Katie: taking a random shot of alcohol given to me by a Brazilian guy, then being cheered on by the 20 or so others who were watching.
Lauren: witnessing the aftermath of Brazil’s shootout win over Chile in the Round of 16.
Alyson: MY VACATION IS OVER, OKAY? STOP ASKING ABOUT IT. (I got to see the new floors in my condo, so that was pretty exciting.)
Lauren: spending the entire day laying on the beach.
Katie: spending the entire day laying on the beach.
Alyson: spending the entire day on airplanes and in airports. It was 23 hours of fun! I particularly enjoyed my first flight (Recife to São Paulo), where my seatmate snored incessantly and elbowed me in the head, and my last flight (Miami to Detroit), which featured an exuberant group of 40some teenagers on their way home from their youth group’s mission trip to Belize. I also really liked the meals served on every flight: all of which were a clever take on a ham and cheese sandwich! It wasn’t redundant at all!
Katie: the fantastic view at, Beijupira, the restaurant that overlooks Olinda. After returning from the game, jumping into the pool in our clothes (just because we were already soaking wet) and showering, we went there for passion fruit Caipirinhas and dinner.
Lauren: when we were at the American Outlaws party (the super-dedicated USA supporters group took over an entire bar and then marched to the stadium) before the USA/Germany game, Alyson went to the bar to buy shots and just came back with an entire bottle of Jack Daniels. ‘Merica.
Alyson: seeing all of the USA fans at the match and around town all day. So much red, white and blue. I don’t know why the popular belief that that Americans don’t like soccer continues to persist. We brought it, my friends. The American side was very well represented in the stands and on the Metro and in that bar where the employees will probably never recover from being subjected to hours of chanting soccer fans and Bruce Springsteen being played on repeat.
In preparation of Thursday’s big USA/Germany match, we took it easy. By take it easy, we mean that we hung around the hotel all morning and then spent the remainder of the day preparing for USA/Germany by:
a. watching a lot of soccer in various Olinda establishments while priming our livers with many, many Caipirinhas
b. taking a trip to the mall to pick up our last set of tickets, check the stock of basically every store for face paint, become enraged (again) at the lack of World Cup apparel available in the host city of what is arguably the world’s biggest sporting event and buy a Brazil jersey.
Katie: having our purchases automatically gift wrapped at the toy store in the mall.
Lauren: when Alyson was drunk at the mall.
Alyson: consuming shots of tequila without vomiting in someone’s shoe, blacking out or getting lost at the mall. I also loved running into a few groups of people we had already met. It’s happened a few times now and it always a little bit shocking: there are thousands of soccer fans here for the World Cup and yet we manage to bump into people we’ve chatted with before (Lauren even stepped onto a bus on our way to the game and a man we had chatted at during dinner one night yelled, “hey! Hockey girl!”).
USA/Germany. We finally have the chance to cheer on our countrymen in person. Today.
If you’re stateside, drape yourself in the stars and stripes and watch the match at noon on ESPN.
Yesterday was our epic journey to Natal. We took a four-hour ride to Natal, watched the game and then travelled five hours back to Recife. So, basically, we spent the entire day sitting.
Katie: Finally not having the team that we were rooting for lose! A close second was listening to a group of Irishmen narrate a Brazilian crime drama that was playing on the satellite television on our bus.
Lauren: The game. It was the only good thing of the whole day.
Alyson: When our lengthy bus ride finally ended and Lauren suggested that we needed to be checked for bed sores. Also the double rainbow we saw on our drive back to Recife.