What better day to recap the USA/Germany than exactly one year later? It’s better late than never and, truly, still a very vivid memory.
When our alarm went off on the morning of the USA/Germany game, we could hear the rain outside. Little did we know the rainy day we were in for.
We had made plans with a few other groups of Americans at our hotel. The plans were, basically: get up really early, eat breakfast really early, get to the train station really early, get down to the stadium really early, get to the bar really early. All while wearing stars and stripes over every inch of our bodies.
The torrential downpour made it hard to get cabs from Olinda to the train station but, eventually, that worked out. And, somehow, the cabs both made it to the train station despite the deep water covering the roads.
Our train ride was uneventful and made in the company of many other American fans. It was fun to see the presence of riders wearing the stars and stripes multiply with every stop.
If you were watching coverage of the game at home, you probably understood the scope of the weather situation better than we did. All we knew was to pack our raincoats and hope to stay dry.
After arriving at the stadium, we quickly abandoned that hope.
The bar where the USA supporters were meeting was at the other side of the stadium as the bus drop off, so we hiked around the stadium and beneath an underpass and there it was: a huge bar overflowing with Americans. And mud. There was so much mud.
Because of the lengthy and expensive cab ride to the stadium for the first match, we didn’t even consider taking cabs straight to the bar. So, it felt pretty awesome when we ran into a few others from our hotel who were dry and reported no problems taking a cab straight to the bar. Haters.
The bar was awash in red, white and blue. And rain. So much rain.
Our group formulated a multi-pronged attack on the bar. Two of us headed to one bar. Two headed to another bar. Three staked out a place that was almost inside the bar, just under cover, at the edge of the muddy muddy muddy parking lot.
The lines to the bar were crazy long, so it just made sense to buy a round of cachaça shots (which, it turns out, is a liquor that is much tastier in a caipirinha than taken as a shot) and a fifth of Jack Daniels.
Which may or may not have been passed along as we marched to the stadium.
We managed to arrive at the stadium in time to watch our team warm up (including a special shout out to the one and only Timmy Howard).
It was a temporary downer.
Not long after the final whistle, we realized (thanks to the screaming, dancing, shouting from our fellow American fans) that USA was moving on to the Round of 16.
The good news kept us warm on the train, and then the cab, back to Olinda.
Where we did a celebratory jump into the pool.
Why not? It wasn’t like we weren’t already soaked.
We cleaned up for dinner and headed up Olinda’s hills for dinner at Beijupira for what turned out to be one of our favorite meals of the trip.
To get to the restaurant, which is sort of built into the side of the hill, you take stairs and an elevator down. When you arrive, you’re treated to a stunning view of Olinda.
And an equally fantastic meal.
It was a grand way to end a very special day and, for Alyson, to end a very special trip. She flew out first thing the next day.
Lauren and Katie stayed for a few more adventures.