We took a Sunday drive today, only it was Wednesday in Portugal. The road out of Geres heading towards the Douro Valley twisted and rolled down to the water and through the forest, through open farmland and little villages along the way then back up the mountain and so on. Little cobblestone roads would lead us around the bend where a tiny village would appear like a special little surprise. It was pretty much us and a few others out on the road which was like a dream. At one point, I had read about this route, described as the prettiest in the world and we really wanted to see the Douro Valley so it was destined to be.

We pulled into the village of Aldeia das Dez at about 4:30 and our hotel, Plano 5, hadn’t opened for the day so we decided to go for a little hike up to the church and into the forest above. The path in the forest was flanked heavily by eucalyptus and the air softly carried its scent.

After dinner, Colin made fast friends with the owner of our hotel and while they visited, I decided to take a little walk into the countryside. It was a perfectly beautiful night, the birds were chirping, and except for an occasional car, it was a peacefully silent walk. I stopped to admire all the little home gardens along the way and couldn’t help to make a note of the endless numbers of cabbage patches I’ve seen in every home garden. We wrapped up the night with slices of apple pie/cake, fresh from the oven, and went to bed with plans for a lovely hike bright and early tomorrow morning.

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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