Currently January 2023
Currently | 01.27.23
I'm back! Well, technically from a digital perspective, I didn't go anywhere, but I am now back in Raleigh after 2 months in Portugal. I am happy to be back in my big bed, big shower, and big monitors in my home office!
I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday and that you are ready for 2023!
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Our trip was about reminding us why this blog is called misadventures. Of course, we are veteran travelers and have been out of our comfort zone plenty of times. Things happen to us all the time in France but we have lived there, we visit almost every year (even if we are visiting different regions) so we know the language, and the culture, and we have lots of experience to fall back on.
Spending 2 months in Portugal was different.
We don’t know the language (beyond simple greetings and phrases) and we don’t know the culture. So when things didn’t add up and we didn’t know why, we got awfully good at improvising, but after 8 weeks we found ourselves a bit tired of doing so. Truth.
Getting home was the worst and a fitting end given the overall trip we had. To start our trip (back in November) we spent the first part in the Azores. We flew from (Raleigh to) Boston to the Azores and then to Lisbon. Going home we had to do the same. Lisbon to the Azores to Boston (and back to Raleigh).
But. It didn't go as planned!
We took off from Lisbon. We landed in the Azores.
But we landed on the wrong island!
Due to very bad weather, we were diverted from Sao Miguel (island) to Terceira (island). We waited an hour for conditions around Sao Miguel to improve and we attempted another pass (the islands are 20 minutes apart by air). Our second attempt at landing at Punta Delgado airport failed and the plane turned around and headed back to Lisbon!
Then total chaos and disorganization! We waited for our luggage, waited for a bus, waited for a hotel room (that was paid for), and waited for a pizza delivery (that was not paid for), as there was nothing else open, and finally, put our heads on the pillow at 1 am.
We received no communications from SATA except a text message (to me only) that indicated we had been rebooked on a flight at 6 am to Sao Miguel but no flight from Sao Miguel to Boston.
Then Mr. Misadventures’s SATA app showed that we were booked on a TAP Airlines flight for 11:30 am. My app did not update (and we never got an email). We had no other info.
We had been business class (a splurge we made to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary) because our past 2 international trips had been full of drama and we wanted to be able to adjust on the fly without issue, but we had no idea that we would be rebooked on a completely different airline and that our business class status did not transfer with us. So we flew in coach. Which in and of itself is not a problem, I do it all the time, but I paid for business class…
We also had to eat our hotel room charge expense in Boston. Initially, SATA had changed our flight to Boston to arrive after the last flight to Raleigh so we had booked a hotel but by the time we knew we were not going to make it, the cancellation period had passed.
That’s the thing about travel. Sometimes, when it rains it pours! BUT still worth it in the grand scheme of things.
Now, onto January and what's been happening in the Misadventures world.
Watching | Rings of Power + more
We bit the bullet and watched the amazing Rings of Power. So good! I love seeing all the origin stories and was totally taken by surprise in the finale! But only 8 episodes? And now we have to wait until 2024 for season 2. Yuck!
We also watched Season 2 of Vikings Valhalla and it was a disappointment. It crawled at a snail's pace and not a lot was accomplished in their 8 episodes. I love the characters but am not impressed with this second season's storyline.
After reading (and loving!) the book, I decided to watch the film adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing. The movie was good but didn’t convey the whole story or the emotion of the book which is par for the course with most books that become movies.
The film catalog on our TAP flight was interesting and I watched 2 films that I probably would never have seen otherwise. The first was Far from the Madding Crowd (odd title) which was predictable but well-acted. And the very surprising Blinded by the Light. It’s about a Pakistani boy in London’s discovery of Bruce Springsteen’s music and the subsequent impact it had on his life. It’s a true story and it was fun and poignant.
Mr. Misadventures stumbled upon an article about the Netflix series Kaleidoscope and was intrigued. The concept for the series was to, in theory, be able to watch the 8 episodes in any order. Each episode is color-coded and can be watched in any order (not including “Black”, the intro, and “White”, which was designed to be the finale).
Also watched: Jack Ryan season 3, and (French series) Mongeville.
