Archive for August 2013


It’s been a while since I returned, and I still don’t have all my photos arranged and accounted for, but I do have enough to start sharing my trip with you. So please first join me in Portugal.

Traveling often yields surprises, and Portugal was one of them. I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t know what a luxurious place I was about to discover. Oh, maybe not all of Portugal, but certainly where we were staying. Now that I’m home, I googled Algarve which is the area we were in. I discovered it’s the most popular tourist destination in Portugal and one of the most popular in Europe. I also read that it’s the richest region in Portugal, after Lisbon and Madeira.

We had a timeshare week at Vilar do Golf— the most luxurious of the resorts we stayed in during our four weeks. It’s the closest thing to perfection I can remember enjoying. Not only did we each have our own room with a private bath, but the kitchen was supplied with everything one might want, including microwave, dishwasher, oven, an ample supply of glassware — some displayed in an attractive cabinet in the dining area — flatware, dinnerware, and — most special of all — a washer and dryer. Funny how it’s the little things that matter. They also supplied a drying rack on which I dried the laundry on the deck. I felt like I was playing house. (Actually every place we stayed in Europe supplied such a rack.)

There were other wonderful things people might enjoy at the resort. When we travel, however, we tend not to use the pools, exercise rooms, and other special places because our days are too filled with sightseeing.

But we certainly did enjoy the Bobby Jones restaurant the evening we arrived, tired and hungry. To tell the truth, I can’t remember what I ordered to eat, but I do remember ordering red wine. The server just told me he’d choose for me — a portuguese wine, of course. I’m not a connoisseur, but I do know what I like, and I liked that. In fact, I loved the way their wines were served with enthusiasm and pride wherever we ate in Portugal – usually selected for me by the server.

Bobby Jones is apparently a popular local restaurant, not there just to serve residents at Vilar do Golf. An impressive building at the end of an elegant and beautifully lighted path it provided live music and, as I recall, a floor for dancing. We just ate, but I’m sure it would be fun for anyone who might be getting ideas from what I’m saying here.

Now for a few photos. Our first day out we first explored the beach.

Begin Mon, 7-15-13


And crossed the bridge to the island.

over the bridge


On the way I spotted someone apparently capturing his dinner. If all went as it should when I updated this blog, he should also be found as today’s header.

Finding Dinner
A light touce over the bridge - Version 2


There was a touch of whimsey along the way as well, just before a restaurant where we couldn’t be served because it requires either a long wait or reservations. (I didn’t get a photo of it, but it was a first inkling that this was a very popular place.)

On the island our first sight was something that felt like being in Cambodia. Remember? But there were no entrepreneurs selling their home-made or -grown wares. In fact, a much more luxurious feel. (That’s Doug way to the right of the photo. If he had taken such a photo he would have shopped the person out of it. I, on the other hand, take photos — beautiful or not — to chronicle where I’ve been.)

Another Koh Samui?



And where we went after this stop was to take a look at the shops. If I hadn’t already got the sense that we were in a pretty wealthy area I would have caught on here.) Yes, I’m emerging from one shopping area and heading for another.

Shopping Area


As for shopping, you may remember that I chronicled my Asia/Pacific adventures by photographing the markets and noting the contrasts as the journey moved on. Here’s another contrast for you. The market we visited in our explorations the first day in the Algarve.

The market

And there you have our first day in Portugal. I had expected to do the week in Portugal in just one blog post, but I got carried away, I guess.

I’ll be back with more.



Two nights ago I rejoiced that I had finished my part in copyediting half of “Mrs Job” in preparation for her reappearance under a new name and with a new cover. Now, I thought, I can get back to the photos from my recent four weeks in Europe until I get the second half from the editor and, after I finish it quickly, Mrs. Job will be on the way to her attractive new identity.

You would have been seeing a blog entry today with photos and travel descriptions.

But then the publisher e-mailed the sad news to me. They had run into a financial problem that made it impossible to go on, so Mrs. Job would not be published by them after all. My initial reaction was – rather healthily, I think – to feel sad for me. Then I thought about what it meant for them and e-mailed a sympathy note recognizing how devastating it must be to lose their dream.

So I gave myself the evening to mope, and scheduled today to think about Mrs. Job’s future now that she has basically been evicted from two homes. Well, not quite evicted. In January, 2012, I terminated her agreement with iUniverse to sign the contract with TM Publishing. The process has been slow, but their intention to follow through was genuine. And I can’t say she’s been evicted. More accurately, she never did get to close on her new home.

At any rate, I’m now starting the search anew. Any help you can offer with names of potential agents or publishers, or even just plain good ideas, will be gratefully considered.

In the meantime, while I was enjoying my mope last evening, I remembered Saturday’s rally for immigration reform at the Guardian Angels Church. Over 300 people were there, singing, listening, hoping, and being moved to tears by the stories of people who had suffered under our current system. Especially hard to see were the young people whose parents had been torn away from them.

So, no, Mona! You are so lucky to have the problems you have. Get off the stick and open yourself to creative thinking!

And open to the possibility that someone reading this might have help to offer.



Four weeks in Europe   4 comments

I’ve just returned from four weeks in Europe: Portugal, Austria, France, and Bulgaria. I’ll be sharing stories and photos beginning in a few days. Right now I’m busy getting my photos labeled and organized while finding time to continue the editing of Mrs. Job — whoever she is to become.

Just one initial comment for my fellow inhabitants of Minnesota. All four of those countries impressed me with their roads — black, smooth, clear white lines. Not a single pot hole.

On the other hand, no place had the competence and clarity of signage that we enjoy here. Not even in their native languages.

I’ve met some wonderful people, enjoyed some amazing adventures, sights, and stirring emotions. And I’m anxious to share all that with you.

I’ll be back.

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