Since Bub started his job we’ve been getting up pretty early in the morning. There is something really nice about getting the day started before most. The streets are clear and quiet, the air is crisp, and my email isn’t filling up at a frightening pace. I can already feel myself turning into one of those annoying morning people… are you a morning person?
It’s official, I have the home improvement bug, pinteresting my face off, wandering the halls of hardware stores with a measuring tape, stalking craigslist, and dreaming of power tools. Bouncing from one rental house to the next has never made making a house a home easy. It always seemed that the minute I started to settle in we would move. We’ve been in the house we’re in now for almost 3 years, and just confirmed we’ll be staying another year. So I’m not holding back anymore.
I tore the ugly bathroom wallpaper off and painted when we first moved in, there was no way I could live with a stars and moon border… no way. Then this weekend I finally changed out some of those awful ceiling boobs and replaced them with simple porcelain lampholders spray painted in high gloss black with some clear bulbs. What’s next? A kitchen workspace, dining room table, new rugs, paint the bedroom?
My Lisbon Advice: GO! Rent an apartment and make yourself at home. Wander around, get lost, sit at a cafe all day, bring a bottle of wine down to the city center at night and lounge, pick out random restaurants based on smell, bar hop in Bairro Alto, shop in Chiado, listen to Fado. I think all too often vacations are over planned or someone spends the entire time with their nose in a guide book. This is not one of those vacations. Lisbon is a manageable size with kind people, good food, and a laid back vibe. Just go with the flow and you will have the greatest time ever. We did.
I hate falling for the janky souvenir traps, so I was determined to get a few good quality items, but most importantly: Shoes! Thankfully Jordan of Oh, Happy Day was in Lisbon just before us and had posted about some amazing handmade leather shoes. I could have spent all day at We3 trying them on. I have a feeling this won’t be my last pair of Catarina Martins.
We enjoyed a stroll through the Botanical Garden, it felt like dinosaurs were going to appear at any moment. More pictures…
The food! For me that is arguably one of the most important parts of travel. Many of the places I desire to go are based on food… ok, and wine. Lisbon is full of pastry shops. Little neighborhood shops have an amazing array of pastries, sandwiches, and super strong bica (shot of espresso). The most popular pastries in Lisbon are pastéis de nata, a creamy custard tart in a flaky crust. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, ugh… it is amazing.
You know when you go to a restaurant and have a really great meal that’s so simple you think you can easily duplicate, but you just never get it right. I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen with my meal at Noo Bai Cafe. Hello goat cheese and tomato sandwich on grilled bread drizzled with honey.
We stumbled upon Cervejario Pinoquio while we were out wandering around. The patio and pitchers of sangria definitely draw you in. The menu was not in English, so we just winged it based on the few words we knew and it worked out extremely well. Their sangria is hands down the best I’ve ever had and those olives were soooo good. The hunt for Portuguese black olives is on.
I was nervous about the wine situation in Portugal, only hearing about Port and other sweet wines. We must have lucked out because every wine we had was delicious and dry. We tended to stick with wines from the Douro region, which ended up being the house wine at many of the cafes and kiosks. I’m pretty sure I ordered an (insanely cheap) glass of vinho tinto 10 times a day.
Lisbon, Portugal. A place that was not on the top of our travel wish list and if not for a cheap flight and a random pick out of a hat we may have missed out on visiting what is now one of my favorite cities. We stayed in an apartment right between the two main areas we figured we would spend the most time, Biarro Alto (nightlife) & Chiado (shopping).
My dream home always includes a sweet outdoor space just beyond my giant ass accordion glass doors, with room for late night lounging around a fire, BBQing with friends, and lots of plants. Also, as long as we are talking dream home here, I’ll throw in some swimming, a guest house/studio, chickens, and a goat. That’s all. What’s your outdoor dream space have?