When I was booking our flights I had the genius idea of booking the earliest flight over and the latest flight home, to make the most of our days there! This was genius, until our flight was delayed by three hours and we had to drive back from Edinburgh, not getting in to bed until 1:40am and Matthew having to get up for work the next day…oops.
Before all that fun happened though we took a wee drive down to Praia de Castelo, my favourite beach so far! There’s a post there which you’re supposed to use to take a photo of the cliffs each time you visit and see if there’s been any corrosion, which Matthew does, but I like to use it to take photos of me and my beau!
This bump is really starting to take shape and I look more and more pregnant each day, instead of just looking like I ate all the cake. It still doesn’t feel real yet…our 20 week scan is next Monday and I am super excited! God willing we’ll see a healthy little squisher, full of energy so the sonographer can get a good look!
White walls, orange rooftops, blue skies and turquoise waters, Portugal is pretty beautiful! On our last night we went in to Albufeira for dinner and a stroll around the streets of the old town. Matthew took me there last year and I got so excited when I heard the words “old town” and thought I’d get lots of pretty pictures of old buildings with beautiful doors lining little streets. Sadly it had changed a little bit since he was last there and the streets were now lined with tourist stalls, pubs and bars and swarming with drunken tourists. Not my cup of tea!
This time was a little bit better, we ate beside the beach and had a lovely view of the sea with the sun light getting more and more golden as it set. But I think next time we need to go further from the square and venture up to the residential areas to find the scenes I was hoping for.
When Matthew and I spent four days in Portugal last summer he suggested going to Zoomarine, but I wasn’t overly keen on seeing dolphins in captivity as my last experience like that wasn’t very pleasant, so we went to the water park instead. However, you aren’t allowed on water slides when you’re 5 months pregnant, so this year he suggested Zoomarine again and told me that they’re all about conservation and protecting the oceans and the mammals and animals in the world. I checked out their website and I like their mission statement, so we went along to check it out.
Matthew’s favourite part was the walk through bird habitat, with lots of different exotic species. I liked these pink fellas! My favourite part was the dolphin show…combine a sniffly nose, with pregnancy hormones, and a love for sea mammals, and you get one sobbing pregnant lady. I couldn’t believe how emotional I was getting. I always loved dolphins growing up; choosing them for school projects, buying all sorts of books about them, making up fake business cards for my career as a Marine Biologist (because I thought that meant I got to swim with dolphins all day), adopting a dolphin through WDC and obsessively searching the seas for them every time we went on the ferry to Lewis. That love then extended over to whales, and I ended up getting a little teary eyed at the site of a whale clearing its blow-hole about a mile away from us on our holiday in Alaska four years ago…Matthew found this greatly entertaining.
When I cried this time he wasn’t sure if they were happy tears or sad tears because they’re living in captivity. They were definitely happy tears! I think it all started when we were told their most recent addition to the family, Tony, was born on my birthday last year. Sob. I share a birthday with a dolphin! And although we couldn’t see what goes on behind the scenes, we really did get the impression that they care about the oceans and the mammals in them, and love the family of dolphins that they have been caring for for many years in captivity.
Happy Birthday, Hubby! We went out for a Birthday Breakfast at my favourite wee cafe restaurant along the road from the apartment, then Matthew spent some birthday pennies at Algarve Shopping, updating his shirt collection. We then had a wonderfully warm and relaxing afternoon by the pool, before heading out for a mini sunset portrait shoot and a delicious dinner. A great way to spend your first day of being 24! And your last birthday without a chubby baby to entertain!
Mmmm, he choose the perfect t-shirt for todays adventure! He just blends in with that beautiful blue Atlantic water.
We were all set for a lazy day, sunbathing by the pool, or chilling on inflatables in the pool, but ended up booking a spontaneous yacht trip for the afternoon! So it was still a pretty lazy day, the location just changed. I could’ve moved in to that yacht, it was perfection! I don’t think the interior was anything fancy, but sitting on the stern with my beau, at sea level, watching the wake disappear behind us, with the sun shining down, was my idea of chill. The perfect afternoon!
Today we went on a very adventurous car journey…having been reassured it was very safe and comfortable for pregnant ladies! Haha! Baby definitely didn’t get much sleep this afternoon, either that or come October we’re going to have to buy a Land Rover and take up off-roading to get it to sleep!
Zebra Safari took us along farm tracks surrounded by beautiful wild flower fields, up steep mountainsides with panoramic views of orange farms and lush green hills, through rivers and in to beautiful Portuguese villages. It had everything I wanted all in one day! There were even opportunities to swim under waterfalls and in river pools, but sadly bump and I didn’t feel like jumping in.
Here’s Matthew and his parents at our stop under the cork trees, with one of the jeeps in the background. You can see where the cork has been peeled away from the tree trunks. Pretty cool! I confess I had no clue that’s where cork came from.
I woke up this morning with a very unpleasant spiky throat. Hoping it was just hay fever related we nipped to the Pharmacy for some Pregnancy suitable antihistamine, but when Matthew got it the next day (…oops) we realised it was actually the cold. Sob.
Despite feeling a bit rough, we enjoyed a walk along Praia da Gale, some more sunbathing and then a wee trip to Algarve Shopping for a quick walk around the shops and then dinner. Amazingly, all we bought was a pair of earrings (for me, of course). There was plenty of beautiful clothing, but they were all designed for small, non pregnant, ladies.
Algarve Shopping is a really nice open air shopping centre, so I couldn’t resist getting a few snaps of Matthew as we strolled along in the evening sun. You can tell he loved it!
Being 18 weeks pregnant, and having spent the whole day photographing a wedding, I didn’t think we’d be staying till the very end of the wedding, so when I booked our 6:45am flights out to Portugal on the Sunday morning I assumed we’d have had plenty of sleep. I was wrong. We didn’t get to bed until 1am, and our alarm went off at 4:15am…and that turned out to be only just enough time to board our flight!
Edinburgh Airport was chaos. We thought it was off to a good start when the Airline lady had the guts to ask if I was pregnant, and if I had an “Okay to Fly” letter (okay, there was a minor panic at that moment but I informed her I was only 18 weeks, to which she was surprised as she doesn’t normally notice women with a baby bump until at least 24 weeks! Thanks). She put us in to the shorter queue, along with the families with young children, and we thought we were on to a winner, but we still had to join another queue to drop our bags. We didn’t have the luxury of being in the family line at Security, and my bag ended up having to be examined by security twice…Matthew was in slight panic mode by this point…we then discovered our gate was “15 minutes” away and they were doing final call for boarding, so there was no time for a bacon roll and a coffee, sadly…Now I dunno who timed that estimation first of all…a tortoise perhaps, because we got there in less than 5 minutes, and I certainly wasn’t running! But I guess there are those who would take 15 minutes for one reason or another. Anyway, we made it!
Matthew’s parents picked us up at Faro Airport, having arrived the night before us. We had lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool. The image above was my view. Exactly what was needed after two hectic days!