Sunday, February 19, 2023
Yesterday, Saturday, was Mike's birthday. We didn't do anything much really but had a nice day. Headed to Rizzutos in Westport and had fun hanging out for a while before meeting up with our friend John at Edison.
Today we just slept in and then had lunch at Whitlocks. Now hanging out at Broken Symmetry for a bit. Will eventually catch up on some of our recorded TV.
But let's go back and finish my Europe recap. We reached Lisbon in the mid afternoon on Sunday and took a taxi to our hotel. The hotel was a bit outside of the city and we had originally planned on taking the train back and forth but we're faced with a train strike so we settled on taking Uber which worked out pretty well and wasn't terribly expensive either.
Headed to Rossio Square and walked all along the main street down to the waterfront. Checked out some restaurants along the way and eventually settled on a restaurant along the main drags. Very touristy but the food was super delicious. Mike had grilled sardines and I had Paella Negra.
On Monday we wanted to check out the famous yellow Lisbon trams and made our way to the 1st stop of the line 28 tram. I knew they were a big tourist attraction but didn't think we would stand in line for over an hour to actually board one. The experience was definitely worth it in the end. Lisbon is such a hilly city and the old trams go up and down these steep hills. If you are standing up you better hold on tight as there are quite a bit of sharp turns and sudden stops and starts.
Had lunch at a really neat Austrian Cafe, fittingly called Kaffeehaus. After lingering there for a while we walked around some more, took the tram to some pretty scenic view points and also checked out Lisbon Cathedral. Had some wine and bread/olives at another cafe before making our way back to near the seafront where we had more tapas and wine for dinner.
Tuesday we decided to head to Belem which is a neat neighborhood right by the water. Took a bunch of pictures and originally wanted to visit the monastery there before we found out that the line to get in was over an hour and a half long. So we abandoned that idea, walked around some more and eventually had lunch at a neat place overlooking the water. Hung out there for a while before taking the tram back into downtown Lisbon. Spent some time at a cafe in the square before heading to a wine bar for dinner. More delicious tapas. Had some fried sardines as well as some codfish cakes. Due to it being Valentines Day it was pretty busy but we hung out for about an hour and a half before heading back to the main drag. Had some more wine at a touristy spot before eventually ubering back to the hotel.
And Wednesday morning was our flight back to Boston already. Definitively an amazing trip and a super fun way to spend our anniversary (22 years ... crazy!) and Valentine's Day.
Mail Update: All caught up!
Sunday, February 12, 2023
And half of our trip has already flown by. I guess I am not too surprised. It's usually how it goes, but been having a lot of fun so far so no real complaints. The days leading up to our departure were of course hectic but the work presentation in New Jersey went well and we made it back to our CT office just a tad before 4pm which wasn't bad. Was able to repack what I needed that night and work the next morning went relatively smooth. Logged off around 11am and we headed to the airport. The ride to Boston was ok as well, no crazy traffic thankfully. We arrived nice and early and had to wait for a bit for the check in counters to open but that meant we were first in line so really not so bad. And the security lines weren't bad either. Boston really is a much more calm airport compared to all of the New York ones. Hung out at Legal Seafoods for a while before boarding.
The TAP flight from Boston to Lisbon was uneventful. Didn't get a lot of sleep so the layover in Lisbon seemed to drag on forever but we eventually made it to Barcelona and to our hotel. The metro system here is really efficient and our 72 hour pass has worked out really well.
Thursday when we got here we made our way to La Rambla, which is one of the main drags/shopping streets in the city. Walked all the way up and down and also had a delicious tapas lunch at Nuria. Later hung out in Plaça Reial which is a pretty square with tons of palm trees. It is lined with cafes and restaurants. Perfect place for people watching.
Friday we started with a tour of Barcelona Cathedral followed by wandering around Barrio Gótico, the gothic quarter. Lots of narrow alleyways and neat streets to get lost in. Walked around for a while and eventually had another delicious tapas lunch. Later we walked to the Hard Rock Cafe for some drinks and from there decided to check out the Picasso Museum which was also pretty neat.
And yesterday, Saturday, we toured Sagrada Familia in the morning - what a neat experience - and from there made our way to Park Guell. What a hike to get there, so much uphill walking. But it did end up being worth it I would say. Definitely some nice views and the park has a bunch of neat whimsical structures that I really enjoyed. Definitely got our exercise/steps in during our time here. :)
After the park we headed back downtown and had some drinks back in Plaça Reial followed by some garlic shrimp & pizza before heading back to the hotel.
This morning we are just packing up our stuff and will head back to the airport around 11.30am. to catch our flight to Lisbon. Three more nights in Lisbon before we return to the US on Wednesday (15th)
Mail Update: All caught up!
Tuesday, February 07, 2023
Busy Days - Almost Vacation Time
Can't believe I will be on a plane tomorrow. This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind with getting everything set up for my time away at work with coverage and whatnot. I also ended up being invited for a "Best & Final" presentation at work in New Jersey today which meant leaving work at 2pm on Monday, coming down here, staying overnight, doing the presentation and going back up to CT later after we are done. I don't mind doing these type of things. Even though I generally hate public speaking it breaks up the normal routine and gets you out of the office for a bit but with going on vacation on Wednesday it's been a bit of a balancing act to get it all set up and taken care of.
I will need to finish my packing later tonight when I get home since we are leaving tomorrow. Our flight is a little after 6pm out of Boston. I am working in the morning till 11am so tomorrow will be another whirlwind of a day I am sure.
We fly direct to Lisbon and have a connection to Barcelona from there. Will be in Barcelona for 3 nights and then fly back to Lisbon where we will be for another 3 nights before returning back to Boston (Wednesday 8th to Wednesday 15th) I am definitely looking forward to the trip even though I am sure it will just fly by so crazy fast.
Well, not too much else new to report. Over the weekend on Saturday we went to Ashley and Robin's baby shower which was held at Spacecat Brewery in Norwalk and actually was pretty fun. And Sunday we just went to Rizzuto's for lunch and later watched the Grammy's and a few other things on TV.
Mail Update: All caught up!