While I was going through my hard drive I kept finding tons of old pictures that I would love to post from our years in Spain. We did a few different sherry tours while we lived there but this was … Continue reading
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!
Moving from Spain to Hawaii is a pain in the ass. I know I shouldn’t be complaining, that yes we are moving from one dream vacation spot to another, but I still get to complain!
First off is the dog, my baby. We still aren’t 100% sure we are going to be able to fly with him in July. Many airlines have a summer heat embargo that prevents pets from flying in the cargo hold. On top of that, he is a snub-nosed dog which has a further set of restrictions. We have some papers we received from the travel place on base that say that the heat embargo is waived with PCS orders. But I am not believing anything anyone tells me right now with out confirmation from the airline. I don’t want to get to Madrid and have someone tell me I can’t put my dog on the airplane. What the hell would we do then???
Second, finding temporary lodging. We only get a set amount reimbursed from the military for a hotel each day and finding one under that is almost impossible. Add in parking and wifi and taxes and pet fees and we are coming out of pocket for quite a bit. I am looking for someone on the island who pet sits so we can have the dog stay there instead of in a hotel. (Okay while we *could* find a cheaper hotel, I don’t want to stay in a shady area. If I am going to be in a hotel for 4+ weeks I want it to be in an area where the kids and I can walk to things, so I am focusing on Waikiki.)
Thirdly: HOUSING! Holy crap is the base housing wait list long! 2-4 months! I am looking for something off base, preferably in Mililani, preferably 4 bedroom, and is pet friendly. Oh and is under $2500/month. Pretty much dreaming the impossible dream over here.
Adding onto that the kids will be starting school when we still be in temporary housing so how the heck do I decide where to enroll them? I am REALLY looking forward to living in Hawaii and I know I am going to LOVE it. I am not, however, looking forward to the transition period of the next few months. It’s going to suck.
Stressful week so I am venting. My dog acted like he was dying, impromptu girls sleepover tonight, went to see a slightly disappointing Mirror, Mirror at the drive in, and I’ve spent too many hours today researching hotels.
Let me go to sleep so I am not a zombie in the morning!
So this week I got to go on a field trip with my son’s daycare class to the local zoo… While the zoo isn’t huge the kids still had a great time.
We left base around 9am with cloudy skies overhead. I was just praying it wouldn’t rain, especially since I forgot to grab my umbrella.
Here they are sitting all cute on the front steps of the zoo: (blurred to protect the not so innocent)
Right when you walk in the flamingos and peacocks are putting on a show. This is also where the zoo personnel did a group shot and individual shots.
The kiddos with their teachers. I LOVE my kids teachers.
This little monkey was the first animal exhibit we stopped at and I kid you not, one of the kids went running toward it and smacked face first into the glass. Bloody lip and crying – fabulous. Thankfully his mom was there and he was all patched up and go to go in a minute.
I can’t tell if this is a peacock or a peahen, I’m not really a fan of the white ones, the colorful ones are so much prettier.
This big boy was making rather rude noises with his mouth. The kids were in hysterics they thought he was farting, but really I think he was flirting with the female? He would blow this big pink bubble thing out of this mouth. I have NO idea, I have never seen a camel do that before.
Hey there pretty lady, I will take your eyelashes!
These storks nest all over Andalucia, it’s pretty cool. Their nests are HUGE. You can hear them clatter their beaks together when they are talking to each other.
Random flower photos? Yes, Please! I love this flower and I have no idea what it is called. It grows facing the ground and is so pretty.
O and two of his best buddies.
The color on this guy was amazing! This pic is blurry because he was pacing back and forth but it was crazy how close we were. I could have stuck my hand through the fence if I wanted to. Love European zoos!
After we had seen most of the animals we stopped for lunch just as it started to sprinkle. Perfect timing! We were under a pavilion so we stayed nice and dry. After lunch the kids got to go get their faces painted while all of the parents had to sit and wait at the coffee shop. Ordered up a cafe manchado (cafe con leche is still a bit to strong for me) and sat and chatted with the rest of the parents while we drank coffee and stayed out of the rain.
End of the day being silly.
Back onto the bus we went and those kids all managed to stay awake until 1:30 when we got back. Of course by then they were all so overtired they were cranky pants! O even took a nap even though he NEVER takes naps anymore.
I was happy to finally get a chance to go to the Zoo since we hadn’t been the whole time we’ve lived here! Both of the kids had gone with school but the one time we tried going was a Monday and they were closed!
If you’re here take they kids, they’ll love it!
Up the hill from Area Sur mall, closed Mondays! 9 euro adult entrance fee, kids 6 euro, under 3 free.