Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scary sounds

KC, warm floor

Our boy scared us last night.  We heard some awful animal noises outside way after dark, with no KC indoors.  Still no boy at 2a, or 4a.  Mommie was worried.  MM got up at 7, and there was the boy, minus his collar, wanting to come inside!

He is tired, but fine, and not telling anything about his adventures.  Butthead!  How do you put a kitty on restriction?

Since we are running out of November, I did my five-minute Christmas decorating yesterday—red bow on grapevine wreath on the front door, Christmas table runner on dining room table, fake tree placed in living room (topped by a red bow), and some Christmas tea towels.  D fer done.  Simple, no fuss stuff…because it will have to be put away before we head south to the land of palm trees.

I love the smell of a real tree, so I need to dig out my Christmas candles.  Yep, I forgot those.

Sure, I miss having a big tree, filled with all the special decorations we’ve collected and enjoyed over the years.  Those are part of the legacy we will leave for the children and grandchildren to enjoy, because I’m thinking big-tree days are totally over in this household of two.  I’m OK with that.

Have a great Sunday.  I plan to walk a bit in the woods, hunting for a blue kitty collar.  Chances are slim to none that I will find it, but I will try.

Life is never dull.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday, playing catch up…

Ansley fall ball

I finally got a photo of Ansley (on the L), all decked out for Fall Ball with two of her besties.  Somehow or other in all the teenage haste, no photo was taken of her alone.  She is loving the ease of her short hair after donating for Locks of Love, remember?  Sure you do.

Did y’all know that both black and green olives grow on the same tree?  Not me.  Bob learned the hard way that they are NOT tasty right from the tree.  I would trust him on that tip.


We literally saw hundreds of acres of terraced olive groves that are centuries old.  These terraces were created by manual labor.  Think about that!  OUCH, says my back.


The Portuguese government has control over where grave vines can and cannot be planted…in the shale ground.  The vines never get watered, except by what rain provides and shale shares.  Shale is good, because it absorbs the heat of the sun that then gets released to the vines during the night.  They even use shale strips to stake the grape vines, rather than use wood stakes.  That solves a rot problem!

Check out this orchid “tree” that was in the lobby of the Lisbon Ritz:


There were dozens of pots containing hundreds of orchids in this big, fat arrangement.  Really outstanding.

This photo was taken from the rooftop of the Ritz, overlooking a beautiful plaza and the city of Lisbon:


It was 23 at our house this morning.  Thankfully, the sun is out and we are now above freezing.  This is unusual for the North Georgia Alps, even for late November.  I’m thinking palm trees already!

Who wants to go to Florida?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey and all the trimmings

MM attacking the turkey:

Logan bought an infrared cooker and this was its maiden try out--no oil, healthy cooking. Boy, was that bird both moist and tasty. I brought home the carcass and am making a big pot of soup for tonight. Yum! The house is smelling mighty good.

We had all the usual Thanksgiving menu items, and everything was delish, as usual. Everyone brought a dish...or three. Haley had it all organized quite well (no surprise there). Maybe she will do it again next year, now that she is so experienced?!

Not to let Mother Nature be outdone by the Halloween flurries, we also got a sprinkling in honor of turkey day. And it is cold today! If this keeps up, MM and I will be seeking some warm weather before Santa arrives! Brrr...

I feel for the folks without power in New England. Maybe Mayberry isn't so cold after all!

Today, I am especially grateful for electricity...fleece, and warm socks...and soup!

Stay warm, y'all!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving2

MM and I extend Happy Thanksgiving best wishes to each of you on this very special day of the year, with high paws from Missy and KC.

With love from Mayberry…

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Home, sweet home!

Old country house

Two kitties were mighty happy to see us last night.  They love their kitty sitter, but Mom and Dad are still best, just as it should be.  KC is asleep on my desk right now; Missy honored me with a brief lap sitting before going over to curl up here in her office bed.  MM checked email, and is off to town to have breakfast with the guys.

Gosh, we haven’t been apart for more than a few minutes in a month.  This feels strange, but I’ll get used to it.

