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Showing posts from July, 2011

Long walks, long talks!

More important than the activities we do is the time we spend together, long walks close to nature that generate long talks, just time together to enjoy a meal and talk over the dinner table, seat on the beach and wait for the sunset and while we wait sure some more talking. Good conversations and good moments together are excellent opportunities to teach and learn from each other. What I like about good conversations like some we had during this summer is that they often encourage us to find our own answers to our questions and they simply turn on communication which is so vital in a family. I must say I am already looking forward to more long walks and long talks.
Link: Summer 2011


Just a few hours of driving toward the Algarve, the most southern region of Portugal and the weather changes, the summers here are long, dry and warm. Ana loves to come here, this is what she considers a summer vacation. As I prepare this blog entry I am enjoying the shade of a pine tree and and the aroma of lavender that is all over in the gardens, and latter in the afternoon of course with just a short walk we reach the calm ocean that is just in front of us!

A mixture of styles

Sintra holds the UNESCO World Heritage status and attracts people from all over the world and it is a place we would recommend anyone to visit. While we lived in Portugal we were always in the vicinity of this amazing town and enjoyed over the years discovering the maze of narrow cobblestone streets, castles, palaces and gardens.
Each visit adds to our understanding of the heritage of this location. At the center of this town there is an obvious landmark with two white chimneys, the Palácio Nacional de Sintra which was the functioning royal place until the early 1900's. Originally built under the Moorish rule for sultans summer vacations in the moderate climate of the hills of Sintra, then remodeled and altered by several of its residents of the Portuguese royal family and inevitably  becomes a mixture of the Manueline and Ghotic styles with much of its original Arab influences, this building is far more impressive in the inside and it is worth a visit.

Back at home and back into the past

Back at home for a few days this summer and why not back into the past to medieval times, all the way back to 1148 at one of the iconic castles of Portugal which was conquered by King Afonso Henriques to the Moors. The medieval fair during the month of July in the "Óbidos Castle" is rich in culture and excellent cuisine!

Link: Click her to see a few more pictures of this event in Obidos

Balcony flowers. Isn't life like that too?

Our balcony flowers have maintained their vibrancy and color throughout spring and now summer. When I look through the window I find myself captured by their presence and think how much mom loves flowers, almost any type of flowers! As far as I can remember there were always flowers at home. She told me today: 
"one reason I like flowers is because they help me gain and retain the sensibility to care...besides just a few flowers and there is a renewed sense of life and color around us". 
As I see her taking care of small things like watering, removing the old leaves, etc, I also see the effects, the flowers grow and keep their beauty. 
Isn't life like that too? Not much different! ... small acts of genuine care and life becomes more full of color as well.