My exit from Brazil was a 2 hour drive to GRU (Sao Paulo) and then a 12 hour flight to LAX (Los Angeles) followed by jumping a one hour flight to Oakland. The drama behind this exit was that apparently upon exit from Brazil you need to conform with two requirements: (1) you can not be a mule for illegal substances and (2) you must have consumed at least three caipirinha drinks. I was detained for a while because while I had no illegal substances I had to admit that I only had part of one caipirinha.
The Caipirhinha is traditionally mixed with mulled lime, sugar, ice, and cachaca ... cachaca is the high-octane ingredient (some places simply substitute vodka).
My handicap in Brazil is that I do not drink hard alcohol - I can do beer (ok I can really do beer) and I can do wine ... but even a cosmo has been known to knock me down. My son Stephen tried to take on the caipirinha challenge in Manaus (he lost). My entire 12 days ended with me only being able to claim 1/3 of one caipirinha.
The semi-good news about exiting Brazil without having had your required share of caipirinhas is that they still let you out --- but they do all laugh at you when you leave.
BACK IN THE US of A ...
THE MAN brought me back to the USA last night and I had meetings this afternoon. After watching the game (with a bit more than anticipated screaming) I went to my meetings and then this afternoon swung by my local Safeway Store on the way home. In this small town where I live there were (unofficially) 5 people wearing US Soccer shirts - you can call it a bandwagon but I call it pent up support.
THE WATCH PARTIES:
My older sister lives walking distance from the Chicago Grants Park watch party that ESPN likes to show. I think she may wish she was there today as it was not raining or flooding in Chicago and she had no such luck in Recife.
My wife had 50+ people from her company (Alain Pinel Realtors shout out) at American Bull in Burlingame, CA to watch the USA make it to the knock out round of the final 16 this morning.
That's it people - I am hoping that my friends from the US Team Family Group were able to make it out of Recife today to get back to Sao Paulo (and then prepare for another flight up the coast to Salvador in a couple of days.)