RIO DE JANEIRO
Like many 20-somethings on a family trip, my fiance and I were a little worried about one thing: Would we get a chance to join the nightlife in Brazil?
That was before I found out what happens when the sun goes down in Rio.
Upon our arrival in Rio de Janeiro, my dad's girlfriend, a Brazilian native (or carioca), announced we would hit a dance club before seeing a concert at midnight. My 68-year-old father ended up partying with us until 3 a.m.
We had fallen down the rabbit hole of Brazilian nightlife in the neighborhood of Lapa, where people walk around with bottles of alcohol and couples swing their sweaty bodies to samba until the early hours of the morning. The edge of the neighborhood is often defined by the arches called Aqueduto da Carioca, an aqueduct that watches over cabs and partygoers from above.
Even with the FIFA World Cup in full swing by the time we got to Rio, in areas like Lapa, it felt like any other Saturday night. It was a way to experience true Brazilian life. That might not be the case when the Summer Olympics take over Rio in 2016.
Dancing is such a large part of life there. Whether it was watching a local samba band dancer in full Carnival costume or swaying back and forth at a bandolin concert, I was swept away by the constant melodic movement in the evenings. Samba, a traditional Brazilian dance, is a universal movement common in many clubs and bars in Rio. But don't be surprised if you find yourself dancing on the street; local baterias (drumming groups) play on the streets on crowded weekend nights.
During my more than two weeks in Rio, I had spent a large portion of my nights dancing, drinking and photographing the beautiful and sultry moments. Rio is the perfect place to have a unique nightlife experience. And you never know when your parent might buy the next round of caipirinhas at the samba bar.