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Tales from the Road (Trip) … With Kids Part 1 (Evora, Portugal)

Roman ruins in Evora, Portugal.

We started our two week road trip through Northern Portugal and Spain on Saturday. We packed the car in advance the night before so we could basically get up, feed the kids and go. Of course there were last minute things to do in the morning but we were in the car by 10:00 and headed out.

With a 5 year old and 11 month old in tow I’d say that’s not too shabby.  Naturally, having a fairly smooth, timely departure was all too good to be true. Surely something was going to give; it didn’t take long…

Momentary Peace
Momentary Peace

Half an hour in and we already had one child throwing up. The baby, over tired and past due for his nap, was less than pleased about being put in the car. He let us know his displeasure by screaming bloody murder and then puking. We were only thirty minutes into our two weeks in the car. Always good to have a little dose of reality up front, don’t you think?

Child cleaned up, car duly rearranged and me sitting (read: squashed) in the back with both kids, we soldiered on. Once the kids gave up the good fight and went to sleep we made it our goal to get as far as possible before he woke and wanted out. We made it to Trujillo, Spain, the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro.

Evora Stroll - Our Whole Village

Trujillo is a typical Spanish town complete with a main square, the requisite church and castle and loads of touristy restaurants. We did a bit of wandering to check out the sites then decided on restaurant Hostal Meson Hueso for lunch based on reviews we saw online. We didn’t have huge expectations so it turned out just fine.

The wine is included but I advise you to pass.
The wine is included but I advise you to pass.

The food was ok, the service was amiable and they were really nice to the kids (note: they don’t have a high chair so they moved a chair to let us keep the baby in his stroller). Just, whatever you do, don’t drink the house wine. I think the above picture makes it evident why not….

Roman ruins in Evora, Portugal.
Roman ruins in Evora, Portugal.

After lunch we rolled onto our final destination of the day – Evora, Portugal. Former residence of the Portugese kings, Evora is a World Heritage Site due to its Roman ruins.

With its whitewashed houses and wrought iron balconies, it evokes old European charm. We checked out the local market and stocked up on some delicious cheeses and nice produce. We also happened upon their annual Renaissance Festival, which was a fun event for the kids.

Exploring Evora's main square.
Exploring Evora’s main square.

We had a reservation to spend the night at Albergaria do Calvário. The minute we pulled up there were two people to greet us and bring in our stuff. Even with a bag packed for just that night you would have thought we were moving in. Overnight bag, check. Portable crib, check. Stroller, check. Diaper bag, check. Kitchen sink, double check. Ah travel with kids!

Albergaria do Alvario - Our Whole Village

As soon as we were in the the lobby we were offered a welcome drink. Our daughter chose hot chocolate. We, of course, opted for wine. We did, after all, just spend several hours in the car with our kids…

Welcome drinks very welcome after several hours in the car!
Welcome drinks very welcome after several hours in the car!

We had booked a superior room so that we would have some extra space. The king size bed had a super comfy mattress and there was an extra bed for our daughter. Our room was right off the lobby, which meant there was a little bit of noise during the evening when people were returning from dinner but the location was great for us and the kids slept through it.

The bar is open all hours offering a small but good menu. We had opted to have dinner there so we could relax, let the kids wander while we ate, and get them to bed (read: out of our hair) at a reasonable hour. We had the cured meat plate, the cheese plate with jams, a salad and a delicious curried garbanzo soup, which were all very good. There were also several glasses of wine to select from, none of which disappointed.

This says it all when it comes to the service at Albergaria do Calvário
This says it all when it comes to the service at Albergaria do Calvário

Nina and Caroline, the two women on duty at reception that afternoon/evening, were amazing. Not only had they provided us with great info upon arrival but they graciously allowed our daughter to “help” them at the front desk for 45 minutes, at least, while we ate our dinner.

The hotel actually states in its information booklet and online that its goal is to provide great service.  If you need anything, you just have to ask.  Nina and Caroline fulfilled the mandate and then some.  With service like that I only wish this place was closer so we could come back.

The courtyard where breakfast is served during nicer weather.
The courtyard where breakfast is served during nicer weather.

In the morning, breakfast is included with a large selection of breakfast cakes, fresh fruit, fresh juices, mueslix, granola and various made to order items like French toast, eggs, and pancakes. In good weather, breakfast is served outside. Unfortunately we were not so lucky but the good food made up for it.

Next stop, Cocoon Eco Design Lodges on the coast. Cross your fingers breakfast stays down!

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(2) Comments

  1. Jen Shippole

    What travel bed are you using?

    1. Kara Suro

      The Baby Bjorn. We have been really happy with it. Used it with our first when we traveled through South America and Europe for 4 months and are using it again with the second. It’s light, compact (relatively speaking) and durable.

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