I’ve been to this one a few times, but not recently. I came here a lot on assignment, but I can easily count the number of times I visited on my own. Not many. And not for a long time. It looks exactly the same.
It’s safe to say it’s not one of my favorites in the country, even though I don’t have a specific reason for disliking it. I just can’t find one to love it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a meh town.
We picked it for our stop because it’s about halfway to our final destination, and we found a cosy, and decently priced, apartment to spend the night.
It’s home to the oldest university in the country (1290), and has a TON of young people around, as expected. But it still manages to feel dated. It always feels old, a little seedy, a little dirty. Sorry if anyone reading this was born here, but this is my honest opinion. Maybe I just never spent enough time to let the city grow on me.
We left home after lunch time, and slowly made our way north. The little one slept for a while, about an hour, and we thank her for that. We arrived mid afternoon, dropped everything (amazing the amount of stuff a toddler needs in order to travel!), and walked for a little. The apartment is located downtown, so it’s busy.
Stopped at a cafe to grab a bite, but had to leave in a rush because we were attacked by a gang of filthy pigeons. tinyMovieStar made a mess with her slice of bread, and the pigeons took that, as they do, as an invitation to mad behavior.
Walked back to our place.
We’re so tired, and the little one still refuses to sleep. She’s crazy about sleeping out, and that’s something both her parents can easily understand.
Ordered delivery, will be here soon. Hopefully we’ll get some sleep, tomorrow we have a longer drive to our final destination, movieStar needs a covid test before we’re allowed in the hotel, and I’ll spend the afternoon and night working. Long day.
Today I thought about barbers, and barbershops, and how I love to get a haircut whenever I’m in a new place.
Looked for the photos and realized I have missed a TON of opportunities!
I should have taken a photo at all of them, and I did not.
Shame on me!
Almost fully recovered, today was movieStar’s turn, her first shot. She got a ticket to Pfizer Team.
I stayed home with the tiny one, and were joined by our amazing babysitter, Mia. They are getting along brilliantly, which is great. Being a covid-baby is not easy, spending so much time with mom & dad, everyone else is a stranger. But these two are close to best friends already.
The line at the vaccination place was tiny today, so movieStar was in and out in no time, and we met her in the square, for a snack.
The little one is a (HUGE) fan of eggs, so she had that, scrambled, with a big bowl of chickpea soup. Add a slice of toast, and she’s in heaven.
We had time for a beer, and then she was getting sleepy, and so was mom, so we headed home.
They’re both sleeping now.
Tomorrow I was supposed to have an assignment, but it’s been postponed. Covid was the reason why jobs were being cancelled up to now, but the vaccine side-effects are now to blame! My colleague has a fever and she’s in no condition to work tomorrow.
Shame, but it is what it is. I certainly know how that feels!
In two days we’re leaving, going north, for a couple of days. It’ll be a weekend of fun, work, meeting friends, and having amazing food.
What started as a day with a few hours of sleep missing, turned out to be pretty great in the end.
The morning was pretty normal, with a walk to the supermarket to stock up on a few missing items, and then lunch. Nothing to write home about.
Still, tinyMovieStar wouldn’t sleep, even though she should be falling apart. movieStar had a great idea: I had to go out for cigarettes, they would both tag along. We decided to do a whole afternoon out of it.
It would turn out much nicer than we expected.
We drove to the beach, at Guincho. We love driving there, sun was out, not many people on the road. Perfect. We hadn’t even considered going to the beach but, once we were close, we did. The weather was not perfect by then, turned cloudy and windy, but the little one couldn’t care less. She was beyond thrilled!
She’s been to the beach before, but acted like it was the first time, and the beach was THE BEST THING EVER! She’s a pretty happy girl, smiling all the time, but today she was over the top!
She couldn’t get enough of all the sand, playing with it, her feet and hands covered in it. She met another baby, talked to him, and promptly got back to the sand. And then some more.
It was getting darker, the clouds more menacing, and we were getting cold. It was time to go.
She was devastated! Crying, asking to be put on the ground again, more crying. We were driving away and the only thing that got her to stop was telling her we would stop by her grandfather on the way home.
And we did just that. The sun was shining again, my father-in-law commandeered two golf buggies, and we rode around the course. It’s a beautiful one. She was happy again, riding the buggy with mom and dad, looking at the ducks and birds that call the course their home.
She did not sleep on the way over. Not until after she had dinner. She was happy by then.
Follow up to Back in Time, last one for today. Sleep tight.
Sitting in the car, inside the garage, looking out. Waiting for tinyMovieStar’s sleep to end 😊
Our walks have turned into rides, we’re now using the stroller every day. Less photos, as the hands are always busy with pushing and steering.
Also we don’t go as far as before, this city was not made for strollers. The pavement is awful when one looks closer, and we end up going to one of the many parks available, with plenty of grass to play in, and an assortment of things to keep us entertained in the playground. There’s always a playground.
Today we did just that. A little walking in the grass, a bit of pigeon chasing, picking leaves, petting trees, and then off to the playground. tinyMovieStar loves the swing, no outing is complete without it.
Plenty of moms and nannies around, kids all over. We left the stroller by a bench, and came back to it a few minutes later. tinyMovieStar was asking for the baby. The baby is a doll, but I’ve been conditioned to call it baby. “Not a doll, it’s a baby”, or so movieStar has told me a number of times.
