Belated Holiday after Covid-19! / Portugal 2022

After over 2 years of waiting, we finally got to travel to Portugal for a very much belated birthday party, with 32 friends and family joining. It was lovely to spend time with so many loved ones and of course, enjoy travelling for the first time since Covid-19! 

Click here to watch the vlog or see below. 

The holiday started bright and early with a wake up call of 4am. We had a taxi booked to just before 5am and that was mainly because of all the stories about how terrible the security  had been at UK airports. We ended up arriving and getting through the airport check-in and security within 5 minutes. It was crazy fast so we had plenty of time to get breakfast. We went to Frankie and Benny's and the food ended up being very yummy, but unfortunately, it was such a slow service it took over an hour and a half and then I had to take mine and eat it on the plane. 

The flight left early as everyone was on board and we then took about 40 minutes to get to the villa (checking in and getting the keys etc). It was so perfect when we arrived. I recorded a little villa house tour in the vlog but I think I'm going to do a little house tour post as well. The rest of the afternoon we spent sunbathing and chilling around the pool, after we unpacked. Mum and Stuart arrived by car at about 5pm and then we headed out to meet up with 14 friends and family at the Chicken Shack that night. 

Day 2 was a relaxing start. The others went for a cooked breakfast at the resort, whilst I had a lie in. We then chilled by the pool for a little bit before going to my aunt's and cousin's villa around lunch time. It was lovely to see another villa and there's had a much bigger and heated swimming pool which was lush. We swam, we chatted, we snacked and we drank. It was nice to hang out together having never been on holiday abroad together before. At about 5pm we went back to ours, chilled for a little more before getting ready and heading to a restaurant called The Green Valley. We went as a table of 8 + 12 so it was another big meal. After we headed to a couple of bars, ending the night singing Happy Birthday to my mum. 

The next day was my mum's birthday and also the night of the big birthday party. We ended up taking a walk along the beach to the next town up. It was a lovely walk but I did have to wear an older t-shirt because I somehow managed to burn my back on the very first day. We went to a new-to-us bar called Well and it was lovely. It was a very high class and special champagne and sushi bar - what a mix! I treated everyone to cocktails and there was even a plunge pool to cool down in, in the middle of the restaurant. 

The party was a huge. Initially, there were 80+ people coming from the UK but unfortunately due to the two year delay and twice cancellation, it went down to just under 40 people. There was a pre-selected three course meal, followed by a band and dancing into the early hours of the next morning. 

Of course, a late start was very much needed after a 2am finish time the night before. We had a chilled morning, went swimming and sunbathed, before headed to one of our friend's villas in the late afternoon. We had a lovely BBQ and played lots of games, including Uno and Charades, before getting truly bitten alive. The villa was a little bit further away from the resort areas, and more so in a residential area. It was also surrounded by fields so of course, mosquito's galore and the bites were like welts. They're still huge and I have bruised massively. 

A bar crawl was the events of the next day. We headed out at midday and went to a couple of different bars. We then walked down the beach to a less busier one, past Julia's, Izzy's and Eduardo's and to Finn's. I've never been to any of them, but Finn's was just about to close so it was pretty much empty. By the end, we'd had a private bar for 3 hours. Luke, Jess and I then walked up the the pool bar afterwards to grab some food, before heading home to get ready for tea. We went out with my cousins, aunt and uncle for tea at Julia's, which is a lovely beach bar during sunset. 
Another bar, another beach bar. I was so annoyed at how late the previous night was an the uber to get back was 20 minutes away, so instead Luke forced me to walk back in the cold evening weather and it took like 30 minutes, which was very frustrating. 
I absolutely love BJs but it is a little bit secluded. We had a lovely meal, before playing in the sea and then walking back along the seaside for a couple of hours. Of course, we called back at the champagne and sushi bar as well which I loved! Because we didn't get back until 8pm, we ended up having a few people back to the villa and ordered a pizza takeaway to be delivered. Honestly, it was the best pizza I've had in such a long time, but also the most expensive! 
The last day called for a relaxing sunbathing day and it was nice to just have the family around for once. Most people had left the area and either travelled home already or were exploring other areas of Portugal. Of course, mum and Stuart had to go and meet some friends at the bar in the late afternoon, but other than that, we all chilled together and I finished my third book. I will be sharing a mini book haul and review soon! In the evening, because we were waking up relatively early the next day, we booked the restaurant at the resort. It was honestly such a nice three course meal and then the "children" left at half 10, whilst the "adults" kept drinking for another three hours! Unfortunately, mum also fell as we were heading out and I was pretty sure she'd broken her wrist, but she refused to go to the hospital. 
Finally, it was time to travel home. Jess' flight was only 30 mins later than ours, so we all took a taxi together. We arrived 2 hours early, so had time to enjoy a yummy sausage and bacon sandwich at the airport before going to mooch around some of the Portuguese shops and see the cork and pottery products. I didn't buy it but the best thing I saw was a chocolate bar, with the wrapping and packaging made of cork, then two areas popped out to be magnets as well.