From the São Paolo International Airport …
It’s our last day in Brazil, but our flight is not until later tonight so we still have plenty of time to do some sightseeing in São Paolo.
After breakfast at the hotel we stop at Casa do Artista. It’s an art supply store and we’re here to pick up some supplies for Lori. A few blocks away we visit Stylebar, Debbie’s wash and blow dry salon.
Then a driving tour through the residential neighborhoods of São Paolo. Next we head back to the Meliá Jardim Europa Hotel to checkout and I take a couple of minutes to go up to the roof for a view of the São Paolo skyline. The size of this city is hard to comprehend. The view below extends 360 degrees …
Then a drive to a local super market to pickup Brazilian coffee to bring home and a visit to São Paolo’s Japanese neighborhood to buy some gifts.
We have an authentic Portuguese lunch at Rancho Português. We try the Codfish cakes – Bolinho de Bacalhau and John and I split a roasted pork dish called Leitoa à Bairrada. For dessert we all split a creamy, cheesy pastry called Pastelzinho de Belém.
Then John drives us to São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport or just GRU. After spending a great week together it’s time to say our goodbyes. John is spending the night in São Paolo and we’ve got an overnight flight.
We’re on United flight 860 from São Paulo to Dulles arriving tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading!
From São Paolo …
The day starts with breakfast at Maria Helena’s. Everyone is moving slowly after last night’s Thanksgiving feast. I’ve really enjoyed breakfast here. Coffee, a fresh baked roll, and fresh fruit. Might be time for a Brazilian breakfast routine when I get home.
After breakfast there’s time to explore the gardens outside the house and the flowering plants and palms …
While Cookie and Max come out to play …
Before we leave Lori, Andy, Clara, and Deco stop by to wish us well as we head to São Paolo.
The drive is mostly through farmland. The road is a four lane highway and while the pavement is fairly smooth, it’s bumpy enough that Fitbit thinks I’m walking. I will easily log my steps today.
As expected, traffic coming into São Paolo is heavy during a Friday evening rush hour. John frequently comes to São Paolo and skillfully navigates the traffic. When we arrive in the city we check into the Meliá Jardim Europa hotel, then head out to visit Debbie and Walmir. Debbie is John’s sister and dinner is a BBQ at their house on the south side of the city.
Tomorrow we explore São Paolo before heading to the airport for our flight back to DC.
From John and Lori’s in Penápolis …
It’s Thanksgiving day! Donna and I begin the day with a Turkey Trot. There isn’t a 5k here and if there was we wouldn’t be running. But we do get out for a walk through downtown, past John and Lori’s, to the walking path for a lap around the park. It isn’t a brisk walk on a chilly Thanksgiving morning. It’s in the 80’s with high humidity in Penápolis, while back home in Fairfax it’s in the 40’s.
We return to Maria Helena’s for breakfast, then John drives us out to the edge of town to see the family farm. At one point Donna and John’s father grew coffee beans here, but now the farm is home to a small herd of cattle. The property is filled with fruit trees including mangoes, cashews, papayas, and pomegranates. We go from tree to tree sampling the different types.
Next we head to John and Lori’s. They live in a high-rise building in the center of Penápolis. After lunching on chicken sandwiches we pitch in to help Lori cook the Thanksgiving meal. We may be in Brazil, but the menu is traditional American. Lori is from Pennsylvania so she is preparing her family favorites. There’s turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. And of course there is American football on TV all day long. But here the play-by-play is in Portuguese. For dessert Donna and I are making the apple pie. No Pillsbury pie pastry in the refrigerator aisle of your local grocery, so we’re working from scratch. What started a year ago with a Facebook post has now come full circle.
Today is our last full day in Penápolis. Tomorrow we drive to São Paulo. Thanks for reading!