Life is back to normal, meaning that the suitcases are open and ready for moi to empty and let the laundryfest begin!  No room steward popped out to assist me, but I do have a full pot of good coffee brewed to help get my motor running.

It was a long day yesterday with the flight from Lisbon to Amsterdam; change of planes, and then a very long flight to ATL; and a two-hour drive home.  Amy had a delish pot of soup waiting for us (she’s my favorite child!).  Despite being tired and sleepy, it was sooo good getting some home cooking and getting hugs from the wee ones.

By the time we hit our (great) bed, we had been up and awake for 24 hours.  We may be getting too old for that routine.  Naw.  We’ll forget and do it again when the next opportunity arises.

So today I need to also work on a grocery list.  Haley, my other favorite child, is hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year for the whole clan.  I am taking a couple of my traditional side dishes—glazed carrots and parsnips, and Marinated Roma tomatoes—so I only have light duty this year.  I’m good with that.

Cheers from cool Mayberry, y’all!  It’s time to get busy, and get suitcases put back on the shelf.  But for how long?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ATL bound!

Leaving for the airport in a few minutes for our 5a flight. We will be back on sweet Georgia soil this afternoon. Yippee!!!

Mayberry, here we come.

Miles and smiles, y'all!

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Bom dia from Lisbon

This was our view as we disembarked the yacht this morning, schlepping our bags to the metro, headed to the airport hotel. Successfully.

We are now plopped down on a comfy bed, checking email. At last!

Yes, peaches, the view from the john/tub/shower is straight across the bed, but there is a privacy curtain that can be pulled if wanted. Who cares? We are only here until o' dark thirty when we have to roll out to catch our 5a flight. To get home, I am willing to do that! I am not a morning person, but I do wanna be home. So does MM...and we will do whatever it takes to get there, with a little caffeine thrown in by the time we hit that Georgia road northbound to Mayberry

The weather is quite overcast in Lisbon today. Our agenda is very laid back to non-existent, with an early bedtime planned. Not that I can fall asleep on command, but I will certainly try. We may simply sit here and watch the aircraft arrivals from our window. We have a good view of inbound flights, unless the wind shifts...and my fly boy loves to watch airplanes.

It has been a good trip. I have about 1300 photos to download when I get home. Yikes! More later.

Life is good, y'all, and will get better tomorrow!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Cadiz kind of day

But first, let me tell y'all that the occupants of state room 335 learned an expensive lesson: be back at the ship/yacht at the appointed time. They were not, so the captain (nicely) waited 15 minutes (he didn't have to), then (nicely) put their passports ashore and we left...without them. As we should. At least we are going to another city just down the road apiece, so hopefully they catch a train and meet the yacht today in Cadiz.

We enjoyed our excursion to Mijas yesterday for the wine tasting. It is a city of narrow streets up on a hillside, so the busses had to park and stay put while we walked around. We learned that the local taxi is actually a donkey!

They were cute...and loud! If the donkey is a taxi, they wear a little tag on their head, complete with their particular number in it for proper identification. We didn't need their services, however.

So we are now off the yacht at TV Cadiz cruise terminal, checking for email before we wander around. Hotmail only. Again. Bugger.

Tomorrow is a sea day, so I won't have Internet as we sail:motor back to Lisbon for our Sunday morning disembarkation. We will overnight at an airport hotel and catch a 5 something AM flight back to Atlanta. Monday will be a long day!

Ciao, y'all!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Almeria and Malaga

Yesterday was Almeria on a sunny day. We walked the Los Ramblas, and then went into the old town, which is always what we want to visit. We did not find a HO HO bus, unfortunately, but we did find Internet.

The desire for a siesta overshadowed a desire to see the onboard afternoon entertainment: a flamenco dancer (or dancers?). This was the first time local entertainers had been brought onboard. Oh well...

So today we are going on yet another local wine experience. Like we need more wine, especially in the AM, but we are here and that is when it is offered, so we are doing our second "complimentary" tour (as opposed to those tours that cost extra).

We have been to Malaga a couple of times, so this will indeed be a new adventure.

