The best part about my trip to Brazil was being able to spend some time with one of my best friends Raf. It was SO good to see him. He holds a special place in my family's heart. Raf is truly the most genuine, sincere person I know. He loves my family and we love him. I met his wonderful girlfriend "JuJu" who has a heart of gold just like Raf. We spent my birthday together and he took me to a bunch of different beaches and other sights in Rio.
This is a picture of Raf and I near "Favela Rocinha". This is the largest "shanty town" in all of Brazil. Raf had never been as close as we got to take this picture.
Raf and "JuJu"
I ate "Acai" every day except one. It was great!!!!
A nice surf spot we traveled to in Rio.
We all know the song...Copacabana.
On Thursday we traveled to Saquarema which is about an hours drive from Brazil. It is the home of the Brazilian National Volleyball Team. I have never seen miles and miles of white sand beaches and blue waters. No wonder they are so good at volleyball...who wouldn't want to train in this town.
This picture is directly across the street from their training facility. There is no end to this beach and the only people you see are about every mile or so.
Notice the beach courts on the right which is their facility. Practice and then a nice swim at the beach.
Next generation of Brazil athletes.
This is their trophy room which was pretty cool. Looks like I am about to run with the trophy.
Entrance to the main administration offices. Both walls were full of their awards.
We had to park outside and walk in. This is their training center strictly for volleyball. Town is about 10 minutes away. They have dorms, dining hall, laundry, pool, game room, weight training center, 4 indoor courts, 4 beach courts, a pond where they fish for sun, etc...pretty nice center.
Different beach on military base where Rexona trains.
I got to watch the Rexona professional team practice before they headed off to their semi-final match in Sao Paolo. For volleyball enthusiasts, this is Bernardinho's team. I don't think they would have cared if I took pictures but I just played it safe.
This is my view of "Corcovado" from my hotel room window.
Rodrigo took us up to the top. Pictured is Rodrigo on right and his best friend Igor on the left. Behind us are Ipanema/Copacabana beaches