Wednesday, January 9, 2019

São Paulo 23.12.18- 25.12.18

December 23 we left Chicago to fly south to Brasil.
But first, L and I ran and got breakfast. 

Then we went Ohare to begin our travel adventure. 

Obligatory plane selfie.

Obligatory photo of steer in Dallas airport.

Just as we were about to start boarding our flight to São Paulo, a mechanical issue was discovered with our plane. An hour later we were boarding a replacement plane and sat at the gate 2 hours while food and everything was transferred from the sick plane to our healthy ride.

During the wait before takeoff, I watched 96% of Crazy Rich Asians.

10 hours of flight time later, we were on the other side of the world.

I was overcome with emotion- I’ve missed my in laws and friends a lot. The last time I visited Brasil was 4 years ago- far too long when family and good people are involved.

We landed on Christmas Eve and went to the hotel to drop our stuff and freshen up after 20 hours of traveling.

We went to the Super Hipper to buy Christmas lunch. We also had a lunch of 2 coxinhas a soda and a dessert- brigadeiro- for a total of $6. Total for 2 lunches!

After shopping, we went to see Mae and Pai. It was amazing to see them in person after so long. We Skype, and email but it’s not the same as giving someone a hug or squeezing their hand. 

I brought a loaf of Rugbrød for my Mae. I baked it the morning of our flight and it only received small attention from TSA who wanted to confirm it was a 4lb chunk of bread. 

Mae loved it! And I was especially happy to unload it from my bag. The nurse also loved it so much that I found a recipe in Portuguese for her and she’s made a few loaves now.

We spent a while at their house and then went back to the hotel for the night. Unfortunately everything was closed (yay catholic country, yay) so dinner was a challenge. Luckily room service was open so we were able to eat dinner. 

The street art is so fantastic here.

We woke up on Christmas morning and went to one of my favorite places in the world- parque Ibiraquera for a run. 

It felt great to run after a long travel day.

The park is a 1.5ish mile loop with various trails cutting across it.

It was great to experience the park being so empty- it can get super busy.

After the park we went back to Mae and Pai’s to cook Christmas dinner. 

The murals under the metro are fire.

We got started cooking as soon as we arrived. I insisted on cooking Christmas dinner the moment we knew we would travel to Brasil. It would be an honor for me to cook for my family. 

We cooked a Chester. It is a huge chicken that ive never heard of before. It was 8lbs! I stuffed chunks of butter and garlic cloves under the skin and put oranges on it. I stuffed the inside with oranges, limes, thyme and rosemary.

We also made a salad.

After a few hours the Chester was perfect.

We also made mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac n cheese and beans.

My in laws had never had “sweet beans” aka bbq beans before- beans aren’t ever sweet in Brasil. They loved them!  We also made traditional American stuffing which they liked. They also loved the cranberry sauce- again- something that does not exist in Brasil.

For dessert, I made a chocolate pudding pie.

With chantilly cream!

After spending time with everyone, we went back to the hotel. This was the first time we encountered traffic. Everyone must have been leaving their families to head home. 

Luckily some bars were open Christmas night- we ended up at boceto São Bento. I had my first caipirinha of the trip there- jatupicaba fruit with lime.

We also had dinner. Delicious sausages with bread and farofa

And more caipirinhas.

And fried things filled with pumpkin and dried meat.

This place was packed!

It was nice to be sitting in open air without freezing.

It was a perfect end to our first 36 hours in São Paulo.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful Christmas celebration with loved ones! :)

    Your dinner looks amazing - an 8 lb chicken! That's perfect for when a normal chicken is too small and a turkey is too massive. And green oranges?!

    I'm glad your bread made it through security, and how cool that you were able to share the recipe so Mae & Pai can continue enjoying it :)

  2. And I bet Mae and Pai were so happy to see you!!!! I am glad the bread made it there safely and that she and the nurse both enjoyed it!

    That is fun to share some traditional American foods with them for your xmas meal. What recipe do you use for your chocolate pudding pie? That is something I make quite often (just made one Sat night!).

    Is the food there mostly that inexpensive or was that just the type of place you went to on the first day?

    Ugh, things being closed for Catholic holidays. LOL. Don't get me started on Easter ;)