Saturday, June 24, 2023

Lisbon Adventures

Flying internationally with the family was overall uneventful. We had one hiccup in the airport as AirFrance would not let us gate check the carseat/stroller, so we had to check them all the way to Lisbon. Since we were checking those, we also checked my duffle bag to free up hands at the layover.

During the 11 hour flight, DJ, our intern, slept most of the way! He didn't much care for the bassinet the airline provided, bolted to the bulkhead, but had no problem sleeping in my arms. All in a days work as the Chairwoman of the Board. Our Associate, Bunny - who would like to be called Animal, spent most of the flight watching a telenovela on her iPad. We tried to convince her to rest up for adventures, but you know how those young associates can be. We had a layover in Paris, where the CEO treated us all to macarons! We then had a 3.5 hour flight to Lisbon, where we all finally got some rest!

When we arrived in Lisbon, it was around 3:30 in the afternoon. We took an Uber to our "Apart-Hotel" (only 17€!), did a quick unpacking, then we went outside to explore. We walked down our little street of Dos Sapateiros to Parque Rossio, a plaza with two large fountains surrounded by shops and restaurants. There we saw the "bubble man" who made a million bubbles for tips to the delight of many children, including Animal. We went into an interesting "Sardine Circus" shop, as well.

We went to dinner at a famous Marisquero restaurant, where they make only one dish - a seafood rice pot! We ate many small sea creatures, and Animal tried a mussel and "sort of" liked it!

Our first full day in Lisbon, began with breakfast with our Contributors Emiriti, who are also the parents of our CEO. We then caught the Yellow Bus to Belem, which is a double decker tourist bus that you can hop on/hop off. We stopped at the Museo de Coches. There was a huge imaginary vehicle that was like a motorcycle inside a wheel! There were also many carriages uses by the royals, ambassadors, and religious classes of Portugal. 
Our Associate got quite tired, so we rode the Yellow Bus around to see some other historic sites from the outside. We took a siesta, had a yummy fish dinner, then grabbed some desert while we waited in line to ride the Elevator of Santa Justa. This elevator takes you up to a viewpoint that offers views of the city. 

It was a late night and we went home right after. Unfortunately, our intern had a rough night and was very vocal in his complaints. It was difficult to wake up early the next morning, but we did to catch the 8:11 train to Sintra. Once there, we took the 434 bus up to the Palacio de Pena. Sadly, we weren't able to get a ticket to view the interior of the castle, but we spent about 2 hours in the Parque, the huge grounds and gardens surrounding the Palace. They had a "Pena Quest", a kids interactive search that led us around the grounds where we checked in with a QR code at various spots. Our Associate showed off her reading skills as we explored the gardens.
it was quite hot, so we skipped the Castello de Mouros and grabbed some lunch in the Centro Historico before taking the train home. We took a much needed siesta before heading out to dinner at a wonderful Fado Club called Duque do Rua. We drank wine, ate tapas, and enjoyed the wonderful music in this intimate venue.
After some pastel de nata flavored Gelato, we headed to bed. Luckily, everyone slept much better. We packed up, got some pasteles and coffee and juice, and are now en route to Algarve.

Here are Animal's final thoughts:
Favorite thing: getting Gelato at the Museo de Coches
Interesting thing about Lisbon: that double decker busses exist outside of London and Disneyland
Favorite Portuguese food: pasteis de bacalhua (fish croquet)
Favorite activity: playing with bubble man

So there you have it - Shapiro Adventures with expanded staffing in Lisbon.

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