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.
From the poolside kiosk at Maria Helena’s …
Today we took it easy. Donna, John, and Juliana did a couple of shopping trips with John and Lori. I wanted to get a couple of things done, so for me it was a nice relaxing day next to the pool.
After breakfast I spend a few hours in the kiosk working on this year’s holiday card. I usually try to have the card close to complete by Thanksgiving, but between getting ready for this trip and actually taking this trip, I’m a little behind on putting the card together. So anything I can get done while I’m here helps. As a bonus I also added a translation button to the blog so people here can read the posts in Portuguese.
For lunch John grills steaks on the kiosk BBQ. We sample linguiça sausage, picanha steak, and chuck eye roll. The sausage and steaks are cut into half inch slices and served. The flavor with an aperole spritzer is incredible!
After lunch we spend a couple of hours in the pool waiting for the eventual rains. Then more more steaks on the grill for dinner. After all, this is Brazil! Thanks for reading. Thanksgiving in Brazil tomorrow!