The baby was sitting on the stroller when we left, I told tinyMovieStar to go get it. She got to the stroller and started pointing at a nanny with two kids, maybe 10 meters away. I thought she was just curious, so kept asking her about the baby. And she kept pointing at them.
A whole minute went by, and I looked closer. I could barely see it but, the girl who was hiding behind the nanny was holding a doll that looked a lot like our baby! tinyMovieStar was silent, arm stretched.
I double checked, the stroller was empty, the baby had been stolen!
I couldn’t believe it! I called out the nanny and said “That baby is ours!” in Portuguese. She was from the Philippines, couldn’t understand what I was saying, and yet looked like she was about to panic. “No, No,…” she replied in English. I repeated my claim, this time in English and, as soon as the words left my mouth, it dawned on me!
“No, no, not the baby! The baby!”
Another nanny came over, turns out she was the one responsible for the criminal toddler! This one was German, taking care of a French baby!
The situation seemed like it was getting to a conclusion, but the French toddler was not willing to let go of the doll so easily, and she cried. In French, I suppose. She was told she had one just like that at home, this one was not hers, she would have to return it… more French tears.
The only one that didn’t say a word until the whole thing came to an end was tinyMovieStar. She just waited. And held the baby tight when it finally made its way to her arms.
I’m always scanning the area where we are, always looking at people getting closer, and the ground looking for trash or dog poo, or cigarettes, whatever. I’m the one who likes to think I’m always on. And yet it was tinyMovieStar who spotted the stolen baby, far away, hidden, when I wasn’t even aware it was gone!
I was so proud of her today. Again.
Our little square is alive again. Tourists are still a rare sight here, but this was never a place with a lot of them.
The Tree That Keeps on Giving
Still time for one more of the lovely jacarandas. They seem to have a huge fan club…
This was meant as a reply to @jamesvandyne, but it might as well live its own life as a standalone post.
We have these, in a different color, in the Azores. They are BEAUTIFUL! 😊
Ajisai love! 🥰 🌸
Back in Time
Saturday lunch at Mom&Dad, and back home for the afternoon nap.
tinyMovieStar has a cold, her first one, so there’s a lot of snot all the time, but she’s managing and trying to keep her spirits up. She’s really strong, the little one.
The Quest is Over
(Warning: Graphic Content)
Using my Sherlock-like skills I knew deep down there was only one place where the remote could be found.
Sadly, I was right.
Today I took missQ for a spin, shooting some photos with a proper camera.
Strangely I was drawn to people with smartphones.
Not a lot of photos when I’m shooting, but yesterday a few friends came along for the ride, and one of them is a great photographer.
I got lucky, and have a couple more.
I had my appointment scheduled for 09:51AM and, sticking to my habits, arrived at the designated center 15 minutes earlier than that.
A lot of people were already there. Standing in a line, and scattered around the parking lot, a vacant lot behind the center. Everyone trying to keep a safe distance, behaving. I overheard someone saying we would be called by our names, and soon enough a lady working there came out to the parking lot and started yelling names out. Some were struggling to hear, and she was clearly making an effort to speak as loud as she could.
She would soon give up, “I can’t yell any longer”, and people started gathering around her. There goes the distance.
“People who are coming for the second shot, between 9AM and 10AM?”, she asked.
A choir of “What about those with scheduled date, but no set time??”
“Just go stand in that line”
“Those with appointments for first shot between 9AM and 10AM?”
I was in that group, but still a few minutes before my time. I told her my name. She told me my name had already been called. I thought about replying my time was still in the future, and I was very surprised to see things moving along so well in a country where things seldom do, but kept my mouth shut.
“Stand in that line”
A sticker was placed on my chest.
The line moved, not very fast, but steadily. Got into the building and there were three desks at the reception. One was moving quickly, the other two stuck with the same people for a long time. A British lady was taking a while to process, and a couple of people had some issue at another desk. So this one attendant was going through the line on her own.
A few minutes later I was first in line. Told her my name, she asked if I’ve ever had covid, filled out a card, and gave it to me. I was on Team Moderna.
“Step right in”
I was shown a chair where I should sit while waiting, there were four of us sitting.
The center is big. Maybe seven booths where you get the shot on one side, and a big area where you have to wait 30 minutes after you’ve had it.
I could see dozens already sitting on that area, rows of chairs filled with people reading a book or, most of them, on their phones.
The wait took less than five minutes. I was asked to stand, and directed to one of the booths.
The nurse told me I was getting the Moderna shot, asked my about allergies I might have, made the usual face when I say I’m scared of needles despite having my arms tattooed, and told me to relax. I couldn’t feel the needle. She was good.
Inquired about the certificate I will need to travel, she couldn’t help.
She wrote the time on my sticker, and gave me my card back.
I stood up, and another person showed me to the chair where I would wait before being allowed to leave. There was a bag with a bottle of water and some fruit. No need, left it there, untouched.
Grabbed my phone, read a bit, and soon the time was up. They asked me if I was feeling ok, and as soon as I stood up, the chair was being wiped with disinfectant.
I was happy, and surprised at the smoothness of the whole thing. It was a little messy at the entrance, but still quick, and everything just moved along, despite the incredible number of people going through the process. Everyone was efficient, nice, professional.
I was out of there after a little over an hour, with those 30 minutes of reading included, and the 15 from arriving early.
It was amazing.
I was free to join the movieStars at the park.