Yep. That's exactly what happened to me. I researched house prices, nice neighbourhoods and average wages on day three.
The reason I went was the launch of my book In a Heartbeat (Num piscar de olhos in Portuguese) in Brazil. My wonderful publisher Ediora Charme organised a fabulous signing event for me and invited me to visit Rio. How could I resist?
Even the thought of an eleven hour flight with a seven-year-old didn't make me hesitate one bit.
Veronica Goes - one of the partners in Editora Charme - met us at the airport with her lovely daughter Julia holding a huge poster with my name on it. She's an amazing human being and I'm so lucky to have met her in person!. This is someone who's never before met me, has never even talked to me besides a few comments on my Facebook posts, and she treated me like a life-long friend. She introduced me to her family, took us all out to show us around, checked in every day to make sure we were fine and repeatedly asked us if we needed anything at all. Such a warm, kind person - I'm blown away!
|Ju, me and Veronica|
Just like her, most Brazilians are very warm, touchy-feely kind of people. They'll hug me without any reason at all, always be smiling and welcoming, and ready to help in any situation.
We spend most of our time at the beach.
May is not Rio's peak season - it's actually their autumn/winter. But the weather was gorgeous - very hot and humid! The beaches were not overcrowded so I could ogle the hot men without any problems.
It was our first time in Rio so we had to do all the touristy things like take the cable car to Sugar Loaf mountain (scary!!!)...
And feel at the top of the world once up there...
Visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer...
Try Acai berry smoothie...
It looks gross but I promise you it's very delicious!
We also drank green coconut juice straight from the fruit, walked along the black and white waves pattern on Copacabana, drank our weight in caipirinhas, went to a football match at Maracana... OK, that last one is not exactly touristy but I'm a huge football fan so it was unthinkable that I'll go to Rio and not visit Maracana.
I can honestly go on for ages! There's so much to do and see in Rio de Janeiro that 10 days were definitely not enough! I can't wait to go back next year.
Now, let's not forget I was there for work. It might seem like fun and games, but I had a very, very hard job to do - meet my readers, sign their books and be hugged to death by sweet, Brazilian women. Yep, it's a hard job but someone's gotta do it!
The day before the event I went to the bookshop where it would be held and couldn't resist taking a picture with the giant poster right at the front of the shop window.
How cool is that?? My very own gigantic poster! I must admit I was ecstatic, and yet nerves were starting to settle in. I've never had my own signing event. It's always been shared with other authors and being the sole focus of so many people's attention was frightening.
I forgot all about my nerves when we got to the event and everyone was so sweet! They were so happy to see me - some of the girls were literally shaking when they met me. I can't believe someone can get that excited about meeting me!
I also met the entire team working in Editora Charme and on my books. Brilliant, talented, smart women who inspired me to keep writing more books so that they can publish them all.
After everyone had their books signed, we sat down and had a chat. It was so much fun! We talked about everything, and laughed so much my cheeks hurt!
I had the best time and didn't feel nervous at all, all thanks to everyone who made me feel so at ease and so welcomed. I can't wait to go back for the launch of my next two books - Then, Now, Forever and Colour me Inside.
Till next time!! xx