Experiencing the World Cup: Chapter 4 Acting like a child

As the day greeted us with its sun light, the first in almost two weeks, the birds started to express their emotion with their harmonic whistles. One by one we awoke and got ready for the day, which was to become an unforgettable one.

Today we were going to see the rest of the falls which were on the Argentinian side. Argentina owns about 70% of the falls. We all put our swimsuits on and waited for our gypsi driver, Roberto, to arrive. As we waited we had breakfast which included eggs, fruit and coffee, all complements of the hostel.

Traveling tip #7- Hostels usually always include breakfast, it is always nice to wake up to breakfast made already.

We arrived at Foz de Iguazu Parque Nacional de Argentina and the sun was still shining down upon us. This was good since today we planned on getting soaked. We booked a boat tour in the afternoon, so we had some time to kill.

When you walk into the park you automatically walk into the information desk. We asked about the many sights and they were very helpful.  They guided us to a train that would take us to our next stop, which was closer to the falls and had hand rails and guided trails for us to enjoy the falls. The falls did not disappoint! At points throughout the trail we got splashed by the water as it made a big sound when impacting the water.  The roar of the falls was loud and the welcoming sun made it a great environment for happy moments and unforgettable pictures.

The next thing on our itinerary was our boat ride into the falls. This was something we all had been waiting for! We first started to ride out in a canopy tour towards the bottom of the falls, there, we would catch the boat. The car in which we took the canopy tour was quite a big truck, with six wheels and carrying up to 25 passengers. The ride there was awesome. The tour guide was really versed at speaking two languages at the same time, as she was entertaining the guests and teaching us about the types of trees and plants you find in the Argentinian amazon. When we got to the boat they had everything we needed. They handed us a waterproof bag to put our belongings and they even had an extra guide on the boat that just took pictures and videos of the guests.

Traveling tip #8- When booking a tour always look into the ¨what to bring¨ tab this will keep your shoes dry….lesson learned.

The boat ride was fantastic! The falls were extremely powerful due to recent rain and flooding. The guides took us towards the falls and sadly they announced that they could not take us to the devils throat, conditions had made it too dangerous. However, they did take us to a couple spots that were close to it and were just as good. We felt the water come down on us and I must say, it does sting a little as it hits you while underneath them. I felt like Forrest Gump when he talked about the rain in Vietnam, water was coming from all directions. The ride was so thrilling that the crew we were with got really excited and convinced the guides to take us another time into the falls.

This experience left me speechless. The beauty and wrath of nature took me away and it reminded me of why we all love to travel. We all travel seeking those new things that will take our breath away and you never know what part of your trip it will be. However when we find it, we can’t help but smile and act like a child.

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Experiencing the World Cup: Chapter 3 An unforgettable meal

Chapter 3-

After we got done at the falls we headed back towards the border to the Argentinian side, however before we got across we stopped at a bird park called ¨Parque Das Aves.¨ The park was originally built by Dennis Croukamp, he and his family built this park because of their love to birds. However, as the years went by it also has turned into a rescue park where they pick up and receive mistreated or injured animals and help them get better and survive. The park had tons of birds, monkeys, deer, tortoises, and even reptiles like big crocodiles. Our tour guide was good, however she didn’t really seem to know how to entertain the guests, she mainly threw in scientific facts about the animals.

Traveling tip #5- Use rating sites like trip advisor to see what tour guide is mostly commented on that way you can request them.

Once we finished at the park, we headed back to the hostel to shower and get ready for an amazing meal soon to happen.  When we first arrived to Argentina, we had heard that their meat is very good, some even said the best. So we asked around for the best restaurant for a steak, so they directed us to ¨El Quincho del Tio Querido.¨ A lot of people including Roberto told us that you must get a reservation, because it gets packed after 7, so we did what every Spanish person does, we just showed up. As to be expected with no reservation or anything as soon as we arrived there was a line waiting, it was four of us so it seemed like we were going to wait like an hour and a half…so they said.

Traveling tip #6- Always be nice to everyone (sweet talk), sometimes they will be able to get you through tough times, or help you jump the line.

As soon as they told us the waiting time, we decided to start talking to the staff that was just standing around, also we started to sweet talk the lady workers. After a couple laughs here and there my brother was able to get us a table, just 20 min after we arrived at the place. The restaurant looked really nice and the vibe was good, they had a tango show and the smell of meat on a grill was abundant. We sat down and ordered a fantastic cut medium rare and a bottle of wine with a couple of beers. When they brought the steak to the table it was on a small grill with wood chips on the bottom, the steak still cooking had a fantastic crisp to the outside, while still bleeding as you cut it open. To show u the quality of the food the waiter, cut a peace for us only using a spoon!! No knife all they used was a spoon and a fork to hold the steak. As the waiter cut the steak he let out all the wonderful smell of the steak as it steams under your nose, bringing the smells of a healthy grown cow and reminding you of the amazing trip you are having with an irreplaceable company.   The entire bill came out to be close to only $75 dollars which was really cheap considering we ordered two cuts, a bottle of wine and two beers.

