The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
Living Large in Lisbon

Living Large in Lisbon

The day before we leave for the US is always rather strange. Our flight to Amsterdam leaves at 5am tomorrow morning, meaning we had to return the car today (because the rental car office won't be open at 2am), which in turn meant getting the car back to them by noon to avoid being charged for another day's rental. So we are temporarily warehoused in a "free" room (thanks to accumulated points) at the Lisbon Airport Holiday Inn Express. It's a nice enough property but there's no restaurant and nothing within walking distance, assuming we even had the energy to walk ... which we don't!

I don't think I've ever used the term "warehoused" in connection with a hotel stay before, but it seemed to fit. Here's why. Because we had to drop the car off before noon we've essentially been stuck in the hotel since about 10:30 this morning. Then, because we have a 5am international flight, we'll need to be at the airport by 3am to check in. If we tried to get any decent sleep, we'd have to be up by 1am to shower and re-pack, meaning we'd have to hit the hay around 5:00 in the afternoon which certainly didn't happen.

So we decided it wasn't worth trying to sleep so we'll stay up and take a shower before we catch a cab to the airport. Hey, we'll be in transit for nearly 24 hours tomorrow with nothing much to do but sleep! And so our bodies are being temporarily stored in a Holiday Inn until 0-dark-30 when the next adventure begins. As if that wasn't enough fun, dinner tonight was a delivered pizza in the hotel's breakfast room. Yes, we're surely living large in Lisbon! Woo Hoo!

But what of the great Portuguese house hunt? Do we have a verdict? Is this the next great place for us? I guess the answer is that the jury is still out.

We found several spots that could meet most of our criteria ... but none of the places we visited wrapped their arms around us and said "Thank God you're finally here!" On the plus side, we did see enough to be able know the spots that might work if we ran across a great deal ... and I think we learned enough to be able to recognize a great deal if we ran across it.

While there's truly a lot to like about Portugal, we're still not sure it's the right fit for us. Interestingly, a big negative is the rather boring restaurant choices. Unless we want to live on pastries and pizza, the available menu offerings in this country really need to be expanded. So we're keeping our options open. France? Spain? Ireland? It's all theoretical until the house sells, but it's nice to have options to explore.

Home tomorrow ... eventually! Thanks for following along.

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