Well it’s been quite the long haul but WE MADE IT after a few inconveniences of course! It is not a Dewey family trip without some bump in the road! So our adventure started Wednesday evening, we arrived in Sacramento to stay the night for our early flight out to Portugal the next day. We got into Sacramento around 7 and had a very nice dinner at the Virgin Sturgeon off Garden Highway. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it. The restaurant is actually a barge right on the river with great views. The restaurant does not look like much but the food is very good! I had a carnitas place which was to die for! After dinner, we headed to the hotel to check in. Walking into the lobby, it is FULL with high school students and their parents. Some kind of track meet had been going on all week. Mind you, it is already 9 p.m. and there is one girl working the front desk. So we patiently wait our turn to be helped only to find out that there was a mistake with our reservation. Apparently the third party we booked our reservation with messed up the date as well as contacting the hotel to book the room. Luckily the hotel had one room available, the only catch was that it only had a king size bed. So Jake and I got the pleasure of sharing a pull out couch bed all night! LOL. I told you it wouldn’t be a Dewey family vacation without some bumps in the road!
So we made it through the stiff, hard couch pull out, and woke up bright and early the next morning (6 AM) to catch our flight! Our flight schedule was Sacramento to Philadelphia (4 hour flight), a 4 hour layover in the Philadelphia airport, and then Philadelphia directly to Lisbon (6 hour 45 min flight). It had been a while since we flew to the East Coast so four hours went by slower than expected, but it was nothing compared to what we had coming!
We arrived in Philadelphia around 4:45 p.m. and killed four hours in the airport shopping, eating, walking around, and chatting. It had already felt like one of the longest days ever! And we still had a whole other flight to go! Our flight to Lisbon took off from Philadelphia at 8:30 p.m. and when we arrived in Lisbon, it would be 8:30 a.m. the next day due to the time change. So that meant if we wanted any sleep at all, we must get some on the plane. Now here is where I am going to stop and tell you, this was my first flight to Europe and it was TORTURE! I def. learned next time that I am going to take something to help me sleep because nodding in and out of sleep was miserable. Not to mention you are sitting for almost 7 hours, in a plane seats. My legs were aching horribly! But, none of that is the airlines fault and they did a spectacular job of keeping us fed, hydrated, and entertained. There were two movies shown on the flight, we got dinner and a small pastry for breakfast as well as plenty of drinks. The eerie thing about it all was that we watched the sun set in Philadelphia and then watched the sun rise about an hour before we landed in Portugal. And as you could have guessed, I took plenty of photos of it all.
Amazing sunset, taking off out of Philadelphia!
Woke up to amazing sunrise!!
We were SO relieved to have finally landed in Lisbon and get off that horrible plane! Lol. We got through airport customs, etc. and found our driver holding up a sign with our names on it (LOL) with no problems at all. We all piled into a very interesting Mercedes van which took us to the hotel and also gave us a chance to sight see on the way. Unfortunately, our hotel check in time wasn’t until 2 that afternoon so we had time to kill. We walked around Lisbon and got our first taste of Portugal and the city. It is such an amazing place to visit, totally booming with life. Reminds me very much of San Francisco BUT way older. There are small little shops, some run down areas, lots of graffiti, outdoor cafes, as well as high end retail stores. Very eclectic like San Fran!
This is a little café that we ate it. The man running it was very nice and from the looks of it, is pretty popular. His café was one of the busiest on the street. Our extended family that we are travelling with could not resist ordering grilled sardines along with our coffee we ordered. My dad and I ordered some “baby pig” platter as well as some calamari. The “baby pig” the shop owner called it was a suckling pig I would imagine and it was DELICIOUS! The calamari as well was fabulous! We also got our first taste of a cherry liqueur which I am forgetting the name of. It was some strong stuff but VERY good!
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to finally check in. We are staying at the Hotel Mundial located right in the center of Lisbon. The hotel opened up in 1958 and has been remodeled several times since them. The rooms are way more spacious than what I imagined and are actually very nice. Here is view when you first walk in.
When we first walked in, we tried all the light switches and none of them would go on. Actually NOTHING in the room had power. We looked around, trying to figure out what was up. My brother finally realized that right inside the door, there was a slot that looked like your room key went into, so we put tried it out and BANG instantly everything had power. Very interesting concept as well as very creative! You can never leave anything on in your room because it requires your key to be in the slot in order to power the room.
The best thing about our entire room is the fact that we have a balcony which overlooks THIS:
That’s all for now! I must FINALLY take a shower and get some siesta time! In Portugal lunchtime is around 1, siesta from 2-4 during which most of the stores close, and then they don’t usually eat dinner until around 8-9! So far Portugal is amazing! Oh I also don’t have FREE wifi at our hotel SO I may not be writing as much as I had hoped. Hopefully I can find somewhere close where I can get free wifi! More to come soon! Caio!