This entry was originally published on funkypeopleonline.com in November 2009. It has been edited to fit this format.

Season Greetings,

A new season is upon us here, and we wanted to drop a few lines about our recent return tour to Brazil. Once again it was an incredible time shared by those that attended. Special thanks to our travel vendors and tour guide Armondo of Trendsetters Travel for their attentive care with our group in Rio de Janiero; we can never get enough of this place. The accommodations at the Mar Palace Copacabana Hotel were excellent.

Since our previous 2007 visit we can see lots of change coming to Brazil. It is undergoing an economic boom of sorts. After years of an average to below average lifestyle for many citizens, there’s a new air of social improvement here now. Crude oil and natural gas deposits have been discovered off the Brazilian coasts and mining of those resources are bringing the country into the upper tier of the world’s economies. Technology companies are now investing here and the alternative fuel, Ethonal, is becoming a huge export. Lots of new construction for schools, residential housing and hotel buildings can be observed in several of the tourist centers and popular Rio neighborhoods. There’s even plans for a huge expansion of the mass transit system and public internet here. Progress and development are exciting, but still it’s the people, the culture, the food, natural beauty and atmosphere that provide the unique chemistry to this great locale. Each visit begs you to find new and exciting activities or in our case appreciate the older classic ones. There’s just so much to do and see here you cannot go wrong with your time.

Special congratulations go out to Ramona and Melecio of New Jersey on their engagement at Corcovado mountain! This was a great moment and we wish them all the best for a happy future together. Yup, Rio de Janiero is definitely one of the most romantic places in the world. The group managed to get a few good moments atop Sugar Loaf Mountain and at the Christ Statue, even though the weather was not always cooperative during this stay. One cannot say enough about the gems you come across at the weekly Hippie Fair at General Osório Park in Ipanema. This is one Sunday market place where good negotiation skills for your most desired items come in handy. It is heaven for visiting tourists and shoppers with an eye for leather goods, jewelry and art or paintings. Spend only a few hours at this outdoor bizarre and your bags and arms will be stocked for the return trip home. We may have had a shortage of great weather photos this go round, but me thinks we’ve got plenty of souviners for our family and friends. Well done travelers, it’s time to go!!!

I didn’t see the need to post more photos from this destination, as we had featured soooo many great shots after our last visit. I’m sure by now, you can grasp our overall fondness and viewpoint about Brazil, just refer back to those ’07 pics or our first trip summary at anytime. I did, however, add three videos of the Las Vegas sytle, Plataforma Carnavale Dinner show the group saw this week! Thanks to Danny M. for the great footage!

Do expect us to bring more Funky People travel groups back to Brazil in the future, especially if Brazil is successful in their bids to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup Soccer Championships and the 2016 Summer Olympic games. Those announcements should be coming soon! Until then, we’re planning to visit a few other Funky places on our radar!

You can view the Brazil 2009 trip cabaret show vids at Brazil Vacation Tour ~ Oct 2009.

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