Autumn in Salir do Porto. Some days are crystal clear and chilly, the perfect day to hike the cliffs and imagine seeing all the way to the other side of the calm blue Atlantic Ocean. Then, comes days of wild winds and rain perfect to snuggle inside and sneak cat in because he looks so pitiful.
Last year this time I was in the city of Caldas da Rainha and home was an almost tenement like fourth floor apartment. Not much sun, dirty streets but it was in the middle of the city where everything was a short stroll away. This year I am enjoying fall surrounded by light and nature. Sure, there is not a supermercado or a padaria (bakery) across the rua, its better, I have the sound of the surf pounding against the cliffs and a cozy casa filled with light. Plus, this season, I have winter clothes. Besides, the padaria comes to us.
There was this airplane ticket to the U.S.A. lying about, I needed to use it or lose it before November. The citizen and I were low on “essentials” and if you have to power shop, the States are the place to do it. Last year I was unprepared for living in a place with seasons. I froze from November to April. Plus after more than a year of good healthy Portuguese living, my old clothes were too big for me, I desperately needed some good warm clothes (that fit me). Dim Sum and friends were also a great enticement to take the big trip back to the homeland.
Two weeks of very successful shopping the east coast from New York City, where I got my Dim Sum fix, to West Palm Beach, where I got my best friend fix. A brief journey to the Space Coast where I got to ride around in Laura’s brand new convertible, red of course, have many cocktails with my lovely liberals and soak in the ambiance of America. I returned with two suitcases of everything on my list (see previous story) and more. Strewed across my room, freed from the suitcases are piles of lovely warm sweaters, jackets, one grey beret and enough bras for a herd of Guernsey’s. Watch out winter, I have layers.
Unpacking was like an early Christmas. The citizen hovering hopefully looking for treats his Ms. Claus has brought down the baggage chute. My proudest “half price at the Gap” deal was a fantastic black jacket I really didn’t think he would like, but it was so perfect I had to get it for him. It took me 15 minutes to decide to buy it, but he is wearing it everywhere! He looks like a rock star in it.
This is my first real winter wardrobe since the late 70s, I forgotten how fun all those scarves and turtlenecks are. So far, it looks like my “wear it to death” item is going be a black quilted vest with a zipper that goes up to create a “mandarin” collar look. It has two lovely pockets to keep the hands cozy and it will go over anything. Bonus, it has a slimming effect. I never have owned anything like but Maryland Pam insisted she loves hers and I had to have one. She is right, thanks Pamela. I think I will live in it.
When I first moved to Portugal I brought 4 pairs of jeans with me. Two fit, one almost fit, one would never fit. Now only the “one that would never fit” is the one that fits. The citizen even asked me, ”Why did you bring clothes that are too small?” Silly question, women always know they are going to lose weight, someday. Someday finally came. After the shopping trip I now have jeans that don’t fall down. It is a wonderful world.
Add the long underwear and bring on winter. I am back home in Portugal to stay! Did I mention I need more hangers?