I’ve yet to tell you about the 31st October, a not so ordinary Saturday in New York City.
Oh, how glorious a wedding can be. A sunny day with crisp, but warm autumn air. I focused the beginning of my day on oysters, beers and burgers. After a short walk I sat down at a super friendly oyster bar. Had a chat with the girl next to be who had order the burger. One of those burger so tasty that when you so it, you’ve to have it. So I order a burger, ate it and then walked back to my hotel for shower and changing outfit. Suit up! Take the train to Jersey and celebrate love!
The ceremony was as dreamy as one can imagine, looking out over Manhattan. Bridget brought her vows to life by delivering them in Swedish. To learn (perhaps) one the hardest language in the world so you can tell someone of much you love him. I still get goosebumps when thinking of it. High five to you.
The rest of the evening we ate, drank and danced. Like one should, preferably every day but most certain on a wedding.
On another note, I now know my UK number by heart!
I had put off all what-am-I-supposed-to-do-in-NY-and-how-to-get-from-JFK-to-my-hotel-googling until the flight. Little did I know, long distance flights with Norwegian are Wi-Fi dead zones. And my perfect way to spend a flight were suddenly not as perfect. Quite impossible actually. I read a book instead (‘How to build a girl’s anyone wonders – loved it!), and didn’t know anything about how to get from JFK to my hotel. Which is always a challenge.
When past the security check I accidentally ran into Johan who was waiting for his family, they had been on the flight from Sweden arriving at the same time as mine. While chitchatting in the arrival hall, another wedding guest and friend of Johan walked by. We two ended up sharing a cab to Manhattan. Love how easy everything worked out.
Crashing in my bed asap I couldn’t be more ready to take on Thursday. For breakfast I had american pancakes with maple syrup and strawberries – of course – and a flat white. Since I still hadn’t any plans or didn’t really know anything, I went for a walk. Exploring my new neighbourhood, NOLITA, it’s like four streets. But perhaps among the coolest four streets in this world.
A block away from where I stayed I literally bumped into Erik, another wedding guest and friend from Berghs. Completely unplanned we went for coffee, then a beer and then we met up with his girlfriend. She took us to the West Village and this a m a z i n g lobster roll place where Fletch and Angela were waiting. The roll? Well, I could actually have left New York when finished and be satisfied, didn’t needed anything more out of the city. So good. And so huge, like eating for two.
Afterwards we had to walk it off (or shake it off…). We strolled along the High Line until Erik and Christi had to go home. Then, me, Fletch and Angela went for $5 punches. Very strong, but tasted as lemonade. We sat for hours, so in the end Fletch orded a – wait for it – cheeseburger soup. Tasted just like cheeseburger, but in a soup-y kind of way. Blended cheeseburger. Interesting for sure, but no.
I had no plans for the evening and Fletch and Angela were off to a Knicks game, the set me up with two other wedding guests I had never met before. Benjamin who is a friend of Johan and stayed with Gina, who is friend of Bridget. Together we went for comedy night, which was hilarious (or at least some acts of it) ! We went for drinks afterwards at a friend of Gina’s and then the day and night come to an end. Great first day in NYC.
Monday, a day filled of adventures! We left home and the heat of Lisbon after a late breakfast (and an ice latte at Starbucks because we missed the train by seconds) for the chill of the mountains, it was quite dramatic how much the temperature dropped when we arrived in Sintra, the mountain town all the rich people inhabited during the summer months back in the days. The place is described as one of the most beautiful sites throughout Europe. It may be true, it was so many great houses and palaces everywhere. And the view. The view stretches on forever and ever, one can almost see America. We went for the biggest palace, but first to the old Moors fortification.
It has the greatest view of all times. Well, at least if you want to defend yourself against attackers. It was so incredible and massive, like only dumb people would ever attack it. I was truly impressed. And still clueless on how they could have built everything a thousands years ago, up on this steep hill. After climbing the steps of history we moved on to the next hill and the Palace of Pena. Disney got nothing on this. Palace of Pena was an old monastery that the last (or second to last) King rebuilt to a palace. And he was very fond of colour, I can imagine. The palace is painted in the brightest of yellow and red where other parts of it is covered in glazed tiles. Everything hidden away on top of the greenest forrest with trees so tall they’ve stood for centuries.
