Rome, Pedrógão and Casal Moinho

We started the week off very optimistic and excited because we bought tickets to Rome for the temple open house.

And then because that had been so easy and fun, we immediately started discussing flying to Morocco or the Azores (the two places we all show the most interest in), but didn't do anything...

Instead, we got an Airbnb in a little town called Pedrógão on the coast (to split up our trip to Aveiro to visit Woo's friend É--who was baptized by Woo, but taught by himself).

I think a Portuguese realtor would call our apartment "traditional," while I would call it "dated," and there were a few concerns, but mostly it worked pretty well for us because it was so dark. There was even a party with live band playing a block away, but they were not obscenely loud, didn't play until the wee hours of the morning, and the kids slept better than they have in any Airbnb.

We were further impressed with Pedrógão and it's clean beaches, streets and market; large signs with summer events and helpful tips clearly displayed; they even had a library with reading areas right on the beach! Unfortunately, the surfing there is no good.

The visit with Woo's friend and his family also went well. We first met at their favorite beach, then went to their very comfortable home where the kids played in their yard and they cooked us a delicious meal. We got home late and I (at least) paid for it with a constantly crying Penelope, and super grouchy Linus and Moses in primary. For some reason the other kids held it together, and Moses finally said a prayer for help at the very end of primary (actually the point of both his lessons today), and was able to turn around his attitude.

When I see pictures like these, I wonder how many years it'll be until Ruby won't actively try to sabotage a photo.

But then I see pictures like these...

And we still have the ones she doesn't know we've taken...

Herbie's surfing is improving a lot. He isn't the kid that stands out a mile ahead of everyone, but he's also definitely not a beginner. He very reliably catches waves and rides them all the way in. And along with his stronger skills, he's becoming more brave.

We were a little concerned Moses would get scared and not perform (well) at the branch talent show with his crocodile attack skit, but he did great. He further used his comedic acting skills to win over the heart of Élio's 4 yr old son, who LOVED him.

Linus was also a hit at the talent show. I don't know if he constructed his props better the second time around, or his tricks just looked better with a little more distance, but there were several gasps and plenty of people who had no idea how he pulled off his tricks.

Penelope made fast friends with a little girl named M. Amelia (our branch member who was watching her) told us she thought M could speak English, Creole and Portuguese, but didn't know for sure. Penelope spent the whole time speaking Portuguese to her, which made Archie mad.

Archie: She speaks English! 
Penelope: No! She does not! 
M: I do too!!
And because M spoke with an accent, Penelope had no idea what she'd said and continued speaking Portuguese, convinced she was right.

Woo brought his surfboard with us to Pedrógão and Aveiro. Luckily, it wasn't too obnoxious in the car. Unluckily, he never got a chance to use it. He did go surfing earlier in the week, once or twice in the evening, when the fishermen also come out.
Well, I had a fisherman yell at me... that’s something new. 
Apparently the ocean isn’t big enough for all of us... 

Moses got invited to a birthday party. We all drove to pick him up, but Woo sent me to the door because I'm so good at getting out of other people's house quickly. Usually...

The hostess invited me to stay because they hadn't yet done the piñata, or sung, or eaten the cake (or anything?) yet. I told her I had the whole family with me, and she said that was fine (possibly having no idea of what having the whole family would mean??). I asked her how long she thought it would be. 20 minutes.

And I, for some reason (I assume because I was on the spot) believed her and we all traipsed through the house to the back patio and our kids hacked at a piñata with about three other kids for over an hour. That piñata was so tough... those other kids never would've broken through without Herbie and Mosey's well-aimed, powerful whacks... Really, it was fun, and we did finally escape before it was too obscenely late for the kids and impossible for Woo to get work done, but not before they'd sung or even looked at the cake.

And that's our week. Hope yours was great!