Monthly Archives: January 2013

Vegas Shopping

Ivan and I woke up at 10 am on January 22, 2013.  We used the internet in the hotel room.  We left at 12:20 pm and headed to L.A.

We went to the Helms Bakery District which Thresa recommended to us. 

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We went to eat at La Dijonaise Café.  I had a roasted chicken sandwich while Ivan had a tuna sandwich.  The food was quite good.

We checked out the cool home furnishing shops at Helms Bakery.  Room & Board and H.D. Buttercup had some great stuff.

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We went to Xpress Tires because I felt the tires were low.  The front right tire had a nail in it and the back one was low.  So, we got the tire patched up and got air in all the tires. 

Ivan and I left at 3:30 pm headed to Las Vegas.  I drove us and we arrived in Vegas at 8:05 pm.

We went to the Paris Hotel and Casino for crepes.  Ivan and I each got a shrimp scampi crepe.  Next, we saw the hilarious show hypnotist Anthony Cools.

Ivan drove us back to the house and we went to bed.  Thanks for reading our blog.. hope you enjoyed all our adventures!

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California Adventure

Ivan and I woke up at 7 am on January 21, 2013.  We left the hotel at 7:40 am and started walking to California Adventure.

We went on lots of ride at California Adventure.  Ivan and I use the Fast Pass and it’s great not waiting very long for rides.  We rode the big ferris wheel (the moving carriage!), Soarin’ Over California and other cool rides.

We walked to Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney.  Keith and Thresa, who we met on our Alaskan cruise, met us there.  We started off with some cheesy garlic bread.  Ivan had a seafood salad while I had the pasta jambalaya with chicken, sausage and shrimp.  The food was tasty.  It was sooo great catching up with Keith and Thresa.  I totally forgot to get a picture of all of us though.  Next time!!

We went back to California Adventure to go on more rides.  We saw the parade with Pixar characters.

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Later, we met up with my old friend Jerry and his girlfriend Denise.  It was great to see him and meet his girlfriend.  We all had pasta for dinner.

We checked out the Mad T Party. 

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The bar had a cool table hanging down from it.  There was red lights on in this area and flashing drinks.  Ivan and I each got a flashing drink. 

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Ivan and I watched the Mad T band with Alice while Jerry and Denise went on a ride. 

We had a fast pass for Tower of Terrors, so we said we’d meet up with Jerry and Denise later.  The Tower of Terrors was lots of fun.  It was my first time riding this ride, but I’ve been on the one at Disney World.  It’s scary because you’re not sure if you’re going to fall or go back up.

We met up with Jerry and Denise at California Screamin’ and rode the fun rollercoaster.  It was cool riding it at night with all the lights on.

Ivan and I were trying to convince Jerry and Denise to watch the World of Color water show with us, but they said they were headed home. 

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We said good-bye and headed to the area for ticket holders – we got the tickets earlier in the day. 

The World of Color show is amazing with lots of Disney cartoons shown on the fountains with lots of lights as well. 

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It’s really worth checking it out.

After the show, we rushed to Toy Story and it was really quiet – we rode it twice in a row and then it was closed.  The park was closed so we walked back to the hotel.  It was a really fun day filled with rides, Disney characters and friends.

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Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Ivan and I were up at 4 am on January 20, 2013 for the half marathon.  Ivan ate oatmeal and we both got ready.

We left the hotel early and walked to the start of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  Ivan didn’t think it was that cold so he took off his long sleeve shirt.  He would definitely warm up while running.

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Ivan left to join Group B which would start a few minutes after Group A started.  I left him at 5:10 am and started walking towards Downtown Disney.

It was cold for me since I wasn’t running, but I’m glad I had my big jacket.

I waited in between the entrances of California Adventure and Disneyland for Ivan to run by.  I wasn’t sure what time he started.  I was signed up to get the text race updates on the phone. 

I saw Ivan later on and yelled at him.  He waved and ran on his way into Disneyland. 

I got a text message about Ivan’s progress.  I went to find the entrance into Disneyland but nobody knew where it was.  I went to the wrong side.. I headed to the left side where the Disneyland entrance is and walked inside.  It was weird seeing Main Street so quiet.  I saw Mary Poppins and chimney sweepers there.  I walked farther along the street and saw Tinkerbell. 

