Laurie Reynolds

Joined May 2017
  • Day3

    Breakfast, gym, and a long walk

    Yesterday in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Lisbon sits on many hills, so there are lots of “miradouros” (scenic look-out plazas is my awkward translation). We decided to head for two located on hills near the castle— these are not the most popular but the views are great—Nossa Senhora da Monte and Graca. Lunch in a little pastelaria where we sat outside in old Lisbon and had a homemade lunch for 9 € for the two of us!

    Back to the hotel for a total of 19,752 steps according to my phone. While Joe rested, I went on my first oil-scouting expedition. Making good headway!

    Tomorrow it’s down to work for two days. Then Thursday is The national holiday commemorating the Carnation Revolution-saying goodbye to fascism without firing a shot.
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  • Day1

    Travel Day

    April 20 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 3 °C

    It’s usually not much fun to get from Point A to Point B, especially not if the people who booked your ticket give you a 6 hour layover in Philadelphia! For these long travel days, I always try to get up very early to get to the gym, on the theory that I will feel better and maybe sleep a bit on the plane. So today at 5 am I was up and out. My Silver Sneakers gym is open 24/7 with a little purple thing to swipe, and there are always a few more nut cases like me there so it’s not too lonely.

    We are headed to Lisbon — unbelievable though it seems to me, this will be the sixteenth consecutive year I have taught a short course at the law school in the Católica. Cannot believe it!

    At the airport I weighed my bags to calculate how much olive oil I can cram in them on the way home. One of my favorite pastimes in Lisbon is buying lots of olive oil for my Berkeley crew, who has figured out that they use about 36 liters a year. I have been keeping up with that demand for about 6 years now and hope to extend it for a few more, at least till I am too feeble to lug all this around. Oil is lighter than water, though!

    We arrived in PHL and made our way over to the Lego Liberty Bell and thus began our long layover. Only 5 hours till boarding time now! We will go straight to Lisbon, arriving around 9 am tomorrow morning. Easter Sunday, so it should be a slow day.
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  • Day4

    Heading home

    April 16 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After a three hour four course tasting menu last night at Marmalade we made it back to our Inn (Old San Juan is beautiful at night.) and wound up gabbing till 2. Way too late.

    Marmalade had an after dinner drink named I’m peach mint. Tag line after the description—order a second one and I’ll get México to pay for it. 😄

    No need for breakfast this morning but we took a walk for coffee and grandkid t-shirts. Now we’re at the airport, saying goodbye— till next years GTG.
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  • Day3

    Enjoying Old San Juan

    April 15 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    We woke up this morning with no idea of what we were going to do. Breakfast first, in a great outdoor cafe. Then a couple of hours circling the governmental capital. Beautiful capitol building, statues of every U.S president who has visited. So far Trump’s statue has not been erected, but we think he should be represented with a roll of paper towels in his hand.

    We hopped in a cab and went to the closed Puerto Rican Museum of Art. But it has lovely gardens, and we got to see the weekly iguana hunt. The guards told us that the have between 30 and 80 babies per year and eat everything in sight. Saw a Botero statue and sat on benches in the shade gabbing away.

    Tonight we have a fancy dinner in a restaurant called Marmalade, and then tomorrow we head home. Old San Juan is a great place for a short break. Lots of walking, beautiful views, and great food.
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  • Day2

    In Old San Juan

    April 14 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Four of us who started together at Illiois years and years ago have since separated and are now teaching in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada. I am the only one still at Illinois. We are now in year 13 of an annual trip, and this year our choice was San Juan. We are in a hotel right on the water, spread across a number of colonial houses with nooks and crannies, lots of little outdoor patios, called The Gallery Inn. There’s a rooftop patio looking straight out over th watr, it is glorious.

    These trips are not for touring and museums, mainly for just walking and talking and eating. We got here yesterday afternoon and had our first meal of mofongos. We were all pretty exhausted because two had been on the red-eyes and the other two had left home on 5 am flights. In bed by 11, up at 8 and then the day was just as we envisioned — started with a good coffee, then a saunter through Old San Juan, lunch in a great little empanada place. After that we went to the forts, pretty amazing. We just walked and talked and ate, just as we had planned.

    Many of the old colonial houses have been restored since the hurricaine, so the old part looks amazing. We are so lucky to be able to do this, here’s hoping for many more.
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  • Day19

    Last Day in Rome

    January 7 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

    So, this morning as I was mapping out a walk to some of the parts of the city we hadn’t visited, I decided to check Vatican tickets for the day. And tickets were available, so we decided to head back, visit St. Peter’s, and go to the Vatican Museums.

    There were no lines to get into the church so we sailed through security and were inside in no time. The basilica is overwhelming, the size of everything is so giant. Some of the statues of popes really made them look human, though, even at that size. I am glad we went. My favorite part was walking to the top of the cupola — Joe took the elevator but then had to walk the last couple hundred steps anyway. The views from the top were great, and it was another crystal clear sunny day.

    We were exhausted by the time we left the Vatican, about three hours after entering. I understand why they leave the Sistine Chapel till the end, but it was hard to feel bright eyed after hours of statuary, papal apartments, and Raphael rooms. The colors are just as brilliant as they look in pictures, and I particularly liked the Noah’s Ark panel. All in all, a good way to end the trip.

    Tomorrow we will be up at 4:30 for a 5:15 car to the airport. Yikes. Going through London, glad it’s before Brexit!
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  • Day18

    Museum Day

    January 6 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 7 °C

    We slept in a bit, no need to rush, and since it is January 6 (Epiphany), it’s even more of a holiday than Sunday usually is. Our hotel had tons of special traditional sweets at breakfast, added to the overabundance of sweets they serve on normal days!

    I was skeptical about these museums (the National Museum of Rome has two locations about 5 minutes apart from each other, one on each side of the train station), but I have changed my tune. The first had the best statuary that’s been found in Rome, some Greek, some Roman, and mosaics and frescoes from two huge villas excavated in the 1900s, one of them under the Termini train station!

    After a couple of hours at the museum, we took a break in an old 19th century cafe where we got the Italian equivalent of sliders for lunch. Very tasty and a nice break from the pasta, pizza routine.

    Then to the second musum, which is located inside what were the largest public baths (capacity for 3000 bathers, with a huge outdoor pool as well). It was really interesting, and we also got to walk around a cloister designed by Michaelangelo at age 86, when the pope converted part of the baths into a church, to recognize the 40,000 Christian slaves who built the baths.

    With another hour or so of daylight, we hoofed it over to see the Colisseum in late afternoon, as opposed to early morning, light. Very nice both ways!!!
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  • Day17

    Walk till you drop

    January 5 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Today was our walk walk walk day with no museums. But we did start with a church (Santa Maria in Trastevere) and end with a church (Santa Maria Maggiore), because both of them had amazing mosaics spanning the 5th - 12th centuries. In between we just walked and enjoyed the sunny day — along the river, to St. Peter’s (the crowds and the lines even to get into the basilica made us decide to skip an inside visit), to Hadrian´s mauseoulum, to Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, many ruins of temples, forums, and theaters.

    Since last night’s dinner at Crispi 19 was very good but just too much pretense (many different waiters for different functions, including one whose only job seemed to be to use that bread-crumb-remover on the tablecloths), we’re looking for something above paper tablecloths, but not fine linen.

    Only two more days here, and I guess it’s only fair that tomorrow I go along to the National Museum, since Joe was such a good sport today.
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