Perk #1 of the Portugal Visas ~

When the pilot announces that all crew members should stop serving and buckle up, you know it can’t be good. On the behalf of all those who, like me, can’t accurately describe the depth of how much I hate to fly, I’d like to thank the pharmaceutical companies for the invention of Valium.  It’s a game changer.

As we entered the Lisbon Airport and the whiff of cigarette smoke lingering in the air filled our lungs, I said to Abi, “Ah, we’re back in Europe.”

Perk #1

Standing in line to pass through customs, the little sign told us it would be a 60-minute wait from that point; not what you want to read having just spent 7 sleepless hours – in the middle seat of three seats – on a overnight crossing of the pond flight.  Tired, doesn’t even begin to describe.  And, did I mention the pilot told the crew to take their seats?  Twice.  In our sleep deprived stupor we looked around us and noticed there was no line at the EU passport holder customs windows.  It was at that moment the light bulb clicked on as if in a cartoon speech bubble above our heads.  Hey!  You know what?!  That’s us! Perk #1 of waiting nine weeks for those visas: ducking out of the 60-minute wait line and breezing right through customs, as if we owned the place.

Igreja Santa Maria in Lagos.


Aching for a caffeine fix I was thrilled to see Starbucks in the airport, but realizing how long the line was to order drinks and how extraordinarily long the line was to catch a taxi, we knew certain sacrifices must be made no matter how painful.  Forty-eight hours later I am still without that fix.  But, we made the 12:30 bus to Lagos, a comfortable 4-hour ride.  Are you counting with us?  Seven hour flight, four hour bus ride, prefaced by the craziest 48 hours before leaving Washington, DC, but here we are in Lagos, Portugal.

Lagos, Portugal

Lagos is a picturesque seaside city, with a wonderful water front promenade and a charming historic center.  It’s also home to our expat friends Anita and Dick of No Particular Place To Go who are graciously hosting our stay.  And, let me tell you they have quite the view from their balcony.

The tile work in Portugal is stunning. How often do you see a building covered in green tile? One of the little plazas in the historic center of the city.

We’ll be in Lagos for about a week.  We’ll use the time to catch our breath, get some work done, explore Lagos, and eat as much gelato as possible.  We’ll also use the time to gear up and organize ourselves to ride the rails with Eurail, which promises to be epic and we hope you’ll ride right along with us!

You know… on second thought that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe we’ll just spend the week doing absolutely nothing except walking into town each day, eating gelato and watching the world pass by.  Because, after all, it’s important to prioritize while traveling.

While traveling it’s important to prioritize.









20 Responses to Perk #1 of the Portugal Visas ~

  • So glad you made it safely, even if exhausted. I look forward to reading your adventures. Much love!

  • The tiles, on the buildings as well as in the streets, was one of the things I loved about Lisbon when we visited there last April. That green building is stunning. No way I could ever go without caffeine for 48 hours. Pretty sure I would end up being arrested! Best wishes for your continued travels. Did you guys get a Eurail Pass or are you booking individual tickets in advance?

    • Day 3 of no caffeine. What I would give for an iced Chai Latte…

      We are beyond happy to be working with Eurail this summer, they are sponsoring our global passes. We’ll be working with them for 8 weeks and our mapped out route takes us through 8 countries and 13 cities. We are super excited! We hope you’ll ride along with us! 🙂

  • There’s not much better than avoiding a long line and whizzing through customs like a VIP! Oh yeah, and FINALLY getting to Portugal (with all of Europe awaiting) after months of planning and jumping through hoops. And now … time to follow a new road and see where it takes you!
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…Terezin: If A Picture Paints A Thousand WordsMy Profile

  • Welcome back to Europe Patti and Abi. What better place to start your European adventure then gorgeous Lagos. I visited it last year with my husband and son, but for reasons that I will explain one day when we meet up, our visit to Lagos never made it to the blog. I hope you will love it there as much as we did
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…Fifty Shades of Downsizing – It’s NOT A One Size Fits All ApproachMy Profile

    • That sounds intriguing, Gilda. I look forward to the day our paths cross. Lagos is really quite lovely, lots of beach goers here now. Clear blue skies, the water is beautiful, and the gelato is fantastic!

  • I totally agree 🙂 Lagos looks and sounds lovely, a great place to kick off your travels in Europe. I’m definitely looking forward to following along with your Eurail journey, I’m sure it’ll provide inspiration for my European adventures this autumn/winter.
    Amy recently posted…Back to the island, new wheels and travel plansMy Profile

    • We’ll do our best to keep everyone updated, Amy, but I know you and Andrew have great plans brewing!

  • Ah. Marathon travel days. We refer to our 5 flight, Philly to Chiang Mai day as “The Longest Day”. As with childbirth, I expect that you’ll soon be sure it was totally worth it. Your Eurail itinerary sounds wonderful. I look forward to following along.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…15 Things to Do During an Airport LayoverMy Profile

    • That is an hilarious comparison; childbirth to long travel days. It works though, but I was in less pain on the travel day. 🙂

  • So glad to hear you arrived safely. I don’t like flying either. Looks like your travels are already unfolding as a wonderful adventure. I look forward to following your Eurail travels. One of my favourite things about Europe is their wonderful trains. Haven’t found one that compares in North America. You are bound to have great fun! Chilling out ahead of time sounds like a good plan. Also curious – are there no sidewalk cafes in Portugal where you can enjoy a coffee fix?
    Jan recently posted…Move over Medical Tourism, there’s a new kid in town: Entrepreneurial TourismMy Profile

    • There are lots (and lots) of sidewalk cafes all over Lagos, but I don’t drink coffee! 🙂 Abi has definitely been enjoying his cafe coffee fix each morning, but Chai Lattes are not on the menu here. I drink too many of them anyway, but once we get to a big city, I’ll be on the look out!

  • So happy for you guys! Can I admit I sometimes miss Starbucks living in Croatia? Sometimes I just want a big-ass coffee I can suck on all day….

    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted…Divisadero – my favorite stopover in the Copper Canyon, MexicoMy Profile

    • Thanks, Frank! Yes, you can admit it because I am craving a chai latte like nobody’s business. No such thing here in the algarve.

  • Lagos is oh so lovely especially all that dramatic beachfront and wild greenery. The food pretty good too! Definitely a great starting point for Europe. 7 sleepless hours? Ugh try 22 from US to Asia haha. Yup hate those
    “stop service and buckle up” moments of a flight.

    Happy explorations

    • Ha! Ha! Peta. That’s a long haul, for sure! I could never do that long of stretch on a flight. To date our longest has been 13 from San Francisco to Auckland and that was way too long, but not a lot of stops out there in the ocean!

  • So glad you finally made it to Portugal. Can’t wait to ride the rails across Europe with you.

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.


3 years, 107 days ago!





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