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Then, I saw the Disney Castle. 

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Ivan ran through California Adventure after Disneyland and then through historic Anaheim which he thought was lovely.

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I waited a few minutes in the VIP area which didn’t have any seats.  I didn’t see Ivan so I figured I missed him.  So, I thought I should head to the finish line.

It was a lot warmer now then earlier since the sun was out.   I walked to the finish line and sat down on the VIP bleachers seating area.  I ate a banana and made banana and peanut butter sandwiches for Ivan.  Ivan wanted to do 2 hours and it was 2 hours already, so I thought he would be by soon. 

I kept a look out for him.  A few minutes later, I saw Ivan and cheered him on.  I walked to find Ivan. 

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I congratulated him and saw his cool Tinkerbell medal.  He told me it was really cool running through Disneyland and California Adventure in the dark with just the runners.  There were also bands playing and lots of Disney characters.  He stopped along the marathon route to use the toilet.  But, he said the longest lines were the people who wanted to take pictures with the characters.

Ivan’s time was 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

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I was so very proud of him!

We walked back to the hotel to rest for awhile.  Ivan was thinking of taking a nap, but he ended up relaxing while he used the internet.

We walked to Bubba Gump for lunch.  Ivan and I shared salmon and a Cajun mahi mahi with grilled shrimp on top.

It was time for more relaxing in the hotel.

I drove us to Fashion Island where we checked out the home furnishings stores.  Ivan and I both liked the cool Room Service store. 

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I drove us back to the Red Lion Hotel.

That night, we walked next door for dinner at IHOP.  Ivan had a spinach, mushroom and onion omelette while I had a vegetarian omelette.

It was an early night for us since we were both knackered (tired).

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Anaheim

Ivan and I were up at 7 am on January 19, 2013.  We had breakfast at the house.  Lil Dave didn’t want to join us our trip since he wanted to spend time with his dad and his cousin Swedish Dave. 

We grabbed our suitcase and left at 8 am headed from Las Vegas, Nevada to Anaheim, California.  Ivan is going to be doing Disney’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I drove us for four hours.  We checked in to the Red Lion Hotel which is right near Disneyland.

Ivan and I walked around to find a restaurant for lunch.  Ivan wanted to load up on carbs for the race tomorrow so he found pasta on the California Pizza Kitchen menu.  I got a great vegetarian pizza with whole wheat crust.  Ivan had a salad and a Kung Pao spaghetti dish.  The food was great.

Later that afternoon, we walked to the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall where Ivan had to pick up his packet for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I went in line to get my stuff for the Chear Squad.  I got VIP which included a Disneyland pass (for either park), a Mickey clapper, blanket and anChear Squad shirt.  I will also get to go in the VIP area. 

After we walked around the Weekend Health Expo and grabbed some free Luna bars. 

Ivan wanted to walk around Downtown Disney.  He thinks it’s better than the Downtown Disney in Orlando which I agree.  It’s always cool to check out the LEGO Store in Downtown Disney since there are huge characters outside and in the store.  I really liked the Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie hanging from the ceiling.

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We walked back to the hotel.  Ivan and I used the internet while we watched tv. 

We wanted to go to Bubba Gump for dinner, but decided against it since we were too tired to walk a lot.  We walked to IHOP which is right next to the hotel.  Ivan had the tilapia while I had a tasty grilled chicken sandwich.

We came back to the hotel and called it an early night.  We’ve been sleeping early to get used to waking up early for the half marathon.

Source: Aladdin LEGO picture

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Back to Vegas

On January 13, 2013, we had breakfast at El Cardenal in our hotel.  A guy asked if we wanted hot chocolate and we said yes and he started stirring the hot chocolate in the pot.  It was really tasty.

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Ivan got the Escamoles omelette – an omelette with ant eggs.  I had an omelette stuffed with zucchini flowers and mushrooms.  Lil Dave got a banana oatmeal with more bananas on top.  The food was very tasty.  We were charged for the hot chocolate – the guy should have told us that before serving it to us.

We got a taxi to the airport at 11:10 am.  Ivan and I checked in and went through Security.  We sat down at a gate that was a waiting area until the gate was announced.

