View from 20th floor lounge (Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo)

Friday | June 20, 2014

Some days you really look forward to sleeping in, and this was one of them. For me this means something different than it does for Carlie (and most other people), so while she was in full slumber I was up in the Gold Passport Executive Lounge on the 20th floor enjoying my morning Java (and “blogging”).   I didn’t want to miss out on the hotel breakfast downstairs though (6:30 to 10:30), so I went down and roused the sleeping beauty around 10:00 AM, and we made it down just in time to partake of the sumptuous spread there.

View from 20th floor lounge (Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo)
View from 20th floor lounge (Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo)
Breakfast spread at the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo
Breakfast spread at the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo.
Carlie getting some cereal
Carlie getting some cereal and perusing the buffet.

We talked about venturing out to see what we could of São Paulo in a ½-day, but the hotel was soooooo nice, and also a safe haven, what with the Policia Militare stationed outside around the clock.  The hotel also had a great upstairs bar, with numerous TV’s and a decent food menu. It wasn’t too close of a call, and with tomorrow being another travel day up to Manaus the soccer won out. It’s the World Cup, after all, so after Carlie’s workout and showers we settled in for the 1:00 PM match (Italy vs. Costa Rica) over lunch.

From our front-row seats at the Upstairs Bar (Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo)
From our front-row seats at the Upstairs Bar (Grand Hyatt)
Mini-burgers and beef empanadas from the Upstairs Bar
Mini-burgers and beef empanadas from the Upstairs Bar

They had a special going on at the bar designed to introduce foreigners to Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha (pronounced “Ky-pa-reen-ya”).  These are made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime. A cousin of the Mojito (one of my personal favorites), we both found the Caipirinha’s to be a bit too strong for our taste. The “finish” was very nice though (intensely “limey”) once the heat from the alcohol subsided.

The Upstairs Bar.  If you look closely out the window you can see the famous Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge.
The Upstairs Bar. If you look closely out the window you can see part of the famous Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge.
Carlie's first Caipirinha (see one of the free "muddlers" bottom right).
Carlie’s first Caipirinha (one of the free “muddlers” can be seen in the bottom right hand corner).

We received a couple of free “muddlers” (the wooden tools you mash the lime and sugar together with) and a little cachaça to bring back with us, so we’ll have to try this at home, but perhaps with a bit of water added.

We were so comfy and well situated, and enjoyed the exciting match—and somewhat surprising 1 – 0 win by Costa over Italy—to such an extent that we stayed for the entire 4:00 PM match (France vs. Switzerland) too, over snacks, of course. Plus which we had struck up a conversation with the nice couple at the table next to us, who of course were from Phoenix (Encanto, to be exact). True soccer fans (he’s a Brit born in Liverpool and was following England), they had traveled all the way to São Paulo (and elsewhere) with their newborn, who was at that perfectly portable stage.

After France’s 5 -2 drubbing of the Swiss we felt like we needed a change of scenery, so we went back to the room to get organized and semi-packed before settling in for the 7:00 PM match.   We had adjoining rooms there, so we watched from the sitting room in my suite. It was Ecuador vs. Honduras though, and as we had only a passing interest in the result, Carlie mostly worked on her Panini while I mostly worked on the “travel blog”.

P-Wags multi-tasking (World Cup blogging and World Cup watching)
P-Wags multi-tasking (World Cup blogging and watching).

By about halftime Carlie’s frequent eater program resumed, so we ordered up a grilled ham and cheese , along with some ice cream.  Yup, food, drink and soccer was pretty much what today was all about.  Having had pretty much all the above (and excitement) we could possibly stand, we turned in around 10:00 PM in order to more easily manage the 6:30 AM wake-up call we had set up for our trip up to Manaus.

Final score: Ecuador 2 – Honduras 1

 

 

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