I’ve been home a couple of days. And what a whirlwind of activity on one hand and a snails pace of doing nothing on the other hand. The first thing that I wanted to to was adjust back to my home time zone. I think that I’m there. I really haven’t done a lot. I’ve been taking it easy. But when we got home, and opened the refrigerator door, you could hear your voice echo…so empty…!!! So I had to go to the stores to get groceries. OMG!! What a culture shock! Prices are so much more here, especially bottled water. And that has increased since I last bought some by over 10%. But when you figure our bottled water is already about 75% more!!!! Double YIKES!! But other then that, I’ve been taking it easy. We went out for breakfast, got carry outs (not takeaways anymore…) for dinner. I’ve watched TV and let the TV watch me. Gone to bed late to readjust my sleep and slept through the nights. When we were leaving Portimão and I packed our clothes to come home, one suitcase held clean clothes. The other large suitcase contains our dirty clothes. The one with the clean clothes has been unpacked and those things have been put away. But the suitcase with the dirty clothes in it, is unzipped and open, with all of those dirty things just staring at me….so I closed the lid…hahaha! Out of sight out of mind!Anyway…what I wanted to do in this final Portimão blog was to summarize my thoughts, ideas and emotions of this trip.
I knew we were going to be gone almost a month. And I knew that we had access to a washer in our apartment (that no dryer thing, is still mind boggling!). But I wanted to first make sure we had enough variety of clothes for different types of weather and different activities. I packed 14 pairs of underwear for each of us. About 10 bottoms and 12 tops. Hubby had 3 pairs of shoes: gym shoes, tie-up casuals and sandals. I had gym shoes, sandals and two pairs of flats, of which I only wore one pair. And we both had house-shoes. And second, I didn’t want to have to wash clothes every week. But in reality, I did wash every week. And at least two loads every week. The drum of the washer was super tiny, and then with drying the clothes outside, it could up to two days before the clothes were completely dry. I could have packed half amount of underwear for Hubby. He wore the same ones, after they were washed, of course! But I tried to rotate mine. But even with that, I had some that I never wore. Even with the outfits, Hubby had his favorite shirts that he like to wear, again and again and again. I think I wore everything, but one top. But…that was just because I had them.
Soooo, I think we could have could gotten by with fewer underwear. Jackie’s things took up a lot more room than mine. For me, I needed more shorts. I had two pairs and a short blue jean skirt. I also had a pair of capris and two other skirts that I started wearing more casually.
Did I forget to pack anything or was there anything that I wished that I’d pack? Hubby did compliment me during the trip to say that he thought that I did a great job in packing. He wasn’t looking for things and couldn’t find them. I felt like that too. But I wished that I had a shoe horn. Why? I don’t use one at home. But when I was packing I ran across one and just tossed it aside. Before we left home, I put a pair of new molded insoles in my gym shoes. Because they were molded differently, it was now more difficult to put my shoes on. I had to really use my index finger to get my heel inside of the shoe. So yep, I could have used that. The other thing was my pseudo-Swiss army knife. Now that, I thought that I packed. Jackie needed a tool to get his SIM card out of his phone and when I looked in my things, that when I realized I didn’t have it. I really thought I had thrown it in the bag to be checked. I could not have carried it on the plane with me. He ended up using my comb as his tool…improvisation! Then later, one of the handles of the cooking pan got loose and wobbly. I could have tighten it, if I had my army knife tool with me.
But if that’s all I missed, I did pretty good!
What did I pack that I didn’t need. Because the Wi-Fi was so spotty and difficult to use, I couldn’t use my laptop like I wanted. And this is an older one, so it’s bulky and heavy. I made myself use it just because I had it. I downloaded my pictures off my phone to it, but other than that, I really didn’t use it. The other things that I could have left at home were Jackie’s hair clippers and my heating pad. I knew that I was going to cut his hair while we were gone. Otherwise after 28 days with no cut or trim, he would start looking like Papa Smurf!
But…I forgot about the electrical current thing. So I don’t use it…but…I was looking for something else, dropped the clippers and broke the blade! YIKES!! When I got home, I had to buy a replacement blade. 30$!!! And then you remember my catastrophe with my heating pad…(Portimão, May 1, 2017, Day 20) now I need to replace that. AGH! I wished that I left those things at home!
I am getting better with packing. I just need to improve, tweak a few things and I’ll be OK. My thing is though, I’ve got the most important thing with me. That’s Jackie. And if we forget anything that we absolutely can’t do without, then we’ll buy a replacement.
What do we want to do if, rather when we return
Of course, we didn’t see nor do all that we wanted. When we return, I have a partial list and it’s not in any order…
– Alvor: There was so much to see there. The old village area. Lots of restaurants. Live New Orleans type music. The sand dunes. Finish walking the board walk. Maybe we could spend a couple nights here.
– Spain: I mean we can’t be so close and not cross the border, at least. I would love to go to Barcelona and Madrid. I would love to do a Mediterranean cruise!
– Africa: Who wouldn’t want to go to the Mother Land? I understand there is a three hour ferry from Gibraltar to Morocco. Too cool! Fixe (Remember that word? It means cool)!
– Lisbon: Portugal’s capitol city. So much to see and to do there.
– The mountains that we can see from Portimão. These may be Serra de Monchique.
Why has this trip been such a blessing?
There are sooo many reasons…
– This has been a wonderful blessing from God. He provided the means, financially and logistically for us to be able to do this. Thank You Lord!
– It gave Jackie and I some super alone time. Yes, we’ve been on vacations together. But they’ve all been in predominately English speaking areas. So in Portugal, I felt like it was just he and I. We were able to converse with some people some of the time. But for real conversations, it was us. And we had some interesting, thought provoking talks. And we came out of this so much closer.
– The area was too gorgeous for words. We were simply awestruck by the beauty of God’s handiwork. The blue skies, the teal-turquoise waters. The amazing rock formations. The architectural designs of the historic buildings and churches. The cobblestone artwork.
– The different culture, foods, what we called being on PT, Portuguese Time. No rushing, no hurries, laid back, relaxed time.
This has been a trip of a lifetime.
Thank you so much for sharing with me. You can continue to follow me at allaboutcheryl. And if you missed any of the travel blogs, all of the days are available for you to peruse…
Until next time!