March 2011

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Intro

Already in love with Brazil after visiting in 2002 and again in 2009, I couldn’t wait for an excuse to go back — especially to Rio de Janeiro, one of my favorite cities in the world, and in my opinion the most beautiful.  This time, I thought, let’s go back for Carnaval!  And since we generally know by now that I’m mildly crazy, you likely won’t be surprised by my next thought:  if I’m going to do Carnaval — why not hit the three most famous Carnaval celebrations on the planet?  

After a quick stop in Manaus to see the Amazon and its amazing ‘meeting of the waters’, I started out the non-stop festa in Salvador da Bahia, known for hosting the largest street party in the world — full of raucous parades of trios electricos blasting music into the streets, each followed by colorful groups of traditional (and not-so-traditional!) dancers and party-goers.

My next stop was Rio de Janeiro, home to what is, by far, the most famous Carnaval of them all, complete with their very well-organized and extravagant parade through the purpose-built Sambodrómo.  Wanting to do more than just watch it there, I participated in it, joining a samba school and dancing and singing my way through — an indescribably fulfilling experience!

Journey Map

    LocationArrivalDeparture
    1Fort Lauderdale, United StatesMarch 2, 2011March 3, 2011
    2Miami, United StatesMarch 3, 2011March 3, 2011
    3Manaus, BrazilMarch 3, 2011March 4, 2011
    4Rio de Janeiro, BrazilMarch 4, 2011March 4, 2011
    5Salvador, BrazilMarch 4, 2011March 5, 2011
    6Rio de Janeiro, BrazilMarch 5, 2011March 7, 2011
    7Coral Gables, United StatesMarch 7, 2011March 8, 2011
    8Fort Lauderdale, United StatesMarch 8, 2011March 8, 2011
    9New Orleans, United StatesMarch 8, 2011March 9, 2011
    10Las Vegas, United StatesMarch 9, 2011March 9, 2011

    Featured Image

    Sambódromo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    After some seriously ridiculous Carnaval drama (which makes for a GREAT story and deserves its own blog post…), I am in costume, in line, and ready to parade through the famous Oscar Niemeyer-designed Sambódromo in Rio de Janeiro — dancing and singing “Os Doze Obás de Xangô” with my adopted samba school, Alegria da Zona Sul.

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    Sketches

    click here for more Sketches

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