Adding a Change of Scenery with Old Friends Always Helps

Moorish Castle atop a hill in Sintra, Portugal.
View of the Moorish Castle in Sintra, about 45 minutes north of Lisbon by train. After the Moors were defeated, Sintra became popular with castles and quintas for royalty and nobility in Portugal. The castle remains to remind the Portuguese of what the Moors added and the many years of battles to make the Portuguese a unified nation.

Sometimes we get a little bored with the same old “drudgery” of beaches, swimming, festivals, dinners with neighbors, etc. That’s when it’s really awesome when old friends from Michigan stop in for a visit. We love showing off Lisboa (never a bad day in Lisbon) and then relaxing in our little corner of paradise.

We met at the airport in Lisboa, stayed at a friend’s place, and spent a week sightseeing, including a great day trip to Sintra, visiting several castles and the famous Quinta da Regaleira with it’s gardens and amazing circular staircase hundreds of feet underground, built to initiate candidates into the Masons. In spite of soaring temperatures, a wonderful trip with many other sights for future visits!

After a week of heat, adventures, and stops around Lisbon, we all returned to our Casa da Sonho, dodged raindrops, and visited sights, gardens, beaches, volcanoes and trails, and restaraunts we frequent here. Heavy rains dampened the grass, turned everything green but did not “harsh” our reunion. We had several sunny hours to visit the caves and volcanic crater ridges. All around a great time before we hugged goodbye; as we parted we thought of their return to Michigan in mid-October; fall colors, crisp temperatures, cider and donuts, and preparing for snowfall.

Never certain when we’ll return to Michigan for a visit, but so wonderful to have freinds come over and experinece our life here!