I had her cut it really short even though winter is coming because a) we don’t want to mess with getting her groomed while adjusting to becoming a family of three and b) our dog groomer is due to have a baby 2 weeks before me so we couldn’t get her haircut in December anyway. Elle isn’t the only one in this house who got a butchered haircut – the Viper Pilot did too but he won’t let me post a picture of it. Just take my word, it’s a doozy.
Take a daydream with me to a tranquil, beautiful place called Portugal…
When the Viper Pilot was gone, I made a greeting card for friends and family to use to write to him. [I’m sure I have a picture of it somewhere, but I can’t find it right now.] On the front it said, “Sunny with a chance of sand” because well, that was the forecast in his home away from home every. single. day. and I was trying to make light of it. The forecast for this vacation was sunny with a chance of sand AND ocean. A much much much better combination, don’t you think?
Even though we were exhausted from the long day of traveling and content from our mini-dinner, we weren’t about to miss the sunset on the side of the Atlantic Ocean we’d never seen before. A walk on the beach in the beautiful 80 degree sunshine before dinner was not an optional activity that evening. I took about 50 pictures…
I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at the table at dinner after walking on the beach. I ate a ton and still had room for dessert – typical me. The dessert was the most amazing thing I’ve ever had. It was all gourmet food, but it was buffet style, so I had a huge plate with samples of each dessert. Between exhaustion and a food coma, I was asleep before I hit the pillow.
After a huge breakfast – somehow we were both terribly hungry when we woke up, though it’s really no surprise that I was hungry…I’m always hungry – we wandered down to check out the beach in the daylight.
|Photo cred: Viper Pilot|
The Viper Pilot waded in to test the waters and a huge wave came rolling in. The water got really deep really fast and before he knew it he was up to his knees in the icy water. The strong current swept the flip flops right off of his feet.
Really, who wears their flip flops into the ocean? We called them a lost cause, but the ocean kindly returned them to us and he sprinted to catch them before the waves sucked them back in. Flops and man united once more.
We spent the rest of the day laying on the beach, reading Kindles, taking an occasional nap, and soaking up the sun. I dug a hole in the sand and planted my butt. <– I kid you not. The beach was glorious, with soft warm sand and the biggest waves I’ve ever seen.
The next day we opted for the comfy chairs by the pool. The hotel’s pool was excellent and you could hear the crashing waves while you laid back and did absolutely nothing.
My favorite part about laying by the pool was the cute little Portuguese waiter who brought us drinks and snacks.
Virgin mojitos (or nojitos as I like to call them) were conveniently on special that week. Being the fighter pilot that he is, the Viper Pilot ordered a Jack and Coke (it came with a glass of ice and Jack and a can of Coke). We tipped well. 😉
We discovered a nice gourmet restaurant in the resort with incredible food and an equally amazing view. I had the duck with a triple chocolate pyramid for dessert one night and I can’t stop thinking about it. We ate there for our last two dinners of our vacation instead of the fancy buffet. Before turning in for the night, we stopped at the lobby bar for drinks. The Viper Pilot ordered a nice glass of Port (when in
Rome Portugal) and the bartender made me a non-alcoholic fruity beverage which made the baby dance.
We agreed agreed that we would definitely consider coming back, although there are so many other incredible European beach locations out there – several of them being islands. We will for sure come back to Portugal, though. We would like to actually get out and do more touring of the country. Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve are all high on our list.
In case you’re wondering, our trip home was much better than our journey there. It still involved a plane, train, and an automobile, but it was much easier. We took a taxi from the hotel to the train station in Lisbon. The taxi would normally cost 100+ Euro, but the driver had to go there anyway and he liked us so he cut us a deal and only charged us 50, which saved us the hassle of taking a shuttle bus. The views from the Portuguese equivalent to the autobahn to Lisbon were insanely gorgeous. I had my nose and my phone’s camera pressed to the window the entire time.
We rode first class for two hours on a bullet train back to the airport. There was a drink service, free wi-fi and comfy, reclining seats.
The best part was, it didn’t take nearly as long and the train tickets/taxi fare were cheaper. Lesson learned: take the bullet train in Portugal. ALWAYS.
The next day we went to the base to welcome home a large group of the service members who were deployed with the Viper Pilot. It was a beautiful day and my heart swelled seeing all the families reuniting and happy faces.
Hmm…I’m thinking it’s about dinner time for this hungry mama. We’re having lasagna tonight, per the request of the Viper Pilot. What’s on your menu?
PS, if you’ve emailed me in the past month or so, I promise I will get back to you soon. I am still getting caught up on answering your emails! 🙂