our winter vacation in portugal

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earlier this month, i travelled to lisbon with julia, for 3 weeks, to spend some time with our family for new year’s eve, since we had to spend christmas in turks and caicos. last year i was in lisbon for a couple of months in the new year, it wasn’t easy, i was about to give birth, i felt huge and uncomfortable and the weather was terrible. add a little of baby blues to that, and let’s say it wasn’t my best vacation.
luckily, this time around, it was so different.

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on the way to portugal we were in miami, in transit, for 6 hours, stored our luggage, got a cab and hit some of my favorite stores in south beach. we even managed to fit in a mother-daughter lunch at harry’s before heading back to the airport.

lisbon-my-seastory-27in lisbon, the weather was beautiful and sunny, oh and the light in the city, it allowed to spend lots of time outside the house. julia quickly got in her bedtime routine, allowing me to sneak out most nights for some ‘me’ time. on the other hand, she was so excited about everything going on around her, it took her a week or so to start napping during the day.
every day we would do 1 thing for julia, let it be a playdate at home, a morning spent at the zoo or a stroll in the city.
lisbon-by-myseastory-11one afternoon, we went to the champalimaud centre for the unknown, for a stroll and some fresh air. i love the architecture, and you can see the best sunsets from here.lisbon-by-myseastory-25
lisbon-by-myseastory-8we also went to belem a few times, it’s close to home, there’s a nice garden, and it’s the perfect excuse to go for a pastel de nata. ahem, or two.lisbon-by-myseastory-9lisbon-by-myseastory-24
being away from home makes me so much more aware of the beautiful things we have in lisbon – colorful tiles everywhere – i found these ones around belem.
lisbon-by-myseastory-10every time i travel to lisbon i make a list of thing i want to do – buy this and that, dentist and doctor appointments, to name a few. but every time, i get all stressed out seeing the days go by and my lists always seems to be getting bigger. so this time, i tried a different approach, other than a couple of things i really had to get done, i enjoyed each day at a time, and it felt so much more do-able, and relaxing!
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i went to the new cos store in lisbon, which i was really looking forward to, i love this and their sister brand & other stories. luckily, everything was still so wintery – not so appealing for our turks and caicos weather.
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going to chiado with no plans is the best, of course we hit the roasted chestnuts stand when we arrived, and the santini ice cream store before leaving!lisbon-by-myseastory-17lisbon-by-myseastory-5lisbon-by-myseastory-20
we always check out republica das flores, a favorite of my mum and i, they’ve just changed location, and the new store looks amazing – they have the best flowers, candles, perfumes and the cutest gift ideas. i met frederico, the owner, when i worked at the four seasons ritz hotel and he was setting up flower arrangements for an event. he is so talented, and since then i’ve always kept track of the projects he’s been working on.lisbon-by-myseastory-22
we also hit a few stores in principe real, including this cute little chocolate store called claudio corallo, they have the best coffees and chocolates from sao tome and principe – their hot chocolate and their brownies totally blew me away!
and this little munchkin was such a trooper, getting used to wearing warm clothes and shoes, didn’t stop her from exploring the city always in good moods.lisbon-by-myseastory-4lisbon-by-myseastory-3we also spent a lot of time at home with our family, and had friends over for tea and scones by the fireplace. julia even got to do her first watercolor painting with grandma!
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and we skyped with james everyday…mind the mess in the back! she wasn’t always as attentive as here, and with a time difference of 5 hours, it wasn’t always easy.
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since living in turks and caicos, amongst other things, i really miss the busyness of city life, and good restaurants to choose from, specially sushi and seafood!
so, at night, after getting julia in bed, i would sneak out for dinner with friends, drinks or a little shopping – i was eager for civilization, people watching, and having lots of things to do. we went to my favorite sushi place in lisbon, estado liquido, for my mum’s birthday. we had the best seafood at cervejaria da esquina, just to name a few of many great food spots. did you know portugal has the best seafood and freshest fish? oh yes!
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it was really hard to leave our family behind after our great winter vacation, and after the worst flying experience so far (it seems funny, after writing this post…) we were exhausted when we got to miami, we had a warm shower and ordered room service and felt a little closer to home.

ps – our other traveling adventures

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6 thoughts on “our winter vacation in portugal

  1. Loved reading this! Looks like you two had an amazing trip and Julia looks like she had so much fun! I love the picture of her with the teddy bear hood, so cute!!! Is she walking?!
    Ps you’re pics make me want to visit Lisbon! Hopefully I can do a weekend trip over there from London in July!!

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