So, one reason why I have gotten so behind on blogging is because I have been wanting to post about my friends’ visit to Brazil but it has taken me forever to go through ALL of our joint photos, hence the delay. Anyway, back in March two of my best girlfriends and their husbands came to Brazil to visit!! We spent the first 5 days in São Paulo and then hit Rio for the final 4 days which I’ll post on next.
Unexpectedly, the first major part of the journey was just getting here! Kern and Emily came from Mississippi and had no problems with their flights so they arrived right on schedule on Saturday morning, March 28. Michael was actually en-route home from a work-trip in Japan and wasn’t going to get in until Sunday, and unfortunately Meredith & Andrew got stuck in New York so they were delayed until Sunday as well. This was a big bummer but I was so excited to see Kern and Emily when they arrived and we went ahead and stuck to our original plans for the day.
Saturday afternoon we recruited Trent (who was also flying solo as Paige and Mailey were in the US) to come pick us up and take us to our first stop – lunch at Bar Samba in Vila Madalena. Bar Samba on a Saturday is a great introduction to São Paulo because it has live samba music, they serve tasty feijoada and caipirinhas and it’s generally just packed and fun. And bonus – a bunch of friends met us there too!
After a few hours of drinking, dancing and stuffing ourselves to the limit, we headed over to nearby Beco de Batman (“Batman Alley”) which is famous for the beautiful graffiti which changes regularly.
After a ton of traveling and a full day, we decided to take it easy and have dinner at home that night. The next morning we had planned on going to church together but poor Meredith and Andrew’s new flight had some delays and then they finally landed in São Paulo only to learn that their luggage had NOT! They waited in line to report their bags and by the time they had gone through all that, Michael’s flight actually landed as well so they met up at the airport and came home together. Upon arrival, the first things on the agenda were fresh juices, hot pão de queijo and naps! Afterwards, we gave them a little tour of our apartment complex and then headed out for lunch across the street at the Gourmet Tea and then a walk around the neighborhood before drinks at São Bento and dinner at Espirito Santo.
On Monday we started our day in the Centro by visiting São Paulo’s Mercado Municipal. It’s known for its amazing selection of fresh, exotic fruits, any and all cuts of meat and, perhaps most importantly, for their famous Mortadella sandwich. So, we shopped around, sampled fruits, then feasted on pastels and THE sandwich.
Back at our apartment, Michael and Colt were visiting with Michael’s dad, Ollie, who also happened to be visiting for a couple days that week as well! It was so much fun getting to see him AND he also served as a great babysitter for Colt which was incredibly helpful as I was out and about with my friends a lot!
So, after we hit up the market we had a drink at Bar da Dona Onça while we waited for Terraço Italia to open up.
Next up was Terraço Italia – the tallest building in São Paulo which offers impressive, expansive views of the city. The perspective of the city from there always amazes me. It’s truly massive.
That evening we just went down the street from our apartment for an amazing Argentine steak dinner at 348 and again, lots of friends joined in for the fun.
Tuesday was another busy day out an about. We started with a morning trip to São Paulo’s main art museum, MASP.
After the museum, we headed to the famous shopping street, Oscar Freire, for lunch and shopping.
That evening we did pre-dinner drinks at Hotel Unique. It’s a favorite place to bring visitors 1) because it is in fact quite unique and has a fun, cool atmosphere and 2) it also offers great views of the city.
After drinks, we headed to Nagayama, our favorite sushi spot in the world. Their sushi is incredible and it did not disappoint!
Wednesday we had a laid back day and actually ended up spending hours in Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo’s largest and most well-known park. We walked around and explored, had lunch there, rented bikes and generally just enjoyed the gorgeous weather and day.
We were in no rush thanks to grandfather extraordinaire, Ollie, who was with Colt!
That evening we went to one of our favorite bars, Vaca Veia, for drinks and dinner before Michael took Kern, Emily and Andrew to a local soccer game!
Next up was the soccer game. Soccer games here are late, starting at 10:00pm, but Michael, Kern, Emily and Andrew were champs and had a great time (while Meredith & I went back with Colt). They got to see the most popular team in Brazil, São Paulo’s Corinthians, play against Danuvio from Uruguay (playing in the Libertadores Cup) at Itaquerão stadium. The Corinthians pulled out a win and everyone was happy!
On Thursday morning before we headed to the airport to fly to Rio my dear friend Paige hosted us all over for a little brunch at her apartment. My friends hadn’t gotten to meet Paige yet and she has a beautiful home located on a gorgeous park, plus she is a fabulous hostess so it was perfect all around.