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David and Lance beat AMAZING RACE contestants to Selaron Stairs!!!

David at Selaron Stairs-Santa Teresa/Lapa
Lance at Selaron Stairs-Santa Teresa/Lapa

So we had a bit of a head start…..we have been coming to Brazil for many years!  The TV show, “Amazing Race” closed it’s season show last week in RIO. This show as per  TV  market research  has 25 million viewers each Sunday. The contestants flew into Rio and took the Bondie to Santa Teresa to  find the SELARON STAIRS!  Santa Teresa ROCKS!!!

Ok, for those of you who don’t know what the SELARON STAIRS are or who Jorge Selaron is…..read on!

Selaron’s own site:

http://selaron.net/Matos/english/selaron.htm

Taken from the MOSAICSOURCE.com web site quoting Mr. Selaron!

Who is Jorge Selaron?

“I was born in Chilli in 1947 and, after travelling, working and living in more than 50 countries, I arrived in Brazil in 1983. In 1990, I started work on my major masterpiece which, little by little, turned into the most original stairway in the world. It has 250 stairs and is 125 metres long.

In the beginning, everyone laughed at me I covered the steps in green, blue and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. As I worked, my profession changed from painter to sculptor, my hands covered in blood, calluses, irritating and in pain. Even though the work was difficult, I was passionate about it.

The rent was late, the phone was cut but every time I succeeded in finding some money, I bought materials and continued, obsessed and possessed. I worked without rest and I stopped when I had no more material left. When that happened, I painted paintings to earn some money so that I would be able to continue my work. Since 1977, I have painted and drawn over 25,000 pregnant women, my choice of subject due to a past personal issue. I have already painted more than 300 tiles and I have put much of my life into my masterpiece. I have invented a fantastic unique technique which consists of constantly changing the tiles. This gives a unique energy, and makes it a living, mutating work of art with over 2000 different tiles, collected in over 60 different countries.”

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How to get to the SELARNO STAIRS from Casa Cool Beans…..

http://maps.google.com.br/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Rua+Laurinda+Santos+Lobo,+136+-+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+20240-270&daddr=-22.91557,-43.18025+to:-22.91557,-43.18025+to:-22.91516,-43.17905+to:Rua+Joaquim+Silva,+87+-+Centro,+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+20241-110+(Hotel+Love%27s+House)&geocode=FXQ6ov4dCv1s_SnpjTPZnX-ZADEpuN0GGjtx0w%3BFQ5Wov4dJh9t_SltgWpEe3-ZADH7jvNC4dpyag%3BFQ5Wov4dJh9t_SltgWpEe3-ZADH7jvNC4dpyag%3BFahXov4d1iNt_SmrCHiqfH-ZADH9SaPyWNYP7g%3BFVVXov4d7iNt_SG88_OMQ6tJAylbULa0fH-ZADEjXQiWJ_kqPg&gl=br&hl=pt-BR&mra=ltm&via=1,2,3&dirflg=w&sll=-22.918061,-43.181226&sspn=0.010732,0.019205&ie=UTF8&z=16

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If you would like to make a donation to Selaron’s staircase, send your tiles to:

Selaron (Pinto Chileno)

Escadaria Selaron, No. 24

CEP 20241-120 Santa Tereza

Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Learning Portuguese at Casa do Caminho Language Centre

David and I had a GREAT experience this week; we took an intensive 1-week course in Portuguese at the CASA DO CAMINHO LANGUAGE CENTRE.    Marco, our instructor was SUPER!  Broken up into private classes, semi-private (2-3 students) and small group (<9 students) as well as levels A-C plus advanced conversation; the language centre really seems to have a good thing going.  Besides offering classes in Portuguese, English and Spanish, the centre is involved in all kinds of other activities.  The prime function of the school is to fund an orphanage!

From the Casa do Caminho website:

“The Language Centre is part of the umbrella organization Associação dos Amigos da Casa do Caminho, which is an NGO and social project in Xerém, RJ (45km from Rio de Janeiro). Your tuition fees are donations that go directly to fund these social projects.”

The have several fund raising things for sale at the Language Centre, one of which is home-made jams.  We have decided to feature these exclusively at our breakfasts at Casa Cool Beans….a good cause and good food!

If you wish to make a donation or sign up for one of their courses…you can not go wrong either way!

CASA DO CAMINHO LANGUAGE CENTRE

RUA FARME DE AMOEDO, 75 (IPANEMA)

(21) 2267 6552

http://www.casadocaminho-languagecentre.org/

Dolores THE "Buggy Tour Lady"

You might have read about DOLORES on TripAdvisor or seen her mentioned in the Guide Books….she exists and she is FABULOUS!!!

Lonely Planet states, “Dolores Leao is a lively guide who speaks English, Spanish, Italian and French.  Her Buggy Tours are highly recommended by many readers”.

When our clients come back from one of her 1/2-day or full-day tours they are ecstatic that they booked her.  She charges R$110 per person for 4-hours; 6-hours R$150; 8-hours R$180.  50% more if there is only one person.  Due to the size of her “buggies” her buggy tours can generally only accommodate three people.

Her tag line, “Buggy Tour- The best way to know Rio” is spot on.  Taking a tour with Dolores is the best way to know Rio.  All her tours are customized to YOU.  But she is eager to share secrets and tidbits along the way to provide you an “insiders” view.  Below are some guests of Casa Cool Beans about to embark on their tour with Dolores (in the middle).  For guests of Casa Cool Beans, she lives down the street so has quick, easy access to the Guesthouse.  But be careful to book early as she is very popular!  You do not need to be staying with us at Casa Cool Beans….simply ask the hotel or guesthouse where you are staying to contact Dolores for the booking….you will be glad you did!

