More bones, duh!

We got up earlier than breakfast today so we could walk around town since we didnt get here until basically it was closed for the night yesterday. On our way out we asked to move breakfast to 10 so we could stop at the bone church (wooohoo) BEFORE we ate. They had an opening, so we moved it and set off to explore the waking city.

We didnt have much in mind to check out, just meandered around and witnessed the city come to life. Shop owners setting up for the day, cafes setting out tables and pastries. It was a wonderful way to start the day, along with the rest of the city.

We got to the church at opening, we beat the crowds (maybe there is a crowd?) and hit the church first (the bone chapel is next door). The church was pretty bland. I was actually very disappointed because it looked very cheap. Like the outside had PAINTED grout lines on it (it was stucco made to look like blocks) and the inside was the same way!! It was just shocking, so cheap looking!

Anyway, after the blasé church we headed to the bone chapel. This chapel even had two mummies! It is said that the mummies had been found hanging in the corner and stayed that way for a while. It was much more recently (like within the last 10 years or so) that they have been removed from their hanging position and placed in glass boxes. Their origin is unknown. The chapel was created by some nuns to show the fragility and temporariness of human life (kind of ironic in today’s world). Anyway, as always the bone churches are a site to see and really do speak to the temporariness of humanity.

After the bone church we headed back towards our hotel and the church behind it was finally open. We also decided to check this one out. This one had a tower you could go up to, so of course, we must climb! Turns out, it wasnt a tower, it was the ROOF! It was cool to walk around the whole roof of the church. Wasnt much more than that to see there, but the views were great and it was a nice site to see before we left!

We went back to our hotel to eat breakfast and to grab our things and hit the road! We had super lucked out with our parking spot last night, so it was a nice easy walk to our car with our bags. Getting out of our spot was another story. I had to park against the block wall on the drivers side, which meant I had to climb over the passenger seat to get into the driver seat. Since this car is diesel, the gears are a bit different in automatic. You arent “held” in place on a hill like a gas automatic. You still need to wait for the gear shift to happen. That being said, the spot was tight and made for a long process to get out. I kept panicking I was hitting the van in front of me, because of course I was left with very little room to navigate out of the spot. Chris so kindly got out to ensure that I wasnt hitting the cars or the wall.

Once we were on the road I realized we would need fuel again before we got to Porto, so about an hour and a half in I pulled over at a station and got some diesel. Diesel is so dirty that they provide GLOVES for you when fueling up. It is just so kind! This little Benz is getting great gas mileage – it was only our second fill up, and it wasnt even on empty – it just wasnt going to make it all the way there.

We hit the road again and in another hour or so we switched drivers. Chris drove the rest of the way and into Porto. Porto is a CRAZY city for driving. random turns, one way streets, things Google thinks are streets, but Americans think otherwise (still dont know if it was a street, but it wasnt worth it to figure it out). We turned down this street and I said “We should really find parking” and BOOM, 100 meters behind us was parking, we just passed it when I said it. Thankfully no one was behind us so Chris backed up and we got in line. The garage was full and so until vehicles leave the gate wont open. It is great that the system is so smart, but annoying when you want to park.

We were the third car, but all of a sudden 3 cars came out and we were able to get in. The spots are tighter than the ones in San Francisco, CA! We found the last spot in the garage and parked for the night. The hotel was about 500 meters from the garage, we couldnt have had better luck!

We got to our hotel room and Chris had to take a work call (stupid work getting in the way of life!). I went outside to read for a bit and enjoy the outdoors (its much cooler here and provides much a more comfortable experience). His work call was postponed until tomorrow, so he called the front desk to get us reservations at a Port tasting room and dinner reservations.

The Port tasting room was a 30 minute walk, it wasnt far, its just downhill to the river, then back up hill on the other side. Needless to say, I climbed more than 50 sets of stairs today according to my watch! Anyway, I learned a whole lot about Port wine, and that it actually isnt horrible (I thought it was a bitter wine, its much more fruit and smooth than regular wine). I took a sip of both red and white and then gave them to Chris. We ordered some olives, because SO GOOD!

After our Port tasting we had a hustle back to the hotel so we wouldnt be too late for dinner. Tonight was our “nice” dinner. For me that meant a button down and jeans. For Chris is meant the same….just nicer haha! He ironed my shirt so I wouldnt look like a hoodlum. We then headed back down to the river for dinner.

This place was super cool. We ate right on the water and enjoyed wonderful food, beautiful views, perfect weather and excellent company! We have been enjoying the snacks menu at dinner. Tonight we got bread and olive oil, sheep cheese and olives. All were very good! My meal was a “calzone,” a salad and potatoes. What it was, was a veggie omelet wrapped in a tortilla, shoe string fries (like the ones that come in a canister at the store) and a salad. It was good though. Chris got veal, a salad and au gratin potatoes (his really was all that).

After dinner we were heading for gelato and everything was already closing. It was only 9pm (I know REALLY late for me, but Im doing “Europe”) and so we knew there had to be something open with gelato. We walked past our hotel and found a place. This one had the best gelato yet. I got oreo and nutella. Chris got chocolate chip cookie crunch. It was excellent!

We did some souvenir shopping after that and headed back to bed! What another amazing day in Portugal!

Lisbon HERE I COME!

This morning I woke up and wanted to eat some breakfast before heading to the airport – turns out our hotel didn’t have breakfast (even slummy hotels have breakfast, and this wasn’t a slummy hotel!). I had to wait about 30 minutes for the shuttle, but then was dropped off right by ticketing.

