The Traveling Steve's

Heading home from Saõ Paulo

Like all good trips (or even bad ones), the trip eventually comes to an end and it’s time to go home.

Considering our whirlwind trip to Brazil, and we had only a couple nights in Saõ Paulo, it still felt like we had a decent length get-way.  We flew down to Saõ Paulo for President’s Day weekend, and with the two overnight flights (flying down, and then back) we actually only had two nights in the city.  We definitely made the most of the trip, however, and by taking the private day tour with Doris, we got a quick historical and cultural overview of the city we could never have done on our own in such a short time. 

Our stay at the Grand Hyatt Saõ Paulo couldn’t have been better, and by having Hyatt Diamond status, we received not only access to the hotel’s concierge lounge, but also were granted a 4pm checkout on our departure day – literally extending our stay by half a day.  This was really a nice perk as our flight back to Miami (connecting to Orlando) didn’t leave until 10pm.

We started the day with a late breakfast in the Concierge Grand Club, and then packed up for our trip home.  While there was so much to see, we decided to save that for a future trip, and had a relaxing day around the hotel and nearby mall where we went for lunch. It’s not everyday you can have a triple burger at Burger King, you know!  While normally I try to make a token ‘dining’ lunch or snack at a local McDonald’s in each country I visit, the line was long for Mickie D’s at the food court, so I opted for BK instead.  I know, most people think that’s crazy when dining in a foreign country, but I consider it a cultural exchange of fast food – I guess I’m just simple Steve after all.

Even DOS had a shake from Burger King!

We later checked out of the Hyatt in the Concierge Lounge around 4pm, by the Club Concierge, Caue.  Caue had wonderfully assisted us during our stay with both night’s dining recommendations, as well as tips concerning the local area and we really felt like close friends as we departed.  We had our photo taken with Caue, and thanked him for such outstanding service, making sure he would call us when he comes to Orlando one day for a visit – reminding him there is an awesome Hyatt Grand Cypress next to Disney World!

Steve (DOS) had pre-arranged a car service for our ride to the airport, and we headed out right around 5pm to GRU International airport.  Knowing we would have heavy rush-hour traffic and expecting the worst, we were pleasantly surprised that it really wasn’t that bad.  We made it to the airport in an hour and 20 minutes, chatting with our driver most of the way, having expected the drive to take a couple hours.  Our friendly driver spoke excellent English and had lived in Dallas for a couple years while attending flight school, which unfortunately didn’t work out for him.   He was very passionate about travel, and we each shared some good travel stories along our ride to the airport.  Once there, we took a quick photo, and were on our way to checkin to American Airlines.

There was no line in the First Class checkin at American, and we had our boarding passes and checked our bags very quickly.   After going thru security, and then immigration, we were off to the Admiral’s Club lounge.  The GRU International Airport is very modern and spacious, and we first enjoyed just walked around the corridors, window shopping the various stores and restaurants, before heading to the Admiral’s Club.  As we arrived fairly early, i.e. 6:45pm for a 10pm departure, the lounge at first was fairly empty so we took some photos.

Steve (DOS) decided he wanted some last minute souvenirs (why of course!) so he headed out a bit, while I made good use of the complimentary food and drinks.

For what seemed like an hour later, DOS finally came back with his purchases, always more stuff than we need, but gifts for others he says (although sometimes forgetting to give those out – thus filling our house with more stuff than we know what to do with!)

Here he is repacking his carry-on bag to accommodate the fragile mugs and other things he bought in the airport.

By 9pm we were ready to head towards the departure gate for our 10pm flight to Miami on a Boeing 777-300 jet.  We had a short walk to the gate, and only a brief wait to board while they called for Special Assistance passengers , where approximately 30 Business Class passengers rudely insisted on boarding then.  We politely waited our term to board ‘First’ and soon we were comfortably seated in seats 2A  and 2J.  I immediately changed into my AA pajamas and comfortably relaxed into my seat, with a glass of bubbly served in a real glass, not a plastic one.

We also were given the new AA insight amenity kit by Kenneth Cole, which just came out even from our flight down last weekend.   Also different than our flight down, Steve (DOS) and I were on opposite sides of the First Class cabin, and couldn’t see or communicate with each other being so far apart.  We chose those window/aisle seats 2A and 2J when booking our tickets, so no complaints there, but it did feel a bit isolated being so far away from each other.  We both tried the ‘chat’ feature with the inflight entertainment selection, but it was much to cumbersome to navigate with the hand-held remote control, so we just took an occasional visit to the other side of the cabin periodically during the 8 hour flight.

The service going back to Miami was more gentle with the two male Flight Attendants, than the flight down to GRU with the lead ‘Russian’ type Flight Attendant.  We also had some really cool mood lighting throughout the flight that enhanced the meal service and cabin atmosphere.  The late night meal was similar to going down with the mixed nuts and drink to start with, as I watched the Mel Brooks comedy ‘The Producers’ from way back in 1967, on my individual TV screen.

 After the mixed nuts, I next had a green salad, along with my Samuel Foster’s brewski.

Next was my main course, a nice Chateaubriand only slightly overcooked, even though I requested it medium rare, after it was way too well done on the flight down.  (Steve DOS said the same thing with his – too well done.)  I also had a nice Argentina Malbec with my meal.

Shortly after I started eating my main course, the Flight Attendant apologized for forgetting to serve me my soup, and asked if I wanted it then.  I didn’t want to send my food back (and thus get more overcooked) so I had my Chateaubriand first, and then the soup after dinner – sorry I don’t have a photo of the tomato soup, nor the sundae dessert course last.  I later realized I didn’t receive my shrimp appetizer dish, but I was pleasantly full at this point to want anything else.

As I reclined my seat to the full bed position, I rested for a solid 4 1/2 hours before being woken for breakfast.  We landed in Miami right on time around 4:45am, and immigration was a breeze thanks to Global Entry, as was customs and re-checking our bags back to Orlando.

We had a couple hour layover which we used in the Admiral’s Club, which unlike our trip down to GRU, was very quiet this early in the morning.

Our final flight from Miami back to Orlando was a short 45 minutes, and we arrived shortly before 8am.  One last photo from our Orlando flight on a 737 shows our pleasure of the trip, and yet the realization that after a long flight, it’s always good to get home.

Welcome Home!   It was an awesome trip to Saõ Paulo!


One thought on “Heading home from Saõ Paulo

  1. edward gonzalez


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