The Portugal Adventure – The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the Long Year

Recap: A dozen red roses led to a transatlantic flight to the Iberian Peninsula – specifically, Portugal. The flight preceded a cross-continent trip to Germany with Portuguese teens for a week. On the return trip to Portugal, Harry asked me to marry him (well, sort of asked), and I said yes. We left him petitioning my dad for my hand in marriage. If you are just joining us, the first post about Portugal is here.

Santa Justa Elevator

Harry, who was paying for the overseas phone call to my dad, was getting a little antsy by the time Dad let him off the hook reluctantly (and a Dad had a bit of a sulk that he never really got over). That was “canja” compared with the conversation he had with his parents. His family had no idea that he had invited me to visit.

Jewelry Store

Young and in love, we meandered over the remarkable paving stones of the streets of Lisbon. We found our way to jewelers row, the Rua de Ouro, where Harry bought a beautiful ring and put it on my finger. We rode the Santa Justa Elevator, which was built by an apprentice  of Gustave Eiffel – a name you may recognize. The steep hills of Lisbon can present challenges for pedestrians!

The rest of our time together we spent looking into one another’s eyes, walking with our arms around each other and stealing kisses. We talked as folks have always talked at such times where most conversations began “When did you…” and ended with a hug. It seemed like we passed through the streets of Lisbon about half a meter off of the ground. The weather was perfect with sun and temperate breezes. Lisbon was made for lovers.

But at last the flawless summer days came to an end. Harry took me back to the airport, and gave me directions for both when I left Lisbon and when I arrived in New York.  Boarding time came all too quickly for both of us, but I had a 7-hour flight and an airport limousine ride to remember, reflect and recharge.

Upon arriving home, I got a phone call from Harry’s parents. He had neglected to inform them that he had invited me to Portugal. They wanted me to come and visit. I did, and they were most gracious to me. Of course, there was some teasing. My father-in-love to-be warned me about “Skip” as they called him. He cautioned me about what a rogue his son was. I was well accepted – and I got the best in-laws in the world.

By the time the post trip dust settled, it was time for me to get into my classroom and prepare for my last school year I would teach for a while.

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