Tuesday, 29.08.17. Ericeira, Portugal. 2 days until the wedding. Third full day in Europe.
Ahhhh, our fourth day in Portugal and 2 days before the wedding. Shit was start to get very real, as we were leaving for Ericeira today, hosting our first official wedding event this evening, and saying goodbye to Lisbon (temporarily, I’ll be back)!
I had original planned to get up early stroll around Lisbon a bit, but that did not happen (maybe too much Portuguese wine the night before?). Instead, we woke up and put together out Ericeira Wedding Welcome Bags (I designed them!), which we brought from home and included a beer, boxed wine, a Portuguese soap, chocolates, 2 breakfast bars, 2 waters, 2 Goody’s, 2 face wipes, and an itinerary of events in Ericeira (the non-food items were brought from the US, the food items were picked up in Lisbon)! The bags turned really great, and I think the contents did too! Michelle and Andree agreed to go to Ericeira a few hours before the rest of the group and deliver the bags so that they would be there upon our arrival. We managed to get them out just in time… phew! While we packed, it seemed like most everyone hung out in the hotel waiting for the bus to Ericeira.
After Michelle and Andree left with the wedding bags, Dan & I packed, checked out, and made a very quick trip to the TimeOut Market Lisbon! before departing for Ericeira. I had a slice of Portuguese pizza (could have been better but, hangover) and bought the loveliest book on Portuguese wine – Wine Tourism in Portugal – from A Vida Portuguesa, my favorite shop for all things Portugal in Lisbon.
We made our way back to Hotel Avenida Palace around 14h. I had arranged for a bus to take all of our guests in Lisbon from Hotel Avenida Palace to our hotel in Ericeira – Hotel Vila Gale Ericeira. Well, in typical Portuguese fashion, the bus was a bit late and it was a bit smaller than ordered. Particularly, it had more than enough seats, but was lacking enough luggage space. And, to top it off, the driver loaded the luggage in a very inefficient manner. In any case, we eventually loaded all of the luggage (some under the bus and some in the back of the bus) and set off for Ericeira only about 45 minutes late…
The driver to Ericeira was pretty uneventful and took about 40 minutes on the loaded bus. Most people slept the entire drive. Vacationing can be exhausting…
We arrived in Ericeira around 15h45. The weather was cloudy when we arrived, and Michelle had told us that it was raining when she arrived earlier. Needless to say, this made me just a bit nervous…
Check-in went pretty well for our large group (there was only one missing passport, which was quickly found) and all of the Wedding Welcome Bags made it into the rooms! We had a bit of time before the Welcome Cocktail Hour, so we ended up watching the season finale of Game of Thrones with Bryan and Pryor on the Firestick (never travel without it)!
We started getting ready for the Welcome Cocktail Hour – our first official wedding event!! – around 17h. When we arrived to the “Titanic” – i.e. the pool deck where our event was held – it looked awesome and the bar was all set up! Plus, the weather finally started to turn around! The sun came out for the Welcome Cocktail Hour, and it did not rain!
Most of our guests arrived right on time at 18h, which was perfect! We had scheduled the menu a few months previously, and we almost forgot what was on the menu. Hotel Vila Gale served red and white Portuguese wine, Madeira wine, fresh Portuguese orange juice, port wine, beer, water, Portuguese potato chips, and nuts. Hotel Vila Gale’s staff were super nice, spoke English well, and continued pouring wine for almost an extra hour after our event ended! Needless to say, I think everyone had a great time at our Welcome Happy Hour! Welcome to Portugal! #warethecozzis
Our evening ended with a gorgeous pink sunset and dinner at a local wine bar, Mar das Latas, which was amazing!
At Mar das Latas, Dan and I, Pryor and Bryan, Michelle and Andree, and Craig enjoyed the most delicious melted Portuguese cheese in a heart shaped bowl, along with lots of Portuguese sandwiches and wine! We were supposed to talk wedding plans, but that did not really happen…too much fun!
Our evening ended, per usual, with a couple drinks at the hotel bar – Hotel Vila Gale makes an excellent white sangria!
Stolen Photo Creds: Joanne Cozzi; the Perrys; the Davins.
For more on our wedding week. see my other wedding week posts: