Please Let Me In

Lughnasa                                                              Waxing Honey Extraction Moon

Mark went to a hospitality industry job fair in St. Louis Park.  I took him, then went on out to Minnetonka Travel in Wayzata.  I picked these folks almost at random to help with the cruise, but I gotta say, they’re pretty damn good.

Today we set up the processing for our Brazilian visas.  The visa process has taken almost the same effort as booking the entire cruise.  When I first learned that each visa would cost $160, I had sticker shock.  This was what we would have to pay to get off the ship in Rio and then take a taxi directly to the airport.  $320 for passage from one form of transportation to another.  Of course, this is not the intent of the Brazilians.  They just want reciprocity for the way the US treats their citizens coming here.

Still, for us, whose 37 day cruise ends in Rio, it creates this very expensive transfer with no additional benefit.  So, we changed our minds and added two days in Rio after our cruise.  At least we’ll see a little bit of Brazil for our money.

Our travel agent has been to Rio and says it’s a beautiful, vibrant city, but also very dangerous.  I’m a bit dubious about how others see foreign cities since I’ve been many places considered dangerous and never had a problem, even so it’s foolish to ignore advice from someone who’s been on the ground there.  She recommends staying in the Ipanema Beach area, a redolent name for this of who grew up in the 60’s.  We’ll go to Sugarloaf and a Mardi Gras themed evening.  Which, Lori, the travel agent, said, “All the men will enjoy.”

The visa is the last difficult piece of business necessary to make this cruise happen.  The rest, checking out clothes, buying new luggage, deciding what books to take along (on the Kindle) do not require new skills.