Denver Newborn Photographer :: Welcome to the World Zadie

I did Jenny and Joel’s engagement pictures a few years ago so I was SO excited when I heard from them that they were now expecting a sweet baby girl and wondering if I could come do their newborn photos!  Their sweet baby Zadie came nearly right on time and on a beautiful Spring day (prior to all the crazy cold and snow Colorado just got!) I headed out to their house to meet Zadie and take these photos! Congrats again you guys!

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Love these sweet newborn photos! -Katie

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Denver Family Photographer :: Rylee is 1!!

Rylee’s parents and I kind of have a running joke now about our shoots. Because Miss Ry has been the cutest little stone-cold-no-smiles baby since day 1!!  Not that we don’t always get a few little smiles out of her and some super cute shots anyway (because even when she’s not grinning, she’s SO cute!), but they showed up to their last shoot of her first-year package and were pretty much like “well, we brought everything we could think of to get her to smile and we have zero expectations!” haha.  BUT! I just knew Rylee had it in her and would totally bring her smiles this time … and she TOTALLY did!  She was SO silly and smiley and funny and CUTE!  Check out the birthday girl!

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She’s a walker now too! Which was so fun to see!

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I meeeeean… look at those smiles she was holding out from us!!

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Just toddlin’ around! So cute!

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Balloons!!

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I LOVE these next two!!

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Such a sweet girl!

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LOVE this mother daughter shot.

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And these.

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Way to go Miss Ry!!  You rocked your 1st birthday shoot!! -Katie

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A week in Portugal (Part 2) – 3 Days in Lagos and Back to Lisbon!

I hope you enjoyed the first three days of our trip to Portugal that I posted yesterday!!  It really brought back all the memories (yes, I know it was just last week haha) and my mom and I both said how we want to go back right now!  But, obviously that can’t happen so instead I’ll revisit our last 4 days in Portugal and cry because I miss it so!  ;)

So we woke up real early on our 4th day in Portugal to grab a train to the southern city of Lagos.  I had put what I thought was the correct Lagos, Portugal in my weather app a few weeks before the trip so I could get a handle on the weather and it just never looked very nice and the night before our train to Lagos it said it would be raining the whole time we were there. I was soo bummed.  The whole reason we had decided to check out the Southern coast of Portugal and not the North was because we were hoping for warm and sunny weather.

Then we hop on the train and start heading south and there’s not a cloud in the sky and as we get closer and closer I’m just so confused where the rain is… Then we arrive and my phone updates my weather app to my current location and TA-DA! I had the wrong Lagos and the Lagos we were actually in was going to be warm and sunny all 3 days! SCORE!  Just like that, I was so excited!

Earlier in the week everyone we met in Lisbon had told us that we were going to LOVE the beaches in Lagos, but really it’s so hard to know what to actually expect. Plus my mom grew up on the east coast beaches and I’ve been to many east coach beaches and we’ve both been to several Mexico and Caribbean beaches so we were excited to see them, but just not sure they would live up to the hype. Spoiler alert: THEY DO!  And I have oodles of pictures to prove it – though, again, they don’t do justice to the real deal of being there in the warm sun.

We arrived in Lagos late morning and headed straight to our new Airbnb house to drop off our bags. We met our Airbnb hosts mother-in-law who was there cleaning up the place (they let us come by early and drop off our bags, which was so nice!) and she was the NICEST woman.  She pointed us in the direction of the nearest beach and explained we could walk the cliff tops all the way along 4 beaches until we reached a point with a lighthouse. So off we went and this was our first view within about 30 minutes of arriving in Lagos!  And yes, the water is ACTUALLY that color.

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We walked along 2 beaches (on the cliff tops and then down a zillion stairs to the beaches to dip our toes in the water and collect shells) and on the 3rd beach we found this little beach side restaurant and I was basically starving (because I always am) so we stopped and grabbed a table.  AND HOLY CRAP I’M SO GLAD WE DID because this was hands. down. my favorite fish meal – maybe even my favorite meal all around!  It was soooooooo good. And I’m definitely more of a fish person than an animal meat person so I have no problem with the whole fish deal bone and head and all. It’s just SO SO DELICIOUS!  And eating it ON the beach in the sun and warm air was basically heaven.

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Then we were off walking again. Checking out more beaches!

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This was nearing the end of land and looking back at Lagos. I didn’t expect to see mountains in the background, but it was so cool right up near the water!

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After the beaches we headed back into town.  Lagos has the same narrow cobble stoned streets as Lisbon but it’s way smaller and much more white-washed (due to the high heat in summer it’s better to have white walls on their homes!)

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This was our house (the grey and white one) and the view down our street. I loved it. LOVED it.

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Spring had totally sprung in Lagos!

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Lagos used to be a walled city.  It’s not obviously expanded past its old walls, but at various points you can still see the old wall standing.

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Day 2 in Lagos we had an afternoon hike planned so we spent the morning just exploring the city. There’s so much to see!  And, obviously, I love yellow!

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Big old church!

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After walking around the city for a while we got ready for our hike with West Coast Adventure Company. Margo (who I talked about yesterday and who helped us plan our trip) found this company and thought it would be right up our adventurous-alley!  And it totally was!!  I really had very little idea what to expect – which is exactly how TJ (owner and guide) likes to have it. So you kind of show up and it’s a true adventure. And he’s totally right because the day blew my expectations out of the water. Its hand downs my favorite thing we did on the trip.  I won’t really say too much about everything because if you EVER find yourself in Portugal I will demand you get your butt to Lagos and hit up TJ for an adventure!

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Hey – there’s TJ! He’s an awesome guide!

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So – funny story – there were 8 people on our hike all in sets of 2 … one set of 2 were a married couple. The other three sets of 2 were mothers and their children (2 mothers and daughters and 1 mother and son).  Which is so random I think!  But it was a really fun dynamic!  Plus the married couple are from Wisconsin (though they live in Dubai now and soon moving to China!) so we knew it would be awesome off the bat! The other mother daughter (pictured here) were from Canada, but Kim, the daughter, is getting her masters in London right now. And the mother/son were from Australia, but Kristopher, the son, is living in Germany.  And TJ is from the US but lives in Lagos, Portugal. So we were a crazy bunch, but we all got alone SO well and had seriously SO much fun together!  I miss them all!

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The sheer height of these cliffs you just can’t see in these pictures so I tried to add some with people in them for perspective, but its still just so hard to tell!

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Umm this is a picture of TJ showing us a Juniper bush. As in, it produces the berries for gin. I LOVE GIN!  So I was obsessed haha.

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A favorite shot!

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The color of that water! I can’t get over it!

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The Aussies!  Again, here’s people, for perspective of how high up we were!

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Kim is a rock climber (aka a crazy person to this scared-of-heights-person!) and so she was all about getting very close to the edge. And I was all about safely taking cool pictures of her doing it! :)

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Love this.

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Me and my Momma on the cliffs!

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We headed out to the “end of the world” (most south western point of continental Europe, as opposed to just the most Western from yesterday’s post) for sunset and a picnic. But a storm just blew in out of nowhere so we didn’t get a sunset and it got very cold and windy, but we all agreed it kind of added to an “end of the world” experience. We really felt like we were out in the elements!  Also it added a very surreal and stormy color to this shot!  Then I pretty much put my camera and phone away so I could keep my hands warm!!

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TJ set up his camera to capture this shot of all of us!  Freezing cold but clearly loving our adventure! Can you even pick out who I am?! haha.

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Light house and the far south western point!

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The next day we slept in a bit again and then headed off to the beach. Sadly, while it was sunny and warm-ish, it was very windy and I just do not do well with sand so I really was not okay with the sand blowing all over so we didn’t last long at this beach because it was too wide open…

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So we headed to one of the more sheltered beaches from the first day and it was much better!  Minus the 1034905 steps!

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Then we headed back into town to walk around (we had a few last minute gifts and souvenirs we wanted to get!) and to find a place for dinner.  And my mom HAD to have vino verde with her dinner so we stumbled upon a little place that we ended up just LOVING.  I even took a picture of the food because it was so so good.  I had duck in a pineapple sauce – OMG, heaven.  And of course lots of cheese and wine! :)

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Our last day in Portugal we got up early to catch a train back to Lisbon because our flight back to the US was out of Lisbon the next day – which, in hindsight we would have tried to fly out of the South maybe next time so we didn’t have to backtrack to Lisbon again. But it all worked out because we ended up doing a food tour that afternoon and it was a really cool experience! (Although I totally recommend doing that the very first day as we got a ton of good info that would have been helpful the first day in the country haha!)

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Ahhh this church! So pretty! We checked it out while waiting for our food tour to start.

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On our food tour we went to a lot of really local places and this little shop was our first stop. It was so cool!

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Portuguese wine, olive oil, and ummm whatever that meat is that I can’t remember because it wasn’t my fav haha :)

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Our food tour was a walking tour and we walked all around the Mouraria neighborhood which we hadn’t been around yet so that was cool!

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My FAVORITE part though was that we were walking through basically a live gallery… I don’t know what to call it. But a street photographer named Camilla Watson lives in the neighborhood and started taking photographs of the residents and then she’s printed them onto wood (!!) and mounted them along the street in the various places they were taken. And her actually gallery/store/darkroom were right there so I snuck in and got to see her dark room and I was legitimately geeking out about all of it!! It was sooo cool!!

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And I did a little dabbling in some residents-of-Lisbon street photography myself! :)

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Some of the goods of our tour :)

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Annnnd finally on our last morning – really we just got up and flew out – we woke up right at sunrise and the view from our balcony was soo pretty!!

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Portugal, you were AMAZING. I will be back and I will sing your praises to everyone who asks! -Katie

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A week in Portugal (Part 1) – 3 days in Lisbon!

This is a LONG post so … settle in! :)

If there’s a such thing as a travel bug – I have definitely been bitten!  I have had such an urge to travel in the last year or so especially and I’ve done a bit of traveling around the US (thanks to having lots of friends in far away states!), but what I really craved was getting out of the comfort zone and into a truly new (to me) place and culture!  So when it turned out that the kids I nanny were taking a few extra days for their already week-long spring break I decided (rather last minutely) to figure out a plan and get my butt to anywhere but the United States!

So the next step was calling up my Mom.  Because we have been trying to make a family trip or a “girls trip” (sans my dad and brother) to Europe happen for years.  And Because my original idea was to do a 5 day hike to Machu Picchu and my mom walks like 8 miles a day, so I was pretty confident she could do it! She was totally on board for a trip and after some discussions about logistics we – rather randomly – landed on taking a trip to Portugal!!!

Our reasons for choosing it were basically that my mom suggested a Spain/Portugal trip at first as we were throwing out ideas (after we nixed Machu Picchu for a couple reasons) and I knew I wasn’t super interested in Spain (not that I’m not, just that I have lots of other places I want to see before I get to Spain on the list.) so I looked up Portugal because I realized I knew basically NOTHING about it. Within about 30 minutes I was totally hooked on the idea of Portugal!  1) It’s small enough that we could see a fair amount of it (although we saw not nearly enough still!) and could travel fairly easily and quickly within it. 2) It has the history we both love about Europe. 3) It’s not a super popular destination (at least, for Americans) so it felt kind of unique to me. 4) it seemed to have fairly decent weather for late March, early April, which was a big one for me as I didn’t want to be somewhere totally freezing and rainy like Spring in the States can be.  So we decided – PORTUGAL!

The next thing we (or at least I) did was to kind of freak out about knowing what to do next. I have only been out of the country a few times and every time they’ve been entirely planned by someone else (a teacher, a coach, my parents) so I was rather overwhelmed.  And I fell into the internet one day as I was searching about Portugal and found an amazing travel blog of a woman named Margo. I read months and months of her posts and decided to send her a message and see if she could help us plan our trip or give us any tips or anything!  Turns out she was just getting started as a travel advisor of sorts where she can help someone plan a specific trip or she has some already set up itineraries for some popular trips and she has just TONS of info on her site.  She was SUCH an awesome tool for us in helping us figure out what the heck we were even doing traveling to a foreign country and she helped us find some of the BEST BEST things we did/saw/ate while we were there!  Check her out if you’re planning a trip pretty much anywhere in Europe especially!

So enough really about how we got prepared and lets get to the trip itself!!  And more importantly, the pictures!!  We flew into Lisbon, landing early in the morning.  Our amazing Airbnb hosts couldn’t let us into our place until the afternoon, but they so kindly let us drop alllll our bags at their restaurant so we could explore the city until we could get into our place.  Even better for us, the restaurant was really close to the Castelo de Sao Jorge, which was high on our must-see list. So off we walked to check it out!  The day was pretty rainy and gloomy, which was a bummer, but we were just so excited to be there we didn’t mind a little drizzle and clouds! And it wasn’t too cold so it was all good!

