Editor’s note: Carlo Prandini and wife Theresa of Clovis are providing updates on their experience as they await daughter Jenna’s Olympics debut Monday in the 200-meter heats. Here is Carlo’s account heading to Sunday Mass and the sights and sounds the Pradinis encountered:
We were talked out of traveling to the track venue because security is so tight it might take a couple hours to get close. So we received good instructions on how to navigate the subway and train and feel confident that with an early start we will make it to the stadium easily Monday morning.
This beautiful Sunday morning we walked down to Copacabana Beach in time to see some of the marathon swimmers jump into the choppy waters. Brave souls, with a number of small vessels charting the course.
We headed across town to Ipanema Beach. Quite a bit less hectic. Gorgeous beach, more upscale hotels, same friendly people – the difference may be similar to comparing Venice Beach to Santa Monica or Santa Cruz to Capitola.
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We made it to church in time for Mass. As you would expect, devoted people, engaging music, beautiful church. Interestingly, they had an aviary inside with doves, rosters and peacocks. Couldn't find anyone to explain why, but we could guess the symbolism.
In Ipanema we found the USA House that acts as a reception area for American athletes and their guests. Cafe, restaurants and lounge area. We registered because Jenna reserved four one-day passes for us. We will wait to spend time there until we can be joined by all our kids.
During our five-mile stroll to Ipanema and back we continue to meet folks from all over the world: a transplanted New Zealander and his family, who help with directions; a water polo family from Laguna Beach quite familiar with Clovis and complementary of our aquatic program and facilities. Finally we had breakfast near a couple from Sao Paulo who spoke very good English and also were in town to watch the Olympics. They will be married soon and plan on honeymooning in California!!
We were to connect with our kids Chrissy and Mark later Sunday, and we know the pace will pick up!