My brother, Bill and I just got back from a trip to Portugal, Spain and Italy. It was the first time we’d traveled extensively together on our own. We’re both experienced travelers and we’ve usually traveled with our wives or kids or in a group, but this time, it was just me and him. We had a blast!
Our trip started in Lisbon. I barely made it out of Houston. Hurricane Harvey was about to roar in from the Gulf of Mexico. I called United Airlines three days before my planned departure to see if I could catch an earlier flight to avoid a cancelled flight once the storm hit. They waived all fees and got me schedule to leave Saturday afternoon. As it turns out, if I didn’t take that flight, I would have been stuck in Houston for the next 5 days until the flood waters receded and people could reach the airport again. I made a great decision to leave early!
Bill and I loosely based our trip around the Rick Steve’s travel shows that we both love to watch. Bill put together a spreadsheet and our itinerary quickly took shape. We coordinated back and forth to confirm our plans, get our logistics and transportation decisions defined and to keep track of who would make which reservations. That all took place in a little over a week and – we were ready to go!
I’ve got lots of stories to tell along with gobs of photos to share too. I’ve got tips and some observations to pass along. I am fluent in Spanish and that really helped in these countries with latin based languages. But I found that English is pretty well understood almost everywhere we traveled. I also found that people were absolutely wonderful to us. They treated us with happy smiles and helpful answers to our questions. They were polite and friendly.
Our first night together in Lisbon, trying to let the fog of jet lag clear, we took the elevator of the adjacent hotel to the Sky Bar. The skyline of Lisbon was breathtaking – with the sun setting and the sky filled with fluffy clouds. I wanted to capture the moment, with the good looking bartenders too and the next thing you know, they invited me to join them in the bar for a fun shot together. That’s kind of how our whole trip went! Just having fun with all the people we met.
So, the next few posts will be all about this adventure. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Then I hope you get inspired too and make your travel plans to visit some of these same areas. Chow!