The entire evening was unforgettable as the day came to an end we had a full belly and smiles on our face, the meal was a great way to end the exciting day and prepare us for a good sleep at a new place.

Traveling tip #6- As you travel around, even if you’re on a budget, give yourself a chance to have a great meal, that way you can enjoy and recollect your experience thus far.

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Experiencing the World Cup: Chapter 2 Foz de Iguazu (Brazil)

Chapter 2

From Buenos Aires we headed up to Foz de Iguzu National Park where there is a water fall that is almost a mile wide and it’s amazing. If you look up pictures of the waterfalls they seem so calm, pretty and perfect for a couple’s picture. However, when we went there it had been raining for a while, more than ever before. The last time they had something like this happen was in 1980s, the level of the water had tripled and had knock down some of the walking bridges.

As we landed, we automatically felt the humidity of the town and we heard all kinds of noises coming from the trees around us. It was so humid that your clothes got damp just from walking around, it was cold in the mornings and the sun hadn’t showed up in like a week as of that day. We got a cab and the drivers name was Roberto, he was originally from there and was amazed by the amount of rain they had gotten, he even said that the falls were closed down. At that moment we felt so bummed out, however we didn’t let that bring us all the way down, we talked to Roberto and he helped us out with an itinerary.

Traveling tip #4- find a resourceful cab/gypsie driver that can make your trip unforgetable

The first day since it was cloudy we decided to go check out the Brazilian side of the waterfalls since they only have about 30% of the national park in their territory. Since the day was cloudy as we were driving up to the falls we already started to notice the mist coming from them, from almost a mile away!!

The first day stepped up to the plate and delivered a grand performance for us and left us in excitement for the next day. At first it impressed us by opening the doors of the bridges that day for the tourist in almost two weeks. We took a bus to the main waterfalls were we started to walk right along the river. As we walk we encountered various types of animals like monkeys, bees, armadillos, spider and other amazon animals.

The closer we got to the falls the more we could see the rath and the power of the falls, as the past couple of weeks it had turn it from a honeymoon water fall to a daredevils dream. The current of the water was so strong that it splashed everyone that was close to it, you could barely see clear water and the Devils Throat was out of access because of it.  We got to the very edge of the falls and we decided to take our chances and stand right underneath them. My dad, my middle brother and myself took this challenge full on, just shorts and no shirt. Not knowing how cold the water could really be and how strong it would hit us, we took a step closer. At first it wasn’t really splashing us but all of a sudden BOOOM!!! The rage of the water came up from behind us and soaked us, with its full force and coldness. It felt so refreshing and cold but most of all it reminded us of how when all is calm, sometimes a big rush comes over us and reminds us of the thrill of everyday life.

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Experiencing the world cup: Chapter 1 Buenos Aires, Argentina

This summer I traveled to Brazil to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and all I can say is that it was AWESOME!!!!!

The trip included my brothers and my dad; this was to become a trip full of Futbooooooool(soccer)!!!  We first flew into Buenos Aires, Argentina since it was a lot cheaper to fly there and then take smaller trips upward towards Brazil. It went from $1,200 flight from Mexico to Brazil or a $600 ticket from Mexico to Argentina.

Traveling Tip 1: Always seek alternative routes to your final destination, it may be cheaper and you may be able to experience other places.

As soon as I arrived in Buenos Aires the first thing that I saw was their blue sky, it is like no other that I have ever seen. The sky has a very soft blue tint to it as if it was always just right after 8 am when there is no pollution yet and you can clearly see the white clouds and the gentle sky looking down upon you. The second thing I felt was the crazy cold weather, I had forgotten that they were currently in their winter. After living on an island for almost a year this cold weather hit me as hard as a brick wall, for certain I was going to get sick.

Traveling Tip 2: Take a look at the current weather forecast of the place you are visiting, so you can prepare accordingly.

While in Buenos Aires we got took their tour bus (Buenos Aires Bus), a bus that takes you around the city to see all of its memorable streets, buildings, government buildings and historical parts. The tour lasts about 2 hours and is a great way to see all of the important points in one day, that way you can make note on places you liked the most. Some of the most exciting things that I found interesting were:

  • Stop#1-Avenida de Mayo: this is one of the main streets where you can find a lot of the well-known restaurants and the true lifestyle of an Argentinian.
  • Stop #7-Boca Juniors Stadium: the stadium although small holds a lot of history, not only the stadium, but the town that has been built around the futbol team is incredible full of color and passion, a true futbol town
  • Stop#11-Puerto Madero: this port is really nice to walk around in and enjoy the tall buildings and the more developed part of the city.
  • Stop#25-Teatro Colon: this theatre is one of the most important opera theaters in all the world, top 5 in the world. The architecture is amazing, however we didn’t get to see the inside, which I heard is incredible.

We stayed in a hostel called America del Sur Hostel, very accommodating and a reasonable price the common area was really nice and very welcoming, Wi-Fi available and drinks available too.

Traveling Tip 3: hostels are cheaper than hotels, try to find one in the center of the city.

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What to do in Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University (WVU)

Founded in 1867, WVU has an array of sights to see, such as beautiful lecture halls, Mountaineer Field and the Student Recreational Center. One of the best places to check out is the Student Union building. The Mountainlair has a lot to offer to W VU students and visiting families, such as visiting bowling, billiard, arcades and a variety of restaurants in the food court.

Sunnyside

Although a student housing complex is currently under construction, the neighborhood was once the place for house parties. Sunnyside’s legacy will remain to those who experienced the party atmosphere of those beer-soaked streets.

Athletic Events

When traveling to Morgantown, you must go to an athletic event to witness true Mountaineer Pride! Make sure to see the WVU Mountaineers play at the Milan Puskar Stadium. If you’re going during winter, head to the coliseum and catch a basketball game. They are always full of crazy fun fans!

Swallow Falls State Park

Located in Oakland this state park has some of the best scenery Western Maryland has to offer. Although it is in Maryland, the park is not too far of a drive from Morgantown.

Coopers Rock State Forest

An outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, Coopers Rock boasts hiking, biking, camping and climbing. Among the many trails are some of the best views in West Virginia. These hiking trails are well maintained and available for people and their pets. The main overlook is handicap accessible, as well.

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Not your typical Office view

Not your typical Office view

On all of the outdoor activities I have done I always get the same comment from people…. “WOW!!(as they look at the scenery), not a bad office view”, “I wish I had this as an office view.”

I ask myself why not? What is stopping us from actually having such a marvelous and breath taking view?  Sure some of you may say, well is not easy to just drop everything and go to paradise to work, not everyone can have that pleasure. Not all of us live around or are surrounded by woods or nature at all times. Some live in a city full of noise, people and the everyday rude person in the street that never looks where they are going and runs into you, without apologizing. Some just have a very busy schedule and don’t have the time to take a step back and look in front of them, because we they are too busy looking 2, 3, 5, or even 10 steps ahead.

But, what is paradise really?

To some it may be on an island with white sand, clear ocean warm water, with the sun’s rays shinning over you, with a cooling breeze that comes and goes as you take a zip of your delicious cold beverage.

To others it may be the sight of colorful fall trees in the woods that show their true colors as they change their foliage, telling the world to get ready for the coming beautiful snow white days that represent the end of a year and the beginning of a new opportunity.

To several it may be the rush of the city, the thrill of always having something to do, somewhere to be and someone to see. The excitement of always being ten steps ahead of others, the ability to have something when and where you want it at the moment you want it.

To a few it may mean the laughter of a child as they wake you up from bed with a hug and kiss asking you to wake up in excitement of a new day. Although, you may be exhausted it brings you joy to wake up and see a child laugh at early hours, be curious about the world and the new things they may learn today, like walking for the first time, speaking for the first time, having the first day of school or even saying goodbye to you as they head off to college to pursue their dreams.

Whatever your paradise is at some point or another we end up getting caught up in the day to day struggle of surviving. We lose focus of what actually made us smile and took our breath away when we first started the journey which we live in.

So what must we do to always be able to look and see the beauty of what’s in front of us, among all the dust from work, bills, and struggle?

The answer is simple:

Every day give yourself 5 seconds of deep breath and complete mental peace,  a moment where you take your mind and soul out of the struggle and decide to see through the lines of everyday life.  It all takes is 3 deep breaths with closed eyes and an open heart ready to see our true meaning of paradise as we open our eyes again in complete peace.

So to all of you who read this, I ask of you to take a moment for yourself to grasp on what you call paradise. Some of you may read this as you go to bed after a long day of work, to others you may read it as you wake up in the morning and to others it may just be an afternoon light reading. To whoever you are I ask that you share what paradise may be to you to the world, by passing on this writing. Not for me as a blogger, but for the one and only reason I started this blog, to help your fellow neighbor understand the true meaning of life. Life is full of struggle; however there are those glimpse moments that take our breath away, and those moments are the ones we have to look out for, because before you know it they are gone.

If you want to share your paradise you can in my Twitter @CaptCrazyGuide #myparadise

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A whole new outlook

Good day to all, I am Captain Crazy and this is my story.

I have been traveling around the world for quite a bit now and want to share with everyone my experiences, so that they can have unforgettable experinces. I am a tour guide currently living in Saint Thomas, VI and I must say this is paradise. Living here has made me appreciate my experinces while visiting 14 countries and hopefully many more to follow.

I love the outdoors and highly enjoy entertaining and helping people of all ages. I have been working for 4 years now as a High Ropes course guide, zip line guide, rock climbing teacher and my personal favorite an outdoor learning guide. These jobs have help me understand the true meaning of life, to enjoy each moment and give 110% to all activities we do.

Life is short and we must enjoy it to the fullest, some may not think is easy, however thats why I am starting this blog to inspire others and to help them trough their travels.

Come follow me and ask me any questions @CaptCrazyGuide or on here.

Thanks to all and remember… life is waiting for you to live it to its fullest!!FIFA World Cup 2014 OH YEAH!!!! Zip Line!! Hull bay, St. Thomas, USVI Sunset by a candle in WV Foz di Iguazu!!

Outdoors guide currently in the Virgin Islands discovering the hidden gems it has to offer. Follow me and com join me on my quest @CaptCrazyGuide