Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's all over...

I can't believe it's over! I arrived in Boston last night and thouroly enjoyed my nice hotel room! I had a great last few weeks... A little less mellow than I thought it would be, but a great time! I ended up hanging out with friends we had met and went to a 30th birthday party where I was the only one that spoke english. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! They also took me to a club where all the locals go, and it was crazy! It was in an old bull fighting ring! My friend took me to a few new beaches and saw another palace and really cool castle a few hours out of Lisbon. My last night my friends and I went to our favorite bar in Lisbon, and then we went to Kareokee...Love! might be the most entertaining thing watching Portugese people sing all our songs with their thick accents!
What an amazing experience, it really hasn't hit me! The whole trip was such an opportunity and I am so glad I took advantage of it! Now my US whirlwind begins...can't say I have a set date when I will actually be in Seattle for more than a week! See you all soon!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just a quick update!!

Only a few weeks left and I don't think I am ready to come home! I have had the best couple weeks! Jill left a few days ago which was a bummer :( We have made a few friends here so we have been hanging out with them and they have shown us a lot of fun local spots! A friend from college was in town randomly over the weekend, so we went to a soccer game and then our portugese friends took us to a free concert in a park! It was so fun! there was an amazing firework show afterwards and it was beautiful! I pretty much have just been getting myself organized and cleaning the house and of course doing last minute shopping! I'll spend the next couple weeks working on my tan and relaxing before I have to go back to real life! Everything is fantastic though and I can't wait to start planning my next adventure!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tavira, Sevilla, Winery!!

Last week Jill, her sister Jenny and I hit the road again and went to the Algarve to a town called Tavira. It was a great time! We stayed at a great hotel with a nice pool although it did start raining later in the day but thankfully cleared. We had a great dinner at a place in town and met a really fun girl from London who was traveling alone. We invited her to have dinner with us and it was a great time! The following day we went to the beach which was beautiful but different from all the other beaches we have been too. There were massive waves which of course I enjoyed diving into! We left later that afternoon and drove to Sevilla. We arrived in Sevilla around 6pm and had a little trouble finding our hotel so we were very ready for food and sangria! We made our way to a few tapas bars. The following day we explored the city which is absolutely beautiful! We walked through the Parque and took a tour of the bull fighting ring which is so cool! We had lunch at a super cute tapas bar and wandered to the Cathedral which is incredible! Defintely glad we were able to make it to Sevilla since I have heard so much about it! The next day we headed home but decided to stop at this winery that Jill's friend had told us about. It is called Malhadinha Nova and is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal. It is absolutely beautiful! The grounds are incredible and the staff is extremely friendly. We started with lunch in their restaurant and then went on a tour of the entire place. They have a small hotel on the grounds, and grow all their own produce and have four lakes on the property that feed all the animals and water the grounds. It truely was an incredible place and I would love to go back some day! We of course loaded up on wine and headed back home. We were beat when we got home and have been spending the last few days at the beach!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Around Town...

We have had a great time since I have been back from Prague! I ended up spending last Saturday at the beach with Meaghan (our friend from California that lives here) and her darling family! It was a bigger beach that I hadn't been to yet, very beautiful! Saturday night Jill and I went out to the local club that just opened up for the is right down the street and crazy how many people were there! We got home around 4am and the line was probably 100 people deep...we couldn't believe how late/early it was! Sunday we were invited by Meaghan and her family to go swimming and their great grandmother Bisa's house. Meaghan's husband Vasco grew up in this area and his whole family still lives here. His Grandmothers house is incredible and sits up on the hill overlooking the ocean! I am really going to miss them when we leave! The kids are darling and so fun!

On Monday we took Jill's mom into lisbon for dinner. We did a little shopping first and then explored some new areas. We decided to check out this old beer hall that we read about. It was absolutely beautiful! It apparently was an old montesory and then has burned down twice, but been restored beautifully! All the tile walls are so incredible! We were having wine, when this family came in and we were watching them take pictures and have such a great time! They soon joined in with us and only the 15 year old daughter spoke English. They were celebrating their dad's best friends 50th birthday! They ended up buying us another bottle of wine and we hung out for a few hours...such a great family! When we were leaving the mom tugged on the daughter and told her to ask us if we would like to come to their house the following day. We ended up going on Monday evening!!!! We met them back at the place we had met the previous evening. They drove us to their cute apartment just out of the city. The house smelled fantastic and we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces! THe mom Paula I believe...yikes! made us a traditional meal of chicken...which we found out she killed that morning :), and baclou (sp??) Which is shredded salt cod and potatoes. It was all fantastic! We looked at pictures of all the kids at their baptisms and truely enjoyed every second! They were so excited to have us there and kept asking if we liked their home and if they liked the meal! It was so hard with the laguage barrier to truely show our appriciation, but I can tell you my cheeks have never hurt so bad from all the smiling! We really are having such a great time and I can't even think about leaving! Jill's sister got here tomorrow and we just planned a trip to Sevilla!! Looking forward to it! Hope all is well :)

