Saturday, 26.08.17. Lisbon, Portugal. 5 days until the wedding. Arrival in Europe.
After a good 2 hours in the Art & Lounge lounge at Newark International Airport, the 9 of us flying from Newark to Lisbon together (me, Dan, Michelle, Andree, Craig, Betty, Tony, Aunt Di, and Nonni!) enjoyed a smooth flight across the Atlantic and arrived in Lisbon bright and early at 5:00 a.m…. A prearranged van picked us up from the airport and drove us directly to the Hotel Avenida Palace, our home for the next 3 nights. Although our rooms were not ready when we arrived (expected), Hotel Avenida Palace was super welcoming and gave us all free breakfast, which was an excellent way to start wedding week… Hotel Avenida Palace also has the most awesome croissants that are terribly tasty when dipped in Nutella! #whatweddingdiet?
Clearly very excited about the Nutella spread… Especially after turning over my wedding dress to the hotel and realizing that my custom ordered tile cookies did not arrive as planned… Don’t worry – all worked out!
After breakfast most everyone sat around the hotel waiting for their room to be ready. Not wanting to waste the day (and wanting to get in my steps!), Dan, Craig, and I explored the Baixa neighborhood, where Hotel Avenida Palace is located. We first walked down to Praça do Comércio, through Rossio Square, and went for coffee at Fabrica Coffee, a coffee shop that I had been wanting to try since our last visit to Lisbon in March! The weather was great and it was awesome to explore a typically busy area before the tourists were up and about – it was so empty!
After exploring a bit with Dan and Craig, we went back to the hotel and I was pleased to learn that custom tile cookies had arrived! After taking care of the cookies (!), I switched Dan and Craig out for Michelle and Aunt Di, and we went shopping at the Mercado da Baixa! Mercado da Baixa is a weekend open-air market in the Baixa with vendors selling all sorts of handmade accessories, home goods, and food. We bought several things, including an awesome poster that is being framed as I write this, cork bags, and huge cups of Sangria (which was absolutely necessary at noon on a Saturday after an over night flight…).
Dan and my room was ready after I returned from shopping and we were pleasantly surprised that the hotel upgraded us to their nicest suite, which had three rooms and overlooked Rossio Square! #weddingperks I was also pleasantly surprised that my Portuguese tile cookies and itineraries made it into the rooms, as did my dress!
Some other of our guests arrived while I was out shopping (and eventually napping), and we all met for dinner that evening (it was on the itinerary!). I made reservations at Casa do Alentejo, a (kind of touristy) Portuguese restaurant very close to Hotel Avenida Palace. All of us (me, Dan, Craig, Michelle, Andree, Aunt Di, Nonni, the Wares, the Cozzis, and the Marsdens) walked the short way to Casa do Alentejo and after passing through Rossio Square, we stopped for a pre-dinner drink of Gingina at A Ginginha. Ginginha is a cherry liquer from central Portugal – even Dan’s 93-year old grandmother enjoyed it!
I had first dined to Casa do Alentejo in 2014, and it was just as beautiful as I remembered. Located in a old palace (with an oddly deceptive storefront), Casa do Alentejo had our reservation and we were seated in my favorite room – the blue and white tile dining room! The food was really good and it was a great start to the week!
We ended the evening with a trip to the Portuguese supermarket, Pingo Doce, and I had some more drinks before bed with Michelle and Andree, including a visit to Christiano Ronaldo’s bar, CR7. A great start to wedding week!
Stolen Photo Creds: Joanne Cozzi; the Perrys.
For more wedding fun, check out my other wedding posts: