Figueira to Sintra 

We’re leaving the surf and yoga behind for a few days of real tourism (castles, churches) in Sintra. Leaving on a high note after a beautiful dawn session for Coco, William, Alex and me. Waves were small and disorganized but kept us on our toes and one set managed to knock us all for a loop. Major kudos to Coco for getting back on her board and paddling back out after a thorough rinsing in the impact zone that would have sent many a reasonable surfer home for breakfast. Alex and William had good mornings as well. Hard not to do when watching a sunrise like that. Kudos also go to me for nailing my first wave of the morning. I got a clear, long, look down the line and momentarily may have looked like I knew what I was doing. I’m doing my best to flash back to that moment of calm and clarity as Phoebe has her millionth ipad-inspired meltdown of the trip on our train to Lisbon.

Four-year-olds, personal electronics, calm and clarity. Four concepts whose relationships to one another have proven far more complicated than Alex and I expected before we set out. To be sure, an iPad in the hands of Phoebe buys us moments of peace and quiet. Just like we planned.  It also buys us the headaches of constantly negotiating her screen time and the not-so-age-appropriate you tubes to which she gravitates. So, not only have we managed to expose her to the many Moorish elements of Iberian architecture, but also lots of Dance Moms. And the early video catalog of Britney Spears. And several viewings of the original Point Break. That last part is actually a very good thing, of course.

Here they are, having good clean fun at a beach playground in Figueira. Phoebe called it The Most Dangerous Playground, since the slide was “super fast.”

We are all very lucky to be here, doing this. Onward to Sintra!


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