I’m starting to think of our family’s visit as a kind of goodbye tour for us. As we’re introducing them to the people and places we’ve come to love over the past year, we’re also saying goodbye to those same things. Once again, bittersweet, to realize how much we’ve created for ourselves here, and how soon it will be gone.

Yesterday we got a very late start, in fact it was more of a non-start than a late start. But we did manage to get out in the late afternoon, do a bit of shopping and wandering and coffee drinking, then went to S&S’s house for dinner. They hadn’t been able to make it to our little get together last weekend, and we wanted Gabe’s family to be able to meet them as well. S is going back to France on Thursday, not to return til the day we leave, so our time with her is drawing to a close at an even faster rate than the others. I’m trying not to think about it.

As we entered their beautiful, airy apartment, which is deceptively quiet during the daytime, it occurred to me that it may well be the last time we do so. I tried to put that thought out of my head, however, and focus on the moment at hand, which involved our family, good friends, a lot of snacks and veggies and quiche, and excellent port wine. That was followed by a trip to our favorite wine bar down the block, which we’ve tried to take S&S to before but never when it was actually open. It turned out that one of their colleagues was having his retirement party there, which they’d been invited to anyway, so we just joined in and went along for the ride. Small town, as usual.

So the backwards countdown continues: last trip to Sintra, last pasteis de Belem (there’s always time for more of those!), last time in our friends’ flat… etc. Of course just as we’re doing all this and getting ready to leave, I am realizing just how sweet our life here really is, and how hard an adjustment it will be to go back to “normal” life at home.

The weather is not making it any easier, either — after a year of epic rains, it’s finally gotten nice for our last month here, and has been up into the 80s every day for the past 2 weeks. So after having chosen Portugal mainly for its good weather, we will have had a grand total of about two months out of ten that were actually consistently warm. Way to go, us.

Next time, southern hemisphere, I’m telling you.

Meanwhile, here’s us on the elevador, riding up the hill to dinner…

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