We have now been in our home away from home for a few days now. We've settled in to our beds, adjusted routines and rhythms and explored. So much exploring!
Our first night found us arriving at the train station just after sunset, we tumbled into our Uber exhausted and eager to finally be done traveling for a bit. Our Airbnb host showed us to the apartment and recommended a few places for dinner. Lunch at the Lisbon airport was quite a few hours ago!
We walked into town and ordered toastas for the kids, vegetable sopa (soup) for Jared and I. We call them grilled cheese but there is nothing North American about these sandwiches. I'm already scheming how to have a shipment of queijo (cheese) sent home. It is the most delicious cheese, especially in a toasted sandwich. I could write a whole post about the food, I will, in fact but that's not today.
Because we are here for four weeks, we're settling into real life routines with work and school and laundry. But because we are doing real life in Portugal, it looks a lot different than home. Jetlag has worn off, mercifully, and we are adjusting to this time zone. The coffee here is made with a Dolce Gusto machine, the pods make a lovely cafe au lait. While waiting for it to brew, I turn the heat pump on to take the morning chill off the air. The floors are all tile which is refreshing in the heat but cold in the morning. I read a Psalm and then switch out the devices at the charging station. Mornings find us doing book work, sharing around the iPad and laptop for reading and math. We go for a family walk for an hour or two, exploring the beach or the town. Often grabbing something from one of the mercados (grocery stores).
The afternoons find the kids and I at the beach once school work has been done for the day. They build and chase the waves, we explore the many caves and collect endless shells. Our feet covered in sand and the girls' hair forming endless ringlets. The Airbnb has beach towels, beach blankets and to my bittersweet delight- a bocce set.
My Dad loved bocce and we always knew that we were on holidays when he played game after game with us. Or let us watch while he and our friends' dads played at summer bbqs. And so I played with my children, while on a holiday of sorts, building new bocce memories.
We come back to our apartment, sandy and sun kissed. The kids run through the shower quickly and then we gather for tea, a sweet treat and read aloud time. We're trying as many different treats as we can. This flan (found beside the yogurts) was one of my favourites. While I make supper, the kids get their journals out to draw bits of nature that they saw that day and write a few words. This is a new practice to us but I think it will be a lovely momento of this trip.