Double Dipping

DSC_7932Have you ever loved something so much you don’t want to let it go? That’s how I feel about living life in Europe. I stand in the isle where drills, screws and saws are located in a hardware store here in Portugal. I am in search of a little box to hold the colorful assortment of rubber bands I purchased for my son. He learned how to make bracelets with his friends Athos and Arthuro this past weekend.DSC_9614
Now I purchased this rubber band kit for him a while back, but one of his friends said it was for girls, so he lost interest. I found a new home for the kit with a little girl who loves making them, so they didn’t go to waste. It’s funny how peer pressure affects children even at such a young age.DSC_7956
My son learned this last weekend, it wasn’t just for girls. He along with two of his best buddies made bracelet, after bracelet, so I decided I would do some double dipping and repurchase the rubber bands. With us flying away on Saturday to Guam, I thought this will keep his mind busy for hours on a plane and let the electronic gadgets rest.DSC_7955
My goal yesterday was to find him a box where he could stay organized as we transition out of a place that we all love so much. I picked up a clear box with all sorts of compartments that are small enough to fit into his backpack. I turned it over and on the back where the bar code is located it said, Made in Italy. I lost it. The surge of emotion that took over me had me in tears faster than water spews from a faucet. As I stood there holding the plastic container, I thought Italy is where this journey began. Italy was where my son started school and grew as a child. It’s a place where an Italian family embraced us as their own family. Italy was where I was inspired and impregnated with part of a story that I executed in Portugal.DSC_7892
The feelings that I’ve buried for the last two years of my love for the Italian culture took over. How living in Portugal made the transition out of Italy easier but now life in Portugal will end in less than a week. As I walked to the register, I looked towards the floor and tried not to make eye contact with anyone. My heart was broken all over again.DSC_8347
As I made my way to the car I pulled myself back together, I thought about my son and his friends. How I see posts on Facebook, saying you never forget the neighborhood kids you grew up with.DSC_9644
That’s very true. You also don’t forget the people who leave marks on your soul but you don’t get to grow up with them.DSC_9707
My husband and I lived very different childhoods. My husband grew up in one town, in one school system. While I was a child of divorce and grew up in three different school systems. My son said to me last week, “Mom I’m like you, I have to move around a lot but it’s okay, I’m just going to miss my friends.”DSC_9786
Ugh, my heart cracked, I felt his pain. Seeing a little boy so strong, yet so small and understanding of our lifestyle as a military family made me want to make sure that my son’s last weekend in Portugal was filled with good memories and all about fun.DSC_9640
This leads me to our last weekend in Europe on this blog. We decided to stay in Portugal and double dip into a previous adventure over Father’s Day weekend. We visited Setúbal, on our way to the Algarve a little over a week ago.DSC_7953
We stayed in a place called Quinta dos Moinhos de São Filipe. It’s a property with two windmills that have been converted into vacation rentals.DSC_9796
They have a huge property that is perfect for children. It is equipped with a playground and swimming pool overlooking stunning views of the Troia Peninsula. DSC_9797
Now we didn’t get to take the all three boys on the dolphin watching cruise, with Vertigem Azul like we wanted to.DSC_8594
My boys and I embarked on that journey a week prior and were blessed with the creatures of the sea.DSC_8634
The photos below are from under the catamaran.DSC_8609DSC_8607
The cruise books up fast, so I do recommend if you want to see the dolphins to book in advance. According to Vertigem Azul, 95% of the time you will see dolphins. Unfortunately, we did not get to go double dipping on the dolphin cruise. But the boys enjoyed hunting for crystals,DSC_9766
did loads of swimming, toasted to the world cup,DSC_9720
made rubber band bracelets, hung out with the locals and played into the night.DSC_9778 Are you in search of a great getaway? A place where wonderful memories can be made? Just an hour south of Lisbon is a perfect place where double dipping is okay. Welcome to Setúbal. A place where we chose to double dip, spent our last weekend in Europe and rested before we fly away and ride the wave of life where the tides are always changing.DSC_7896

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