Well, we did it!
It only took about 24 hours of travel hustle and bustle, but we made it to São Paulo!
Our journey wasn't all airline food and air turbulence, we also had the opportunity to watch the tail end of the USA vs. Nigeria match from the airline lounge during our layover, and even checked in on the Sounders slugfest with the Chicago Fire before we had to switch off our electronics to depart on the 10 hour slog down to GRU.
Sadly, the longest part of the 24 hours may have been the nearly one hour spent on the tarmac waiting for somebody to let us park at a gate after we landed.
As with other visits to Brazil, we gathered our seemingly hundreds of suitcases (okay, it was just 5 checked bags this time), made a quick pit stop at the duty free before being welcomed by our patiently awaiting family in the arrivals area. Bags were loaded into cars and we headed to the city for some brunch and a power nap.
Luckily on the drive from the airport, I was able to grab a quick picture of some dude dressed up as Spider-Man who "worked" an intersection in the city.
He immediately stepped out into the roadway when the traffic light turned red, waved a whole bunch at the stopped cars and (I guess) waited for a small cash donation. Not surprising, his "Spidey-sense" failed him, as no one appeared interested in playing along.
Anyhow, the city of São Paulo is in full World Cup fever mode.
It was interesting to see the newly installed bi-lingual road signs complete with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals look and feel. And, you could clearly see that there was way more security on the stretch of road just outside of the airport. Maura believes that this was mostly due to the fact that one of the teams is staying near the airport to train at a nearby facility. According to the "Internets", that might be Team Iran.
The streets in and around our base of operations in São Paulo were fully decorated with TONS of Brazilian gear.
I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg, as I cannot wait to experience the WCF (a/k/a "World Cup Fever") on Thursday when the host nation kicks this sucker off with the opening match against Croatia here in São Paulo.
Between now and then, I've got to unpack, put in a few full days in the (remote) office and get my USA and Brazil gear readied for the next 30+ days of the world's game.
In the meantime, it's time to crush this jet lag and get some rest before I...ZZZzzzzzzzzzzz