Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sao Paulo: the rest of the trip- aka I found CB's cousin & went to my 1st Brasilian BBQ!

After FINDING GODOFREDO and going to the Parque Ibirapuera, and eating delicious things, and seeing friends and family, we woke up to go back to the park to run again.
Just like the previous days, there were loads of vultures.
And we took more selfies in the park.
And then, heading towards us, was a RED BORDER COLLIE! I ran over to it and started petting her. We told her human, that we had a CB at home and I got a photo with this beautiful gal- her name is Nala. She was the polar opposite of CB- really outgoing and friendly.
Then we got breakfast at the park again. Below is sugar cane which they grind up to make "caldo de cana" sugar cane juice.
Reason 1489273546  that I love this park- asides from the fresh coconut water vendors, there are a few open air restaurants in the park.
While waiting for our food and juice, I realized a bird had shit on me. Good luck, right?
Breakfast of champions: Sugarcane juice, coffee and french bread with ooey gooey cheese.
Post breakfast, we walked to the other side of the park to meet our friends who were taking turns doing laps/ letting their dog play in the "dog area."
On our way to meet them, we had another GODOFREDO sighting!!
There he is strutting his stuff in the middle of the photo.
Then we made it to the dog area and saw our friends, and their spunky dog, Logan.
Later that day was time for my 1st Brasilian BBQ!!!

In the USA, at condos or apartment buildings there is sometimes a common space, a rec room you can rent out for parties, in Brasil there are outdoor BBQ spaces to rent at the condos.
The party was a celebration of the conference that my husband and his friends organize each year. They had a lot of booze left over from the con, and decided to use it up at this party.

I am not a huge meat eater. I rarely cook meat at home, and when I go out to eat, I generally prefer vegetarian dishes. BUT, since I was in Brasil at a legit Brasilian BBQ with a chef hired to cook for us, I ate some meat. It tasted far superior to anything I have eaten in the United States- outside of the Brasilian steak houses... All you need is salt to season the meat, not a load of crappy preservative laden spices to kill the true flavor.
It was at this party, that I really solidified my Portuguese. Seeing some more friends, and their baby for the first time was amazing, even more so, was that I could speak to them in Portuguese and understand what they were saying. To be able to connect with these friends was so wonderful.
L playing with baby M melted my heart.
The cool thing I noticed about a Brasilian BBQ is the adults are getting hammered while the kids run around and play. It's the perfect mix. And so much fun! There is no specific formal time to sit down and eat, but instead the chef keeps cooking and you grab delicious food as you want.

'Grammin all of our beers and posting them on Untappd.

We had so much fun seeing everyone. I will never forget my first legit Brasilian BBQ.

And then the party was over.

Post BBQ we went back to our friend's place (the hosts of the BBQ) and I made a new friend. Shhhhhhhhsh, dont tell CB!
When we left to go home in a cab I noticed we had missed the turn for our hotel, and when the cab stopped there were a lot of Christmas lights up on the building. All i could think in my drunken stupor was "this doesn't look like the hotel."
Turns out we were at Joakin's- famous for their smiley fries. At 2am, it was a busy place. I didn't feel too good, so all I ate were a few smiley fries. After playing with some...
The next morning, and my last in Brasil, we went back to the Parque Ibirapuera. I was pretty bummed it would be my last time there for this trip.
We were short on time, and hungover so we only did one lap in the park. I tried out one of my new running skirts from Track and Field and made L take a photo of me running in it.
And we took one last selfie before heading to breakfast.
On the way to breakfast, we saw some more cool graffiti.
And then we landed at St. Etienne- where I got my favorite sandwich- "Natural no. 5" again. I miss the cheese, banana and cinnamon....
Post breakfast we got packed and went to Mae and Pai's house.

We met them, dropped off our bags and went to O Compadre, a buffet with food from the state of Minas Gerias. I had a passion fruit caipirinha. The food was plentiful and diverse- with salad, and meats, and seafood dishes. All were really good.
L's parents walking through the shopping center post lunch. :)
And full of food, we took one last selfie. We spent some time with Mae and Pai before I had to leave.

Then it was time for me to head to the airport GRU, and go home. L went with me and hung out for a while before I went through security and immigration. The airport has changed a lot since my last visit. A new international terminal was added which is beautiful and way more organized than the old terminal.
I was sad to leave L and go home. This trip was even better than the first- being able to speak/understand Portuguese definitely enriched my experience. To see all of our friends and family, to go to Rio, and enjoy all of our favorite foods and places in Sao Paulo was awesome. I am humbled by the generosity of our Brasilian friends who treated me like they have known  me forever. I miss Brasil tremendously and hope to return again soon.
The flight was long and uneventful. I was in business class for the return trip- just like the trip south. I did not sleep much because I felt very nauseous for the duration of the flight- I'll go ahead and say it- You know you've had an awesome vacation when you wake up hungover EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I'm sure all the beverage consumption, coupled with eating more dairy in one week than I have all year did not help either. I also had selected a rear facing seat which I won't do again- I felt like my center of gravity was off the entire time- probably amplified by feeling nauseous. I was bummed to not take full advantage of being in business class. All I had for breakfast was ginger ale. Womp.

I landed in Chicago at 5am and used TSA Pre to go through customs and immigration in 2 minutes. Then I found myself on the hour long EL ride home surrounded by a group of Brasilian students who were way too perky and chatty for such an early hour after such a long flight- But it made me smile because I could pick out their accents (to determine if they were from Rio or SP- they had Sao Paulo accents) and could understand what they were saying.

I got home and went to work. It was weird not seeing CB at home. When I picked him up from boarding after work, he was super happy to see me. We walked back home in the light snow and called it a night a 7pm. We were both exhausted from our adventures.
Almost 3 weeks have gone by since I was in Brasil, and there's not one day that goes by that I don't think about our family and friends, and the food, and the warm Parque Ibirapuera.

Until next time, Brasil.



  1. I bet CB won't let you out of his sight. ;)

    When are you going back?

  2. Sounds like you had an amazing trip! Brasilian BBQs sound just like Paraguayan ones. My family hosted one at their house and hired a chef to cook all the amazing meats (mainly just seasoned with salt!). The set up looks pretty similar.

    Hope L comes home soon/you get to return to Brasil soon!

  3. SO MUCH FOOD AND DRINKS! Ha ha, waking up hungover might be your sign of a perfect vacation... lol!!!!! :P

    I don't think I have ever seen sugar cane! Is it pretty local to there?

    The BBQ sounds fantastic, and it must have felt so good to be able to connect with everyone!!! :) Gotta keep at it for your next trip, right?! :)