Monday, July 7, 2008


I just got back from four days in Prague! My friend Erica was in town and stayed with me in Portugal for a week and then we flew to Prague on the 1st. While she was in town we did a lot of lounging at the beach, discovered some new restaurants and had a nice relaxing time! Our flight was at 2 in the morning on the 1st...It was crazy! I felt like it was wrong to be flying at that hour so of course I was completely panicked! We got in around 7am and were so tired! Thankfully we were able to check into our hotel early and napped till about 2. Then we wandered across the Charles bridge and walked up to the palace and down the golden street...all of it was beautiful! It is a really cool city! We basically did a lot of wandering and then went to dinner at this place in Old town close to our hotel. We got a great rate at this place and staying in the loft area which was really cool and in a great location! so anyway for dinner the first night we noticed these wine glasses that were the size of my head so I had to go in and check it out! It turned out that they were flaming drinks...still not really sure but we tired them for desert and they were real yummy! The second day we woke up early and went explored the Jewish quarters! It was really cool seeing all the old synogagues (??) Very beautiful architechture...of course they won't let you take pictures! The cemetary was really interesting as well! After we explored that area we wandered into the new town and found a farmers market and wandered through that. The next couple days we pretty much just wandered around and ate a lot! It was a fun adventure and I would love to see the city in the winter! I got back to portugal around 3am on the 5th....super tired!! Jill's mom is in town and her sister gets here on Wednesday so more explorations to come!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


The rest of our trip was just as injoyable as the first part! We were in Florence for three days and I defintely enjoyed all of the food and the weather was perfect! From Florence we went to San Giminagano and stayed at the cutest hotel right in the main square! There was some sort of midevil festival going on which was pretty interesting to watch. On our second day we took a wine tour through the Chianti region. It was absolutely beautiful and we tasted some great wines and met a fun couple from Australia! We ended up having dinner with them and had a blast. We spent one night in Siena which was nice. It rained however so it kinda gave us an excuse to be a little more mellow and rest up. We did however stay in an awesome place! It was an old montestary. It was absolutely beautiful! From Siena we went to Sorrento and spent a day in Capri. The grotto tour was not as cool as our Lagos grotto tour. It was a little hectic and long... very beautiful water and scenery though. We decided to go to Positano for a night because Jill really wanted to go to this restaurant she and her sister had gone too a few years ago. We again stayed at a great place that had an amazing veiw and a super nice balcony! We had dinner at La Tagliata, and it was definitely worth the trip! Such a fun place... WE never once saw a menu however had tons of food and more lemonchello! There was a 60th birthday being celebrated and the people involved were SO friendly! Didn't speak any english, but we all danced and had champagne and cake! It was too fun! The owner of the bar and his friend ended up driving us home on their scooters through the hills of Positano after the restaurant closed! It was quite an experience... All and all it was an awesome trip! Unfortunatly our last night Italy lost their eurocup match to Germany in a shootout, but we were happy we got to see all the games in the country! It was so fun!!! I can't wait to go back to Italy and am convinced I will be moving there! Erica got here the day after we got back so we have been laying at the beach and had a great night out in Lisbon last night! We head to Prague next week! Looking forward to it :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Italy update one...

I am in love with ALL things Italian! Jill and I flew into Milan last wednesday. We spent the day wondering around and of course eating and drinking. The next day we went to Lake Como which is Unreal!! We took the bus from Como to Bellagio which was quite possibly the worst bus ride of my life! I am pretty sure I was green. We opted to take the boat back and what a great choice! Such a beautiful ride and great way to spend two hours :) We had a great dinner and then got up early the next day and headed for Venice. I had heard terrible things about Venice so I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasently surprised! We had great weather and had a nice time roaming around and taking it all in. The busses are all boats! So crazy! We had Belini's at Harrys Bar...yikes! £17 later..but I guess we can say we did it :) They say they invented them and it was just like the buena vista in San Francisco. WE met a great couple on their honeymoon and ended up going on the pub crawl that Rick steves suggests in his book :) So much fun!
Saturday we left for Cinque terra...we stayed at the CUTTEST B&B in Monterosso and I seriously never wanted to leave. The first day we were there we went on the hike...a lot more challenging than we were aware of but amazing and I would do it again anyday! I can't wait to get my pictures uploaded! Swimming in the Medditeranian may have been the coolest thing I have ever done! The water is so incredible and swimming out and looking back at all the towns is awesome! We were there for five nights...we ended up extending one day there because we loved it so much! We were locals in no time and made friends with all the lifeguards and our favorite bar employees! We also met a great couple from Sun Valley and some fun people from Australia. I was sad leaving yesterday but had a great first night in Florance so all is well! We ended up running into one of the Australians that we met in Cinque Terra yesterday and invited him to join us for wine and then ended up hanging out the rest of the day. I am sold on Australia now and can't wait for my next big adventure!
Not sure if I will be returning anytime soon! Just loving everything and meeting the best people!
Hope everyone is doing well :) More to come soon!