Friday, August 27, 2010

Make your own caipirinhas at the Rio de Janeiro Admirals Club

So I went to Brazil for Carnaval, I supposed to stay in a lovely hotel in Leblon, the nicest part of Rio, but my two travel companions bitched out, for lack of a better word, two days before departure. I had to change my plans and decided to skip Rio, as a solo traveler, I preferred to visit another Brazilain city and went to lovely Paraty which has a smaller yet still fun Carnaval, more about Paraty in another post. 
When I got to the airport I saw that my flight was canceled, a quick call to American Airlines, whose check-in desk was still closed, allowed me to confirm that I had been re-booked via Miami and that my upgrade was still n place. 
Great news and now I only had to wait an hour for my flight to start the check-in process. At the same time, a long line was starting to form with dozens of Economy passengers lining up and waiting... so I found a seat next to a cute blond and asked her where was she flying to... Miami... after a few minutes of chit-chatting I asked her, wanna skip the line and check-in with me? As an elite, anyone I want can check in with me and use the elite line, family, friends, girl I just met,etc. I believe in travel karma, and if I can help someone have a better day and skip a line, I'm all for it... I told her we could check in at the first class desk and then go to the lounge, she had a 6 hour connection in Miami, I only had 2 hours in Miami, but I told her I'll also get you into the lounge in Miami... ya see I'm a nice guy! I told her follow me, we checked in, a 4 minute checkin in First versus an economy class line that would have taken her over 40 minutes, and then it was off to the lounge... 
The staff at the Rio lounge recognized me, so freaky! I had been there a few days ago on a quick Mileage Run/mini-vacation and the staff at an airport 4500 miles from New York recognized me... after that little "Up in the Air" moment we sit down and have some wine, after a glass of wine I tell her... want a last caipirinha or two before the flight? She said yes, and then I realized this lounge had no bar-tender, but it did have Cachaça, Limes, Glasses and Ice, so it was time to make lemonade out of lemons and improvise some home-made drinks... now anyone who has had one of my drinks knows that I would get fired after a day as a bartender, my pours are REALLY generous and I know my drinks... so here I am, grabbing lime wedges, crushing them in a glass , throwing ice and adding Cachaça...

Make your own Caipirinha at the Admirals Club in Rio... :)

I even found a small glass to measure my shots, I made them, and got some funny looks from the other passengers in the lounge, but after a while you get used to it... we enjoyed a few drinks and it was off to the plane... but before that it was time for a final round... :)

Home Made Caipirinhas at the Admirals Club in Rio... :)

Once we boarded it was tme to enjoy the American Airlines service on the Boeing 767-300, since this flight only has two cabins, you usually get a better service than regular business class...  8 hours from Rio to Miami... AA 903...
Salmon + Shrimp Appetizer...
767 Business/First GIG-MIA AA 904
Chimichurri-infused Chicken on a Salad...
767 Business/First GIG-MIA AA 904

Made to Order Sundae with Whipped Cream...
767 Business/First GIG-MIA AA 904
Once we landed in Miami, at the un-godly time of 4 AM... We were off to the one 24-hour TSA check-point.. located st Concourse E... then waited a few minutes till the Flagship Lounge opened, American has two types of Lounge.. Admirals Clubs, with some basic snacks but where they charge for booze and food, and the more exclusive Flagship Lounges where , just every normal lounge around the world, food and booze is self-serve and free... Since I had two hours and she had 6 hours before her connection, we went in there, had some breakfast and then it was time to head off towards my New York bound flight...

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