Can't Wait to Watch:
- 1923, the continuation of 1883, and the prequel to Yellowstone. I am waiting for all the episodes to be released.
- The new film from Omay Sy Tirailleurs (read about it in English here).
Reading | The Summer I Turned Pretty
The Summer I Turned Pretty was lackluster. I realize that I am no longer a fan of YA. I don’t mind teen love but only when it’s part of a bigger story. But the way the book ends you have no choice but to go to book 2, It's Not Summer Without You, and that’s what I am doing. And since it is a 3 book series, We'll Always Have Summer will be after that.
I started Atomic Habits on our first flight to Sao Miguel (from Lisbon) but when I went to continue reading on our new flight the next day my iPad wouldn’t boot up, argh.
- The Paris Bookseller
- The latest JD Robb detective Eve Dallas book, Desperation in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel.
- On Purpose: The Busy Woman's Guide to an Extraordinary Life of Meaning and Success
Best Bite | Tempura Octopus
After a few disappointing days in Algarve and a train strike that prevented us from getting back to Lisbon, we rented a car and drove to the coast near Sintra where we had stayed the previous month. We ate dinner in the restaurant and had an amazing starter: tempura octopus!
It was melt-in-your-mouth tender with the lightest tempura I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot!). It may surprise you to learn that it was the Portuguese that brought this frying technique to Japan. Anyway, it was incredible.
Working On | Getting Rid of the “Portugal 7”
Losing the weight I gained by eating everything I wanted ( not so much the problem) while not being able to do the usual amount of walking up the Lisbon hills due to endless weeks of rain (the problem).
Now that we are back home, we have been walking every day and on the days we can't, I have dusted off the rowing machine.
Feeling | Optimistic
While the world seems to continue to find ways to baffle me every single day, I try to focus on what I can control. I feel optimistic about the goals I have set for myself for the year on a personal and professional level.
As I have always said happiness is something that has to be chosen, the pursuit is not a given, but it is well worth it. Here are some tips for cultivating positivity.
Photo of the Month | Last Day in Lisbon
The last 2 days we were in Lisbon it was sunny and beautiful. It was the Lisbon that we had experienced in January of 2022 when we stayed a month. We took advantage of the time to get out and walk, visit some sights, and soak up the last hours of our trip.
Published this month
- Vichy France: Queen of Spas and more
- Coco Chanel in Moulins
- Coco Chanel in Vichy
- 7-Day Paris Itinerary As A Solo Traveler
- Paris in 2023: What to Expect
- Frenchie Finds January 2023
- 10 French Lifestyle Tips To Steal For A Happier Life
That’s my month, what’s CURRENTLY going on with you?
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Even with all the snaffoos it sounds like it was still a good trip.
Despite the traveling hiccups you had, it sounds like you made the best tasting lemonade out of LOTs of lemons! I love reading about peoples travels to foreign countries, so I look forward to reading yours when I can find them on these threads! Thank you so much for sharing!
I love to read so I will have to check out some of the books you mentioned!
You’re so dedicated to stick with that book series even though you’re not thrilled with it. Have you read Finlay Donovan trilogy? Well so far I think just 1 is out. Book 2 comes out next month. and a third will follow.
Aww, it sucks that your vacation had to end that way. I’d be pretty pissed too, if I had paid for business class and had to eventually fly economy on a very long flight at that.
I hope you had a great trip minus the flight problems coming home. I’d be upset that your business class upgrade didn’t transfer and hope you can get some money back.
I really love the sound of tempura octopus. That sounds like a lovely tasty dish. I’m not surprised you had it a lot!!
I love shrimp tempura but haven’t tried tempura octopus yet. I bet it’s good!
So much venturing, I love seeing how well you handle surprises that crop up too!
I always wanted to try a Tempura octopus! My husband told me that it taste so good.
I am sorry for your misadventure on the return trip! I only can immagine how unpleasant it can be! I am glad that you are safe at home now!
It sounds like you had a fun adventure. I’m glad you had a good time. Thanks for sharing this with us.