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Ivan used the internet and I worked on the blog.  The flight was supposed to leave at 2:18 pm, but it kept getting delayed.

The plane ended up leaving at 4 pm.  We arrived at 5:15 pm in Las Vegas.  My mom picked us up and took us to our house.  It was great to be back home. 

There’s more to our trip.. we’ll be going to Anaheim for Disney’s Tinkerbell Marathon in 5 days.

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Mexico City

On January 12, 2013, Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 7 am.  We had the free breakfast and then packed everything up. 

We left by taxi at 7:45 am and arrived at the airport at 8:30 am.

Our plane was supposed to leave for Mexico City at 10:37 am.  We did board the plane, but ended up in the plane for almost 2 hours while the plane was refueled.  Ivan thinks there was malfunctions that had to be fixed as well – we weren’t sure since they didn’t let us know.

The plane left at 12:30 pm.  Ivan and I watched tv shows and the movie Tormented during the flight.  We also slept a lot on the plane.  The flight was almost 6 hours long and we arrived at 5:15 pm.

Ivan booked a taxi and went outside.  We left for Hilton Reforma.

We checked in.  Ivan used the internet while I worked on the blog and watched tv in English.  It’s been awhile since the shows on the tv have been in English.

Ivan got a nice restaurant recommendation from the Conceirge.  We walked to Café de Tacuba.  A mariachi band was playing great Mexican songs. 

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Ivan and I got two strong margaritas to start off with.  We shared a lovely tortilla soup.  Lil Dave got banana taquitos.  Ivan got a Huachinaango Veracruzano which is a fish.  I got delicious Enchiladas de Mole Poblano.  It was great because the table next to us kept tipping the mariachi band, so the band played by us the whole time we were eating. 

We got a taxi to the Sheraton Hotel.  We went to the bar with the live music.  There’s a cover charge of 130 pesos per person for Sundays.  Ivan and I got two really weak strawberry margaritas which probably didn’t have tequila in them.  We saw the mariachi band play 2 songs and then they finished.  Ivan read online that this is the best mariachi band in Mexico City.   Too bad that we didn’t get to see the 11 piece mariachi band play longer since they sounded great.

A salsa band came on next which was pretty boring – so, we got a taxi back to the hotel.

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Pisco Ceviche

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got a taxi around noon on January 11, 2013. 

We went to have some lunch at La Mar

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Ivan read that they have good ceviche at this restaurant.  Lil Dave managed to get a banana ceviche which was oddly good.  Ivan and I shared the 5 ceviche sampler for a starter. 

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I really enjoyed the ceviche with soy sauce.  Our main course was tuna steak.  It was wonderful food.

Ivan and I walked down the street to El Mercado.  The menu was filled with lots of great things – too bad we can’t come back to try their sandwiches.  Ivan and I shared a passion fruit chilcano and a grilled octopus. 

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Their grilled octopus is supposed to be the best in the city, but Ivan and I both agree that the grilled octopus at Pescados Capitales was better.  The grilled octopus still tasted great.

We walked to the mall that was built right in the cliff.  We had ice cream at Laritza D’.  Ivan and I shared chocolate and strawberry.  Lil Dave got banana of course!  Ivan bought cheap headphones.

Next, we walked to the post office so I could mail postcards.  We got a taxi back to D’osma Bed and Breakfast.

Later that night, Ivan and I got a taxi to the restaurant Cala.  We had a reservation for later at 8 pm.  We went to the lounge for a drink and sat on the balcony with the sea right in front of us. 

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Ivan and I ordered two pisco sours: strawberry and one with passion fruit, lemon and orange.  My strawberry drink tasted better.

It was time for dinner.  We walked upstairs and sat on the balcony.  We got a lovely La Crin Malbec wine.  We started off with a salmon and apple mixture and Lima style Tiradito.  Both dishes were very tasty.

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Our main courses were tuna with a chutney sauce and salmon with soba noodles.  I picked our dessert which was a chocolate truffle tart which was delicious. 

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We had a terrific meal at Cala.  It’s worth the money for the view and the lovely food.

Lima is filled with great restaurants.  I wish we had more time to try more gourmet food.

Ivan and I walked to Ayahuasca Bar to get a drink.  We sat in the room with the black walls and the art that looked like kites on sticks. 

