Archive | November, 2009

A Lot O' Lapa

lapa aqueductsSo you made it to Rio de Janeiro and you are attempting to explore all the great things that Rio has to offer. Besides the beaches and bikinis there are many other great things to see outside of Ipanema and Copacabana. While Lapa can be a dangerous area for the less traveled explorer there are plenty of great things to see. The biggest part to know about anywhere in Rio is that it is most wise not to explore any uphill traveling. Unfortunately uphill is where many of the favelahs are which, for the most part, leaves you as an easy tourist target. Sure Santa Teresa is one of the few exceptions and happens to be in Lapa and the stairs of Selarón are a beautiful sight to see but these explorations are best during the day. Those are the ‘debbie downers’ of Lapa but there is plenty of sin and fun to be had in the former red light district.

The beauty of the aqueducts is something to take in with awe, as you scarf down your street vendor meal and beer. Sure they sell liquor but I’m always a little leery about drinking out of the already opened bottle, a freshly opened can of beer will do it for me. I recommend you hit one of the street side cafés and enjoy the live music, drinks and snacks for a while because the fun doesn’t begin till after midnight. A fun game to play while you watch people walk buy is guessing if the prostitute is pre or post op, that or watching the American male tourists flirt with a ‘woman’ who is more than meets the eye. Ultimately the ‘woman’ will wait till the opportune time to get her money and have him spring for the love motel, and that’s when the real surprise will come because this sultry Chiquita hides her banana somewhere other than her hat.



Tincaps and Flashbacks

Fort Wayne's FinestSo you found yourself in Fort Wayne, Indiana and you are thinking “What the hell am I going to do here?” Well desperate traveler fear not for your favorite travel companion will steer you straight into an enjoyable drunken side-stepped staggering night. If it is baseball season, which is over for Fort Wayne’s beloved Tincaps, I recommend you go see the local team. They have a great stadium, inexpensive tickets and the necessity of any baseball game beer and dogs. If that doesn’t get you moving towards downtown I don’t know if you can be saved, because I have lost hope. Additionally, the downtown Fort Wayne area is no ghost town, while it isn’t a big city it has that feel to it in the downtown area which provides plenty of opportunities for a great night.

After you cheer on the home team, well their home team, find your way towards West Columbia St. for a collection of great bars and nightlife entertainment. There is the obvious choice of Columbia Street West on W. Columbia St, but I was carried away to a magical place of bright colors and bad haircuts. Ok so not everyone in this place was dressed like the 80’s but if you are feeling like letting loose 80’s style then Flashbacks on the Landing is the place for you. There is a host of great music and entertainment to be had with retro beats and clichés. In all actuality I really didn’t see any people dressed 80’s style, which is good because there was too much of the 80’s in the 80’s that we don’t want to tempt fate. The two nights I was there we saw the Tincaps out partying and a wedding party the other night with newlywed in full gown, to surmise I remember them coming in but I don’t remember me walking out, which usually means it was a good night.

After a fun-loving night I recommend walking around the downtown area during the day, the parks are a beautiful site to see. And if you end up waking up next to someone in the park, sit back and enjoy the view. Enjoy your Indiana travels because I can’t think of many other things to do in Indiana.

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A Drinking Guide to Rio de Janeiro

Whether you are at a fancy resort on Copacabana’s beachfront or in some hostel in Botafogo you need to know the ins and outs of drinking in Rio. This isn’t for the faint livered traveler with the khaki shorts, camera around your neck and sunscreen on your nose. No I’m talking to you the brave explorer with a liver black as night, rock hard stomach not from crunches but greasy street vendor food that doesn’t resemble what it claims to be and Havaianas on your feet, I’m talking to you.

We shall start where else but the national drink of Brazil, the infamous caipirinha (kai-pee-reen-ya). Every tropical coastal place has some fruity tasty drink that not only has an umbrella in it but should be drunk under one. Now I know this sounds like a frilly fufu drink but trust me this drink is predominantly made with a Brazilian rum like liquor named cachaça made from sugar cane. It is also know as pinga which refers to a guys umm banana in some Spanish slang, so when someone asks you to attend the pinga festival make sure you know if you are talking to a Brazilian or Puerto Rican – otherwise you might be surprised at what pops up. So what exactly is a caipirinha, well it is nothing more than sugar cane sugar, cachaça, crushed limes and ice all mixed together – yet creates something so delicious you will have to order a second and third. If the taste isn’t to your liking at first you can always ask for more sugar and adjust it to fit your taste buds. You can also order straight shots of cachaça but there is a difference between the cachaça that goes in your caipirinha and the cachaça that goes into a shot. If you get confused don’t worry the bartender should be able to assist you, and if not find your closest Brazilian and ask for some help and pay them with a celebratory shot as well.