Three and a half years ago, the hubby and I went to the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon. We pictured lounging around the pool together, walks along the beach, excursions and sunset meals on an evening. What we actually got was cocktails around the pool, bingo, water polo, water volleyball with secret shots, dancing and karaoke on an evening. We met a group of people that have become our friends and, unlike most “holiday friends”, we’ve kept in touch with. We chat via WhatsApp mainly, the girls have a group and so do the boys, but we don’t talk every day, week or even fortnight. Sometimes we don’t talk for over a month, but then we get together and nothing has changed. We get on like old friends, which is funny considering the circumstances in which we met and the fact that we don’t know each other’s histories, but we don’t need to.
Since our honeymoon we’ve had a Leeds reunion as well as other mini reunions, there has been a wedding between two that met on our holiday (which we were all invited to), several babies with one on the way, a christening, a break up, new partners and then this February half term eight of us plus Little L and Baby A (aged 14 months) travelled to Lisbon for a four night city mini break.
We flew to Lisbon on the first Sunday of half term from Manchester. The Roversi’s travelled with another couple and we all met at the airport.
Note: How stressful is security with a child? You’d think we’d be prepared after our trip to Australia but nope! They want to see EVERYTHING and all the while you have to make sure your child isn’t running riot because they’ve took the buggy off you.
We had a four bedroom apartment in the heart of Lisbon but had a slightly issue as the bedrooms where one double with a cot, one double with a single, one double and a single…considering we had two families, one couple with a pregnant lady and another couple, we had to rejig to cater for everything and this meant that Little L got a mattress on the floor with lots of duvet covers. He loved it, found it very exciting!
After a rather rowdy first night, we were slow at getting out of the apartment the next morning however here’s some of the activities we got up to during our stay:
I love a zoo. Anywhere we go, if there is a zoo I have to visit it and have enjoyed wonderful zoo’s such as the one in Central Park, New York and Taronga Zoo in Sydney (one of the best zoo’s I’ve ever been to – stunning views).
Lisbon Zoo was really big and we were lucky that they had a special offer on with it being Valentine’s week, meaning it cost us half of what it usually would. It was really quiet meaning we were not struggling to see animals over others heads. Thanks to a few too many the previous night, one of the lads (let’s call him MP) was feeling rather delicate and we took pleasure in dragging him around the animals one by one whilst he used A’s buggy to support himself – ha ha! There was a species of monkey that I had never seen before that made the weirdest sound ever and a family of gorillas that were just having their lunch.
While in Dom Rep, we went swimming with dolphins with LD and LF, it was nice to reminisce of this time by going to see the dolphin and sea lion show at the zoo. For me, the shows are always the best bit but you get used to seeing the same tricks every time. We were pleasantly surprised by this one with tricks I’d never seen before done under the water with them.
We spent the whole afternoon at the zoo and could have probably spent a whole day there except we’d spent a little too long getting out of the apartment – 8 adults and 2 kids with two bathrooms is a challenge in itself! The only thing that cheered MP up out of his hungover state was when we turned a corner and saw the golden arches of McD’s!
Oceanario de Lisboa
In 2015 this was rated by Trip Advisor as one of the best aquariums in the world so obviously it deserved a visit. The whole thing is centred around a MASSIVE tank hosting a wide variety of fish with smaller tanks around the outside. However even before setting foot in the Oceanarium, the waterfalls, activities and stepping stones outside were beautiful and lots of fun for our little man.
From the moment Little L knew we were going to “see the fishes” he was singing
“Fishy, fishy, fishy, swimming in the sea, who will be a fishy friend for my fish Goldie?”
Cute at first, slightly annoying after the 50th time. We exclaimed “DORY” at several points around the place but his favourite, as always, was the jellyfish. We had to pause on the way round as both kids were hungry but the staff do not allow you to eat in the Oceanarium…well tough, if my child needs to eat then I’d rather that than a cranky toddler!
Love blossomed between our son and his new friend A, with 18 months between them, L did a fantastic job at looking after her and even kept sneaking her crisps when he Mum said no more in the Oceanarium!
There was also a special exhibit called ‘Forests Underwater by Takashi Amano’ featuring tropical forests inside a beautiful aquarium. It was so peaceful, even with two toddlers!
Whilst at the Marina we decided to have a late lunch/early tea and stumbled across Chimarrao. It didn’t look like much from the outside but it was the most amazing meal we had all holiday! The idea is that waiters come to your table with huge skewers hosting a variety of meat and you just keep eating till your full…or in our case, bursting at the seems! There is also a salad bar to accompany the meat: sausage, chicken, steak, pork. Each one as tasty as the next. Delicious.
What I mean by this is the squares, shops, bars and sights of the centre of Lisbon. A bustling place with stunning buildings, fountains, statues, singing, sand art and much more.
I think the pictures say more than I can…
We had a great four days and it was lovely to spend quality time as a family but also with our ‘holiday friends’. Lisbon is somewhere I would never have chosen to go, I’m not one for city breaks, but after our holiday I’ll be happy to go on more and would recommend Lisbon to anyone.
Here’s a few more of my favourite pictures from the holiday:
Thank you for reading!