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Ivan and I each got a pisco sour.  We chilled for awhile and then walked back to the b&b.

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Lima Food Tour

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had the free breakfast at the b&b at 9 am.  I took a quick shower.

Lil Dave went out to explore Lima on his own.  He wanted to check out the beach.

Ivan and I were picked up by Sam at 9:45 am for the Capital Culinaria Lima Gourmet Tours food tour.  It was only us on the tour.

Our first stop was Tostaduria Bisetti.  This café picks their coffee beans individually and then roasts them.  Everybody had a cup of espresso.  Sam talked about the former corrupt Japanese president Alberto Fujimori.  He ended up in jail because of human rights violation.

The buildings in Barranco have to keep the buildings in the old style, so the Starbucks isn’t all green like it is in other cities – but the name is in black on a yellow building.

Next, we walked to the secret garden La Bodega Verde.  Ivan and I each had a lúcuma shake with milk and ice.  Lúcuma is a fruit that tastes like butterscotch.  It was a very tasty drink.

We walked to Sam’s nice BMW car.  He drove us to Chorrillos district and we stopped for a great panoramic view of the city.

Our next stop was the San Isidro local market. 

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Ivan and I got to try a raw scallop with lime at the Pescaderia “Sanchez” stand.  We also got try to a couple local fruits at a very organized and pretty fruit stand.

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Sam drove us to Embarcadero 41 Fusión which is a seafood restaurant in Miraflores.  A bartender talked about the different kinds of pisco and then showed us how to make pisco sour. 

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The drink  was quite tasty.

We took our pisco sour to a table in the back.  A chef instructed us on how to make ceviche. 

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We got to make our own ceviche which turned out great.  I made mine a little too spicy. 

Our last stop on the tour was Huaca Pucllana which is a place where you take special guests.  The King of Spain, Mick Jagger, Bill and Hillary Clinton have all visited this restaurant.  The cool thing about this restaurant that it’s right next to pre-Incan ruins.  It has a lovely view. 

Ivan and I got a Pisco Chilcano passion fruit drink which was sour and sweet at the same time.  It was good, but a bit odd to me.  The Chilcano is pisco sour with ginger ale.

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We got four dishes to try which were Parmesan scallops, Japanese grilled octopus, Peruvian tamale and causa (crab with potato and avocado). 

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Our favorite was the grilled octopus.

The four desserts came out next with warm rice pudding, lúcuma pudding, Peruvian-French cheesecake and a dulce de leche.  I really enjoyed the lúcuma pudding and the cheesecake.  Ivan liked the lúcuma pudding.

Wow, this tour was amazing!  It was great to try lots of great food and learn things about Lima.  I really recommend taking Capital Culinaria Lima Gourmet Tours if you’re ever in Lima.

Sam dropped us back at the b&b.  We chilled for awhile using the internet.

Later that night, we walked 3 miles since we were still stuffed from the food tour.  Ivan found a taxi and we drove to the seafood restaurant Pescados Capitales.

Ivan and I shared grilled octopus, Gandhi ceviche and grilled swordfish with mushroom risotto.  We got tasty Pisco Rubio drinks.  The dishes were excellent.  The Gandhi ceviche had a hint of Indian spice. 

We got a taxi to Barranco.  We went to the Ayahuasca Bar which is located inside a huge mansion. 

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It has the coolest décor inside.  Ivan and I were both too tired to get a drink, so we walked back to the b&b.

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Travelling all day

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:45 am on January 9, 2013.  We packed our bags up.

Ivan had to walk to the main part of Canas Vieras to find a taxi.  We left at 9:20 am headed to the airport.

Our flight from Florianópolis was supposed to leave at 11:10 am, but the plane was delayed so we left at 12:05 pm.

I was tired and fell asleep before takeoff.  I woke up when the stewards were passing out the peanuts.  Ivan and I watched a show on the laptop.

We arrived at Guarulhos (São Paulo) at 1:40 pm.  Some of the luggage came out about 30 minutes after we landed, but then nothing else.  We waited along with a half dozen people until 2:25 pm to get our backpacks.  That’s the longest we’ve ever waited for luggage.