There were a couple other people from my canceled flight yesterday, they were having a rough time – their bags were all over! They were apparently in Birmingham, AL – you should ALWAYS have a change of underpanties (haha) and a toothbrush in your backpack or purse if you check your bags. Anyway, turns out we had to redo our covid test/approval paperwork. I barely made it under the wire – though I did have to point to the ticketing agent that my test was done at 2:34 PM and not 2:34 AM…..

Anyway, after my paperwork I headed to TSA precheck and walked right through. I then went to the gate. I was looking for a Dunkin Donuts, but it was the opposite direction as my gate. Turns out, there was a Panera Bread right at my gate – so lets talk about a morning win!! Already better than yesterday!

Our flight was on time and I had a nice nap on that flight.

When I landed in the horrible Miami Dade airport – I noticed that the drunk girl had made it on our flight and was in the same clothes as yesterday (even though she had two bags with her??). Anyway, I headed to the closest Admirals Club to enjoy some more cheese and grapes! Of course I did have to add a Cherry Sprite Zero in there and some cookies! I watched some Bosch, check on some work emails and then downloaded a few new episodes for the flight.

I had forgotten to write in my One Question a Day journal, so I did that and then headed to my gate. I decided to walk to 30 gates, instead of taking the tram. Sounded like a much better idea than it actually was – it was a LONG way with a duffel bag!

I was starting to get worried about an on time departure – the tropical storm was headed our way and if we missed our take off slot, we would be screwed for hours. Thankfully, everyone boarded in a timely manner and to much of my delight, my row was EMPTY! So not only did I get a row to myself, the flight also took off on time! Woohoo!!

And now, I am in the air. After enjoying a dinner of vodka sauce and pasta, with a 3 piece of lettuce salad, cheese and crackers and cranberry juice. We have about 6 hours left of the flight, and I am just so happy to be back on the road. Nervous for what Europe will be like with this Covid crap – but excited for the world to be open to me again.

It should be noted….one should not eat vodka sauce when they have acid reflux. I barely slept on the flight – each time I fell asleep I was startled awake with acid reflux. Made for a long flight. I ended up taking all my tums I had brought for the whole trip (like 6).

Once I got off the plane we had to walk like a MILE to get to customs. After customs we had to ride a 5 minute tram to another part of the airport – then go through security. Security of course here is all automated. Rarely do they even open your bag if they think there is some sort of contraband. The person manning the Xray machine is remote. The person who verifies stands at the end of the bin collector and uses 3D imagery to verify what is in your bag. Water was tagged, but its not contraband, so off it went. That’s right folks WATER ISNT CONTRABAND! Anyway, on my way out of their security area I noticed a bright yellow version of their x-ray stuff. Turns out, they have a kid friendly line. Anyone with kids is encouraged to use that area, its bright has pictures on the wall and the x-ray machine. Still no one has checked my Covid 19 paperwork – maybe they will when I take off from here?

Anyway, after a 25 minute voyage, I made it to the right part of the terminal and immediately headed to the lounge. Lounges that are NOT owned by American companies are so much more luxurious. I was able to get breakfast, drink some water and relax. I then noticed they had lockers – HOW COOL!! So I decided to use a locker to hold my bags while I go find some European Tums. Turns out though, these lockers are cooler than I could imagine. Need to charge something while you walk around? They have an outlet in the locker!!

Im heading over to my gate shortly – looking forward to meeting up with Chris at hour hotel in a few hours!!

Well, just my luck – I did not get out of Madrid unscathed. My plane had a loose screw, literally, in the engine there was a loose screw. So, instead of canceling the flight, they found us another plane 10 gates down. So off the plane we went, walked 10 gates over and boarded AGAIN.

We ended up being about 2 hours later than our originally scheduled arrival. Somehow I never went through customs here. I followed signs for exit and not customs, on purpose. So I hailed a taxi and headed to the hotel.

Chris was still out exploring, and was going to meet me at the hotel about 45 minutes after I arrived. I showered, changed and walked down to the water before coming back to meet him in the room. However, his phone was dying and he wasnt responding. I waited for a bit in the room, then decided to go get a big gallon of water and then read in the square outside the hotel.

Chris finally came about an hour later. Why might you ask? He got on the wrong train, to no fault of his own. The trains are not labeled in English so he guessed at which one would get him back here. He ended up in a taxi.

We game planned in the room for a bit, then headed off to find the big church in town. We went to the church I had found earlier. It was not the church we were looking for, so we headed to the elevator to nowhere. Ok thats not really its name, but it basically just stands in the middle of this staircase and takes you up about 6 flights of stairs so you can go and see the Carmo Convent. Due to Covid 19, this elevator wasnt in operation. So, we walked up and around.

After checking out the Carmo Convent (which was majorly damaged (almost destroyed) in 1755). It had some cool pieces in the museum portion, including two mummies. It should be noted that the museum had little to nothing to do with the actual Convent, and more to do with how archiology helped shape the city.

After the Convent we decided to head back down the hill and get some dinner. We stopped at an Italian restaurant. We ended up splitting a quartro formagi pizza and pesto gnocchi. We made good life choices.

After relaxing a bit after dinner, we headed to Saint Jorge castle. It was a HIKE to get there, Straight up hills BOTH WAYS. Ok it wasnt that dramatic, but it was a toughie. It was cool to be able to see the city from such a high vantage point and check out the castle. It felt very authentic to me, with the columns, bow and arrow holes and the attitude.

After St Jorge Castle, we headed back down the hill to find some gelato. I got a Kinder Bueno and Chris got a caramel. As always, extra tasty. We hit the grocery store on the way back. Got some Fanta in a can, snacks and water.

Tomorrow is another busy day, that does NOT include me getting on a plane! Woohoo!!