Tag Archives: July 2015

Patio Sitting in Lisbon

Steph and I decided go for an adventure! We walked through the heat down to the centre. Steph confessed she had a wish for a big, cold glass of fresh lemonade. I hoped we could make it happen, but we weren’t optimistic. We took the shortcut through the metro, wandered through the streets until we found the monastery,and took the secret pathway beside it. It spit us out half way up a lookout point. We paid the €1 to walk up the stairs all the way to the top. The view was spectacular. I love climbing to the tops of things and looking out. It’s the best. We did a photo shoot and stayed up there for as long as could stand. We were both sweating alcohol out of our pores, and with nowhere for shade, we were overheating.

Me, on top of the world.

We walked back to Alfama to meet up with our friends. As we walked and talked, a kiosk caught my eye. LEMONADE! As if. AS IF there is lemonade! It was like a dream come true. We bought two cups and were the happiest girls in Alfama.

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Steph and I as the happiest girls in Alfama

The giant group of us (seven) wandered around the streets, searching for a dinner place. The problem with looking for a dinner place with seven, really easygoing people is that we will never find a place, because everyone’s, “easy.” As we weaved in and out of the streets, we spotted a BBQ at the end of a skinny lane. Perfect! Pateo 13 (Patio 13). We walked up and Yuri asked the man if we could sit at the free table outside. We sat down and the crazy yelling began. The waiter was talking to Yuri in Portuguese, and kept yelling sporadically at the man at the BBQ. I kept telling Yuri to order wine. He wasn’t responding to me. I talked over the yelling Portuguese, and said to Henrique, “can you order two bottles of red wine?” He didn’t react to me. Am I invisible? Rebecka and Kevin were just laughing! Everyone was yelling! It was CRAZY! I finally grabbed the waiter’s attention and said, “can we have two bottles of red wine, please?” The waiter laughed and yelled something at Yuri, who laughed along with Henrique. Holy moly! I just wanted wine. All of a sudden, we were ordering! The waiter left and I asked Yuri if he had ordered wine. He said, “don’t you worry. I would never leave you wine-less!” I smiled. Sure enough, the waiter came back with two bottles of red wine. Phew!

The gang

We had some great conversation. I don’t remember it all, but I remember laughing pretty much the entire time. Henrique said something about “cockfish” and we all laughed. He meant codfish of course, and this we all knew, but couldn’t help to laugh. The food was great, the wine went down too quickly, one bottle, two bottles, three bottles, then we left. We mostly left because the entire patio had closed down and we were being shooed by people hanging out of windows, clearly trying to sleep on this Sunday evening. Yuri knew of a little bar we could go to for more drinks. It was called Tasca, and it was here we sat outside around a table, and ordered another bottle of wine. Next thing we knew, a man came outside of the bar holding a bucket with a rope in it, attached to a stick. He placed the bucket down, held the stick in place, and began playing it like a bass. WHAT?! A man with a guitar joined him and they began playing music. I can’t believe he is playing a bucket with a rope and a stick. I don’t know when it happened, but the guitarist asked the crowd if anyone plays the melodica. Rebecka offered Kevin, the professional pianist, and his skills. The guitarist handed Kevin the melodica and we all waited with bated breath. Sure enough, Kevin rocked it. I think everyone, the musicians, the audience, and even Kevin were surprised at how good he was. “I’m salivating everywhere”, he said.

The bar closed down and we all parted ways. I fell asleep on a cloud that night in Lisbon.

A man playing a guitar and a man playing a bucket & rope!


Being Devastatingly Cool in Madrid

We met up with a few of Miguel’s really cool friends at a devastatingly cool place. I ordered a Tinto de Verano and looked around. Everyone working there was unbelievably cool. I felt like the least cool person in the room. I for sure was. Because my cool is their lame. I can’t even fathom their cool. I can’t even get my brain there, to that level of cool. I was making up stories of their lives and telling Vanessa, our Mexican friend, what I thought. I pointed at a man wearing skinny jeans and an oversized grey T-shirt, his hair was half up and his cool tattoos were visible. He walked around with a cloth hanging out of his back pocket, and an iPad in his hand. He probably paints giant canvasses in his garage studio space. He works mainly with spray paints, but he dabbles in found objects, like broken pieces of chain link fence, and shattered light bulbs he finds in dumpsters. He has a bandana he wears over his face when he paints and he never listens to the same song twice while he is creating. Vanessa just stared at me. I want to go up to him and say, “I’d like you to paint me,” and see what he says. Maybe his next artistic challenge is to try to capture this level of uncool in a painting.

Marta walking through Retiro Park.

After we finished lunch, we walked over to Retiro park. We were going to rent row boats and go for a little cruise! Great idea!! Until I saw the water and the very little shade covering the water. Images of me, sweltering and melting in the heat, in a row boat in the middle of the water flashed through my mind. Not ideal. We decided against boats. I did see a very attractive man sitting by the water, sketching the big statue nearby. I thought about saying how great I thought his sketch was, and maybe asking him if he would like to sketch me next? I didn’t ask. Miguel told me I should always ask. Always! He said, “if you do nothing, it’s already the worst case scenario!” Good point!

The very attractive man sketching not me.

We passed a man playing the Game of Thrones theme song on his accordion, we each bought an ice cream, and then we found a shady area and lay down for a bit. Jasper napped, Miguel grinder’d, I unsuccessfully attempted to eat my ice cream faster than it melted, and ended up just licking the drips up my hand, forearm, and chin, like a lady.

Miguel and I on the roof!

Soon, it was time to move on. We were invited to a rooftop terrace— I could get used to hanging out with these folks, they are always going to cool places. I half expected Snoop Dogg to be somewhere, filming a music video. There was an infinity pool that nobody was swimming in, probably because swimming is not at all what you do at these sorts of places. But I really wanted to swim. I imagined going over to the edge, past all the stunning women and muscular men posing “candidly” for photos in the sunset. I would just taking my dress off to reveal my swimmers, and then dive in. People would either love it or hate it. I imagined how funny it would be. I asked the waiter if I could swim. He told me the pool was closed.

The view from the roof.