Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten: Our Summer So Far

We've been having a fun summer around here. Besides trying to beat the heat (thankfully, there have not been many hot and humid days -- nothing like the heat wave of last summer), and waiting for Baby Three-peat to make his grand entrance, here's some of what we've been up to:

Alex had his end-of-the-school-year party at the beginning of July. He's still going to school every day, at least until the end of the month, but basically, it is just play-time and social time now -- no formal instruction going on.

Alex with Stephen and one of his favorite school friends.
 We went to the Snail Festival in Loures. Stephen chowed down on the snail curry, and Rusty decided he wanted to try the large, grilled snails that come with a garlic butter dipping sauce. Alex was less than impressed and said he liked the smaller snails better. I would have to agree. The larger the snail, the harder it is to ignore what you're actually putting in your mouth!

We took a family camping trip at the end of July. With the new baby coming, it was our last time to travel as a family for awhile. We went to Ericeira on the coast. The boys had a ball, of course, but Rusty and I were joking on the way home how it was probably one of our worst camping trips ever. It was too windy for a campfire, so that meant no s'mores, which was a bummer. Our little campstove (a recent purchase) didn't work as well as we were hoping it would and took forever to cook our food. We didn't have any of our sleeping pads here in Portugal, so that meant just sleeping bags on the ground, which was not the most comfortable thing. Thank goodness our teacher loaned us her little camp cot, which I laid claim to as the 8-months pregnant mama. It saved my back and probably my sanity as well! I still had to get up 15 times a night to traipse down to the bathroom to pee, though. I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to a camping trip in my third trimester. At least it didn't rain.

After our first night of camping, we packed a picnic lunch and took the boys to the craft village in Sobreiro. Read more about the village in this post (scroll to the very end). They enjoyed exploring all its nooks and crannies and playing on the playground.


After our second night of camping, we drove back to Lisbon along the coast. We saw some amazing views, like this one at Azenhas do Mar:

Note the ocean-water swimming pool at the base of the cliff.
And we found a beautiful beach where we spent most of the afternoon digging in the sand and playing in the waves:

We also visited Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in all of Europe, and took the obligatory picture there. That was about all we did -- despite the blue sky and sunshine in the picture, it was very cold with the wind whipping around the cape:

Earlier this summer, Alex learned to ride his bike without training wheels! He is very proud of his new talent and eager to practice every chance he gets. The other night, we took the kids to the city park where there is a large plaza and some nice walking trails. Alex rode his bike, and Stephen rode his little train.

About 20 minutes after I snapped this pic, Alex managed to ride his bike into the canal / fountain around the edge of the plaza!
Stephen sporting his new buzz haircut!

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