astudyof contrast

a blog by ryan tauch

Rio 2016: Arrival

“I don’t know how to put into words everything that has gone on the past 48 hours, it has been one long whirlwind to get down here but well worth it. There’s nothing like being able to experience something only a handful of people will ever experience in their lifetime. Rio 2016 is just that.” -August 7th

Nervous because of all the stories and media scares told to us since booking the trip, I don’t think any of us knew what to expect but excitement for the unknown trumped all that-- for me at least. I remember walking out the airport and just seeing a whole other world I was eager to explore. The first thing you notice are all the military men standing guard, driving by the truck loads…not a big help to put those nerves to ease. But soon you look at your surroundings and notice the hills and foliage surrounding the place. Every place in Rio has a view.

We took an Uber from the airport to our Airbnb’s and got settled in. Where do these Americans go when they land in a foreign country? To find a peace of home, so off to the USA House we went. The USA House was located right on Ipanema, not a bad place to start. Now that I think about it, I started the trip and ended the trip in Ipanema…we’ll get to my love for Ipanema later. The USA House is one of the Houses that are closed off to the public unfortunately, so the only portion we were able to get into was the store part. If you’re a lover of USA gear, this place is heaven and slightly dangerous to your pocket book… do people even say pocket book anymore?

Right outside the House and along Ipanema just so happened to be where Cycling was passing through and we were fortunate enough to catch out first Olympic event for free and just hours after landing! You can’t write it up any better than that. Although, it only lasted for about a minute or two, the excitement felt for those minutes were well worth it and something that I will remember forever.

Finding a place to eat was next on the agenda. T.T. Burger is where we ended up (Brasilians apparently are big into burgers), it was this happenin’ little burger spot that yelped recommended. The line never stopped while there, I think it actually just got longer. The food was good but not great, I come from Houston, Texas, good luck trying to impress me with a burger! We then set off to walk Copacabana, all 4 kilometers of it. There are tons of people walking about, tons of street vendors trying to sell you things and the beautiful Copacabana as the backdrop. One thing I had to find while at Copacabana was where they were filming the Today Show, I’m a low key avid watcher in the mornings and I knew they were out here somewhere! It turned out the set was all the way at the far end of Copacabana, so it took all 4 kilometers to get there.

After finding out where it was and when they started filming, Mission: Get on National Television was put into full swing.