Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brasil: An extremely long day of travel which ended in Rio de Janeiro

I worked all day Thursday because my flight wasn't until 11pm. I got everything done at work before I left- 2 weeks of work completed in 3 days because I didn't want anything hanging over my head when I returned. Mainly because I knew I'd be useless due to fatigue.

I got to O'hare, and flew through security thanks to Global Entry.

I went to the duty free and bought my father in law (Pai) a bottle of Koval Whiskey. Koval is a distillery in Chicago- and thought it would be the perfect gift since he cannot find it in Brasil.

While waiting at the gate, I heard many folks speaking Portuguese. The lady next to me was on her phone speaking to her mother in Portuguese and then the next call she made, she was speaking Japanese. The diversity of São Paulo is astonishing.
Finally it came time to board the plane.

I was fortunate that L got me a seat in business class. The "perks" of having a husband who travels extensively for work.  This was my first time flying business class internationally. It will be difficult to fly with the herd next time. lol.
The seats laid out flat, and were spacious.
We also had large monitors with a huge selection of movies, music and TV shows.
All ready to be cozy for 11 hours...

The food was surprisingly good. I had Malbec wine and Osso Buco style chicken. Delicious.

The flight was uneventful and long. I drifted in and out of consciousness every 30 minutes. I took a Zquil, but it didn't knock me out like the folks around me who must have taken something stronger. I enjoyed listening to Karrin Allyson on my iPhone for a while-she sings in Portuguese and English- including many traditional Brasilian songs which I find very comforting.
The control for the seat was pretty spiffy.
11 hours later I was on the other side of the world, in the Southern Hemisphere again for the 2nd time.
São Paulo from above!

It's the world's 12th largest city with over 11.3 million people in the city and 19 million people in the metro area. This city goes on and on and on.

When I landed, L and Pai were there to meet me and we went back to Pai and Mae's house for a quick lunch before heading to the regional airport for our flight to Rio.
We almost missed our flight. Traffic in São Paulo is no joke- it took us over an hour and a half to go across the city and we got to the airport with about 30 minutes to go until takeoff. Luckily going through security was quick (no taking out liquids, laptops or shoes) and our flight was delayed 20 minutes.

The regional airport Congonhas, is a shit show. The gates are not confirmed until the plane is ready to board and may change several times before that. It's a busy airport that only has domestic flights.

We flew TAM which is one of the best Brasilian airlines. The flight was around 40 minutes from São Paulo to Rio.

Our first view of the famous Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf mountain)

We landed at Santos Dumont airport in Rio (also a regional airport) and were met by our friends who took us to the Air BnB we rented for the weekend.

After getting settled, our friends came to pick us up and we started the night driving around Ipanema and Leblon- the nicest areas of Rio.

We finally settled on dinner at Bar Bracarense.
I started with a Caldo do Feijao. Basically feijoada broth with pork rinds and parsley and a cold chopp beer. Heaven.

We had all sorts of Brasilian foods- including this plate of pork and onions. I cannot express enough how ridiculously delicious everything was.
Caipirinha number one. Traditional with cachaca and lime.

Next we went to Bar Jobi.

More beers were had and more foods consumed- like pastel de Belem. The chopp (Stupidly cold light beer) flows freely in these parts and the waiters will continue to bring you beers until you tell them to stop.
I love these open air botecos. Great food and atmosphere.
After a realllllly long day for me, (and L) it was time to call it a night and go back to Ipanema for some sleep.
Our first night in Rio was amazing. Getting to spend quality time with friends while eating delicious foods at some of the top bars in Rio was the perfect way to end my first day in Brasil.



  1. We are sad, so sad, that we can't meet you this time... We are working A LOT because we are launching not one, BUT TWO brand new webstores at the same time... Please, please, please, please, sorry us... I care about L like a brother, and I feel that I'm not being a good brother... :(

  2. looks amazing! I can't wait to hear more

  3. Business Class + Great food + Great Booze/Beer? Sounds like an fabulous time.