Why we Stayed in Lisbon for a Month

Lise arrives after a loooong cab ride (yay strikes)

Lise arrives after a loooong cab ride (yay strikes)

I blame our month-long stay in Lisbon on the fact that I have a cousin in Denmark (how fun is that to say?). The original intent of the trip was a 1.5 to 2-week stint. I was going to join my work team in Lisbon for a meetup for a week, and Chris would join me at the beginning or end. Then my cousin said she might be able to spend some time with us, too. The time we were staying stretched onward, and we finally realized that staying for a month in an apartment was not much more expensive than spending a couple of weeks in a hotel. No brainer. We booked. She visited.

We had a marvelous time with my cousin and her man. You’ve met her before if you read this blog. She played Monopoly with us last year. Thing is — I haven’t seen her live in about 8 years. This was such a treat! So much better than Zoom (although I’m grateful for that).

Lise and Chrissie on the Yellow Bus Tour touring the modern section of Lisbon.

Lise and Chrissie on the Yellow Bus Tour touring the modern section of Lisbon.

Chris and I are serious walkers, and Lise thought she was, too. But the hills in Lisbon proved a little too much for a post-leg surgery patient, so we hit the Yellow Bus Tour. It had horrible reviews, which made me a bit nervous, but we had a marvelous time. I do have to say that in the on-season and on weekends the reviews are justified, but for a low-key weekday in April, it was a fabulous experience.

We sat in an uncrowded bus and cooled off under blue skies while soaking in the history of the city — both old and new. We also enjoyed funiculars, trolleys and ferries as part of the tour. If a radio didn’t work, we switched our seat. No problem.

On the weekend we struggled to get room on the trolleys (hence the correct reviews comment earlier), but weekdays were bliss.

I’m not sure what part of the Wed-Mon visit I loved best (apart from just being with Lise in person). Perhaps it was sharing the wonders of a continent together — from the Moor Castle in Sintra to watching performers in the plaza. Or giggling over childhood stories. Or meeting her boyfriend (also named Chris. Poor Lise, hanging out with Chris, Chris and Chrissie). I guess it’s good that I’m not required to pick a favorite moment.

e, surrounded by Chris's

Lise, surrounded by Chris’s

Funicular Fun:

The funicular in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.

The funicular in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.

IMG_2255

Anyway, that time will always be a treasure in my memory. If you are into pics, check out highlights of our extended weekend:

Advertisements

Proms, Grads, and Life – Our Week

I am sooooo behind on my blog reading and writing, and I miss you all! But it’s temporary and for a good cause. We have some really fun stuff going on in life. I’ll do a brief summary  of our past week here, then will post lots of pics in the future when I get more time. Consider these teasers…

In the past week we:

Enjoyed watching Hudi and his buddies get ready for the prom. They had a great time.

We enjoyed having Zeb’s girlfriend’s family stay with us for graduation weekend.

IMG_20160514_120214716

We got to see the girls in our lives graduate (so proud of them)!

We met Lauren’s extended family. I didn’t take any pics during that fabulous meal, but it was really fun.

We took a load of stuff to our new-to-us home with Mom (no pic of that, either).

We went to Connecticut, where we saw some great friends and family, I got to see Kurt’s horse, and Chris sold a few mobiles.

We came home and finished filling out paperwork for college stuff for Zeb and Hudi.

We ran our local WordPress meetup, and got to hear a great talk on Search Engine Optimization from CJ. Although he lives in Utah, he’s home visiting for a few weeks.

IMG_20160518_193951671_HDR

Also, I’m on a work rotation so I’m learning lots of great stuff about Jetpack and Akismet.

