Under the Ipanema sun




"I'll walk down Ipanema beach, have my picture taken, then post it with the caption: Girl from Ipanema," my close friend, April, said. 

"But that's MY idea!" I replied.

"Fine, fine!  We'll both have our Girl from Ipanema photo!" she said and we both burst out laughing.

That conversation took place four years ago when my friend and I had just decided we wanted to go to Brazil.  But because of budget (or lack of it thereof), work, etc. etc., we never really got around to booking the trip.  At one point, I felt sad at the thought that the trip may never ever take place anymore.

Until last year.

One hot November afternoon, I finally found myself walking down the Ipanema beach basking under the glorious Ipanema sun.  I was beside myself with excitement, drinking in all the colors in the beach whose popularity was also magnified by Brazilian bossa nova, Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema).

Olá, Copacabana!

  
"Her name is Lola, she was showgirl..."

It was as though Barry Manilow's song was on loop in my head as we stepped onto the Praia de Copacabana or simply, the Copacabana beach.  I know, I know.  What a cliche.  But what can I do?  I've been hearing about Lola since I was in my teens and to be actually setting foot on the famed beach in the famed song was just too thrilling!

TRIVIA:  The song "Copacabana" was conceptualized during a conversation between Barry Manilow and his co-writer Bruce Sussman at the Copacabana Hotel in Rio De Janeiro. 

But the "Copacabana" in the actual song refers to a night club in Cuba as described in its lyrics:  "...at the Copa, Copacabana, the hottest spot north of Havana."*

We managed to get to Copacabana an hour before sunset (we were on a city tour the whole day) and we wasted no time exploring the strip.