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Reply with quote  #1 
I went on my very first adventure to Brazil over our (stateside) winter months (December-January) and their summer months! My best friend is Brazilian, and her whole family lives there (except her parents and brother). They go at least once a year for Christmas and New Years and occasionally a second trip around may. This year I had the privilege of getting to accompany them for 3 weeks. I went to four different areas during my time there.

1. São Paulo, SP
First Impressions: GOREGEOUS, big city, and very sophisticated. 
Coolest moment: Getting to attend my best friend's grandmother's 80th birthday party. Her late husband was a high ranked naval officer, so many admirals were attending. Everyone was dressed in formal wear. Simply gorgeous!
Best meal: While at our hotel (the Melia Jardim Europa), I had THE meal that set the tone for the whole trip. Acompanha arroz com passas e banana grehada- grilled "Pintado" (fish from the Amazon River) included rice with raisins and grilled banana. The fish reminded me of Maui Maui, but way less fishy. And the rice was out of control- was like rice, butter, Spike, and golden raisins. And then creme de papaya com cassis- papaya cream with cassis liquer for dessert. Delish! 
Picture is of me on the balcony of the hotel in Sao Paulo right after we arrived and got off our crazy long flight! Took this right before it starting raining with some lighting in the distance. 

2. Casa Branca, SP (not to be confused with Casablanca)
First impressions: Small town, adorable, everyone-knows-everyone, slow pace lifestyle.
Coolest moments: 1. Being in two homes that were over 200 years old! So amazing. 2. Going to get our nails and eyebrows done (me, my best friend, her mom, and her grandmother). Literally were there for over 7 hours! Like I said, slow pace lifestyle. Oh-so-relaxing. 3. Going to the local "club" to swim. It was amazing and completely empty. 
Best meal: This is a no brainer. If you are ever in Casa Branca go eat at Mamma Mia Pizzas e Massas. SO FREAKING GOOD! Literally their pizza blows all other pizza out of the water. Ugh. So good. 
This is me, my friend's brother and his girlfriend, inside my friend's grandmother's house. Over 200 years old! It has over 8 bedrooms, and is just amazing in every way. 
This is what the "club" looks like. It has three swimming pools, a water slide, and this GORGEOUS view of the tropical trees. Breathtaking.
And last, but not least, this is me outside Mamma Mia's. SOOOOOOO delish!

3. Guaruja, SP
First impressions: It's called the "Miami Beach" of Brazil for a reason. Think cityscape, small road, then beach. GORGEOUS! Fun. Carefree. 
Coolest moments: 1. Learning about the different types of vendors- beach, street, flea market, the outlet and the mall. 2. Being a part of Christmas and New Years and taking part in those traditions associated with them. 3. Going to a last minute night club playing "funky" (or hip hop). 
Best food: So hard to choose. The fish from Avelino's is a must. But I tried so much snack food I could die happy: Acai "yogurt" (think soft serve, but solid acai) with condensed milk, granola, and banana; fried cheese on a stick; catupiry cheese; wontons; fresh coconut; corn; pacoquinha; and so many amazon fruits.
Our view of one of the beaches in my friend's family's condo. So incredible!

4. Paraty, RJ
First impressions: It's called the "Venice" of Brazil for a reason. It's right on the water, has cobblestone streets, and when there is a tropical storm, the streets flood. AMAZING views on all the beaches- mountains next to pale blue tropical water. 
Coolest moments: 1. Checking out all the night life and learning some samba moves from the locals. 2. Going on a boat tour of some of the local islands. 
Best food: We ate pretty light on this part of the journey, but I did enjoy the fried chicken and rice I had at a local restaurant. Very yummy. 
Me before we set sail on our boat tour. You can see part of Paraty in the background. 
The gorgeous Portuguese colonial buildings and the colorful tour boats docked.

Overall an AMAZING trip! I would love to do another soon. I'd love to see more of Sao Paulo, Rio, the Amazon, and so many other amazing local spots.  


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Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #2 
You truly had such a full trip for the time you spent in Brazil. I don't care much about Sao Paulo capital, but all those old farmhouses and mountains of Sao Paulo's countryside are gorgeous. Also hanging out with a Brazilian family is always a treat. It can go from sweet to totally nuts in 30 seconds.
I am glad you got to see the beaches and the amazing historical town of Paraty.
A lot of Americans don't believe that Brazilian pizza is freaking awesome. The hotel I stay in Belen is a 300 year old house converted into a boutique hotel and a pizzeria on the first floor. I wanted to eat there everyday, thankfully I resisted and got to try a bunch of different types of food from the north of Brazil. Here are some the pizzas I had!!
20150208_184642.jpg  20150208_184355.jpg 
20150208_184624.jpg  20150208_184624a.jpg 

Chrys Rocha
Rainforest Chica
Brazilian Oils & Butters for Skin and Hair Care

Junior Member
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
This was definitely a great read! And thank you for the photos as well

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