On Wednesday we drove to Obidos and met up with Steve, his wife and mother and Steve's friend Rob.
Steve's wife Guida and her mum enjoying coffee and cake
I can't decide what to have!
Coffee and cakes were enjoyed in a lovely cafe up on one of the many quaint streets. We thought we were eating lunch in Obidos, but Steve invited us to see his house and Guida served bread, cheese, olives, cold meats, followed by a hearty traditional Porteguese soup. Ice cream and wafers completed the meal.
Lovely bougainvillea at Streve and Guida's house
New friendships have been forged and once again Oapschat has been the instigator! Derek also knows Steve from another Facebook page.
Enjoying refreshments at a beachside cafe
Thursday saw the arrival of my niece Clara and her son Alex. They are staying in São Martinho and we met up with them for lunch and beach time.
The apartment where the 'youngsters' stayed!
Alex has just hit a hole in one, now it's Matt's turn!
Matt can't match Alex, but manages his shot in three!
Friday was again spent in São Martinho, but this time at James and Toni's apartment in a complex complete with crazy golf, two swimming pools, a tennis court and plenty of grounds to walk around in. Clara and Alex joined us and were introduced to all the other friends of James and Toni staying in the apartment. Alex spotted the crazy golf which we all played. He then made a beeline for one of the swimming pools and spent at least an hour in there, making new friends along the way. We brought James and Toni back to our hotel, where final preparations for the wedding were made. NOBODY was allowed to see the lavishly decorated room where the meal and dancing would be taking place the following day.
We took James out to the local restaurant described in previous blog and again, just 8 euros per person - amazing value!
Toni given away by her uncle
Ben reading a poem, Richard in the background ready to perform the blessing
A kiss for the happy bride!
Everyone cheering as they walk through the crowd
Proud mum with her two sons
Saturday 30th July dawned and this was to be James and Toni's wedding blessing with families and friends from the UK and Romania present, plus a lavish wedding breakfast and jazz band and disco until 1am. The weather for the day was cool and cloudy, but this was ideal as nobody suffered from heat stroke! There are many many wedding photos on my Facebook page, but here are a few. Far too difficult to decide on the 'best' ones!!
Richard performed the blessing ceremony, Ben Swift read a poem as did one of Toni's uncles. Canapés and drinks were served first, official photos were taken by Charlotte and others videoed the whole event from start to finish. The official photos will be made available for friends and families to see and I will share more with you when they are ready. The children had great fun on a bouncy castle that was errected for the day in the extensive gardens.
A super jazz band kept us entertained for around an hour
We sat down around 3.30 and started off with a traditional Porteguese soup, which was light and home made bread to go with it. The next dish was salmon with almonds and pineapples, served with fresh vegetables and a lovely sauce. I have never tasted salmon with this combination before but it worked and was delicious! An alcoholic lemon sorbet followed to cleanse the palate, before veal and fresh vegetables were served. I must admit I never order veal in a restaurant or buy it, but this melted in the mouth and was superb. Excellent white and red wines were served with all the courses.
Next came the speeches. Richard gave a great account of James friendship over the past 19 years, with many anecdotes and information that I had certainly never known about!! Toni's uncle spoke about her very warmly in Romanian
Then we all had a wonderful surprise, Toni's sister Diana and my son Matt had put together a video wall and bought a projector to show the early days and memories of family, some long gone and some still with us. James was shown in a series of photographs, from a youngster through to the present day and also a tape that was made at my house when my sister Margaret's two girls and my two boys staged a pantomime for us and sang various songs well over thirty years ago! Next it was Toni's turn to watch some videos from her early childhood, through to the present day. This proved to be very emotional for both sides of the family and all of us were very proud of Diana and Matt for making this possible.
Dessert followed which was profiteroles with ice cream. Delicious!
Then the disco began at 7pm, with James and Toni having the first dance to Nina Simone's My baby just cares for me. See video below featuring a great animation!
Nina Simone - My baby just cares for me
Soon, young and old were dancing the night away to music old and new, Romanian dances were performed, I failed miserably at attempting this!! Such fun and gaiety throughout.
10pm and time for fireworks and cutting of the cake
Before we knew it, the cake cutting was taking place in the garden at 10pm, with a cascade of balloons and even fireworks!
Back inside the cake was handed round, a super white, red and chocolate sponge in three tiers complete with fresh raspberries. More dancing followed, each person was presented with a souvenir bottle of port and then the evening buffets were served. A seafood one, plus two other tables with a delicious looking assortment of various platters. I could not manage another mouthful after my dessert, but many people did!!
Buses arrived to take the guests home and the evening ended at 1am. Eleven hours of eating, enjoyment and entertainment!
Below is a copy of the menu!
Sunday was spent with beach activities for the younger generations and a quiet day for Derek and I, walking and swimming in the pool. The sun came out at around midday and after saying good bye to guests and family, apart from two nights, we have had the hotel to ourselves!
Final time we were together before leaving Portugal
Monday dawned and this was to be a day spent in São Martinho with both sons, Toni, my niece Clara and her son Alex, Richard, Hannah and Derek. Whilst the youngsters went kayaking, we decided not to! We went to a lovely restaurant on the seafront and had a meal of fresh seafood for starters, I was even brave enough to try octopus, but drew the line at squid, one king prawn was eaten! Sole was my main course, others had various fresh fish dishes and Derek had pork tenderloin. 2 jugs of sangria, water and beer were the liquid compliments! Eating here was rather dear, 209 euros for nine of us.
Matt and Richard went jet skiing, I had my hand in my mouth!!! 15 mins of VERY fasts guzzling around the bay. They both came off laughing their heads off, soaking wet, but thrilled with having had the experience. At 35 euros each for 15 mins, I am pleased they came back alive!!
Tuesday and the last full day in Portugal. We decided to take it easy and take some short walks and stay around the hotel pool. Lots of chat with the owners Zé, Fernanda and employee Andre. Please see my article about this lovely hotel where a photo of André, Fernanda and me is included. I don't know about you, but we have never had a hotel swimming pool to ourselves for a whole fortnight!! A nice meal in the restaurant rounded off our stay.
Wednesday and trepidation for the drive back to Lisbon Airport. The owners kindly wrote out a route for us and although the flight was not until 5pm, it was agreed that we should start out at around 11am. Fortunately, we did NOT get lost and after a pleasant flight arrived back in the UK to a torrential downpour!!