Ivan and I checked out the screens to see where we had to check-in for our next flight.  We booked the flights separately, so we didn’t have connecting flights.  The flight wasn’t showing up on the screen, but we figured it was probably since the flight wasn’t until 6:50 pm. 

Ivan went on the internet and checked us in and found out the flight was at Terminal 1.  It was a Taca flight going through Avianca airline.  I kept checking the screen and finally our flight showed up.

We walked to the Check-in A area.  Ivan asked the guy at the Avianca counter what time the Lima flight check-in started.  He said 4 pm.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were all hungry.  I noticed restaurants earlier at Check-in C, so we went to check it out.  Ivan though Bar and Bistro looked good.  Lil Dave got a banana lasagna.  Ivan and I shared a vegetable soup and a penne with a pomodoro and pesto sauce.  The penne was nice and hot.

We walked back to the check-in desk at 4:30 pm and checked our backpacks in.

We left Guarulhos, Brazil at 6:50 pm.  Good-bye Brazil!  We were off to Lima, Peru.  The flight was almost 5 hours.  Ivan and I watched Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, New Girl, Lee Evans and The Mindy Project.  Our plane arrived at 8:55 pm.

The Immigration went by really quick. 

Ivan and I waited around for the taxi pick-up from the bed & breakfast that Ivan booked.  We waited for 15 minutes and nobody showed up.  So, we got a taxi from the Taxi Green counter.  We left at 9:40 pm for the B&B.

Ivan and I checked in to D’osma Bed & Breakfast which is in the nice Barranco district. 

Ivan and I decided to go to a restaurant Ivan booked a reservation for.

We got a taxi to Central Restaurant.  

Ivan and I ordered cocktails. 

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The bread stone plate came with different small unique breads with roasted butter, butter with salt on top and a great goats cheese and tomato dip. 

Our first dish was a tuna confit at 4 degrees which was really tasty. 

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Ivan said to the waiter that we were sharing and they served our dishes in two separate plates and both presented in a pretty way.

We were thinking of getting the Hot Ceviche but it was 79 Soles ($31 USD) since it came with langoustines. We also got a goat cheese cannelloni which was small (one cannelloni each), but tasted lovely.  

The main course was Salmon and Earth which was salmon with a mushroom risotto. 

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The salmon was perfectly cooked rare and crunchy on top – it went well with the creamy risotto.

I knew that we were too stuffed for dessert, but I always like checking out what goodies that are offered.  I really wanted to try to the goats cheese cheesecake.  We passed on dessert.  Good thing we did because we got desserts for free. 

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We were served two chocolates, flavored marshmallows, chocolates (mix of white and milk chocolate), jellies and a type of small cake.  It was a great end to a delicious meal.

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Caipirinha Beach

Ivan, Lil Dave and I went out at 2 pm on January 8, 2013.  We got a taxi to Jurerê.  We had lunch at Doce Magia which is a pay per kilo buffet.  The food was alright.

We walked along Jurerê Beach. 

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It was another overcast day.  The water was really cold.

I noticed a stall selling acai.  Ivan and I shared an acai with granola. 

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Lil Dave got a acai with banana.

We walked further along the beach.  Ivan saw a lounge, so we decided to go sit down at Taiko which is about half way down the beach.  Ivan and I ordered caipirinhas with yellow fruit.  The drinks were the best caipirinhas we’ve had with pineapple, mangoes and passion fruit. 

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We relaxed and later had another round of caiprinhas. 

We walked back to the street to find a taxi, but there wasn’t any around.  Ivan spotted a mini bus.  It was going to Canas Vieras, so we hopped on.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I started walking back to the guest house.  I noticed some cool art.

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Ivan and Lil Dave used the internet while I worked on the blog.

For dinner, we went to Restaurant TriLegal.  Ivan ordered the salmon with quido which came with pickles.  Eww, we both hate pickles.  The salmon wasn’t as good as the fried cod with shrimps dish we had the other day.  It was good though.

We walked around to find something to do.  Ivan heard live music that was playing above Bob’s Burgers.  It was Route 66 bar which had a live band.  The song the band were performing was “Billionaire” by Bruno Mars.  Ivan and I each got a caipirinha which will be our last caipirinha in Brazil since we’re leaving for Lima tomorrow.  We stayed awhile listening to the music and enjoying our caiprinha.

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