The castle has an AMAZING view of the city and we were blown away getting a birds eye view of what we were going to explore the next few days:

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Our first selfie on Portuguese soil! :)

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So. The castle is home to a bunch of peacocks. Which was surprising to say the least. But they were SO cool!!

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So many peacocks.

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I knew going into the trip that Lisbon was a pretty colorful city.  It was just so much more beautiful in real life. I couldn’t get enough!

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After we left the castle we had some time to walk around and grab lunch before grabbing our bags again and getting an uber (side note, holy crap uber was so glorious and cheap and useful for us while there!) to our Airbnb apartment.  Here is where I tell you that I we had our one and only bad meal in Portugal. Which is unfortunate on one hand because I was a little worried I would hate all Portuguese food. But on the other hand, it was nice to get that out of the way and then have AMAZING food from there on out. We just had bad luck walking into a place with no idea what anything was or if it was a good place and we picked some less-appetizing options.  After that meal, all the Portuguese food was fantastic!  This was also where I started to really fall in love with this city.  Just walking around with no real plan or place we had to be was the best.  The buildings in Lisbon were seriously so gorgeous. And I loved watching the famous tram 28 rattle up and down the narrow cobblestone streets!

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We wandered all around Alfama (the old historic area of Lisbon) which is all tiny narrow streets and lots of steep hills and stair cases and I just LOVED it.

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We finally got to our apartment and our amazing hosts left us Portuguese cheese and sausage (which my mom and I – being the Wisconsinites we are – had a good laugh about coming all the way to Portugal and being greeted with the same thing we put out for guests in Wisconsin) and Portuguese wine and a basket of amazing Portuguese baked treats. Including our first taste of the pastel pastries which are famous to Portugal and SO SO SO good.  Our apartment also had a KILLLER view. We were on top of a big hill overlooking the whole city and our apartment had a cute little porch with a hammock and basically I could have spent my 3 days in Lisbon right there!

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You could see the monastery to the left and the Castelo de Sao Jorge we had been on earlier that day straight ahead.  I have lots of shots of this view throughout this post!

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Such a pretty city!!

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We were pretty darn tired, but we knew we needed to have a good dinner to make up for our less-than-good lunch, and we knew it was best to stay up as late as we could into the evening before crashing.  So we decided to head back to our Airbnb hosts restaurant and grab dinner.  And of course we walked because that’s really the best way to see everything!

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Luckily our dinner was AMAZING and we promptly realized we just had a bad experience and Portuguese food is actually phenomenal!  I don’t really have any good pics of it, but I do have a killer shot of our view at night with the city lit up and that I took when we got home and right before I fell dead asleep!

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The next morning we were up early for a full day tour to some of the nearby little cities outside of Lisbon – Sintra and Cascais. We did a tour with Lisbon Riders and the owner, Nuno, was our tour guide and he was AWESOME. Such a cool guy.  We were also very happy to see it was nice and sunny and warm out so I got my wish of not having a rainy cold vacation! :)

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After walking around the village of Sintra we headed WAYYY up the hill (it reminded me of driving in the mountains in CO!) to the Pena Palace.  Which is basically exactly what my own personal castle would look like if I had the means to build myself one!

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I LOVED how colorful and big and over the top it was!

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Look at those colors!

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The palace is build WAYYYY up high so from their big porches and verandas and walkways you can see for miles and miles all the way to the ocean and the towns and you can see even an old defense castle on a nearby hill!

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Talk about a view. When your castle has a view of a castle!

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How amazing is this place. Built right into the rocky hillside. LOVE.

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Then we were off to see the ocean. Which is one of the reasons I loved the idea of Portugal. I love the Ocean. I love the smell and the sights and the seafood!  It was obviously too cold for us to go INTO the water, though I love to swim in the ocean too.  But check out this VIEW!  What an amazing little town.

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The upside of a tour is that we had people readily available to take real photos for us and not selfies!

