Author Topic: The Summer Vacation Thread  (Read 25867 times)

Yada

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #90 on: July 01, 2024, 01:31:00 pm »
Hey Yada,

How would you rate the Portuguese food and women (the latter previously panned by Hutch)?

You ended up going to Lisbon and the Algarve? Was the Algarve worth the drive?

How was Olivia Rodrigo?

Do you have a burning desire to go back or is it a one and done?

As mentioned above and I don't want to rub salt in any wounds, but the trip was damn near perfect.

Our first Euro trip with our kids and it was better than expected... In terms of food, I found the food either absolutely delicious or not good at all... Wasn't much of an in between. I typically don't eat sweets or coffee or at least try to refrain but I ate chocolate croissants and Pastel de natas pretty much every morning, washed down with some sort of caffeine bomb... For lunch it was almost always a sweaty meat on a baguette. In terms of women... I mean, I'm not too picky but there were beautiful women everywhere, however, I can't confirm if they were all truly Portuguese, a visitor, or a different ethnic group living there.

The Algarve region was absolutely stunning and I'm glad with your advice we ended up not going to any of the islands. Would've been unneeded and overkill from my perspective.  Our home base was right on the water in Lagos and we hit up a couple of the surrounding towns as well as did a portion of that hike you mentioned above. I did get caught up in the maze of downtown Lagos that was a space moment with my wife and children yelling at me. I ensured not to drive back to the town area again.

Lisbon was also killer and reminded me a lot of Barcelona, parts of Italy, etc. Would I go back? Hell yeah... will it happen? Who knows... Like multipe amazing places in the world, it's rare to get back to a faraway land due to many constraints. Ive only been to Spain and Italy twice... every other place in the world only once.

Lisbon we did nothing but pound the pavement... Walked I'm sure 5/10 miles a day... Did a tuk tuk tour. Hung in the squares... watched Futbol Americana. Ate a ton... drank lots of beer/red wine. Dat's about it.

O-Rod... I'm now a huge fan and her show was incredible. Admittedly, it was my first true pop star concert and it was insane. The noise in the arena was something I've never experienced, the decibels must've been off the charts. I even shed a few tears witnessing the complete joy my youngest daughter had and passing the torch of the love of live music. Beers were also only $5!


The end.


Space Freely

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #91 on: July 01, 2024, 03:42:52 pm »
Glad you had a damn near perfect trip! Thanks for the review. It sound like your Algarve and Lisbon impressions match mine.

I probably overemphasize the negative in my review. My wife and daughter had glowing reviews of our 2023 Portugal trip, especially the Algarve and Lisbon. Upon return last year, they kept saying they wanted to go back to the Algarve  and also go to Porto. So a month later, when I found RT June tickets for $470 each, I jumped on it. (I myself wanted to use miles and go to northern Spain, but I just couldn't turn down that price...the 2023 June trip was even cheaper, about $370 each!)

Then my wife got cold feet and started wishing I hadn't booked Portugal again. But now, she seems to have a a positive take on it all...or is at least putting on a happy face about it. :)

Anyway, a lot of Youtubers swear by Porto over Lisbon...I completely disagree. Nothing wrong with Porto...it reminded both my wife and I of Bologna (though perhaps prettier with worse food). But if I ever go back (definitely won't in the next five years, but I could see it happening in the next 10....), I'd definitely pick Lisbon over Porto. Also, those fucking hills of Lisbon. Love them. I don't think I'd ever have to run or ride a bike in Lisbon. I'd get enough cardio just walking the city.

I didn't really discover Madeira until after I had our first trip booked and I wondered if we should have gone to Madeira over the Azores (only went to Sao Miguel), and I'd have to say yes, I liked Madeira better. In part because of our stunning but cheap (less that $190 a night with all fees included) Airbnb but also because the hiking and scenery was more stunning. Neither had beaches worth mentioning. I'd got back to Madeira if I could get the same or a comparable Airbnb. Though there's plenty of other islands I'd like to visit where I could get better beaches, and plenty of other (mainland) places where I could get better hiking.

The Algarve, specifically Lagos, remained a favorite for my wife and daughter. Me too, but I'd call it equal with Lisbon and Madeira. Again ,we sayed in Old Town Lagos, and this time our Airbnb was a big improvement. I think overall it had four levels (three of which we inhabited), with an awesome view of the sea from the second floor balcony and third floor rooftop.

The weather was awesome too. Highs in Porto ranged from 65-75, 70-75 in Maderia, and the 80's in Lagos. (Last year we went two weeks later and suffered through a heat wave in Lisbon and Lagos.

Four of my five favorite food experiences were in Lagos/Carvoeira. Though caveat that they included an Italian place, a Thai place, an Indian place, and a seafood place. We flexed and ate some chicken, but no red meat. So not much traditional Portuguese. In Porto they have some kind of meat monstrosity called a francesinha https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesinha, but the closest we got to it was the vegan version my wife had at the vegan place we went to. It was...interesting.