Later gator! At the wine museum. Cheers...ciao!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cartagena, Spain

This is an ancient city, founded more than 2,000 years ago. It is one of Spain's busiest commercial centers. The harbor is flanked by towering fortresses, and speckled with sections of old city walls, beautiful flower studded balconies, school children, and tourists everywhere.

Our bus ride was delightful. So was finding wifi to download messages. We were quite happy to purchase a Coke for the password.

MM and I enjoyed a stroll through the pedestrian area above, and seeing all the chatting school children on their outing. We sure miss our wee ones!

So we strolled back along the harbor to the yacht for yet another delicious lunch, and an afternoon of reading. Yes, we are enjoying the easy life for at least awhile longer...till Sunday!

After dinner, we sat and listened to the 3 musicians/singer till they took their break. There were 5 folks listening. Pitiful. Not the entertainers, the lack of audience.

Today we are walking around the old district in Almeria. Hello, Golden Arches!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Ola! It was a fine day in Valencia on Monday. MM and I took the shuttle that let us off near the cathedral, so we took a walk through the pedestrian area, being tourists.

We found the famous Golden Arches and used their wifi to make a blog post and try to receive mail. The system only liked hotmail, not gmail, so we were unable to download our major inboxes. Bugger. At least the blog launched so the kids would know where we were and are still alive and well.

We checked out the central market, shown above, and just soaked up that part of the city, before taking the shuttle back to the yacht. Lunch and a nap both felt good.

The musical entertainment onboard consists of a group of four, and a duo. Both play (in separate locations), first as we go into dinner at 7:00 (and away from where they are playing...a few folks stay and come into dinner late), then they play again (at the same time) at 9:15, long after dinner is over. We don't want to sit around waiting on them to begin. Strange way of scheduling, in our humble opinion. We would love to enjoy live entertainment.

Oh...the yacht has 5 masts, not 4 as I said earlier. Sorry that I short changed them by one. I don't have a good photo yet to post, but I will. Eventually.

Today finds us docked in downtown Cartagena, so we can walk in, no shuttles needed. We have never been here, and it appears to be an interesting city.

We hopped on the HO/HO bus and checked it out...we are now on a free wifi prowl. Bingo!

Sunny smiles.

Ciao, y'all!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday in Palma

The city of Palma de Mallorca is dominated by its wonderful Gothic Cathedral, Le Seu, and most of the main sights are located within the area bounded by the old city walls. The coaches stopped, but only for a quick photo shoot:

Since MM and I have done the city HO/HO bus tour, we opted to take the "Olive and Orange World" tour offered in the onboard program. We get two "free" tours, so we picked this one (since it was something different), and since we've been here a couple of times already.

We left the port for a short coach ride, admiring olive, almond, and carob trees in a scenic drive to Valldemosa. We toured a monastery where Chopin lived and composed for a very short while, and were treated to a short but nice live piano concert of his music.

A glass of freshly squeezed OJ at a local cafe was the "Orange" portion of the trip. Lots of oranges, lemons and limes are grown around here.

We reboarded the coaches for a trip across the valley to Soller, with a stop at Ca'n (casa) Det, a typical stone house that is more than 400 years old, and where the Det family continues to live...and work. It is one of three "tafonas" that still produce virgin olive oil in the age old traditional way, using millstones, wicker mats, and a hydraulic press. Photos later, of course.

We enjoyed a typical Majorcan lunch there, made with olive oil products and served picnic style on multiple long tables, right there in their processing area. Yum!

A quick photo stop at the bowl-shaped, beautiful harbor of Soller wrapped up our tour, and then we headed back to the ship...oops, I have learned that it is called a yacht, not a ship or sailboat. Now you know.

We have a daily port talk of the next day's port, ahead of a wine tasting, followed by open seating dinner. We have met some friendly Americans and Brits thus far.

Lynne would not have liked our wave rolling Saturday night, but it really wasn't too bad.

Soo many pearls in this famous Palma town, but with it being Sunday, not much was open. Bugger. That wasn't good planning!

Now, it is Monday, and we have just docked in Valencia. Shuttles will take us into city center, so we will go ashore after all the tour folks have departed, and merely do a walkabout. No tour for us today.

Apparently, we can get 20 free minutes of wifi in the terminal, so that will be first priority! Internet onboard is a tad pricey, so I will forego that, and post when able.

Sunny and cool.

Check back and see where we go next! So far, so good, y'all!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday in Barcelona

The photo is the view from Bob and Lynne's room overlooking the chateau portion of our Porto hotel. Our hotel view here in Barcelona is OK...greenery, power line, car factory, roads. Nothing exciting.

Buenos Dias from sunny Barcelona!

We opted to go to the airport early on the tour bus yesterday, rather than take a taxi later. We had to sit somewhere, so we figured we might as well sit and read at the airport. And have a beer.

Our flight arrived early, which was good, seeing as how those seats on the 737 were totally uncomfortable. We learned that taxi rides are pricey here. The meter read almost 14€ for our short ride to the hotel. When MM tried to pay the driver and couldn't understand a word the (unhappy) man was saying, the two of them went inside to the desk clerk with English speaking ability who 'splained to MM that from the airport, there is a minimum fare of 20€. Welcome to Spain, thankyouverymuch.

So we have already enjoyed a nice breakfast buffet, and are now awaiting our 12:00 taxi to take us to the port, about a mile and a half away. Hopefully, we will have a different driver!

This cruise will check off something on my guy's bucket list. We are sailing on a big a$$ sailboat--a four-masted sailboat that holds 250 passengers. For eight days. We have only been on small ones for a short sail, so this is a major change. Major. Surely I will like it, right? I love cruising, so I will now find out if I like sailing. Here goes!

We are in port every day, except for a final sea day as we make the run back into Lisbon. We shall be visiting some new ports, but also going back into a couple of places we have visited before, but perhaps seeing from a different perspective. The weather forecast is for sun, so that is good; however I will still be found in the shade...somewhere.

Come along on this new adventure with us. I know it will be exciting, and much warmer than it is back in Mayberry, so that is good. I don't like cold weather, and we are expecting mid-60s and higher during the day. Me likey.

Bon voyage to us!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Farewell, Portugal!

Our silly boys at the farewell dinner last night.

Ola! Bom dia on our final day in Portugal...for this side of the trip.

MM and I fly to Barcelona late this afternoon ahead of boarding a four-masted sailboat (250 folks) bound for Lisbon. Beginning tomorrow.

If you are gonna fly this far away from home, you might as well get the most out of the trip. And so we shall. Lynne can't do the ocean, so she and Bob fly to Paris for a few days. Wait...I love Paris! Oh, the choices!!! Oh well, another time.

At least the nawthern Bells have enjoyed the river cruise enough to be thinking about doing another one. That smells like success on our travel agent skills, well, mainly MM and his skills. We thoroughly enjoyed our special time together with them.

So we begin a new adventure tomorrow, and switch languages. At least Spanish is more familiar to me than Portuguese. Our Alex is taking a Portuguese class in school, so I got to say a few words to him last night when we did FaceTime. Love it!

Time to pack. Happy Friday, y'all.

Bon voyage!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rainy Thursday in Porto

The plan had been to take the shuttle to downtown Porto and do a walk about with Bob and Lynne, since it is a free day for all of us (some folks are doing an optional tour this afternoon, but we are "toured" out). It is raining--no fun walking in the rain, so MM and I are staying put. Lynne's phone unfortunately died, so she and Bob are heading to an Apple Store to see if it can be resurrected.

MM isn't feeling well because he caught a head cold. Bugger. He is happy to stay in the room today.

At least I have a shot from the bus of the bookshop here in Porto made popular by that famous HP book/movie fame: Livraria-Lello. My granddaughters would love seeing this:

Tonight is our group farewell dinner, then departure tomorrow. More on that later.

This hotel is nice and roomy. Vantage Travels has treated us well on accommodations, both on land and on the ship. Our tour leader (one per bus) has been outstanding. No complaints.

