Unfortunately her French partner was unable to organize his paperwork in time, so instead they arranged an engagement party for the family and some friends.
The engagement party was held on Saturday 26th August at the Quinta da Lontra where we were staying.
The owners were most gracious in allowing us to do a big get-together there for about 30 people, and we used the lounge/dining/kitchen area for that. It was perfect!
I organized the cake and desserts - which were made by a friend that lives in the area, and my daughter organized the food and drinks.
The party was a success and everyone helped with cleaning up and disposing of the rubbish and recycling generated, by taking it to bins in the village the following day.
You'll notice the cake says "engagement party #1". This is because they intend to have 3 other parties with friends in Amsterdam (where they live), in Marseille (where his family and friends are, as well as they lived in nearby Martigues for a few years) and in Paris (where they met while working there and where they also have friends).
The reason for the various parties is that they just plan on having a tiny wedding next year but at least they can celebrate with friends before.
|Karina & Thomas engagement cake|
The following day Sunday 27th, we all got dressed up and drove to Santa Comba Dao, about 25kms away where my grandson's baptism would take place. This town was the birthplace of Antonio Salazar, the dictator that ruled Portugal from 1932 to 1968.
The ceremony was performed at the 18th century baroque church. I forgot to take photos inside, but it's got an interesting painted ceiling and a beautiful carved wooden altar.
On the stone wall bordering the church there are tiled murals, one of them depicting the house where Salazar was born.
|Igreja Matriz Santa Comba Dao - main church of St Comba Dao and tiled panels|
|Baby J's Christening outfit|
After the ceremony we drove back to Carregal do Sal, where the commemorative lunch was held at Casa do Zagao (rural accommodation and function rooms). It was a lovely lunch and family and guests enjoyed themselves.
After lunch we raised a toast to baby J with a glass of bubbly while we ate a slice of his christening cake.
Afterwards the obligatory photo session took place and here we have a photo with my side of the family (17 plus 2 babies) and a photo with my husband's side of the family (an extra 4 people).
|My side of the family|
|My husband's side of the family|
After the party was over and the caterers had removed everything some of us went for a drink at a cousin's house who lives in the area and my sister's and I decided to reproduce a photo of the 3 of us originally taken in 1972 (black & white photo). The next time we were together was in 2012. Hopefully we will reunite again in the next couple of years and take another one.
|The 3 sisters - 1972, 2012 and 2017|
And sadly the 4 days soon came to an end and it was time to say goodbye to the family that was driving to Lisbon, as with the exception of my parents and middle sister and husband who live in Portugal, the others would be departing on the 29th to Johannesburg, San Francisco and Luanda.
My husband and I, our daughter and partner were staying behind and driving to the northern city of Porto. Before leaving we drove to the hill next to the "Quinta" where we stayed. There was an oscillating rock (and yes, it rocked) and great views of the river below and we stayed a while breathing in all that beauty.
|Oscillating rock, Mondego river views|
|Our former apartment building in Carregal do Sal|
Before driving to Porto we stopped for a coffee and pastries at the Cafe below the apartment building where we lived for 10 years in Carregal do Sal. I was happy to see the building had been repainted and was looking great.The Cafe esplanade is also new. Our duplex apartment was on the second floor on the right side above the Cafe. Good memories...See you in Porto next!