Travel

A Trip to Cascais: Portugal #2

A Trip to Cascais | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A Trip to Cascais | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A Trip to Cascais | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A Trip to Cascais | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A Trip to Cascais | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

When I told my grandmother about our grand travel plans, she immediately wanted to connect me with some friends of hers. Lauren and Sam live in Mozambique but have a house in Cascais, where they spend a few months every year. My grandmother introduced us over email, and they gave us some tips about our time in Lisbon, and we planned to meet when they were in town in January. They invited us out to Cascais to go to the market and then prepare and have brunch together.

Cascais is a suburb of Lisbon: it’s about 20 miles west and sits nestled on the coast. If you get a sense of the ocean in Lisbon, that sense is much stronger in this town. It used to be a fishing village, but is now a upscale vacation town, with lots of Europeans making their way there to spend summers on the beach. It has the same cobblestone streets and brightly colored buildings as Lisbon, but was much more calm and laid back. I wonder if it would feel the same in the summer when it’s filled to the brim with people.

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Sunlight and Steep Hills: Portugal #1

Sunlight and Steep Hills: Lisbon | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Sunlight and Steep Hills: Lisbon | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Sunlight and Steep Hills: Lisbon | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Sunlight and Steep Hills: Lisbon | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Well, now that we have left Lisbon, I figure it’s time to start writing about it. Our plan was to arrive in Lisbon and stay. For two and a half months. We had booked an Airbnb (with the greatest hosts ever) for the first two weeks, and we were going to use that time to find an apartment and a coworking space, to establish a routine, and to explore the city, of course. But within our first few days in Lisbon, things changed. I felt completely drained. I did not have the energy to wander far from our apartment, much less decode a new language and public transit system, hunt for apartments, or research coworking spaces. I was wiped out, and I did not have the ability to summon the excitement for being in a new and beautiful place. So after some serious heart-to-hearts, Jonah and I decided, once again, to change plans: we would stay in Lisbon for a month, explore the rest of Portugal for about three weeks after that, then fly to the Netherlands to visit some old friends who live there and to meet some friends at the beginning of their own Europe trip, and then fly back to the States.

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Paris Restaurant Review: Restaurant Alliance

Restaurant Alliance, Paris, France | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Alliance, Paris, France | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Alliance, Paris, France | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Alliance, Paris, France | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Alliance, Paris, France | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

How the hell do you decide where to eat in Paris? Pardon my French (pun very much intended). When Jonah and I decided to spend a quick 36 hours in the city of light between Christmas with his family in Germany and landing in Lisbon, I immediately felt overwhelmed. In my opinion, Paris is not the kind of place you can do in that short amount of time! But Jonah and I had both been to the city before, so we decided to just spend the day walking and eating.

As a holiday gift, my mom sent me some money for a nice dinner out in Paris. The research commenced, and after much reading, we ended up settling on a place I found fairly early on in my hunt: Restaurant Alliance from chef Toshitaka Omiya and Shawn Joyeux, two men with lots of Paris kitchen experience. It seemed beautiful, small, and interesting – and that’s exactly what it was. The space was long and narrow, seating maybe 30 people in total in comfy chairs under beautiful round chandeliers. The space was very calm and quiet without being uncomfortably so; everything felt very relaxed. In the back of the dining room, a huge window allowed a peek into the kitchen where the chef works.

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A Not-So-Distant Memory

A Not-So-Distant Memory | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A Not-So-Distant Memory | Serious Crust by Annie FasslerSerious Crust by Annie Fassler

I can’t believe it was almost four weeks ago that Jonah and I left Thailand. I became much more attached to Chiang Mai than I thought I would be by the time we left. While the motorbike rides ended up killing my back, I miss puttering around the city, holding on to Jonah as we wove between cars. I miss leaving all the windows open at night and having the sounds of dogs and motorbikes rise up to remind us where we were. I miss the friends we quickly made and that I briefly got to know. I almost miss wearing sandals every day and that shorts were in regular rotation for me.

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