Our trip to Brazil was short, intense and very productive. Our flight late Sunday night was delayed a couple hours because of mechanical problems so we didn't leave until 1:30am, which meant we had more time to enjoy the Maple Leaf Lounge at Pearson. This was my first visit to any First/Exec Class lounge so I have nothing to compare it to - the furnishings had a retro-60s vibe which were forgettable but what impressed me the most was the self-serve open bar!
There was beer on draught, wine and various liquors available for mixed drinks. I was hoping that there would be a bottle of port in the mix and found one sitting on the bar with the Grand Marnier and other after-dinner liqueurs. Happy!
The flight was supposed to be 10hrs+ but our pilot knew of a "short-cut" that shaved about an hour off our time. We had Executive Class seats and our 767 was re-furbished with sleeping pods so I was actually able to lay flat and have my best sleep on a plane ever! I waited anxiously for the seat belt light to go off and when it did, I quickly adjusted my seat and laid back for what turned out to be about 6hrs of shut-eye. As a result of that, I didn't get to enjoy all the other perks of flying Executive like the Grilled Alberta Beef Tenderloin with Morel Mushroom Sauce and the better wine selection - a small price to pay though for some rest. We arrived in Sao Paulo in time to head to our hotel for a quick shower and made it to the office around 4pm. We spent a few hours there setting the agenda for the next few days and before heading out for a low-key dinner at a pizza restaurant which was surprisingly good.
The next few days took on the same rhythm - we'd meet in the hotel's executive lounge for breakfast around 8am, get picked up around 9am, work until about 7:30 and then head out for dinner with our partners. We usually arrived back at our hotel around 10:30 and then we'd have our own de-brief over drinks in the hotel bar for the next hour or two before finally calling it a night. All in all, it was a great experience as business trips go.
The flight back was unremarkable. We arrived back in Toronto around 5:45am yesterday and I took a cab to my mother's since that's where my car was. I slept a couple hours, woke up in time to catch up with my mom over dim sum and then headed back downtown to my place. I was a bit torn between going back to bed and fighting through the fatigue. I opted for the latter, fully expecting to hit the sack early so I did a bit of cleaning and then soaked in the tub for awhile before settling in to catch up on my TV. My quiet night in didn't play out as expected though - I joined a couple friends for dinner and drinks in the Annex and finally got home to reunite with my bed around 10:30. What a great sleep!