I agree about the women. Plenty of lovely women (I'm 57, so not terribly picky either), not sure if they were native Portuguese. I don't think they were Brits, who seemed to be all over the place in the Algarve.

Had a bottle of Cantillon in Porto and on draft in Brussels. Lots of red wine everywhere. Went on a port wine tour and tasting at one of the port caves in Porto. Not a sweet wine guy, but it was pretty good nonetheless.

I think pastel de natas are more featured in Lisbon, but I had my fair share. Mostly from Pingo Doce but they were still tasty.

I think we'll probably skip Europe next year. Also, likely go on vacation without the kid for the first time since before she was born in 2007, which should be interesting (and honestly, likely with far less drama.)


sweetcell

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #92 on: July 08, 2024, 03:16:51 pm »
fresh back from 6 nights/7days hiking/backpacking/camping on the olympic peninsula with the fam.  covered about 20 miles total so pretty chill pace, set up our tent on the beach every night.  saw seals lazing on the rocks, sea otters floating on their backs eating urchins, bald eagles fishing (one shat on our tent on july 4 - MURICA!!!111), a racoon's attempted thieving, deer jumping in tide pools, and children becoming almost hypothermic because they wouldn't get out of the frigid Pacific.  desperately needed a shower and a beer upon return, but gawdang that was a great getaway.  wife only chewed me out a few times, otherwise got along great despite her nursing a cold/fl thing.  slightly sore back because i had to shoulder a ridiculously heavy backpack to make up for her weakened state.  would do again in a heartbeat.
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Space Freely

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #93 on: July 09, 2024, 08:01:55 am »
fresh back from 6 nights/7days hiking/backpacking/camping on the olympic peninsula with the fam.  covered about 20 miles total so pretty chill pace, set up our tent on the beach every night.  saw seals lazing on the rocks, sea otters floating on their backs eating urchins, bald eagles fishing (one shat on our tent on july 4 - MURICA!!!111), a racoon's attempted thieving, deer jumping in tide pools, and children becoming almost hypothermic because they wouldn't get out of the frigid Pacific.  desperately needed a shower and a beer upon return, but gawdang that was a great getaway.  wife only chewed me out a few times, otherwise got along great despite her nursing a cold/fl thing.  slightly sore back because i had to shoulder a ridiculously heavy backpack to make up for her weakened state.  would do again in a heartbeat.

Wow, that's impressive! Did y'all hike that one way with two cars? Or did you go 15 miles and figure "Yeah, now seems about the right time to turn back?"

sweetcell

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #94 on: July 09, 2024, 12:38:21 pm »
Did y'all hike that one way with two cars? Or did you go 15 miles and figure "Yeah, now seems about the right time to turn back?"

there is a private shuttle service that goes from one end of the route to the other.  so we parked at the south end, hiked north, and on the last morning i got up before the clan, hiked out and caught the shuttle back to our car.  i then drove back to pick up the missus & sprogs.

this was our 4th or 5th year doing some portion of this hike, and clearly the word is out.  never seen so many people on the trails and so many cars parked everywhere.  might need to find a new option for next year since we really value isolation and the absence of idiots (aka other people) when we head out into the wilderness.
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hutch

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #95 on: July 09, 2024, 01:33:58 pm »
Hiking. Kill me.

Space Freely

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #96 on: July 09, 2024, 02:00:51 pm »
We did several multi-day backpacking trips before we had the kid. Both of our backpacking trips with her (one in the Olympics, the other in Colorado) have been aborted failures. I think that ship has sailed.

I dream of doing (at least part of) the hut to hut Mt. Blanc hike or the Alta Via 1, but it's looking like I may have to do them by myself, or find a friend who's interested.

Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #97 on: July 09, 2024, 04:00:46 pm »
We did several multi-day backpacking trips before we had the kid. Both of our backpacking trips with her (one in the Olympics, the other in Colorado) have been aborted failures. I think that ship has sailed.

I dream of doing (at least part of) the hut to hut Mt. Blanc hike or the Alta Via 1, but it's looking like I may have to do them by myself, or find a friend who's interested.
take hutch, that would be a bloggable story if I ever heard one
slack

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #98 on: July 10, 2024, 09:48:24 am »
I also never took Sweetcell as someone with a people allergy. But maybe it's just a case of a needed annual reset? Or maybe it's just that nature is best experienced without other humans doing annoying things?

sweetcell

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Re: The Summer Vacation Thread
« Reply #99 on: July 12, 2024, 07:45:41 pm »
I also never took Sweetcell as someone with a people allergy. But maybe it's just a case of a needed annual reset? Or maybe it's just that nature is best experienced without other humans doing annoying things?

the people allergy is very specific to back-country camping (although i'll admit that as i get older, i see it creeping into other parts of my life... ;D ).  we love nature, in its natural state, and it kills us to see how many people can't figure out leave no trace, pack it in/pack it out, proper human waste disposal, not ruining a beautiful experience by blaring music from a bluetooth speaker, etc.  i'd love to be able to shrug and say "you do you", but their idiocy ruins my enjoyment.  only option is to avoid them.
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