13 March 2007
Day 3, and after a leisurely lie in, I was off to breakfast with Anthony and Julie. I had grown quite accustomed to the lifestyle of the vacationer – nothing but eat, relax, sleep, rinse and repeat.
We found a nice little place to settle down for breakfast, and with my body hunkering for some eggs, I ordered an omelette with ham from the not so extensive menu. The chef was less than impressed that between the 3 of us, we wanted 2 omelettes and a ham, cheese & tomato roll, and stomped off to the grill to prepare our breakfast. I looked up at one point to see the chef flick through his recipe book to check on how to make the omelettes – not a good sign. When the food finally arrived, it wasn’t too bad – edible but nothing to rave about. After breakfast, we headed back to the hotel where Anthony and Julie were meeting with their wedding planner and DJ to go over some final arrangements for their wedding.
I sat in the lobby for a while – a change of scenery from my hotel room – and was greeted by an old friend Simon P, who had flown in from Boston for the wedding. Sime had literally just landed and had checked in and showered and was ready to see São Paulo. We moved into easy conversation and caught up on news and gossip. After some time, we meandered to find Anthony and Julie still meeting with their wedding planner and DJ – a meeting that Anthony had predicted would last 30 minutes had now stretched beyond 90 minutes and there were still so much to discuss. By now, Neil and Jane had joined us and we sat at the bar and had a beer while Julie wrapped things up.
The rest of the day was spent at the big shopping centre that Anthony and I had failed to locate on Day 1. We continued the mission of finding Anthony some shoes and cufflinks. Julie also had a wishlist of items to buy, one of which was a new bikini having left hers in London. We had a quick lunch before the group split into 3 and we each went in different directions to pursue our purchases. Anthony and Sime took off in search of shoes and cufflinks, Julie and I for a bikini and whatever else took our fancy, and Neil and Jane to wander the shops until the agreed meeting time at the agreed meeting place.
By 4pm, my head was filled with a splitting headache – the humid weather, coupled with jetlag and the airconditioning had fired up the jack hammer in my head and I was grateful to sit down for a coffee and some water. Neither helped with the headache, and I was silently praying that someone would soon be heading back to the hotel so I could following them and lay down in my bed. By this time, Anthony’s mission was still incomplete, and we were getting down to crunch time for him to make a purchase or go without. Julie’s mother and aunt were also due to meet us at the shopping centre and when they finally arrived, they had their own agenda to take care of – a number of items on their list were still to be purchased and they set off for the shops, leaving Sime, Neil, Jane and me sitting in the café to wait for their return.
Julie took off with her mother and aunt for a while, before Anthony strode into the café with a resigned look on his face that read “I give up”. Julie returned, and her and Anthony set off for one last try for shoes, which proved to be a successful mission after all when they returned 30 minutes later with shoes in tow. Anthony had resigned himself to borrowing some cufflinks from Sime or Adrian – the ones he had been looking to buy were way too expensive, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing cufflinks from his mates. Mission finally accomplished, Anthony tucked into a well deserved caipirinha.
Before long, the clock on the wall read 6.30pm, and as we were due to go out again at 7pm, Neil and Jane decided to head back to the hotel for a quick nap and a change of clothing. I thankfully followed them back to the hotel, to be greeted by Adrian who had returned from Iguazu Falls earlier in the day. I pleaded a headache and told him that I was unlikely to go out with the group to meet Julie’s friends (I’d already apologised to Julie at the shopping centre and although she was a little miffed, she understood). Adrian was at first insistent that I go out, but soon retracted his pleas when I told him in no uncertain terms that I was staying put for the evening.
We caught up for a little while – he told me about his trip to Iguazu Falls and I told him about my 2 days in São Paulo. Adrian got ready to go out for the night and eventually left to join the group for a big night out.
I tried to rest and relax while the others partied, but sleep eluded me for most of the night. Adrian returned to the room twice – hilariously, once at 1.30am to announce that he was back in the hotel but he needed to make a brief appearance at a nearby pub with the others, but that he would be back in 5 minutes. He returned to the room at 4am, rampantly inebriated and trying his desperate best to be quiet as a mouse. Sadly, for me, I woke up as the door was closing quietly behind Adrian, and once I woke, it was impossible to return to sleep, and I spent the next 2 hours waiting for 6am to arrive so I could head for a shower and some breakfast.
As I type this, it is the beginning of Day 4 – the day we are due to leave São Paulo for Ilha Bela. Will continue the travel tales when I get to Ilha Bela!