Dreaming of the Caribbean but no money or time to fly there? How about a quick getaway on the coast? São Sebastião (San Sebastian) is great for those who love quiet and deserted beaches, walks and trails in the middle of the forest.
Hey people, everybody frying in the scorching heat of summer 2014? Guys, I confess that even for me, Brazilian born and raised, is a bit too much! I am literally melting in my first Brazilian summer after 7 years in Switzerland! And to catch up with some chilling time by the beach I went to the north coast of São Paulo with my two months baby and my sister Meire. Facing the road with such a young baby and the heat of the coast were great challenges! But we survived.
We went to Maresias beach in São Sebastião. Already on the road I began to remember why I love going down to the coast. The scenery is beautiful: waterfalls, massive forest area, dangerous cliffs – beautiful and breathtaking. Maresias is a well known beach and said to be great for surfing. I like calm and empty beaches, with lots of nature and preferably no skyscrapers. São Sebastião is one of those cities that has not been destroyed by real estate speculation. Most of its beaches remain deserted, pristine beaches such as the beach of Santiago.
Sunset in Maresias
Enjoying sunset with my babyboy
On the third day we went to Santiago beach and it was well worth the trip. The beach is beautiful, deserted, crystal green waters, surrounded by trees and native vegetation providing gentle shadows all day. Make to take a good repellent and stay close other people. On site is a makeshift bar next to a camping, and this is the only place where you can drink and eat something. The entrance to the beach is a bit hidden, you know? Beautiful vacation homes can be seen behind gardens of rainforest, revealing the high level of local regulars.
Arriving on the Santiago beach
Running to get away from the super hot sand
Back to Maresias this beach is more “pop” with cute little shops and restaurants. Look for Kanaloa restaurant to eat overlooking the beach or to drink a cold coconut milk by the sands.
It was a different experience traveling with my baby for the first time, and he is still so young, yet a delight to leave the city and breath some salty air! For those of you who enjoy waterfalls, hiking and boating São Sebastião offers all this and more.
Must-haves in the travel bag:
– High SPF
– Air conditioning in the room
– Preferably a hotel with a pool because at the peak hours you will not want to go to the beach in the scorching heat!
– Get the number of a taxi service BEFORE arriving in the village.
PS: at the guesthouse where we stayed, it was all 220V. Beware of 110V appliances!
During my seven years in Switzerland I came to love and admire the art of watchmaking, the technology behind expensive models, the manual work that the Swiss dedicate to the manufacture of each piece. I learned a lot about the industry and understood that the manufacturing process behind most pieces can be considered an artwork. In the country of watches I acquired the habit of wearing one. This post is about my passion for the most pop, most cheerful, young and creative brand of the Swiss watch market: Swatch.
Did I already tell you guys that I love Swatch watches? I had my first model in 2007, and since then I have always had a Swatch to call my own. Two months ago, since I returned to Brazil, my latest Swatch disappeared. I searched the whole house, even thought we had lost in the chaotic process of moving to another country. However yesterday, when opening a tiny velvet pouch in a drawer I found my watch. It was a moment like ‘my Swatch and me, the reunion,’ you know?
I like that Swatch watches are fun, there are models for different occasions and every year they come up with a new collection. Although Swatch watches are not expensive, in my opinion they are some sort of affordable luxury. During my master degree I used the brand as an example of a Swiss company engaged in social media! I like the way they communicate, using a young and fun language which can be translated into cheerful and colorful watches.
Some of the models I already had: this bracelet in silver with embroided flowers was the first one and although I don’t have it anymore it remains one of my favorite Swatches. A gift from my cheri, Erik.
I could not find a picture of the second model I wanted to show you guys, but this one above is very similar, with square box and colorful bracelet in a 70’s style.
I have not visited any Swatch store in Brazil yet to have an idea of prices, but in Switzerland prices start at 60 francs. I LOVE Swatch and could wear a different one each day of the week.
I became an user of the Nespresso machines and coffee capsules since I started living in Switzerland, 7 years ago, where is the brand’s headquarter. In Geneva, whenever I went to the store to replenish my stock of Nespresso capsules I was intrigued by the marketing efforts of the brand. The idea of belonging to a club made sense, since in the store the service is really first class and you are treated as an associate member of a special place, not just another customer. Yesterday, finally I had the opportunity to visit a Brazilian Nespresso shop and I can say that the store in Jardins (Oscar Freire street) offers VIP treatment and is no way behind its cousins in Europe.
We were very well received by the seller Eduardo, who showed us the space with lots of attention and sympathy, and took us to the top floor for a coffee tasting. Here, the icing on the cake is even sweeter! The corner coffee tasting is inviting and the client has total autonomy, you can serve yourself – if you wish so – or be served by the attendants. There are tables and chairs so you can enjoy a pleasant and unhurried moment. Thus, Nespresso can make the customer feel really special. You are there, enjoying your cup of coffee, smelling yummy coffee scents and wishing to stay there. If you do not have a Nespresso machine, believe me, you will be wishing to buy one. If you already have one you will not want to leave the store without a good stock of capsules. Either ways, you will want to be part of the club.
We bought a kit with 15 boxes of capsules, and Nespresso gifted us with this beautiful and elegant transparent cube! This cube is now beside our lovely and brand new Pixie in black and orange.
When it comes to making the customer loyal, I rate Nespress a 10. And another 10 for the good service, courtesy and beauty of the space. My cheri Erik, accustomed to the Swiss Nespresso, loved the store at Oscar Freire. Needless to say that the marketing behind the brand, based on exclusivity and impeccable customer service and loyalty managed to keep two customers who moved countries recently and were still uncertain as to whether or not to continue using the services.
Erik, an addicted to Nespresso in the store in JardinsWhat else? I must say that the only missing element in this agreable experience was the presence of Mr. George Clooney as the host greeting the customers.
Ana Paula Schäpers
Cresceu na periferia de São Paulo, mudou para a Suíça, depois França e atualmente mora com seu filho em Munique, na Alemanha. Sempre antenada e buscando o melhor de cada destino, adora partilhar suas experiências com pessoas, explorando o mundo feminino, da maternidade, beleza, moda e decoração. Acredita que luxo é viver com criatividade.