Wednesday, November 16, 2011

European Adventures - Part 1: Take Off

Guess who's back?!  It's me - it's me!!  Hello everybody (said with the accent of Aunt Bethany from Christmas Vacation).  
Soooo my European travels were of they hizzy!  I can't even express how obsessed I am.  Fully admit - I was ready to come back to the good 'ol U S of A, but I would go back in a blink and I loved all of it!  I'm def gonna have to break this down into a few entries because things got rull over there.  I'll start you at the beginning and then bring it on home!  You'll just have to bare with me because I'm also in piles of work (worst part of being out for 10 days), sooo it might just take me a few days - but hang in there - it's worth it!!!
Day One
This first day I'll start off from when I woke up.  I decided to not go into work - just had too much to do/think about.  I got a mani and ran around doing last minute things.  I left with plenty of time to get the train station, good thing because they were shooting Batman and traffic was off the chain (this will also re-surface on my way home - they moved locations).  Eventually I got to the train to take to Newark Airport which is where I was meeting Sydney (my sister flew out of Boston, so was going to meet us in Lisbon).  She arrived a few minutes after me and we were on our way!  We both were having panic attacks about our bag weight, but we made it in just shy of a few pounds!  We got through security and everything without a hitch and had plenty of time to spare.  We decided to grab dinner and just relax until it was time to board. 
After dinner and we got our water/magazines/rations, we headed over to the gate.  We both needed to charge our phones and get all set for the flight.  We found an area to set up shop.  Sydney plugged her phone in first (another guy was using the second one) and then ran to the bathroom.  I was sitting there alone when this woman comes flying through like a bat outa hell.  She was all disheveled and her glasses were askew and hair all over.  She walked over to our outlet, looked around (while she is doing this the guy sharing our outlet is staring at me and me at him making a "what's she doing" kinda face). She then proceeds to attempt to take one of our plugs out so she can plug in her own phone.  The guy was like…umm I don’t think that's a good idea.  She then was miffed and sat down in a huff.  She then goes into one of her bags and pulls out 2 huge Crumbs cupcakes - which are ginorm and devours both of them.  
Like face in icing, done and done.  What is going on?!  This all while Sydney is in the bathroom and missing it all!  I couldn't handle it.  All I kept thinking was if this lunatic is sitting next to me for this flight, I might just not go.  Luckily she wasn't.  Once Sydney got back, I quickly switched out our phones, fearful that she was somehow try to swoop in.  A short time later - we were boarding! 
Our flight was as if you took every annoying person and put them in one condensed area.  People were talking (loudly) when they should have been sleeping, people would body check you on their way to/from the bathroom (I had an aisle), the couple sitting next to me had an all out fight - she sobbed for about 3 hours (no joke) and faced me so she didn’t have to see him, basically I got no rest/sleep.  I was so exhausted.  But we were starting vacation so I was also really excited!
Day Two
We arrived in Lisbon and had to take a bus to the terminal.  Got through customs, got our bags, and we were good to go!  We grabbed a cab to the hotel, which we later found out that he charged us basically triple what he should have and we even gave him a tip!  Womp womp!  We got to the hotel and the woman checking us in was bizarre.  They had no information for us for places to have breakfast - oh I should mention it was 8 am.  So Sydney and I wandered into town and searched for food.  We came across "our café" and instantly fell in love.  We were obsessed.  We got croissants and café con leche. Amazing.  Oh and Sydney got a Coke (which she would proceed to get at every single meal of our trip).  After we finished up we decided to wander around the city.  We found the shopping area, a beautiful monument and a few other "spots" we needed to go back to.  By 10:30 we were spent.  The 2 of us had hit the proverbial wall.  We walked back to the hotel and told them we'd be sitting in the lobby when our room was ready, they could get us.  We sat on the couch and both basically fell asleep.  
They took one look our way and low and behold our room was ready!  We grabbed our bags and headed up.  We walked in and were hit by this God awful smell, or as Sydney calls it "a man whore's cologne".  I was so tired I just fell into bed and didn't breath through my nose.  About a 1/2 hour later a knock on the door - it was my sister!!!  She arrived!  She had the same reaction we did to the room, but again, was so tired she couldn't deal.  We all took a nap and then were ready to see the sites!
First up - a trolley ride to the Castle of São Jorge.  
This was gorg - the views from the top were amazing.  And I loved the trolley ride.  We even had lunch up there which was great.  We were all pretty exhausted still, so after we finished up there, we headed back to get ready for dinner.  We had a great dinner with amazing wine in the Barrio Alto area of the city.  It was a fabulous way to kick off our vacation!

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