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We then went to a nearby family-owned restaurant for lunch.  It was a very Portuguese place. As in, we were the ONLY people who spoke english there.  It was packed full of Portuguese people.  Which is how I knew I was about to eat some EXCELLENT food.  My mom and I shared a fresh sea bass. Which you get as a whole fish – bones and head and tail and all! – and was SO SO SO good I had that same meal like 4 more times during my stay and various places.  Also the grandma is the one out at the big grill cooking up the meats for everyone. And she was ADORABLE. She saw me hovering nearby clearly wanting to peek and what she was doing and take a photo, but not wanting to disrupt her. And she waved me over with a big smile on her face and using basic hand gesture sign language she showed me all the things she was grilling up and let me take some photos and I used my VERY minimal Portuguese to tell her the meal was “muito bom” which means “very good” and she just was the cutest lady. I love her. And she was so indicative of the kinds of people we met all over Portugal. They were the NICEST people. They loved talking with us about our home in American and our trip to Portugal and they’re so proud of their country and were so excited to show it all off to us!

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Then we headed out to the western most point of continental Europe, known as Cabo da Roca.  It was gorgeous and a pretty cool thing to know you were at the far end of the continent!

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We could not get over the size of the waves on the coast. They were HUUUGE and they were so cool crashing against the rocks!

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This photo does not do the massiveness of these waves justice. They were HUGE.

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After a very full day of touring and eating we were back at your apartment just in time for this AMAZING sunset view from our balcony. Holy moly it was a stunner!

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After watching the sun set for a bit we walked down back into Alfama to wander around in the nice weather and beautiful dusk before dinner.  All over the city they have these Miradouros which are basically view points but we were told they translate more directly as “golden views” and every one we stopped at was amazing!  This was my personal favorite one and I loved it especially at this time of day when the sun was nearly set and it was so colorful and beautiful.

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This is going to be blown up on my wall as soon as possible!!

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The next day we woke up bright and early (thats not true. we both slept in and lounged around a bit before hitting up a nearby pastry shop for breakfast ;)) and went off to check out the river front neighborhood of Belem.  Sadly, it was a day when none of the museum and monuments and public places down there weren’t open for us to go into, but we could still see them all from the outside so we made do!  Starting with the Presidents house!  We even saw a guard change!

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All over Lisbon they use white limestone mined in Portugal combined with black cobble stoned to make patterns on the sidewalks.  My Mom especially loved them (she has probably 25 different patterns photographed in her phone) but I had to grab at least a few shots with them!

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The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was the one thing I was the most sad wasn’t open that day because it looked SO cool form the outside!

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Then there was the huge monument to the discoveries (Padrao dos Descobrimentos) which was far more impressive in real life than any of the pictures I had seen online!  And from the monument you could see a great view of the April 25th Bridge which is just like San Francisco’s golden gate bridge!

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There was also the Torre de Belem which was really cool!

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Belem’s streets were a little more wide open than where we were staying and had previously been in Lisbon, but it definitely wasn’t lacking color or character!!

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Love these little streets!

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Then we had lunch at Time Out Market which had been highly recommended to us by the family that had been on our tour the day before. It’s half an open air market where you can buy local fresh food and fish and meat and the other half is a big room of stalls for local restaurants where you can get pretty much anything and everything you could ever want!!  We didn’t branch too far out of our comfort zone here (mostly because I was really overwhelmed and really hungry haha) so we just got Pizza from one stall and burgers from another. BUT!  They were some of the best pizza and burgers we’ve had EVER!  We were talking about how we’d heard from so many Portuguese people already how much they love food and take great pride in their food so even though pizza and burgers were very normal american things for us, they made them SO well compared to a lot of what we can get here in the states. Also – especially with their burgers – they really branch out with their ideas. So I had burgers with Portuguese cheese on them and they have unique flavors and sauces and breads – they were definitely not just burgers with american cheese and ketchup!

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We spent the afternoon walking around some other new neighborhoods of Lisbon soaking it all up

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We rested up that night then before and early train trip to the south of Portugal!  Part 2 coming tomorrow!! -Katie

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Denver Family Photographer :: Laila is 6 months old!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOOOVE the 6 month old age!! And Miss Laila brought her A game with lots of smiles and the cutest chubby cheeks, I just wanted to eat her up!!  Check out this fun family shot! :)

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SO CUTE!

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Love all of these!

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Yeah, she’s THAT cute!

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Favorite family shot!

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So glad we had some nice spring weather for our shoot Nitta family! -Katie

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