us next time! These are of course drinks for adults, 21 and older. Please drink responsibly.
If you have the chance to experience the laid back, easy going, and welcoming culture in Brazil, I hope you take advantage. I would recommend it to anyone, and of course, travel safely!