Day 64 – 3/18/2019

Wow has it been to long since we have posted! No need to worry we are still alive and have managed to stay out of prison. Last weekend I (Erik) was the lone ranger from the chocolate factory that voyaged beyond the yellow jackets and baguettes. Me and a friend from the program, Charlie, ventured to land of the adventurous. A place with the cheapest food and beverage so far. We flew out early on Friday morning to the beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. There we were greeted with the warmest weather yet, making it all the more exciting to explore. We had most of the first day to walk around and explore. We mostly walked the narrow streets of the old town and hiked up to an out-lookout castle on the hill. We were sure to stop at as many little Street side bars serving the traditional Ginji shots. In Portugal they live the jimmy buffet way and know that it is always 5 o’clock somewhere. These little shots are all over and there is always a short line waiting to take this sweet cherry shot out of a chocolate shot glass. The old city was incredible, with amazing tile work and the trolleys climbing the steep hills.  We then had to go get ready for our pub crawl which we signed up for. We ended up going with a Scottish girl with the voice of Brave heart, and her French-Canadian friend who were in the same room as us. The pub crawl brought us all around the city, as we followed the leaders and their bright yellow umbrellas. Felt like an elementary school field trip except all the kids were drinking. The next day we woke at a decent time and went to the newer trendier part of the city. We spent most of the day seeing the sights along the river that meets with the see just a couple miles down. Here we saw two very cool towers that seem to exist only to be a sign of wealth and power to those who enter the port. They were exceptionally beautiful, offering a remarkable vantage point of thee entire city. Near the towers were an old monastery, it was free to enter the chapel and we took full advantage of that. The inside was all painstakingly detailed stonework from floor all the way to the top of the tall ceilings. The other site we went to in a newer government building up on the hill. Offered a great vantage point but was under construction and left a little to be desired. On a positive note, we found a botanical garden on the hike up and wondered through the perfectly groomed greenery. I was shocked to see a peacock just strutting around, it walked past me without a care that I was there. We decided to grab a couple beers on the path along the river and watched the sunset with most every sight within our view. It made me question for a minute why I don’t live in a place such as that. That basically sums up the weekend in Portugal as we had to leave early Sunday to catch out 6AM flight. So far, I think Portugal would have to go down as my favorite place I have visited. So now I’m sure you are dying to know what else we have been doing since our last post. Andrews Family came this week and got to explore the quaint little city we call home. Ill leave much of the details up to Andrews post, however I too got to spend a little time with them and will share. On Saturday, me and the Embersons, minus Ty, went to a little village up in the hills. It was a picturesque little village with a creek running through the middle that supplied fountains throughout the down with cold mountain water. We wandered through town for a while with tour guide Andrew giving us the history he had learned from a previous trip there. We had lunch then embarked on a hike along step rock cliffs and through thick bushes. We arrived at the top to a 360 view of sheer rock faces and the village nested in the valley between. It was a great day, perfect for avoiding the congestion of the protest in Montpellier. We are going to Paris again this Wednesday to meet up with some friends from back home. Then on Friday I will make my way to the wine country, Bordeaux. Hopefully I don’t drink the cellars dry during the duration of my stay. This again is where me and Andrew will part ways as instead of wine Andrew will meet back up with his family in Barcelona for stiff sangria’s. Stay posted for updates, as always, Cheers.

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