I thought a bit before posting about my cosmic FAIL! regarding our trip to Brazil. But now that we’re finally here (and it’s hovering around 0 degrees back home), I figure it can’t hurt anymore.
Our flights to Brazil were supposed to leave from Orlando. The original plan had been to fly down to Orlando, spend a day an a half there with Liz’s mom, then fly on to Brazil. Liz and I have done a fair bit of international travel so we thought we had taken care of everything. We get to the counter, the agent looks at our passports and informs us of our epic FAIL!
We somehow missed the part that Brazil is one of a handful of countries that requires that you get your tourist visa prior to departure. Generally, this sort of thing is reserved for countries where we don’t have good relations or countries with closed borders (like China or Iran). So yeah… we’re at the ticket counter, we’re ready to go on vacation… and we’re told… NO VACATION FOR YOU (until you get your visa).
So after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we decided on a plan. Drive down to Miami (we were already in Orlando) and visit the Brazilian consulate to get our visas. Reschedule flights.
The Brazilian consulate only accepts visa applications M-F from 10am to 12pm. That’s right… only 2 hours a day. Oh yeah… they absolutely, positively won’t turn them around on the same day. Nope… they won’t even turn them around in 24 hours. Yep, it takes two days. So we decide we’ll drop off our applications on Monday, then return to pick up our visas on Wednesday.
Oh… but that’s not all. Rescheduling international flights so near to Christmas is tricky if you don’t want to end up paying an arm and a leg. As you can imagine, we’re already paying an “arm” to get to Brazil, we could get onto just about any flight we want if we want to throw in the “leg”. We opt for the least expensive option… which would only cost us a change fee. Unfortunately, it means that instead of leaving Orlando on Saturday, the 13th, we leave on Saturday, the 20th.
So… we lost a week in Brazil, but we gained a week in Florida (though parrt of it was spent tracking down our visas and getting a new flight). So while it was definitely some piss poor planning on our part regarding the tourist visas, we still ended up winning by missing out on some seriously brutal winter weather back home in Illinois.
Oh… and we’re finally in Brazil where it is going to be in the upper 80s for the remainder of our stay here. It’s hot and sticky, and I love it.