When the hubs -FGS- mentioned he had to go to São Paulo for work I jumped at the chance to tag along. We love to travel and are always looking to cross another country, city, or experience off our ever growing list and until this trip, I had never visited South America. Even though the flight seemed a bit daunting (10+ hours) I couldn’t pass it up.
While FGS was there for work and maybe a little play, I was 100% looking forward to unplugging from my day job and immersing myself in all the Paulistanos offered.
With a population of over 21 million, São Paulo is the largest city in South America; the Western and Southern Hemispheres & is the 11th largest city in the world – so needless to say there is a lot to do, see, experience and explore.
On Friday while FGS conferenced, I visited Museu de Arte de São Paulo or MASP as it’s known locally. Truly, it was one of the best art experiences I’ve ever had. I’m not kidding. In one room, I saw multiple paintings by Rembrandt, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Degas, Van Gogh, Picacco & Matisse.
The way the MASP is set up is interactive & innovative. The top floor of the museum is a giant concrete room filled with over 200 pieces of art all attached to acrylic stands and cement blocks. Most of the paintings were just hanging on the acrylic – not inside them! You could see the crack in the frames and the texture of the acrylic paint – it was the most intimate art experience all while being surrounded by other people.
Turns out our hotel was only about a month old when we stayed there which lead to quite the adventure returning after my visit to MASP. My cab driver had never heard of the Four Seasons and the language barrier was terrible (I really did try.) Thank you Jesus for google translator. My cab driver was my hero. I think he saw the panic in my eyes when my broken Portuguese was failing as was my iPhone battery. Needless to say, I returned to our hotel safe and sound and headed to the pool to unwind.
That evening FGS’ Brazilian hosts planned another incredible dinner – and this time, there were so many gluten free dishes, I was giddy. In Brazil, food is love. Meal times are lengthy (think 3-4 hours) and the wine flows endlessly.
Unbeknownst to me, our meal that evening was at the acclaimed Michelin Star Restaurant, Maní – we sat outside in the “back yard” family style at a picnic table under the night sky. It couldn’t have been more out of a storybook if they tried.
While our host played waiter and sommelier, we chatted and indulged in the homemade (gluten free!) bread basket.
Here’s a smashing of the dishes we were served. Sorry for the low quality pictures – I only had my iphone!
Real Talk: The architecture, the city green spaces, the food were delightful; everything about São Paulo was inspirational. I can’t wait to incorporate some of the texture and colors from São Paulo into #BirchRoadReno & more projects!
-Rustic Acres Design Co.