Sunday, April 20th, 2014

IMG_7806What was that bunny thinking?

IMG_7821Marianne and I had to walk to Lawrencetown Beach and back just to help digest some of the Easter goodies. Note the coat, headband, gloves…

IMG_7828A few hours later it was all hands on deck weather…short sleeves, jacketless, shoeless. An excellent day.

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

ImageFrank had some helpers to blow out his birthday candles. We really enjoyed seeing them!

Image 1Noah was so fascinated by the hanging hydrangeas..and I was so fascinated in how much he’d changed in only six weeks. This first year of of a baby’s life is such a miraculous time…

Friday, April 18th, 2014

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Flew back today..airports in Lisbon, then London, Eng., then Toronto, then Halifax. The longest flight saw us in a row for three with just the two of us. We made good use of this. For the most part, the airplanes are in the dark, everyone having the blinds down on the windows, watching their seat back screens or personal computer devices…no light, no conversations. It’s like putting all the passengers down for a long nap. I miss the noise and natural light from years ago. Mind you, we did watch movies too, after I won.

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Marianne, who arrived at our home since last night, sent us a photo of our garden to reassure us that spring is here. Very funny, as we get about three tulips that show up in late June. The truth…these tulips, as we discovered, are in a vase on our kitchen counter. Too bad, so sad, but lovely inside too. A delight to be picked up. We’re home!!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

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Took a three hour train ride to Lisbon early a.m….getting tired of these early departures..last one tomorrow. But I digress. Once in Lisbon we took a tour bus that was quite small so it was able to show you the “heart” of the city. Such narrow streets, and lots of honking when cars were parked in the path of the bus. Very cool tour (well, 28C and sitting in an open roofed bus)..good stuff though.

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So many of the old buildings in this old city are surfaced in tiles…everywhere you see tiles..

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Even our bathroom, including the entire shower stall, in blue.

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Well, tomorrow we leave and then we’ll see those moms and babes we’ve been missing. We’ll then miss seeing sculptures, ancient ruins, cobblestones, crowded avenues with outdoor cafés…or further back, we’ll miss sunny beaches and palm trees and orange groves. But home will feel good. And believe me, after these last few days we’re too tired to do anything but slump into a seat on the plane. Bye Portugal, you’ve been a great companion for our adventures.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

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We left Cabanas today, taking the train to Faro. This was a bittersweet moment for Frank because as of today he qualified for half price on the train..a senior at 65 today!

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Frank is talking on the old man role, taking a break from walking and sun with a rest on a bench..as long as he doesn’t lay down and take a nap on it…

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Meanwhile I was off in search of still more storks. Do you see them here? I’ll miss them! Tonight we sleep over in Faro, to catch an early train for Lisbon tomorrow. Almost home with my old man in tow.

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

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Last full day here. We cycled again, through more countryside, passing fields of wild flowers, over rough paths.

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Past orange tree orchards, where the trees had ripe oranges and blossoms both! The fragrance of those blossoms will linger in our minds..

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We cycled into Fabrica, somewhere we had once hiked to with Ria and Katharine..it seems so long ago now..

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Of course, a cafe stop. Looking out with “Reel Love” at the scenery…oh, I mean at the boat. Check out the name. Cloudy day and rain expected, but we’ve had our time in the sun here, for which we are thankful.

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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We rented bikes today and cycled to an old fishing port in Tavira, in order to find flamingos grazing in the salt pans near there, as we had spied them in that area when we took the little tour train a few days back. It was hard work for all those body parts not used to biking…

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This shows the salt pans between Cabanas on the right, and Tavira on the top left. This is where the salt is “harvested “. Thank you Google Maps.
Love that it looks like a quilt.

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Found them, took a ton of photos, as it’s a thrill to see a creature you’ve only seen in zoos, doing it’s natural thing, in nature, even the man made salt pans.

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Of course, the daily coffee at still a different cafe. Yawn…tired now.

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

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The day started out with a heavy cold marine layer. Now that it is warmer here, or spring, this is common, but then the day clears up by noon. At home we get the fog that lasts all day! Sometimes there is a real beauty to that, or I’m homesick…here we’re returning from some time on the beach that we have to take the boat over to..last time for this for us.

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Love this boat for obvious reasons..

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And spring against the tiles..I’ll keep lots of this in my memory bank, but more important are the things I’ve learned about my needs…for family, friends. Frank and I are great together, but we aren’t an island unto ourselves…we like, love, the bigger picture..

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

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We walked to Tavira, long and hot but that’s why we’re here, to be able to walk a lot…saw this stork eating whatever storks eat. Fun to pass one on ground level when they’re usually at the highest levels of the cities they nest in.

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Portugal is a fishing country and you are always aware of this. On our walk we passed a long line up of people, waiting to get grilled fish and a bun. It did smell good. Sardines are seen in art work, ceramics, cards. We love the olives and oranges part of the culture.

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You can have a coffee and a pastry, or beer for that matter, for two of us, for $5 Canadian, so we do this once daily at different cafés. This one is by the river, and across from another cafe we’ve been to.

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Here comes Frank back from paying inside. We’re hoping once home we can have our coffee and cookie outside too, on a sunny deck without snow on it. Any chance of that? I think so…we’ve been gone a long time and actually long to be home.