Monthly Archives: February 2014

Salvador de Bahia

salvador_de_bahia_02 We arrived into the port town of Salvador de Bahia on Friday, the day of Oxala which means God of Creation. I didn’t know much about this place, only that it would have a deep river of African history underneath a colonial Portuguese settled landscape. Over the few days I was lucky enough to spend in this culturally rich destination, I discovered a new and very deep love for what they call the Capital da Alegria, or Capital of Happiness.

 As we rode in the car to the historic area our hotel lived in, our amazing guide Conor O’Sullivan tells us how an Irish man ended up in the most African American city in the world outside the motherland. He took a 10 month backpacking trip through South America, found himself on a beach in Bahia and that was it. When he moved here in the early 80s he had $600 in his pocket and a return ticket to London that never got used. That is a pretty great first impression. 

 I think a comment on my Instagram that best describes this destination is a tropical Portugal. We strolled for the entire afternoon climbing up and down narrow cobbled streets where rows of houses are brightly painted in a sorbet of colors. Grand Baroque churches on every other corner. Each block a new sound of music, music flows here like the subways at rush hour. Drums, guitars, African instruments, music for the soul not for the name. Men sitting outside on the petite sidewalks playing dominos. They feel free, they feel happy, they don’t feel the bland taste yet of globalization. Maybe I didn’t know about Salvador da Bahia before because it’s better as a secret, a play for life and love.

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Keeping cool on the streets of Bahia in a white cotton Tibi poplin top that loved to dance in the wind, J. Crew capris, and Of a Kind D’Orsay flats

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Copacabana Palace

A look at the famous Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janerio The white walls call to mind the elegance of Paris…the tropical plants the sexiness of the Caribbean…and the location is one that could only be found in Brazil. No wonder this place is as famous as its name…it really does sparkle like a piece of coral washed up on the shore.

A look at the famous Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janerio    A look at the famous Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janerio A look at the famous Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janerio

 The famous “Copacabana” song, sung by Barry Manilow, was actually set at Copacabana nightclub in New York City…but was inspired by a conversation Manilow and fellow recording partner Bruce Sussman had at the Copacabana Palace.

A look at the famous Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janerio

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Rio de Janeiro

A tour of RIO de Janeiro by photographer Jamie Beck RIO… as colorful as the sunsets that are applauded each evening as the golden globe slips under the ocean’s horizon on Ipanema Beach. What a culture that celebrates life and living. From the bossa nova beat to the gorgeous beach bodies, everything in Rio de Janerio was bright, light, and fun.

We spent the afternoons laying on the beach, watching a world of men and women go by who are so comfortable in their skin no matter what the color, shape or size…I was inspired to love my body a little more and let go of all the details. The people of Rio just enjoy life and enjoy being. Men would walk by selling shrimp and lime, corn, watermelon slices, bikinis, and a variety of fresh fruit drinks. We walked along the beach, kicking back soccer balls  with the locals and drinking fresh coconut juice cut open for you moments before. One of the people we met in Rio de Janeiro said he walks to Ipanema Beach every evening to watch the sunset, an experience I would recommend over anything else; it was an urban paradise.

For me, the coolest thing about this city is Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer, visible from almost anywhere, standing tall watching over his people. It felt safe, the way you feel with your father, to be under his watch, your life witnessed. He watched us try Cipriani‘s on the rooftop of our hotel, explore the art museums, glide up the mount of Sugarloaf, dance at the Copa-Copacabana and play with pieces of Carnival. When we paid Jesus Cristos a visit, to see what he sees, we found a view that can only be described as heaven. White buildings rolling up and down lush forested hills until they run in to the beaches smiling out at the ocean. On the horizon islands dance endlessly between the seamless boundary of ocean and sky.

I felt like RIO gave me a gift, the gift of life.

A tour of RIO de Janeiro by photographer Jamie Beck

Staying cool in the heat & humidity in a MAIYET dress, Tibi mules and local beer

A tour of RIO de Janeiro by photographer Jamie Beck

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Iguassu Falls & Beyond

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… and oh, the falls. The beautiful nature of almighty water displayed in the grandest of dramatic fashion. God must have been truly inspired when he painted this masterpiece. Layers upon layers, walls among walls of  never-ending falling water. I stood on the footbridge in the center of it all, mist wrapping around me in a whirl and felt the freedom of letting go and floating away into the fog of whiteness. It was a breathtaking romance, a real rapture between power and might, and breaths of teardrops. Iguassu Falls, when witnessed by Eleanor Roosevelt, caused her to say, “Poor Niagara!“…and I think that says it all.

The best view of the falls, however, is underneath the falls! A real river safari, a true Brazilian adventure. We screamed, we laughed, we got totally soaked and begged for more. There are these moments in life when you sit back and say, “Am I really here right now?!” I knew when coming to Brazil I was going to experience a lot of color, culture for sure, but oh, the COLOR. Such a welcome escape from the cold gray winter days back home. Sitting on a log in the middle of the Bird Park, my eyes were feasting on the red, blue, yellow, pink, and green feathers flying around me. Colors so vivid and saturated you can’t help but stare in love. The bird park, a refugee camp for birds that have been injured or rescued to recover, was a real study of natural beauty

Cataratas, Brazil: This is what adventures are made of.

A walk along Iguassu Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world.

Alone in the natural wonders… if you stay here you can experience the falls before they open to the public. Wearing a white Tibi crochet dress

A walk along Iguassu Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world.

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