December 31, 2012 – After we left the market we made our way to a the Ibarapuera Park. Ibarapuera Park is a huge park in the middle of Sao Paulo. It is kind of like New York’s Central Park. The park is big with trails all over it where you can run, ride bikes, skateboard, rollerblade, whatever you want! They have lots of things all over the park to do like basketball courts, soccer fields, a lake with lots of ducks/black swans, water towers that mist water on you, lots of little stands selling fresh fruit, ice-cream, and drinks, and so much more! It was probably the coolest park I’ve ever been to.
We first rented bikes and while we were waiting to start riding them all of a sudden my mom notices a couple with missionary name tags and says “Oh, do you think they are missionaries or mission presidents?" to whoever was around us. All of a sudden, Kelsi starts running towards them and gave them hugs and yep, she ran into her old mission presidents! It was so random and awesome. She had mentioned that she would love to see them but knew how busy they were so didn’t know if she would be able to. She was thinking about surprising them at mission transfers the following day. The crazy thing was that 1. Sao Paulo is a HUGE city. What are the chances of running into anyone you know?! 2. We all happened to be on the park on the same day and it was their P-day. 3. The park was seriously so huge that I didn’t even understand how all of the trails were connected and one could easily get lost. Basically the park was huge and they happened to be walking on the trail we were on! So obviously, it was meant to be. It was cool to meet them and they kept saying how Kelsi was a great missionary. Here is a group picture – minus a few people.
Kevin and my dad stayed back with Ryder while the rest of us rode bikes around the park for an hour or so. It was SO fun! The park was relatively flat so you could ride around easily all over. If I lived there I would go and ride bikes all the time! There were tons of families, couples, and all sorts of people enjoying the park and riding different types of bikes. They had a bike where two people could ride sitting down on a bench and my mom and I wanted to ride it together but you had to be handicapped so that didn’t work lol. I wish Ryder could have sat in one of those baby seats on a bike but he was too little!
Anyways, so we were riding bikes and then all of a sudden Kelsi gets off her bike and runs towards a sister missionary. She ran into one of her old companions! Seriously, running into her old companion and her old mission presidents makes it seem like Sao Paulo isn’t big and you run into people all the time. That is not true. Sao Paulo is huge! It was so crazy she ran into her old companion. Her companion had just finished working out at the park and writing letters to family and friends. An even funnier thing was she had just wrote Kelsi a postcard at the park. She pulls it out of her backpack and was like, “I just wrote you!” The postcard was like “I’m just at Ibirapeura writing you and just worked out…” And then she saw Kelsi! Kelsi didn’t really let many people know she was coming because there were so many people she wouldn’t be able to see everyone. Also, by the time she got letters out to her missionary friends they would get them probably after we had left Brazil. Anyways, it was crazy she ran into people she knew here!
Kevin and Ryder // Me and a yummy fruit. I forget what it is called. You peel the outer shell off and it tastes kind of like a grape! We had a bunch of these here for a snack.
Ryder was popular with the ladies!
Ryder and Walter. Walter was the one who had us over for lunch the previous day. He is such a nice good guy! // Family photo.
After the park we headed back to our hotel. We said bye to our new Brazilian friends and then headed out to dinner. We actually chose the same place we ate at the night before because it was so good! It was close and convenient but when we got there, the line was wrapped all around the restaurant and a mini grocery store connected. If we had waited in that line, it would have been AT LEAST an hour plus wait to be seated. A lady was like “You have a baby. Go to the front of the line.” We had a huge group. I mean, we had my dad, mom, Kevin, me, Ryder, Kelsi, Patrick, Zach, and Hunter, so…but the lady kept insisting we go to the front of the line. Ryder was kind of fussy and probably getting hungry so Kelsi went and spoke to the person who seats people and she waved us over. They seated us immediately and then it was really awkward because some people were really upset we had cut in front of the line! Everywhere you go, people treat you so well if you have a baby! They always drag you to the front of lines! This happened in the airport a few times in Brazil, for security, to go through and get your passport stamped, etc. Anyways, it worked out great for us but we did piss some people off! My parents were like, “This is why we invited you guys!” Haha.
This day was amazing and so much fun! If you are ever in Sao Paulo, you have to go to this park! I just loved it! I wish I knew a place like this in the US somewhere, preferably close to where we live :)!