The first weekend of Easter holiday brought me to Porto, Portugal to visit my parents, where they had been the previous week for a conference. After walking through passport control and customs without anyone so much as asking to see my passport, I was reunited with my parents. It was so great to see them after three months of communicating via skype. We went back to the hotel and set out to explore the city and find some dinner. The hotel had given us some recommendations for dinner, however my dad found a place with a big screen television showing an English Premier League game and a huge crowd of people. So we went inside and found the place was famous for their francesinha ( a sandwich originally from Porto). Since it was the traditional dish, we all ordered one. This sandwich was a heart attack on a plate for sure. It was two slices of thick bread with ham, sausage, and beef inside. Then, the outside of the sandwich is covered in slices of cheese and it is cooked like a grilled cheese sandwich. It is then served in a sauce made from tomato soup and beer, and surrounded by french fries. It was delicious. However, I decided it was in the best interest of my health to stick to just one for the weekend.
The trip wasn’t just great because I got to see my parents; I learned some interesting things too. For example, I learned that wearing tights under shorts is not just a fashion of the UK, but of all Europe. Porto is famous for Port wine, so naturally we went for a wine tour at Croft winery where I learned a lot about the process of making wine. (I think my mom and I were the only ones listening on the tour as we were the only two who could answer the questions afterwards). It must be the Doverspike in us. We also went to an old Franciscan Church, where I learned a lot about the history of the area. My favorite part of the trip though was going to the beach. It was a blessing to have such amazing weather after being in “sunny England” for so long, and we took a tram ride to the coast. The water was a bit cold, but the boardwalk was beautiful and I could have climbed around on the ocean rocks all day. It was sad to say goodbye to my parents, but I will be seeing them again in two months when my time here eventually comes to an end.