#P8 Holy S*** We live in Portugal! AKA Portuguese D7 Visa
Wow, it's been a loooong time since I wrote a post, and so much awesomeness has happened. Last we left, we were waiting for our visas. Side note, the one cool thing about being the person where everything goes wrong also means really cool serendipitous moments happen, such as my birthday on January 27th, being the day our visas arrived!!!! Best birthday present ever!!! We yelled, cried, drank a lot of champagne, and began the plan.
OMG, real quick second, I started writing this on our private roof lounge area, in Portugal...yeah, I know...AMAZING!! I got cold and came downstairs, and the boys wanted to stay upstairs, so have total quiet me time....for all the parents out there, you know how wonderful that is.....hmmmmmmm.......ok give me one more second......alright I'm back!
We wanted to say a proper goodbye to family and get organized, so we set our flight up for a little over a week later, on Sunday, Feb 6th. We told our tearful goodbyes and went to stay with my sister-in-law in Boise for goodbye with them and to fly out of there. Luckily Boise was not slammed with people needing COVID tests, so on Saturday, we went through the drive-through, PJs included, took our test, and 2 hours later, we got our COVID free test back.
I'm going to put a picture of our flight here because it's pretty and I feel like it,
We Proceeded to try and trim down our luggage to not have to pay too much extra,
ported our phone numbers to Google Voice, printed out forms, and all the other necessary flying procedures. Unbelievably we arrived at the Boise airport, which was super calm and not the crap show that I am used to when flying out of San Diego.
At this point, we are counting our blessings due to our terrible luck and expecting the worst. The only downside is that it's a small airport during COVID, so nothing was open which meant no pre-flight drinking!! I HATE flying...luckily they serve drinks quickly on the plane ahhhhhhhh. We arrive in Chicago in one piece, and then the real fun begins...
We arrive at Chicago airport and have a nice 7-hour layover until we start my first international flight (gulp). We make our way to the International Section, where we begin to get our first real taste of being the newcomers. So many languages and types of cultures! We tried to access some lounges, but due to COVID, it was a mess, so no go. We ended up meeting a lovely German passenger who hung out with us and encouraged us to opt for first class (we totally sucked and didn't get his number, ughghg).
After a very interesting attempt at first class, lots of confusion but pleasant throughout...we get our first time in first class and on an international flight!!!! On flights that aren't full TAP will allow you to bump up your flight to first class for about $500, which is much cheaper than the 1000s it would be. All I can say is I get why people like being rich!!! That was the most luxurious experience of my life.
I told Johnny later that it was the first time in my life I felt so out of place because I had never been so fancy. Jackson and I stayed together, and Johnny was solo behind us. The staff on TAP was so sweet. Oh yeah, we flew TAP! They were so good with Jackson. The food was ridiculous, and I think we had like 3 or 4 meals?! So I know I just started this part of the story, but I had to share a song, and video we have always said was us, and after our international flight, it felt so fitting, haha.
So back to the story! We had a great flight! However, because I am the queen of insomnia and did not want to sleep through the amazingness of the first class, I didn't take any sleep aids; For me, this meant I got about 3 hours of sleep, but at least I had all the amenities!!
We arrive safely in Lisbon and say goodbye to the super lovely staff. We also experienced a new theme for us, which is most of the people we interact with are not used to hearing American accents, which we still get a kick out of because this is our first time feeling like the ones with accents.
The airport in Lisbon was like another world! Although many things are in English, we,(mostly me), are sleep-deprived and are walking around disoriented. We happen to meander to the area we think we are supposed to go to, and it so happens that one of the staff there remembers us and helps navigate us in the right direction (standing out has its advantages).
We have a 4-hour layover. I again tried to get some lounge treatment again but nope ...COVID..ugh. At that point I had terrible motion sickness and sleep deprivation combo and wanted to throw up everywhere, but hey, it's only one more 45 min flight!
We pop on our flight, and Jackson passes out, which is excellent but terrible when you have to wake a 3.5-year-old during their nap... We get our bags and head to meet up with our ride/our landlord. I luckily remember we forgot the car seat, but of course, not before leaving security. We had to show all the IDs, and Johnny went through a bit of stuff, but we got the car seat.
AHHH, so another real quick. I wanted to post a video about how I feel. In my head, I heard Aladdin's "A Whole New World," and then I started to drunkenly mix it with Little Mermaid's "Part of your world." I googled it to see if anyone had so brilliantly thought of this hybrid. Although I am slightly disappointed that I was not the first, that feeling was surpassed by how fun this combination is.
Isn't that fabulous?! Anyways back to the story again. Our excellent landlords pick us up and give us a tour during our 40 min car ride from Faro airport to Ferragudo. Jackson falls asleep, and I'm pretty sure we were smelly and totally out of it, but they either didn't notice or were nice enough not to say something.
We get a quick car tour of the city and are welcomed into our apartment that we will be living in for the next year. The pictures didn't do it justice and our landlords had brought us food and supplies and were so hospitable. As they walked us upstairs to our private balcony, it became real, and I honestly got choked up. Here I was, someone who always hoped to have a more remarkable story than sadness and disappointment, finally getting the great adventure I always felt was waiting for me.
I know I didn't get into the semantics but honestly writing a brochure makes me want to punch myself in the face, and has prevented me from writing for weeks. With that said, if you have questions leave a comment and I will reply! Please stay tuned for the adventurous ride that is our time in Portugal. We have pictures, videos, and the ins and out of experiencing a whole new world (see what I did there?) : D . And I promise it won't be too far from now!!
Feb 18, 2022