On the evening, exhausted after all the steep hills we went for a very late night dinner at a restaurant on our street. Walking twenty steps for food is lovely. And great food too. Great Portuguese food. Like really great. And accompanied by great wine and a great blueberry pie for dessert. We walked down to Pink Street again for a drink in the warm winds and busy nightlife.
Me and my brother went to a bar close by. An old strip club turned hipster hangout. They had still the adult fiction library and a sex toy shop but all served with great drinks and the coolest grandma DJ. She knew her shit. Long time since a DJ was so epic.
On the third day in Lisbon, the Sunday, the day God rested, we also rested. And the Portuguese rested too. After a late breakfast we walked to the train station, waited in line for perhaps one of the most difficult self service system you can find, yes it was designed with the Einsteins of the world in mind. After some help we got our tickets, jumped on the train, and jumped off it two stations to early. Classic tourist failure. At the wrong train station we met a Swedish newcomer, he told us about the best beaches, life outside of Lisbon and how hard Portuguese is to speak.
Back on track (pun intended) we shortly thereafter arrived to Estirol, had lunch and perhaps the best with sangria you’ll ever find! It literally was to die for! We spent the rest of the day sleeping in the sun like lions after a feast.
Back in Lisbon we had a espresso and a drink before it was time to shower and prepare for dinner. This day we found the lovelies little fish restaurant. I had a the richest tuna stew and we also shared som cheese and great Douro wine. Afterwards we walked to pink street, yes the street is actually painted pink and thereof the name.
On Saturday we woke up at a reasonable time (not early, but in time to experience the city). We walked, and walked, and walked. My iPhone counted + 20.000 steps. It may not be much to some, but I will tell you, Lisbon may be the most hilly place on earth. The Portuguese thought it was a great idea to build a city on seven hills – I do still feel the hills in my legs.
But Lisbon is beautiful. Truly spectacular with glased tile facades and narrow streets. We ended up at the big fort and the view were quite incredible, there seem to be a monopoly on roof tiles, they are all read (or orange?).
We had dinner at this old monk brewery. Super busy and a very cool setting but with less cool food. Don’t know how that happened. Well, well, we ended the night on a square café with great port wine and espresso. If you’ve not tired port wine, it’s more of a dessert wine, sweet but very rich. Great taste, later during our stay we visited a wine store and the shop keeper gave us a port wine tasting. He told us all about the vintage wines, the LBVs and what the others now are named I can’t recall.
I’ve been super busy and away from the country. That’s all I have to say in my defence. Other than that, it’s a terrible fate that my blog does not write itself. My Snapchat almos does, it’s very interesting to watch it after a night on the town.
Lisbon was great! I arrived on Friday, left for Bromma Airport after a morning meeting with Facebook. The wait… I’m not very fond of flying during the day, and even less so when one don’t fly direct. But apparently there’s almost no direct flights to Lisbon. So I had lunch and Starbucks in Brussels, ridiculous expensive Starbucks (double the prise of Starbucks in Lisbon). And the lunch was quite boring too, but I spoke some french, it’s always fun.
When in Lisbon, my family waited for me at the airport and we grabbed a taxi to our rented apartment. It was super lovely, very old with tilting wooden floors and french balconies. Two of them. And like a zillion mirrors (we counted to 21). The entire apartment had an aspiration on becoming the Hall of Mirrors, I think. It was situated in Barrio Alto, the insane party quarters of Lisbon. It was literally bars every inch of the ground floors, our closest one was 50 centimeters away, the next door. And it continued for forever. Every morning they flushed away countless plastic glasses from the streets.
We had dinner at the next street where we found this very Portuguese old lady cooking fish in an open kitchen. I sat next to a bell she rang (or beat) every time a course was ready for serving. I had the grilled swordfish, nom nom! Later on we ended the evening with some super sour mojitos, I do not recommend them, at all! And I thought my mama Snapchat, I doubt she’ll ever use it again.