Unfortunately, several folks have gotten sick with a tummy bug. It bit me, but I am pretty much fine now, but also happy to rest awhile. That is just one of the pitfalls of travel, and you brings meds in anticipation of need. Or visit a local farmacia.

Remain flexible...that is the travel motto...and stay hydrated.

Happy birthday today to my sweet friend Joan. We have been besties since BC--before children. That is a very long time!

Miles and smiles all around, yall!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Porto, Portugal

Our ship is back in Porto again, actually docked across the Douro River on the Gaia side.

We took a morning damp stroll down to Porto Wine Cellar Calem for another learning and tasting experience on port wines upon our arrival yesterday.

Lunch back onboard, then we all loaded up on the busses for a guided city tour of Porto. It is Portugal's second largest city, and is the unofficial capital of northern Portugal. There are many beautiful old buildings, old train station, trees, and history everywhere.

We say goodbye to our fabulous crew here onboard the Douro Spirit after breakfast this morning. Our luggage is being whisked away to our local hotel while we all go off touring once again, arriving at our hotel around 3.

More places to see. It is never ending. There is just too much history around here to try to see it all, but we are making a huge dent in it!

Life is never dull, y'all!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Alpendurada Convent

We arrived in Bitetos yesterday just in time to disembark, board the busses, and take a short ride to a former convent, now a hotel. The dinner (and rooms) are in the building on the R.

We never saw the sun.

When the priests lost favor with the government, they were kicked out, along with monks and nuns from monasteries and convents, and the buildings confiscated and repurposed into military housing, offices, or whatever. Or sold off. The nuns were at least given dispensation and allowed to stay till the last nun died. We weren't told what became of the guys.

An older man bought this particular convent and turned it into a (not so profitable or well known) hotel. They were delighted to have our group...and we were quite happy with the good food. More photos will follow of the beautiful tiles, tables, and humongous fireplace.

So today is our last cruising day, but we then all go to a hotel in Porto tomorrow until Friday, so our Portugal adventure is not over yet.

Rain is expected all week. Oh well, we've been lucky on the weather, despite it being chilly.

We adjust...and all is well.

Many thanks to all veterans today, especially my own Maytag Man. Freedom is never, ever free.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Quinta da Avessada

First, let me say that Mateus Palace (actually, that means elegant estate, not palace as Americans think of them) was indeed beautiful and photos will follow, but where we went next was the highlight of the trip.

En route to Q.ta da Avessada, two of the three busses got stopped for a medieval parade through a village. Photos later. The town was celebrating 500 years since getting their freedom from the king. We could afford the delay for that grand occasion, that is for sure!

These three guys greeted us with a musical welcome outside, where we sampled a muscatel aperitif before beginning our tour.

We were thoroughly entertained by one of the owners (think the English Mr. Bean). He was quite the thespian as he shared details of the local vineyards, and the music and storytelling continued on during dinner inside the lovely building that housed the shop, and two beautiful dining areas. They only cater special events; not a regular restaurant, but the food and service were first rate.

It is definitely a family run vineyard, producing about 40 million bottles a year. That's a lotta grapes! The cute drummer (above) is a brother, and mom and dad were also there and introduced to us. We all felt like family by then and hated to leave.

Lunch today will be in a convent, so the adventure continues. Come along with us!

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Salamanca, Spain

Here are our two guys at the lovely hotel where we stopped for a potty break after the two hour bus drive up to Salamanca. Poor Bob wasn't feeling very well, with the beginning of a cold, but he was a trooper:

The bus next dropped us off at a large plaza where we met our cute young local guide, who explained about the beautiful surroundings, then led us on a lovely walk, pointing out important details on various buildings and giving us insights into local Spanish history.

We toured the insides of both the Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral of Salamanca, and while both are magnificent, we four found the Old one more to our personal liking, being simple folks that we are. Sadly, the New church isn't utilized much, due to lack of priests, nuns, and active parishioners. Photos from home!

A fabulous lunch of paella, a special Spanish tortilla (eggs/potatoes cut into squares), salads, and dessert...under three shining chandeliers in a grand ballroom...greeted us back at the hotel. As always, red and white wine were flowing. Most folks slept on the ride back to the ship. In the rain. I read.

Our after dinner entertainment was a movie related to travel, but we four skipped that and headed to our cabins for our own quiet time. Bob wound up not waiting for his dinner (feeling very yucky), so the waiter insisted that he would deliver it to their room. All the staff are great! Truly.

That is the good thing about cruising--you can do as much or as little as you want to do. Pick and choose...and with there being no assigned seating, we have enjoyed eating with lots of different folks from all over the US.

We are already under way this morning as we have turned south, retracing our water path, but still having lots more interesting places to stop and visit. This afternoon, we visit a different winery...muscatel wine...then dinner at the winery.

Living large on the river...and wondering what river we want to try next time!

Life is good, y'all!

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Castelo Rodrigo

After going through another lock yesterday, chef Barbara gave us a Pastel de Belem cooking lesson before lunch. Lynne and I both want to try these scrumptious pastries, and are going home with the recipe. The staff provided samples for everyone in attendance, and they were every bit as good as what we had back in Lisbon. Yum!

We docked at Vega de Terron, Spain, after another great lunch...boarded our busses, and headed to Castelo Rodrigo, back across the border (and the river) into Portugal. It is an old walled city, with about 65 current inhabitants. They were happy to see us...and our credit cards.

We arrived back at the boat in time to change for the Captain's cocktail party, followed by dinner, and a traditional Spanish music and flamenco show, performed by four local ladies in the lounge. Great fun.

We are boarding the busses bright and early (whose idea was that?!) this morning for another tour, complete with lunch in another town in Spain.

Yes, this is a great cruise. The gorges we saw yesterday were spectacular. Vineyards, olive trees galore, grazing sheep...what's not to love!

Life is definite mighty fine...but a tad on the chilly side, weather wise. Rain has been sporadic, so it's all good in our world.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Almost Friday.

We won't have Internet Friday, because we are heading through some valleys and remote areas en route to the border with Spain, and no phone signal...thus no internet. I am posting this just shy of midnight Thursday.

Our Thursday was indeed nice...relaxing morning, going through the highest single lift in Europe just before lunch. The two brothers helped oversee the successful process:

After lunch, we all hopped back on the busses for a short trip to the old village of Lamego, visiting another beautiful church and a historical museum in the city.

We are in official port wine country, so next up was a port wine tasting at Quinta do Seixo wine estate. We had a very nice guided tour, then we got to taste both white and ruby port. Who knew there was such a thing as white port?!

We learned that rose bushes are planted in vineyards, not for their obvious beauty, but because they are like canaries in a cave--when either dies, that signals a problem. When the rose bush dies, the vines are in trouble, thus alerting the folks to check it out.

Dinner was ready shortly after our arrival back onboard, followed by a group of seven locals performing a Portuguese Folk Music show (did y'all know there is a Portuguese guitar? I didn't.). They were a lively group. Let me say that MM was the only one of our group NOT in the "train" line, final number, dancing around the room. It was fun, but we four didn't stick around for the nightly piano player, who is our after-the-show show. Whew! That dancing was tiring.

We have a slow Friday morning (thank goodness). We may need it. I will be back to visit when able.

Life is good, y'all. Carry on.

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Rolling on the river

We left the Ritz pretty much on time yesterday, traveling about an hour N to a sweet walled city--Obidos. I forgot to take a phone photo, being so fascinated with trying to see everything in our short hour there. Sigh. Shame on me.

Next up was a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady Fatima:

And lunch in a local hotel...for all 120 of us. It worked out quite well.

Upon arrival in Porto and boarding the Douro Spirit, we received a welcome aboard reception from the hotel director, who introduced most all the staff (while our luggage was being delivered to our rooms).

We then went to our rooms, got unpacked, and headed to the lounge for some visiting ahead of dinner...which was good.

A local group of mostly college students who love music came onboard and treated us to some lovely Portuguese folk music. We certainly enjoyed the cultural connection with these energetic young men.

Today begins our first day of river travel. Check back and learn more about it. The program says we are going to another medieval town. Yippie! We love those.

