Though my lovely wife continues to roam Portugal with friends, I flew back Monday morning after our long weekend in the city of Porto. Normally we have some Internet access on a trip and we catch at least snippets of news, but I soon realized how out of touch I had been.
I didn't know the Celtics had beaten the Lakers in LA to edge near the NBA title.
I didn't know that Tiger Woods had pulled off several miracles to force a Monday playoff at the U.S. Open, which he won in dramatic fashion, of course.
I didn't know the sad Detroit Tigers had gone on a winning streak finally.
I didn't known Cambridge United and its coach Jimmy Quinn had "mutually decided" that Quinn should leave. United has been in chaos since their playoff loss. Half the team has left or been sold to other teams, even to rivals in our league. Quinn's departure is a shocker and comes amid rumors of severe financial troubles for the team. I gather this turmoil is common in England's lower football leagues where ambitions trump common sense and money.
And in a much sadder non-sports vein, I didn't know that Tim Russert had died from a heart attack Friday morning as we were already in Porto. I wasn't the biggest fan of the NBC newsman but he did grill politicians as they deserve and his death is a great loss to the DC journalism community.
What do I know then?
I know that a certain Portuguese taxi driver has a bad sense of direction. We should haven't seen the ocean on our trip from the airpot to the apartment! He somewhat made up for getting lost by helping us find the key for our rental apartment that had been left at the nearby cafe.
I know that Portugal likes its soccer. We saw at least two huge outdoor screens set up to show the Euro2008 competition. Sunday night we joined the crowd at one watching Portugal playing Switzerland--Portugal's colorful flags were flying everywhere and people watched the screen from their apartment windows. It was great fun even if the home team lost--they had already qualified for the quarterfinals so no one was too sad.
I know I like port. And I liked it even better at the prices in Porto, the home of port production. We tried many ports at Graham's port lodge and at a nearby port institute--at the latter, the four of us had 10 glasses of port and bought a bottle of port and one of wine for a ridiculously low price of $38. I think at least one glass of port we tasted would have cost more than $50 in any DC restaurant!
I'll save the rest of the trip report for KT when she gets back. It's time for a glass of port.--JT