Backstage after Rio de Janerio Carnival 2007

Whether you call it Marti Gras, Carnivale (Italian), Carnival or Fat Tuesday, today is a day to Dance to the Music – in the streets, all night long. And nobody parties better than Brazil.

The cablecar ride up to the top of Sugarloaf is thrilling but the views of Rio can't be beat

I may have left my heart in San Francisco but the rest of me, including my eyes and stomach I leave in Rio. Sorry SF, Rio is a prettier city by the bay (Guanabara Bay that is) and if you've ever experienced a real Brazialian Churrascaria or even a humble but yummy kilo restaurant you know I'm right.

I'm waiting for the Brazilian Fashion Police to arrive. Even office clothes tend to be very skimpy.

Traditional costume from the Brazilian colonial period reflected European standards and tastes

It was hot and the caipirinha were a little too refreshing the afternoon we visited the famous Corcorvado statue.

The wild extravaganza of Carnival (accent on the last syllable) is unsurpassed. The Rio Samba Stadium called the Sambadomo is a totally unique cultural phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the world’s biggest stage. Competing Samba Schools rehearse all year long to perform in the Samba Parade while others construct gigantic floats and design elaborate costumes. Compared to the Rose Bowl Parade, Rio’s Carnival is 10 times bigger (the parade literally lasts ALL night), with 10 times bigger floats and 10 times smaller costumes. OK, I could be a little off on my facts. The costumes are probably closer to 95 times smaller.

Foot-eye view in El Salvatore, Brazil.

The vast majority of people in Brazil wear simple (and very cheap) flipflops shoes.We used to call them thongs, but that means something else nowadays. Thongs are ever more popular in Brazil than flipflops (See my upcoming post)

Party on!