Monday, December 6, 2010

Our first visitors!!!

Leaving their new puppy, Stella, at home in Minneapolis must have been hard for them, but our friends Marsha and Mike came to Portugal nonetheless. We're so glad they did!

We showed them the sights in our quirky little town and dined at some of our favorite spots. Mike bravely ate polvo (octopus) and liked it! He's still undecided about bacalhau and apparently couldn't quite get over his mental images of this smelly fish in its inedible, dried form.

Mike and Marsha at Santa Barbara gardens

We took a day trip to Guimar√£es, explored the castle and ate a lovely lunch at Cheers. I'm so proud of our friends for embracing the practice of having wine with lunch. They are real troopers!

The castle at Guim√£res, the birth place of Portugal.
Mike - one cranky knight when he doesn't get his polvo!
Our last night together, Mike and Marsha made us an amazing meal of pork tenderloin with sauteed fennel and fennel cream sauce, beer roasted potatoes, and roasted beets with blue cheese. The food was fantastic, the wine flowed freely, and there was much laughter. Yup, our dear friends set the bar pretty high for all of our future visitors!!

Mmmm - dinner a la Wagners!
After their stay in Braga, they headed off to Porto to explore the port wine cellars and then to Sintra - a cute town north of Lisbon with a great Moorish fort and medieval palace. We were quite happy to see Mike and Marsha successfully navigate the travel problems that arose when nearly all of the civil servants in Portugal went on strike for the day. They managed to roll with the punches and find a bus that would take them down to Sintra - about 3 hours by bus from Porto. No one likes when well-laid plans go awry, but Mike and Marsha handled it like champs!

-Peggy and Eric

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