This birthday was one I’ve dreamt of for years – simple, relaxing, in a gorgeous place with delicious food.

I rang in my birthday with a midnight celebratory mojito in Barrio Alto, a very festive “party zone” in Lisbon. As the night went on, the seemingly never-ending streets of this neighborhood became more and more packed with people enjoying drinks and each others’ company.

As an American, it felt like quite a treat to grab a drink and be able to wander around with it in hand. Where I come from, that is grounds for a hefty ticket.  More into people watching and soaking in my surroundings than drinking, I sipped on this giant mojito all night and certainly put some miles on my shoes.

The next morning . . .

Living in totally landlocked places my entire life, spending my birthday at the beach was a must.

We met a lovely American on the train who suggested we try out Guincho Beach for a more surf-like vibe. I snapped this in Cascais before we jumped in a cab to explore.

In the “Dangerous Zone” at Guincho was the perfect place to enjoy the day. It was great to watch the many surfers catch some waves, as well as watch in amazement the kite surfers.

We loved Guincho so much, in fact, that we made a last-minute decision to grab a room in a gorgeous old hotel right on the beach, Estalagem Muchaxo Hotel. The oceanside swimming pool was stunning.

An indulgent sunset birthday dinner included my first taste of clams and duck. I loved them both. I have yearned for this meal nearly every night since.

(Please excuse the spots on this picture – it was taken from our dinner table and the restaurant’s windows were quite filthy!)

We spent all of the next day on the beach soaking up massive vitamin D (not without tons of sunscreen and a hat, of course!) and caught the train back to Lisbon.

It was a perfectly celebrated birthday with just the right mix of relaxation and spontaneity.

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  • Reply Georgina Hart August 31, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Beautiful travel photos!

    • Reply Leslie Hughes August 31, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks, girl! x

  • Reply Dee September 1, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Love the travel diary and photos. Makes me feel like I’m right there with you.

    • Reply Leslie Hughes September 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Thank you! You should come join us!

  • Reply December 29, 2015 at 9:18 pm

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    • Reply Leslie Hughes January 6, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Thank you so much! Really appreciate your note. I have been on a bit of a break, but am back to regular posts starting tomorrow!

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