In Honour of the Mitsubishi

The somewhat unnamed guest (or host, rather) on all of our Portugal adventures was the purple and silver Mitsubishi, the pick-up truck of Kevin’s late grandfather, Avô Eugenio.

This mammoth of a truck represents countless memories for Kevin and his brother, who spent their summers in the Algarve with their grandparents.

Until recently, Avo Maria kept the Mitsubishi in her garage, where it took up approximately 95% of available space. I’ve never seen a truck-to-garage ratio like it, and I was impressed both times I watched Kevin park it back in there.

During our time in Portugal, we also made our fair share of memories in this truck. A thoroughly Algarvieu vehicle, we’re not sure it had even seen rain until we road-tripped north of Lisbon with my brother, Tyler.

It was the driver of many interesting off road adventures, allowing us to explore and appreciate the Algarve in all of its glory. It took us across the Algarve, and north into Lisbon several times. Its rear gearing wasn’t exactly highway tolerable, so we always took the slower country roads all through the Alentejo. Thanks to the truck, we know an outrageous amount of back roads and countryside routes.

Through most of our time in Portugal, Kevin drove me everywhere in the Mitsubishi – roadtrips, dinners, beach days, and more. When Kevin’s best friend Mark came to visit, I actually learned to drive a manual transmission so that I could chauffeur the two of them to and from the Algarve night life.

My adventures with Kevin and Mark popularized the phrase “give it the beans” in my life, and also resulted in one of the funniest events I ever witnessed in the Algarve: Kevin and Mark soaking wet eating and drinking out of the back of the Mitsubishi as Albufeira morning traffic began. After a night at a Kiss Night Club foam party, we couldn’t go home without snacks. So I parked the Mitsubishi (a foot away from the curb) and they turned the back of the truck into a dining room. I’ve never seen two people laugh so hard in my life.

This amazingly pristine vehicle, a 1995 Mitsubishi pick-up truck, was recently sold to a British expat. And so ends our adventures with the wonderful purple and silver Mitsubishi. Pretty sad, actually, but we’re both carrying a ton of memories forward.

Photos below of our adventures in the truck:



Life with a garden in Alte

The garden at Avo Olimpia’s house in Alte is not just for lemon trees and orange trees. It’s also a place for herbs and flowers.

Many, many flowers. In particular, roses.

When I was growing up, my grandparents had a truly incredible rose garden. I frequently remember walking through the garden with my grandparents, examining the roses, learning their names, and choosing favourites. I’d never expected to experience rose-induced nostalgia, but as winter ended and the roses began blooming in Alte, it hit me. And it kind of freaked me out, too. Kevin and I would walk through the garden, he’d pose question about a flower, and I’d know the answer. For a small amount of time, I felt the like the Jason Bourne of gardening. Totally weird, but also nice to be reminded that there is lasting evidence from that time in my life, beyond simple memories.

Beyond roses, the gardens in Alte are filled with the types of flowers you typically only see in bouquets in Canada. The weather here is far more forgiving, which means that plants which die during the winter at home actually survive here. Not only do I get to see unique flowers, I also get to see flowers that are larger than I’ve ever seen before.

Take a look below to see some shots Kevin has captured in the garden over the past couple of months. Beautiful colours, beautiful flowers, beautiful memories.