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!