The first 36 hours of our summer 2014 adventure were spent in JFK airport (until 3 a.m.) and a Holiday Inn Express in Mespeth, New York. We had boarded the plane with such excitement and anticipation, only to be sent back to the terminal after 5 hours on the runway.
We finally made it to Madrid, a full day later than anticipated, and were able to catch a flight to Porto in a reasonable amount of time thereafter. Having had a total of about 4.5 hours of sleep total over the previous two nights, I was in a slightly altered state but still able to enjoy the view from the plane as we tracked westward over greening low mountains and eventually reached the ocean.
Shane navigated the labyrinth from the metro to our rented room, and we settled in to the space that will be ours for the next few days. Our window opens onto a courtyard where spirited conversations, dog barks, and seagull cries echo off the granite and back to our ears in constant reminder of the fact that we are far away from home.
The seagulls here are on another level. We are only a few yards from the Rio Douro, and inside their territory. They look bigger than the gulls in Virginia, and they are certainly more vocal, day and night. Last night, we watched them glide past the moonset over the river. This morning, I awoke to rounds of shrieks from the gulls and a rousing song being sung by an inebriated punk who stumbled through the courtyard at 8 a.m., holding up his wobbly girlfriend as he shouted red-eyed joy at the sky.
words + pictures + video by Kara