13 Jun
46 years - And life goes on - Part I

The year starts with a big event... we spent three months of the previous year planning a trip to Portugal and Spain with my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my two nephews, my dear wife and me. We would travel by van and we would have three bases: Lisbon, Porto and Santiago de Compostela. We made the trip itinerary, hotel and van reservations. We arrived in Lisbon on a Saturday... the journey from the airport to the hotel, the driver who provided the transfer offered us a tour of the great Lisbon. When we arrived at the Hotel, we discussed it a bit and agreed to take the tour. We went the next day.

On this tour, we went to the closest point to the Americas and visited cities like Cascais, Oeiras, among others. We stopped for lunch, visited other sights and went, at the time, to the second largest mall in Europe, close to Lisbon. At that time, my nephews were 16 years old and they were crazy about the stores they had in this mall. They bought some clothes and sneakers at the Nike store. My nephews are football freaks and have bought sweaters and uniforms from European teams. I love them as if they were my children, because I have been part of their lives since they were born. I gave them both a bottle and, in a way, from the age of 12, I started to be their reference. They usually go out with me or go to my house for games, puzzles and cooking sessions... well, I cook and have a nice barbecue... A peculiarity of my nephews... they are twins.

We returned to Lisbon at night and, the next day, we went for a walk in Lisbon and got to know some of the sights. The other day, I went to get the van to start the trip by car. I took a handheld GPS... at that time there was still no waze... I had bought a map of Europe and put it on the device. The next day, we took our bags, put them in the van and went ahead... First stop... Óbidos... what a wonderful structure... incredible medieval wall... I walked along the path of the watchman... wonderful... Afterwards, we passed by Fátima, where we stopped to say our prayers for the little star and my sister-in-law, together with the twins, to fulfill a promise.

After Fátima, we pass through several cities on the way, stopping at the Monastery of Batalha, a wonderful structure, a pity we couldn't enter at the time. A peculiarity of this trip was the behavior of my nephews... they had been dating for a few months and spent the night on the cell phone talking to their girlfriends.. When I arrived in the morning, they were dead... the distribution in the van was also very peculiar. .in the front, my wife and I, in the middle were my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, and at the back, sleeping, were the twins... it was a struggle to get them up to appreciate the historical monuments... I laughed so hard at that . Even in Óbidos it was a hell of a fight...

After Batalha, we went through Coimbra and, of course, I went to the University and we went up to the city of Porto. We were going to stay there for two days... as always, in all my travels, my wife and I always did everything possible, because we didn't know if we would go back to that place again... We went to Torre dos Clérigos, Sé do Porto, Luís I Bridge, São Francisco Monument Church, Estádio do Dragão, among other attractions...

In the evening, I took my dear wife to dinner in Vila Nova de Gaia, near Porto, to enjoy a codfish carpaccio. We also took the opportunity to ride the Teleférico de Gaia. The next day, we went to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Arriving there, we visited the whole city and the cathedral. The next day, we made our way back, passing by Fátima again and at the mall to exchange the wrong size items. We arrived in Lisbon again and stayed two more days there. During the days we stayed in Lisbon, we went to the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, São Jorge Castle, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Santa Justa Elevator, Pastéis de Belém, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Carmo Archaeological Museum, Lisbon Cathedral, among others .

On the last day, we went to dinner at Restaurante João do Grão with the twins... I ordered a filet mignon on the stone... the dish consists of a piece of filet on the stone accompanied by various seasonings.. delicious... the twins loved it... curiosity... the older twin got the meat... he was poked by it for the rest of the trip...

So, we went to the airport and, just in case, my nephews got ready to disappear at the airport... we were desperate... Fortunately, they reappeared at the last minute... we were late going to the boarding gate... that wasn't enough , my dear wife decides to buy a bag for my leftovers.. I almost had a fit.

Why tell about this trip? Because it was the most beautiful trip I've ever taken... I was in a beautiful and warm country with my family... we had great times together and managed, for a while, to forget the losses we had... I still miss this trip even today.

Anyway, we returned to my homeland and life went on... life takes us to different places to know where we came from and who we were and will be. We have to learn from the past, live in the present and learn for the future. The journey may be long or short, but we have to make it count, being better human beings every day.

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