Category Archives: Vacation memoirs

My LISBON ADVENTURE

In May two months ago, I took a trip to beautiful Lisbon in Portugal for a destination wedding that was oh! —- so romantic! and so beautiful… so breathtaking. I went on this trip with my husband and it was indeed the first time that I saw my husband so relaxed, laid-back and carefree since we got married – almost thirteen years ago! The peace and tranquility that we enjoyed was possible because we vacationed at Lisbon’s wine country – Alenquer. We stayed at Cambeiros Guest House – a lovely place that is surrounded by lush green steep hill farmlands and colorful foliage.

Alenquer
alenquer Lisbon

This quiet guest house sitting on a large expanse of land was what we needed to disconnect from the world in order to connect with each other. As though in cohort, the internet connection in the area was so very poor that it allowed us to savor the beauty of this country side and enjoy the cold and warm interchanging wind that the weather provided in this month of May. Our weekend at Alenquer was even more memorable at our friends’ wedding which was nothing short of romantic. They held their wedding ceremony by a lake surrounded by family and friends.

We also had the time to tour a vineyard in the area called Quinta do Monte d’Oiro – another beautiful place with an awesome landscape. We also found out that the vineyard was organic and were excited to learn about the process of wine making. We were able to taste a variety of wine during wine tasting paired with a variety of cheeses and bread.

A view of the organic vineyard
vineyard tour Lisbon
Picturesque compound
Wine tasting

After our weekend away at Alenquer, we went back to Lisbon and stayed at the Lisbonaire Apartments which is an apartment/hotel – lovely place to stay if you enjoy cooking your own meals and want the feel of home. My stay in Lisbon was awesome because I was fascinated by its architecture, history and culture so much that my husband and I made it a duty to try out different restaurants every day and to try out new things. We and the bridal party practically went round Lisbon on foot eating and drinking. If you are ever in Lisbon, please do visit the Time out food hub. There were dozens of restaurants and bars all under one roof! The human traffic was so high that it was a struggle to find seating. We had gone round the place for more than thirty minutes before we found seats! But the experience, fantastic! The atmosphere and the energy, high and exciting! We met new people, made new friends, tried different foods and drinks – it was a fantastic outing.

My husband and I at Time Out

Afterwards, we continued on our walk around Lisbon. We went to Praca do comercio which is a commercial nerve center to shop for memorabilia.

Praca do Comercio
Praca do Comercio

At Praca do Comercio, the human traffic was high and because neither of us set out to do much shopping, we took our time to enjoy the scenery and immerse ourselves in the culture. By the time we walked back to the hotel, we had had enough physical exercise for one day!

I guess this was what I loved about Lisbon because being a small city surrounded by beautiful water and steep hill streets, it was easy to move around the city center on foot. We actually did not spend much on transportation. And those steep hill stoned streets with colorful graffiti, they were nothing but beautiful. On our way back to the hotel, we had met the graffiti artists listening to old school rap music that got almost everyone of us dancing the ”running man” and to our surprise, they were actually visitors like us.

This made me fall in love with the ‘Simpsons’ all over again
Had to take a selfie!
Graffiti artists at work
Down hill
Up hill

So, there goes my adventure in beautiful, colorful and vibrant Lisbon! I sure will go back again.

Cheers!

Enne

A view from the Canadian Rockies 

Hi guys,

Last weekend, my family and I went to Banff to enjoy the rocks and the breath-taking beauty that the Banff National Park offers. The short drive to Banff started off foggy but as we advanced on the winding road, the skies were clearer presenting an opportunity to enjoy the mountain view. 

When we finally arrived Banff, the rocky town held me in awe – beautiful rocky and forest landscapes with soft, fluffy snow drops creating a beauty ascent on the rocks, trees and grass. Though there were lots of activities to do, we chose to ride in the cable car at the Gondola. Here are views from the top: 


If you love vacationing as much as I do, if ever you find yourself in Canada, visit Banff in the Alberta region – stay for a night or more and go hiking, camping, water cruising, cable car riding or simply relax at the resort – you will never regret visiting.

Weekend away at destination wedding: IITA Ibadan

When we received invitation to a friend’s destination wedding to take place at IITA in Ibadan, Oyo state of Nigeria, I wondered why anyone would marry at a research institute. IITA is the international institute of tropical agriculture, with research institute in one of Africa’s oldest and largest cities, Ibadan.

Ibadan is merely an hour and thirty minutes car drive from Lagos where I live but I have never been there. But as we drove through this dusty, rusty city, I came to see how much history the city held.

The IITA research institute is situated at the outskirts of town and as we drove into the incredibly green and expanse premise, it felt nothing but nature. We were so close to nature with its incredibly green landscape of thick forest reserve, towering palm trees and several other tropical trees, lush green lawns and enlightening green houses. The place was a haven of serenity, tranquility and peace. This research institute offered hotel accommodations with recreational facilities, culture-bias restaurant for fine wining and dining. The bar also offered fine refreshments, wining and good music. I was pleased that my friends were able to conduct traditional marriage rites, the church service and reception all on the premise! This is your perfect nigerian destination wedding.

 

 Recreational activities include bicycle riding on the institutes well mapped roads, swimming, sports activities; the kids even have a playground to keep them busy. This is a vacation destination for the whole family.

  
I especially loved wining and dining at the restaurant and open bar. The meals are cheap and remarkably fresh as all foods are grown on the premises! The meals were the best part of my stay.

   
  Do not expect five star accommodation though as the lodging accommodation the institute provides were dormitories which had been converted into hotel rooms. Notwithstanding, this did not take away the richness of the place but further complemented the academic environment appeal. 

If you live in Nigeria or ever visit Nigeria, visit IITA and you will love its commitment to nature. Even the gifts I bought from the corporate store was evident of this as the institutes sponsors the local women group in arts and crafts. 

  
These bangles and pen case were made out of water hyacinth plants. I love nature so if you do, here’s a vacation destination you can add to your list.

Cheers