I can’t believe it has been just over a week since we have returned from an amazing vacation to Barcelona and Lisboa! You count down the many months, weeks and days and then once you have arrived it goes so fast.

I’m starting with Lisbon even though we went there after Barcelona but I have all those photos edited so here you go.

It was an amazing week spent with great friends. I love to travel. To see parts of the world that have such a rich history. Where the lifestyle is completely different from ours. I should take one of those DNA tests because I feel like I am 100% European. I love the way European’s experience life. Walking everywhere or taking the train (their systems are so much better than ours…at least Atlanta’s) Shopping at markets and carrying your bread and fresh flowers home. 💛🌻🌷💕

We stayed at a beautiful apartment which was located across from the Praça da Figueira. A big square that has an outdoor market called Mercado Da Baixa which has been in existence since 1855.

These are photos around Lisboa.

I fell in love with the tiles on the buildings and the sidewalks are also beautiful. Gorgeous! We met our friend Débora’s parents and they told us about an authentic tiles shop called Sant’anna. We of course took their recommendation and bought a tile or two to take home with us for a constant reminder of the beauty that is Lisbon.

The food!

We had great dining experiences. The highlight was Bairro Avillez’s Pateo restaurant. We sat at what I call the Chef’s Table. It was in front of the window where we could experience the activity in the kitchen. The chef’s working each station. The Head Chef calling out the orders as they came in and the communication between them. The food coming to the pass. The tasting to make sure it was good enough to serve. The plating! Wow! I was in heaven. We met Chef Adriano who was very gracious to take a moment from the busyness of the kitchen to take a photo with us! The food was amazing. I had the Sea Bass and the desserts he recommended were out of this world!

Other foodie highlights were Forno d’ Oro and Time Out Market.

Of course you can’t go to Lisboa and not try Pastel de Nata or pastéis de nata (plural) because you can’t have just one! We went to Manteigaria and Pastéis de Belem. My new favorite! I really need to learn how to make them. It is a custard tart. I can make creme brûlée so I think I could do that part but it is all about the crust! Buttery and flaky layers of thin dough. And coffee, my order was a Cortado) and pastéis…yes please!

And finally, Jeronimos Monastery, Sintra, Pena Palace and Cascais.

The colors. The history. The beauty.

Cabo da Roca is the most westernmost point in Europe mainland and we were there on a beautiful day with sunny blue skies.

Lisbon is colorful and just beautiful! If it isn’t on your travel bucket list, it  should be…and go with friends who love travel, culture and food as much as you do.



1. a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities

2a. freedom from activity or labor
  b.  a state of motionlessness or inactivity

3. a place for resting or lodging

4. peace of mind or spirit

A tough year for this family. A year ago March, Doug went in for back pain. A muscle spasm.  It wasn't a muscle spasm. News far worse. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal cancer. He fought hard and in April he entered heaven. He lives with Jesus! He is no longer in pain and is a perfect soul.

Sitting with my brother and family for eleven straight days wondering if this was the day God was going to take him home was the most difficult time in my life...I dare say for all of us.

I came home after two weeks. Straight back to work. I thought it would keep my mind busy. No. There were issues at work with vendors and deadlines that I could hardly deal with. Bernie had been traveling. I was home alone because this year our precious Osa also went to heaven. The pressures were weighing so heavy on me that I felt suffocated. I couldn't give any more of myself and I couldn't take anything from one more person. If I didn't get away, I was ready to quit my job. I needed a rest...from everything. I wanted no responsibilities. I needed sunshine. I need the beach. Palm trees!

We went to my friend house near Destin, FL. It was an amazing six days of rest and relaxation. My mind free from the daily grind. Days where I sat in the park, looking out across the bay, starring up at the blue skies. Time to cry. Time to read. Time on a boat. Absolutely perfect.

Thank you Jon, Hillary and Marcus and of course Kayla.

We came home for one day and went to visit Scott, Anthony and Meagan. Good friends. Family. Scott's wife, Jennifer is deployed in Afghanistan for nine months. She is a helicopter pilot. I haven't been to their new house yet and it was great opportunity to spend time with them. Once again, nothing planned...just relaxing.

They have a in ground pool and my way of relaxing is to lay on a float and falling asleep on the water. I love the way the sun feels on my skin.

I really miss Osa and the companionship a dog gives...unconditional love. They have Chloe and she is an amazing dog. I can't wait to get another puppy :)

Rested. Still praying for peace & calm.