Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Final Thoughts

Well, we have now been back home for over a week and many people have asked what our favorite things were.   As we have talked about the trip, we both felt that it wasn’t a typical “sight-seeing” trip.  Instead, it was a trip to settle into a community and get to know the area and the people who live there.

We were excited to meet Cristina who served us breakfast most mornings.  She and I are now Facebook Friends which I am VERY excited about.

We also enjoyed meeting Luis…..DSC07846

…..the fun waiter at our favorite “Praia Mar” restaurant.

And then there was the young waitress at another restaurant who would always smile, point to her watch and shake her head when we would arrive before the cafe opened!!    And, yes, many of our friends were made over food!!!!

We cant say enough good about our wonderful landlords, Jose and Franchesca.  There was a period of about a week where I didn’t post a blog and Jose emailed and asked if we were ok.   He was concerned because I hadn’t posted anything!!!   It was really sweet!!

And of course, we had a wonderful time driving our little Fiat down all of the narrow, walled lanes and listening to Gwyneth calmly recalculate our route when we missed turns over and over again.

The walks along the beach were a blast, especially as it started warming up a bit at the end of our journey.   By the way, it finally hit 80 degrees on the day that we flew out of Porto!!!!

Our time in Austria was enjoyable and Vienna is a beautiful city!!!  We had a wonderful time visiting with the two families there and really appreciated them including us in their family times. 

Unfortunately we ran into a couple of rude male waiters, one of whom we walked out on before ordering.  Everyone else was extremely helpful!

We have never had this before, but both of our Mother’s had some issues while we were gone and twice during the trip, we debated returning early.  Fortunately they are both ok now!!

To end up our journey, we flew back to Lisbon for one night, setting a wake up call for 2:00AM so that we could catch a 5:00AM flight to Amsterdam.  We had planned to grab some food in the airport, but by the time we made it thru passport control, it was time to board the plane.  Fortunately, we had fantastic meals on the plane so we arrived in Atlanta full and happy!!!

Our Daughter-In-Law, Amber picked us up at the airport and we were soon walking into our home and falling happily into our recliners…..yes, we missed them when we were gone!!

We had a great laugh when we got home as our “friends” (Wayne & Kathie and Roy & Diane) had gotten together and decided to prank “rent” our house on AirBNB while we were gone.   The prank was elaborate including a letter welcoming the guests to our home…..


There were empty wine bottles all around the kitchen, a one page document detailing local amenities, copies of local event information and even a “guest book” signed by people from several countries…..


All I can say is that I am glad that these people are our friends.   If they go to this much trouble to prank a friend, I can imagine what they would do to an enemy!!

All in all, it was a wonderful trip where Michael made scientific connections, helped many students just getting started in Science, and reconnected with many friends in the Scientific community!!

As we were driving out of Vila Do Conde, we walked across the road to take one last photo at the beach……


This should hold us until our next trip…..in SIX weeks!!!!

More to come…….

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