Monday, May 9, 2016

The welcoming of friends!!!

We were excitedly looking forward to Friday because we were getting to welcome US friends to Porto.  Wayne and Kathie live down the street from us and they were planning to be in Spain during this time, so they popped over to spend a few days with us.

We started the day with breakfast at the cafe down the street.  We have been talking a lot to our waitress, Christina…..

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She is the purveyor of espresso for Michael, tea for me and lots of lovely pastries….DSC07468

After we ate, I took Michael to work and then waited to get the text that Wayne & Kathie were boarding their flight from Madrid.    I jumped into the car and headed for the Airport.  It is actually about half way between Vila do Conde and Porto and only takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  The drive was easy and between the GPS and the signs, I found my way easily to the nearest parking lot.   Before I parked, I drove around the lot to find the exit gate and then, as I was walking in, I found the place where I would pay for the parking…..easy, peasy!!!

While I waited for them, I wandered around the small terminal and found out where all of the amenities were located and also made sure that I could find my way back to the car.

They arrived within 15 minutes of their original ETA and it was fun to see them walk thru the door……

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It had started to rain fairly heavily by this time so we carefully made our way back to the apartment.   We had a quick lunch of leftover salad, sliced ham and cheese and then a nap for the travelers was in order!!

I gave them some basic instructions about the apartment and the local area and then left to go meet Michael at CIBIO.  Tonight was the closing banquet for the Congenomics Symposium and I had been invited to attend!!!    We boarded a charter bus and enjoyed a 45 minute drive into Porto, across the River Bridge and up to the Taylor’s Port Wine Cellar. 

We were treated to a 15 minute tour about the making of the Port Wines…..

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There were some interesting books on the shelves dating back to the 1800’s…..

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I would loved to be able to look inside them!!!!

We started off with a tasting of two Ports….a White Port and a Ruby Port……DSC07478

Both of these are fairly sweet and make a good aperitif

We then moved into the main dining area and enjoyed a Minestrone soup paired with a white wine and a Veal main course paired with a red wine.

Desert was Creme Brule, with a wafer cookie on top…..

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It was paired with a Tawny Port and was excellent.   We all had a good laugh at the wafer as it looked like a strip of bacon!!!

We all moved outside to enjoy the views from the terrace, although the photos turned out a bit blurred….

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The return trip was enjoyable although we didn’t get home until about 1:00.

We only had one key to the apartment building and had left it for Wayne and Kathie with the plan that we would text Kathie and they would let us in.  The problem started when none of our texts would go thru so we were stuck outside!!

I momentarily thought about picking up a pebble and tossing it at the living room window, but then remembered that there were buttons at the front gate and you could use those to buzz up to an apartment.  The problem was that I had no idea which button was for our apartment!!   Since we were pretty sure that we were the only ones in the building, I pressed ALL of them and sure enough, Wayne heard and came down to let us in.    Disaster averted!!!!

The next day we did a test and figured out which button it was so hopefully we can avoid this contra tempt in the future.

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