Bom dia, amigos! Como estão todos?
I come to you live from the shores of Copacabana Beach where I am working on my tan, caipirinha in hand!
Just kidding. I come to you live from my hotel room in São Paulo as I get ready for day two of World Travel Market, a tourism trade show. It is my first time in Brazil and so far I’m loving it. The weather is similar to Florida’s and I’ve yet to die from the Zika Virus, so it’s all good. Plus I’m more likely to die from accidentally ingesting the mosquito repellent that I keep getting in my mouth.
I arrived at 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning after spending all night traveling. The direct flight is nine hours but I had a short layover in Panama so it took a little bit longer.
Anyway, I flew first class for the first time in my life on a flight longer than four hours. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t want to look like a peasant and I needed to blend in with the posh Brazilians that surrounded me.
From leg rests to chairs that actually recline to a three-course dinner to free-flowing wine, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can never go back to the way it was before. Please, please, please don’t make me sit in the back!
Copa Airlines even gave us cute toiletry bags for the long flight that included toothpaste, a toothbrush, socks, lotion, lip balm and an eye mask. Keeping it classy, Copa!
But there comes a point, after sitting in first class for a couple of hours and realizing you’re still not even halfway to your final destination that even the freedoms and perks of first class begin to make you feel confined.
I think the biggest highlight during the flight, apart from finishing Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, was the fact that I wore a bra for close to 24 hours, from the moment I left my house to the moment I arrived at the hotel.
I’m staying at the Renaissance São Paulo, close to Avenida Paulista, the heart of the city. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to explore the hotel or surroundings. But check out my view, yo!
I stopped by the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand on Ave. Paulista on Tuesday and as I was ready to hand them a crumpled real to pay for my entrance, I was told that the museum was actually free that day! Score!
Joined by dozens of children on field trips, I made my way upstairs. The concrete and glass landmark building was designed in the late 60s is supported by two lateral beams over 243 feet of freestanding space.
The museum has one of the finest collections of European art in South America, but I also found a few from Brazilian painters. My two favorite paintings were both by Claude Monet which didn’t surprise me since I’ve always been drawn to his impressionist style.
I’m off for day two at WTM Brazil to practice my poor Portuguese skills on people.
Beijos e abraços!