A Whirlwind Adventure Through Portugal and Spain!
Have you ever wondered what it's like to celebrate your 50th birthday in style? Well, wonder no more! We've got a fantastic journey to share with you, as we embarked on a memorable trip with Kyle, who was celebrating half a century of life in the most spectacular way possible. Buckle up because this adventure takes us through the enchanting cities of Lisbon, Seville, and Porto!
**Day 1: Setting Off from Atlanta (9/7/2023)**
The journey began on a sunny September morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Excitement filled the air as Kyle and I geared up for an epic adventure. Bags packed, boarding passes/passports in hand, and with hearts full of anticipation, we boarded our flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal. (layover in Boston)
**Day 2: Hello Lisbon! (9/8/2023)**
After a smooth overnight flight, we touched down in the vibrant city of Lisbon. Our home for the first leg of the journey was the charming As Janeles Verdes, a historic boutique hotel. With its elegant décor and welcoming staff, it was the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after our long journey.
**Day 3: Exploring Lisbon**
With jetlag barely holding us back, we decided to dive straight into the Lisbon experience. Wandering the cobblestone streets, savoring pastries at local cafés, and taking in the picturesque views of the Tagus River set the stage for an unforgettable adventure.
**Day 4: Classic Lisbon Tour**
On this day, we decided to go big! We embarked on the Full Day Classic Lisbon Tour, which included a visit to the magical Sintra, the coastal town of Cascais, and the glamorous Estoril. From the fairytale-like Pena Palace in Sintra to the stunning beaches of Cascais, we soaked up the diverse beauty of Portugal.
**Day 5: Flying to Seville (9/11/2023)**
We bid farewell to Lisbon, as we hopped on a short flight to Seville, Spain. Our accommodations at the Vincci La Rabida were nothing short of luxurious, and the stunning Andalusian architecture surrounding us left us in awe.
**Day 6-7: Exploring Jerez, Cadiz, and Seville**
Two full days in Seville meant two days of unforgettable adventures. First up was a thrilling tour of Jerez and Cadiz, where we sipped on sherry, explored historic bodegas, and marveled at Cadiz's golden beaches. On the second day, we decided to explore Seville at our own pace, visiting iconic landmarks like the Alcazar and Giralda Tower, all while getting our daily step count up!
**Day 8: Porto Bound (9/14/2023)**
Our next stop was Porto, Portugal, a city renowned for its rich history and delectable cuisine. The PortoBay Hotel Teatro was our cozy haven for the next few days, and its location was perfect for exploring this charming city.
**Day 9: Savoring Porto's Flavors**
The first full day in Porto was dedicated to a Small Group Walking Food Tour: Vintage Porto. We indulged in delicious Portuguese cuisine, from creamy pastéis de nata to mouthwatering Francesinha sandwiches. Our taste buds were in heaven! Per the woman who made that particular baked good (pictured in slideshow), it was created as an "eye catcher" to get people to stop. My question is "Why would a billionaire's space shuttle cause people to stop?" lol
**Day 10: Douro Valley Wine and Cruise Tour**
If there's one thing you can't miss in Porto, it's the stunning Douro Valley. On this day, we embarked on a full-day Douro Valley Wine and Cruise Tour, winding through terraced vineyards and sampling the region's famous Port wine. The views were jaw-dropping, and the wine flowed freely – a perfect birthday celebration for Kyle!
**Day 11: Heading Home via Madrid (9/17/2023)**
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. With hearts full of gratitude and memories to last a lifetime, we left Porto for Madrid, where we caught our connecting flight back to Atlanta. As the plane soared into the sky, we couldn't help but reflect on the incredible journey we'd just experienced.
Kyle's 50th birthday trip was truly one for the books. From the historic streets of Lisbon to the flamenco rhythms of Seville and the vineyard-covered hills of Porto, every moment was filled with laughter, adventure, and the joy of celebrating a milestone birthday in the best way possible.
So, if you're ever thinking of planning a special birthday trip or simply want to experience the magic of Portugal and Spain, take a page from Kyle's book. There's no better way to celebrate life than by exploring the world with friends and family.
Lessons Learned from this trip:
Avoid switching cities frequently to minimize the hassle of packing and unpacking.
Whenever friends or family recommend sights to visit, take the time to do your own research to ensure they align with your personal interests.
When you come across landmarks or places you'd like to explore, consider whether you prefer a comprehensive tour inside, including all the rooms, or simply admire it from the outside. This allows you to decide how deep you'd like to delve into its history and features.