Here’s one of my favorite moments from the week. Love to see my boys together again and goofing around. You can’t see it well, but they were posing to show off their geek-belts. Zeb highlighted Pokemon while Hudi sported Legend of Zelda, and CJ had his piano keys:

IMG_20160514_085444837-ANIMATION

That’s why I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog-world. All great stuff, though, eh? What have you been up to? I guess I can find that out for myself, and hope to be catching up on my blogs soon, but feel free to tell me, anyway, in the comments 🙂

A Perfect Weekend

This past weekend was a prime example of how wondrous home life is. It was filled with laughter, love, creativity and fun work. Often it’s the simple things that tip the scale to completely marvelous.

It all began Friday morning when I joined one of my best friends in attending the middle school play. Her daughter rocked the donkey role in Shrek while the son of another close friend nailed the title role.

The vibe in the auditorium was so fun, and I was sad when the play ended. The kids did a really great job. Here’s a short video of the fun we had:

That evening Chris and I were hiking our dog with other close friends, and they reminded us of a fish fry fundraiser at a local fire department. I love these events because you are assigned seats at long tables based on availability. This means I get seated with people I have never met before, and I get to know more people in my area. This time we sat with some farmers who had interesting thoughts on haylage, silage and the best places to fish for Halibut. We also learned a bit about the impact of the Great Depression on local farmers.

IMG_20151106_174358967

While I worked on Saturday I got to hear the laughter and conversations of the teens and their friends as they played games and discussed future plans for life. What a great bunch of kids young adults!

Zeb came home for the weekend, and we celebrated his birthday (a few days early) with the Indian Chicken dinner he requested. And I showed the kids how my phone made a gif 🙂

IMG_20151107_170058501-ANIMATION

We topped the night off by watching Inside Out. It was a good way to end the day.

Sunday morning was a treat. Since I’ve been traveling a bunch, I haven’t been to my home church in a while so it was a delight to get to go to church AND Sunday School. I missed my friends there so it was great to catch up and learn some new things. I love how church inspires me to think, challenge my own beliefs and study more.

After that, I went home and listened to another church service online, along with some co-workers. Very cool.

Work Sunday was similar to Saturday. My background music was the sound of happy teens and twenty-somethings hanging out together. We had a brief photo session for the Christmas letter before Zeb left for school, and we wrapped up the day with Dr. Who episodes.

Simple? Yes

Perfect? Totally

#stillfeelingblessed

Catching up to Me – and our Trip to DC (and Surrounding Areas)

IMG_20150614_122615884I somehow missed June, and I blame it on my kids. Hudi pretty much finished his school year months ago (he homeschools through a virtual high school), CJ is out of college, and Zeb is in college. No school days were pushing (punishing?) us through the long days of June so we forgot to stress and just enjoyed.

No graduations in our immediate family this year, no exams. We began celebrating summer in May, and I missed June. Work hard, play hard. Life sure is fun.

So here is my attempt at a catch-up. The next few posts will highlight some of our warm-season adventures.

As a summer kick-off (a month or so ago) we traipsed down to West Virginia to drop Zeb off at Camp Sandy Cove, where he is a counselor this summer. On the way, we stopped to visit with Zeb’s godparents and other family members. Such fun!!!! We also spent a day touring in Washington, DC.      (CLICK ANY PIC TO SEE IT BIGGER)

Zeb was a total favorite with this awesome little dude who wanted to be wherever Zeb was.

Even trying to dance like him.

On our way out of the Maryland/DC/Virginia area, we stopped to get Zeb’s girlfriend from the airport (she’s also working at Camp Sandy Cove this summer). We dropped them off at camp with yet another friend (the one who told them about this awesome job) and headed back home.

A whirlwind tour, but lots of fun. And a really cool part was that I used my mi-fi to work while on the road so I only missed one work day, and my awesome co-workers cheerfully covered for me on that day 🙂 Lots of fun and no guilt.

Kinetic Art in Watertown, NY

The Salmon Run mall in Watertown, NY is deceptive. It looks like an average mall, but inside it holds one of the coolest pieces of artwork I have ever seen. It rings, clacks, taps and makes other wonderful whimsical sounds. I finally recorded it (and in the video below you can see info on the artist). Continue reading