When you imagine your honeymoon, do you think of picture perfect beaches, luxurious pampering and steamy romance? That’s exactly what I was expecting of our trip to Brazil. Boy, did I get that and a whole lot more!
But before we get to Brazil, let’s back track to Jamaica our starting point. After lazily rising from our slumber at about 9:00 A.M. Monday morning, the day of our flight, something tells me to take a look at our tickets. Pretty routine check. After all, "The Time Nazi” (my husband) had already confirmed that we should be leaving for Brazil at 8 P.M. from Montego Bay. We had an entire day to tie up loose ends and drive down in time to make our flight. And The Time Nazi is never wrong, right? Wrong! A quick glance at our tickets revealed that our flight from Montego Bay to Atlanta was at 2 P.M. WTF?
You guessed it, I panicked! There’s no way we were going to get anything done and get to Montego Bay on time. Not even our suitcases were packed! I was running around the house, like a chicken without a head, in typical Lecia style. And, then there was my husband, The Time Nazi who is never ruffled. There is a solution to every problem, so without skipping a beat our plans were rearranged. He would go on the road as planned, I would pack, and we would now fly down to Montego Bay. Problem solved.
My regained composure was short-lived as our flight left Kingston (Tinson Pen) at 12:20 P.M. and at 12:10 P.M. there was still no sign of hubby. The panic attack began. Scrreeeeccch. I heard the slam of the car door and immediately sprung to action. In less than a minute all the suitcases were packed, and we were driving (if it can be called that) to Tinson Pen.
I won’t attempt to describe the next 10 minutes on the road, save to say, I mumbled fervent prayers to the lord that I was not yet ready to die! Apparently, they were answered because nothing short of a miracle could have gotten us safely to Tinson Pen. As I alighted from the vehicle, I glared at the crazed taxi-driver masquerading as my husband.
Lesson number 1: always, always, double-check your tickets and make note of the times for all flights. My hubby wasn’t entirely wrong; the flight from Atlanta did in fact leave at 8 P.M., if only we were leaving from Atlanta!
With one minute to spare, we caught our flight to Atlanta and hours later we would soon be en route to Brazil. Brazil is 10 hours away from Atlanta! That’s 10 hours in cramped economy which was perfectly fine for me, but merciless on my hubby’s long legs. After four movies and endless reruns of Two and a Half Men, we were finally there! And it was a whole other day!!!
Lesson number 2: chances are if your ticket costs are astronomical, it's highly likely that you will be flying into an entirely different time zone, so be prepared for long hours of flight! If you can, be sure to upgrade to first class! It’s worth it!
Of course, before we went to Brazil we knew Portuguese was the primary language, but surely there must be English-speaking individuals. After all, the rest of the world has an obligation to learn English, so that they can communicate with us English-speaking people, correct? Wrong again! Nobody and I mean nobody at the airport spoke English!
From attendants at the information desk to police officers, they all greeted us with bright smiles and blank stares. They were all willing to help, mind you, but we just couldn’t understand each other. Finally, a man came up to me declaring that he "love Jamaica mon!” He lent us his phone, and we were able to call the lovely folks at the Breezes, Buzios who were expecting us from Monday! They quickly arranged to send pick-up for us. Soon we were on our way to Buzios!
Lesson number 3: know your arrival date! It sounds silly, but I didn’t actually realize that the different time zones would have taken us into another day! Furthermore, our hotel was booked from Monday so it was entirely our fault there was no one at the airport to meet us!
Our escort did not speak English which freaked out The Time Nazi who, by the way, is also a control freak. It was only after I pointed to the first billboard of our hotel that he started to relax.
The ride from the airport to Breezes hotel was two hours, but the roads were great, and we enjoyed the scenery. We were enthusiastically greeted at the hotel, given the keys to our exquisite bungalow and ushered to our rooms like super, super VIPs. Such was the treatment for our entire stay.
Myth: you know how they say you do it like bunny rabbits on your honeymoon? well… if your trip is anything like ours, you’ll crash. For the next three days, with the exception of food, absolutely nothing was powerful enough to get us out of bed, and believe me it wasn’t because we were doing it.
Somewhat recovered, it was now time to explore the beautiful Breezes property and book some tours to see exciting Brazil. The property was amazing. One of its unique features is a pool which runs like a snake throughout the entire property. It’s spectacular! We also enjoyed miniature golf (I won), bowling (I won again) and air hockey (Yes, I won).
However, there was no contest in the game of archery. Not only was hubby the master of archery, but he gained the open admiration of everyone on property who saw him aim and fire. No target was too small. This man was born to shoot (note to self). Meanwhile, my arrows were all over the place. I was a hazard to myself and others. I shamefully sulked away in defeat.
Most notable among our tours were our visits to the statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), located in the Corcovado Mountain overlooking the city of Rio de Janerio, the world-famous Copacabana beach, and the stadium for arguably the biggest carnival celebrations on earth.
One thing to note about Brazil is there will be beef and more beef. Beef will be served for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner. Thankfully, our hotel also provided a tasty range of other options including the delicious Japanese restaurant to which my hubby was addicted. Though not usually a lover of pastry, I was shameless in my consumption of what I can only describe as the most delicious pies on earth and Jell-O (no you did not read wrongly, I do mean Jell-O)
Learning the language (well, kind of)
Did I mention that no one spoke English? Well, this was true for the hotel staff as well. Of all the staff members, only one and half (and by half I mean a whole person who barely spoke English) could communicate with us. It was hilarious watching hubby, who was hell-bent on having long conversations with both staff and guests, highly animated in his best attempt at sign language. It was like watching a bad game of charades.
Of course, we wouldn’t be true Jamaicans if we didn’t teach a few Jamaican words, and our lovely friends wanted to know how to curse Jamaican! After teaching a few of our colourful expletives our morning greetings would take the following form:
Us: "Hey, what’s up?"
New friends: "Bomboc*&%t"
The exchange would almost always result in hysterical laughter followed by a touch of the fists. Let’s just say, I can only hope that they do not greet the next set of Jamaicans they meet with the same enthusiastic expressions!
The quaint town of Buzios is made for romance. The sunset was a brilliant blend of oranges, an inspirational fire alight in the sky -- like a beautiful symphony coming to a close. The magic of the town was powerful enough to quell my rising annoyance with hubby who was a tad too preoccupied with posting photos and updating his status. But like a great captain who knows how to avoid the tides, he would soon put the gadgets to rest; all was well as we basked in the world of sweet Samba music. And might I add, there's nothing like Samba to get you in the mood.
Moral of the story: expect the unexpected on your honeymoon! If you are lucky in love all you need is each other to have a fabulous time!