Faro, Portugal

We had the chance to take a quick day trip to Portugal last week, believe it or not after living in Spain for 4 years we STILL hadn’t made it the few hour drive to Portugal!  We finally made the trip and while we had a nice time, I highly recommend you drive a bit further than Faro and spend time in Albuferia, there is a lot more to do there.

We started off right by the marina and proceeded to walk just about the entire old town, eating as we went.

The churches were beautiful. I was very upset that we tried to go to the Bone Chapel too late in the day and they had already closed. Also LOTS of storks roosting on the buildings. Baby storks everywhere! (And I’ll be using LOTS of collages today, I tried weeding my pictures down and I still had a million)

And I just LOVE the pyramid shaped roofs that a lot of the buildings have. That is a distinctive Portuguese style.

 

Lunch and some pretty trees… Omar had this calamari/prawn skewer, looked amazing!  I on the other hand need to stop being so adventurous when I eat in a foreign country. My entree tasted good but had some unidentifiable chunks of meat that did not look delicious. I *think* it was veal but my Portuguese is non-existent!  Our lunch spot was beautiful, the restaurant had a garden/patio in the back covered with a pergola. Very relaxing.

 

Taking the opportunity to get LOTS of photos on the steps to this church…

Oh my. The tile and stonework here was a-mazing! I took many many more photos of the ground than these. In the pedestrian shopping area each street had its own design. Beautiful. And this archway is into the ‘old town’ and was insane. I can’t even imagine building that.

Oh and this graffiti?  Loved it! These shots also show off the nature reserve in the background. It is a beautiful area where a river meets the sea. The sandy beach is actually on the other side of the reserve.

If you get the chance take one of the boat tours… You can kinda barely see the beach on this picture…

 

I thought this was very funny… This sign says “The Sea” in Portuguese but if you look at it in English it says Omar! Love it!

Some gelato to tide us over on the ride home…. The looooooong ride home. While we did have a great family day and enjoyed our walking and eating and photo taking there really isn’t a lot to do in Faro.  Head another 45 min west and go to some of the bigger resort towns (or even further and hit up Lisbon!) I was just happy to spend the day with the family and check another country off of my map!

 

 

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One pack out completed!

We really are starting to get down to the wire. When I stop to think how few days we actually have left my heart hurts and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack!

I am SO not ready to leave Spain! It’s our home, it’s where my baby grew up, it’s where my daughter knows every kid she sees. I am hopeful that one day we will come back because I love it so much here.

Also, holy crap, the amount of things that need to happen from this point until we actually are in Hawaii are a bit overwhelming. I am STILL trying to figure out if we are actually going to be able to take the dog with us. The way the airlines work in the summer drives me crazy. I know that they are strict in the summer to try and minimize risk to your pet but we really have limited options! I *think* I’ll be able to get him on a United Cargo flight from Madrid to Honolulu, and I am just hoping that we can get an early enough flight from Jerez to Madrid that the heat isn’t a problem. 

Anyways, today we had our Unaccompanied Baggage/Express Shipment pack out. It should hopefully be there in 30 days so if we do (by some miracle) find a house in that amount of time we’ll have some basics to hold us over (along with the furniture from the housing office) 

Basically I just packed one of my multiples of everything I had in the kitchen, linens to include sheets, towels, hand towels, air mattresses, a tv, toys/games/bikes for the kids, a playstation for games/dvd player, a vacuum (we got rid of all of our area rugs and are down to tile here). Really just trying to lessen the amount of stuff we’ll have to buy on the other end. Shopping for the sake of shopping is fine, buying stuff you already own because you can’t get to it is the worst!

After the packers were done they did a quick walk through of the house to see how much stuff they have for when they come back for our big pack out. I’m sitting at my table crossing my fingers and praying they won’t open the closets… nope there they go peeking into the closets. Oh well. They are better than they used to be. 

Still need to clean out the lawnmower and firepit and patio furniture and power wheels. Also trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible. The thrift store is going to love me in the upcoming weeks!