Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wrapping it up...Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Feb 14-Feb 17)

They told me the bus would be 24 hours. So I figured 26. Well, 32 hours later I got off the bus in Sao Paulo. Brasil Brasil Brasil...

How absolutely wonderful to see Dani!!! Her family instantly took me in with open arms and I was thrown into the melee of lots and lots of people. Her grandparents are so cute. So are her aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. Wow.

Friday was a shopping mall day - aghhhh...just comparing what is being sold in the malls with what people make outside is shocking...but that's Sao Paulo I suppose...I got to go to Liberdade and get more Japanese food, then we went to Dani's niece's birthday party. I went to meet Adri, Carla, and Tati in Consolacao for a drink, and went back to Adri's that night.

Saturday was full full full! My first real churrasco rodizio experience in Brasil...all you can eat meat that comes around to your have a round slip of paper on the table that has a green side and a red side...when it's on the green, the waiters come around with giant pieces of meat on metal sticks and carve off pieces onto your plate. When it's on red, you're taking a break and they don't bring the meat around. We went to Fogo de Chao, considered the best churrascaria in Sao Paulo, which would imply the best churrascaria in Brasil, and my was amazing. To top it off, there is a decadent salad bar ranging from sun-dried tomatoes, hearts of palm, grilled shiitake mushrooms, mozzarella, spinach, green beans, steamed asparagus, broccoli, salami,'s just unreal. Oh, and they bring fresh Pao de Queijo (my now favorite Brasilian snack, little bread rolls with cheese baked into them) all through the meal. And grilled mozzarella. And fried banana. And....of course, the meat. Picanha, which (I think) is the rear top part of the cow, which instantly became my favorite cut. And filet mignon, and tri-tip, and...and...a lot of meat. And pork, and chicken. Ahh...

After you've eaten so much that you feel like you can't move, dessert...papaya cream with cassis liquer. I don't know if I can imagine a better dessert in the world. Really.

Then, that night was the wedding. A surprisingly quick church ceremony, followed by a huge party, with plenty of yummy hors d'oeurves (sorry can't spell), and lots of alcohol being circulated. I wasn't feeling great, had managed to get a cold in the summer in I'm didn't dance much but had a good time nevertheless.

Sunday was a rest day for me, I spent the morning organizing photos and such. In the afternoon we went to Vila Madalena where there was a whole assortment of Dani's friends, ranging from elementary school to graduate school. Lots of delicious food and overall good times.

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