Shari and Michael’s Portugal Honeymoon
Shari and Michael Directo of Los Angeles married on June 1, 2013, in Santa Barbara, California. The two newly minted M.D.s had only 10 days between their wedding and their first days as resident physicians in pediatrics (Shari) and internal medicine (Michael), but they managed to squeeze in a Portuguese adventure that took them from boating through sea caves to learning to savor sardines.
Length: 10 days
Breakdown: Three nights in Cascais, three in The Algarve, three in Lisbon
Flight time: 16 hours from L.A. to Lisbon, with a stopover in London
“We were planning on stopping by Cascais just for lunch, but I’m glad we spent some time exploring it,” Michael says of the town about 20 minutes south of Sintra. “It was right by the beach, with beautiful shops and restaurants.”
Hotel They’d Move Into If They Could
Shari loved staying at Onyria Marinha (from $175 a night), a “gorgeous, modern hotel with a great spa,” just outside of town.
Reality TV-Worthy Moment
When the couple sat down to a private dinner at Penha Longa Resort (from $175 a night), set among the mountains and lakes of Sintra, a half-hour west of Lisbon, “there was a special menu and rose petals sprinkled over the table,” Shari says. “I felt like I was on The Bachelor!”
In The Algarve, a beachy swath of southern Portugal, Shari and Michael took a boat ride through the Benagil sea caves. “We sailed through tiny openings in the caves, which were unbelievably beautiful—the colors ranged from orange and copper to yellow and green,” she says. “On Benagil Beach, it’s easy to find a captain to take you.”
Event of the Season
“We happened to be in Lisbon for the annual sardine festival, so there were fresh sardines on the grills of every restaurant in town,” Shari says. “I was hesitant at first, but I ended up really liking the meaty part of the fish.” Adds Michael, “Portugal’s seafood was one of my favorite parts of the trip, and I’ll never forget the aroma of grilled sardines while we walked around Lisbon.”
The couple stocked up on painted ceramics from Sintra’s A Esquina (Praça da República 20). “We bought tile trivets, spoon rests, and bowls for friends and family at home,” Shari says.
More Take-Home Treats
The pair also brought home bottles of their favorite fizzy Vinho Verde and Sabores da Cozinha Algarvia
by José Vila, a cookbook from Adega Vila Lisa in The Algarve.
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