Dolores "The Buggy Tour Lady"

Shopping-the best of the best! (Amazônia Soul)

How would you like to visit the first Amazon store of the world?  You can if you visit Rio de Janeiro!

More of a small bistro with art to purchase, Amazonia Soul is located in Ipanema on Texeira de Melo, 37.  This is on the south side of Praca General Osorio, where the Metro exit is located.  Consisting of GASTRONOMY, ART & CULTURE….this is really a charming store not to be missed.  Craving that Acai?  No better place to sample it than right here!!!  Want a unique piece of art from the Amazon as a gift for yourself or someone special….lots of choices here.  Grab a bite to eat from a list of items that are more than tantalizing…yummy!

CHECK IT OUT!  YOU WON’T BE SORRY!!!!

Amaxonia Soul

Teixeira de Melo, 37- Praca General Osorio

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro-RJ

(21) 2247-1028 or 2523-0270

Fall weather in Rio de Janeiro (March-May)

The weather is SO NICE right now in Rio de Janeiro.  I love it!!!  Proof is on the iPhone…:)…see below.  Most resources state that the fall starts out hot, rainy and humid (March) and ends mild and less rain (May).

From the RDJ.com website:

Rio de Janeiro Fall: March-May
March is one of the rainiest months in Rio de Janeiro. Fall in general is hot, with temperatures and humidity levels dropping slightly from the subtropical heat of summer. Rio de Janeiro weather in the later part of fall is one of the best times to visit.

So what are you guys waiting for?  Perfect weather is already here!

Rio de Janeiro is #5 Top Destination in the World

TripAdvisor’s Top 25 destinations in the World just came out… and Rio de Janeiro is #5!  No surprise, but there is some tough competition.  Rounding out the top five are #4-Paris, France; #3-Machu Picchu, Peru; #2-Sydney, Australia; and #1…..drum roll…..please……Cape Town, South Africa.  But enough about them….let’s get back to Rio….

#5-Rio de Janeiro
Whether your curiosity is piqued by the International Olympic Committee’s selection for the 2016 Games, or you’re heeding the call of the famous twin beaches Copacabana and Ipanema, Rio offers more than you can imagine, and offers it at all hours. With breathtaking views from Corcovado Mountain and breathtaking deals in the city’s endless malls and markets, Rio de Janeiro is a vacation paradise, whatever it is you travel for.
Don’t miss
  • Corcorvado
  • Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao d e Acucar)
  • Copacabana and Ipanema beaches
  • Santa Teresa
Plan your trip to Rio de Janeiro….(Casa Cool Beans is #1 in the B&B category below……)

Shopping-the best of the best! (chocolate….)

Yum…..one of our favorite indulgences…chocolate.  And Rio de Janeiro has some very good chocolate shops.  Three of our favorite are listed below.

CHEZ BONBON-chocolate gourmet

Oh my goodness…..whether it is a single piece of deliciously decedent chocolate, macarons, or a designer box of truffles…this store has it all.  Convenient location in Ipanema at Rua Barão da Torre, 247, loja B.

http://www.chezbonbon.com.br/

Chez Bonbon

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Cacau Show-Um show de chocolate

We are SO happy these shops are located all over the city (several shops just in Centro and Copacabana alone)…for an easy chocolate fix, regardless of the neighborhood PLUS they offer chocolate in so many varieties.  In addition to loads of great chocolate candies, they offer all kinds of hot and cold chocolate beverages, chocolate fondue, and even a variety of chocolate ice cream.  Truly a chocolate-lovers dream!  The Centro-Saara location is quite convenient to Santa Teresa; Rua Bueno Aires, 180.

http://www.cacaushow.com.br/

****    ****    ****    ****    ****    ****    ****    ****    ****

Chocolates Kopenhagen

Founded back in 1928, Chocolates Kopenhagen can now be found in over 60 cities and 275 locations featuring more than 300 products.  It was again our dear friend and colleague, Katia, who turned us onto this store and several of their tempting treats.  Chocolate lovers are not to miss!  Convenient locations in Ipanema (Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 197 AND Rua: Visconte de Pirajá, 550), Copacabana (Rua Xavier da Silveira, 40 AND R. Figueiredo de Magalhães, 131) and throughout the city.

http://www.kopenhagen.com.br/site/default.aspx

Chocolates Kopenhagen

Casa Cool Beans hits #1 on TripAdvisor!!!! (May 3rd, 2011)

Can it really be so???  After just 5 months of operation we have hit #1 on TripAdvisor for all of Rio de Janeiro B&B/Inns (out of 68 properties)!!!  We are SO HAPPY that our guests are loving what we are doing and find that we usually exceed their expectations.  But no resting on our laurels…..there are so many other wonderful Guesthouses here in Rio that we are surely going to bounce back and forth; hopefully always in the top 3 or so!  We have major plans to continue our renovations and improvements which have been warmly welcomed by our clients.  To seal the moment in time, we have a link below to a PDF of the page from today’s TripAdvisor….and now we are off to celebrate with a glass of champagne or two!  Thanks to all those that have helped us get here…friends, family, staff, and guests!

Preview of “Rio de Janeiro Accommodations- Read Reviews for Inns and B&Bs in Rio de Janeiro – TripAdvisor”

B&Bs / Inns travelers recommend
Casa Cool Beans
#1 of 68 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
35 reviews
“ Best specialty lodging in Rio, maybe in all of Brazil.” May 1, 2011
“ Brilliant Place!!” Apr 28, 2011

TripAdvisorTopRankingsMay2011