My train ride to Portugal consisted of eight hours of failing to find a comfortable position in a seat that refused to recline. And then, since Lisbon has yet to build a metro stop linking the train station with the city, I had to pull the tricky maneuver of taking a free hotel shuttle to the center of town then running away when they tried to get me to book a room. But despite certain challenges this was a very exciting day, I was seeing my family again after four months.
Antunes family vacations can be hit or miss (no really, New Brunswick has lovely museums, mom) but this year couldn´t go awry. We (or rather those Antuneses who have money left) were renting a villa in the Algarve. I had so many stories to tell about the trip and I was maybe even bouncing up and down a little when I was waiting for them in the Lisbon hotel lobby. When they arrived I was excited to learn that my dad had been testing out his Portuguese on the cab driver, who then proceeded to over charge him.
We spent the day taking a giant red bus around town and visiting many key Lisbon destinations featuring Manuelian architecture. I think it was the first day in months that I have walked less than 5km. Let the relaxing begin! The next day we drove down to the Algarve and discovered that our villa looks exactly like they said it would on the internet. It was beautiful. Our activities for the week included: chillin´ poolside, discovering that the town of Tavira does indeed exist somewhere within a web of one way streets, loungin´ around the pool, wandering around Sevilla, basking in the sun next to the pool and visiting one of the most beautiful beaches I´ve ever seen in Lagos. The weather was perfect every single day. In fact there may be no Portugese word for cloud.
It was so nice to unpack all of my crap and put it in a closet. It was equally nice to eat three meals a day and get a little vinho verde to go with it. And even nicer still, there is a special Antunes family way of communicating that I’ve really missed in the last few months. (Seriously dad, any story that involves characters like Weird Harold and Chocolates deserves to be published). So let me take this opportunity to thank my family for a great vacation: Thanks family!