Cruising the Amazon

Some of my favorite memories growing up were family vacations. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they made an effort to do one family vacation a year. Most of the time they were close by to California, Montana, Nevada, but there were a couple time where we were able to go to Disney World in Florida. When I was a teenager and my parents had a little more money we went to Europe for a couple weeks.  I have memories on playing mermaids or rescue with sisters in the pool or going fishing with my dad and grandpa. Some families do boating or camping, my uncle’s family likes to go river rafting. Whatever the activity is, I think it is important to find something to do as family; to get away from the world and bond. Trevor and I have talked about wanting that for our family as well.

Dad fishing

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Traveling as a child developed my love for traveling as an adult. As a part of my job I have been lucky enough to do a little traveling. There is one trip that stands out that I want my family to experience down the road….Cruising down the Amazon River.

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I flew into Manaus, Brazil and stayed overnight in a local hotel. The hotel restaurant made Ahh-mazing tapioca crepes with sweetened condensed milk, bananas, and powdered sugar. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I have bought tapioca flour before to try and re-create the deliciousness, but can’t seem to get it right.

Anyway…

Once we boarded the “ship” or very large boat they gave us our safety training. In an emergency we were told to plug our nose and jump in the water. Wait, WHAT? Piranhas and alligators live in these waters and you want me to jump right in? Luckily we had no need to jump in the water, but it was in the back of my head the whole cruise.

The ship we were on was small with only about 70 cabins so you really got to know the friendly local staff. Every morning and every afternoon speed boats would pick us up and take us on small adventures around the river.

We visited a local village. The people were so kind and selfless. They taught us how to climb a tree to get the fruit at the top. The poor cows here were super thin. I felt sad for them inside.

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We hiked in the rain forest where it DOWN POURED. What did I expect; it’s the rain forest, right?

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We went piranha fishing. That speaks for itself. Occasionally a fish would get loose on the boat and everyone was jumping up on the seats not wanting to get attacked by the piranha. Ha, looking back it probably was a little dramatic.

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We hunted for Caymans (baby alligators) in the dead of night. The night sky on the Amazon River was so clear. It was one of the prettiest views I have ever seen in my life.

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There are pink freshwater dolphins that we saw on occasion although I never got a good picture of them.

When we weren’t out exploring we were enjoying each other’s company on the deck of the ship. We ate popcorn, played bingo, and enjoyed the scenery.

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I hope that someday I can experience this trip again with the ones I love most.

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