Porto has some lovely buildings...and a couple of bridges designed by that same fella who designed the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel. Who knew? We will be back here at the end of the cruise, so I will have lots of photos...later.

Motorboatin'...and we're off!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday on the move

My friend Ivana from Italy asked me by instant message if we had seen a theatre designed by an architect from her country. Yes. We did! I didn't know anything about the National Theatre until she mentioned it, and I am so glad she did. It is a beautiful building in a square near where we stayed at the beginning of our trip:

Today we are heading up to the boat by busses, and we will be stopping along the way at a walled city, and also stopping for lunch, to break up the trip. It will be another long day, but that is OK. We will be floating tonight...and that is always a good thing.

So far, so good! New adventures await us. Come along.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday. Already?

It sure is and we haven't missed all those political ads and phone calls!

So after another day of sightseeing yesterday and naps for some (not me!), we decided we really didn't want to go out to eat at all. Sweet MM braved the rain to seek out substance times four (what a guy!), and we picnicked in our room. I googled fado music, which entertained us for our redneck dinner, complete with dessert.

Go ahead and laugh at us. We can take it.

After breakfast this morning, we loaded up on our respective busses, visited the Tower of Belem, back to the Discoveries monument (great commentary by our tour guide), then the Coaches in royal coaches, fancy coaches, and even a few gaudy ones. Photos later.

Next, a return (for MM and me) to the Jeronimous Monastery, topped off by a pastry made famous by the monks of the monastery, Pastry of Belem. And it was GOOD. And a guarded secret recipe, so don't even ask for it.

We have a group dinner tonight here at the Ritz (yes, peaches, we are staying at the ritzy Ritz).

Our bags need to be ready for pick up from the room at 7a, we have already been told.

Check. Will do. Then we head to Porto to the boat! Yay!!!

Life is good, y'all! Well, the internet isn't great, but everything else is just fine and dandy. WYWH!

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Monday, November 3, 2014


We are a group of 120, here in Lisbon, who gathered for dinner last night here at the hotel, and a meeting about our upcoming itinerary.

Staggered four-bus departure this morning took us up to Sintra, and a tour of the palace there. Each bus has its own official leader/official tour guide, so see and learn as we go.

It was really beautiful, and once again, I can't post photos. Bugger. The connection is very slow. Photos will have to wait.

We are not doing the pricey group dinner tonight at a restaurant that features Fado music. We got a tip on a different place to go eat and listen, so we four will be adventurous. Why not?!

Now back at the hotel, and maybe a nap is calling while it is sprinkling outside. Sounds like a plan. Yep!

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lisbon, again

We walked across the boulevard from the monastery to see the monument erected in 1960 to commemorate Lisbon explorers. Bob is checking out the marble men...that make him look small:

Lisbon is known as a tile city, with beautiful tile work either depicting a scene, or just beauty, and is thrown around everywhere.

These particular wavy tile lines give the optical illusion of uneven pavement, when viewed from the other direction. Trust me. But it is flat.

So today we are packing up and moving to another (fancy) hotel where we will join our tour group for dinner tonight. We may leave if there is no terrace, fancy or not.

Let the good times roll, y'all!

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Lisbon sightseeing

My post would not post! I will try one photo of our stop at Jeronimous Monastery, where we could have spent all day:

Even the pillars are carved!

Here goes...

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Friday in Lisbon

Well, this is from yesterday, across the plaza, waiting in the HOHO bus (hop on/hop off), looking at our hotel. On the L.

More in that another day.

We rode two different routes yesterday for a fabulous overview of Lisbon. We stopped here and ate lunch nearby and changed busses:

Bob and Lynne arrived after dinner last night, delayed a day by an airline strike. Oh the joys of travel! We adjust. We four enjoyed the Terrace view after their arrival. We will be back up there tonight for sure. Totally in love with that spot.

So today will have us back on the bus, checking out other routes and seeing more beautiful and old stuff.

Yes, MM and I both are taking lots of photos...that will be posted later.

Making memories times four today!

Life is good, but I've gotta get dressed and get going. Adventures are awaiting!


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