My adventure across the pond has started and earlier in the week I was in London, essentially for business at the Global European Marketplace and it was, in my opinion a very successful show. It was very nice to connect and re-connect with people and renew partnerships which is what it is all about. Of course, a little fun as well. Not really, just wandering and had my obligatory fish ‘n chips, at a place near my hotel, but it was not even that good, and did not even compare to what I had in the east end a month ago, or when I have been to Brighton, but it filled me up and that was what was necessary. In any case, a good start to a month plus on the road culminating with my arrival in Italy.
After an amazing morning and afternoon, I also enjoyed a foodie tour called the Porto Progressive Dinner and my guide was a young lady named Sara, and it was a very pleasant evening. This was originally arranged through Eating Europe and for the record, I can arrange any of these experiences for you and I can vouch that they are authentic, so let me know. The history, culture, food, wine and beer over 4 of 5 stops was very nice and while I was the tour, it is generally, in high season 10 to 12 people, sometimes more, but being November, I was the only one, so it was more of a conversation, not just one person guiding another person, which I am quite sure, for her, was a bit uncomfortable at first, but in the end, you know, the old and the young lady, but she realized, that I enjoy a good conversation and it made the evening very pleasant. Again, any time you can get a chance to mingle with the locals and try their foods and learn about their culture, the better your experience is going to be.
As you all know, when I plan travels for my clients, the more immersive the better, but always building in the down time is also good to wander around and find your own nooks and crannies and I am not talking about English muffins. And that, is what I did today, wandering the streets of Porto, and crossing the bridge to Gaia and then back to Porto, for what else, my 73rd Hard Rock experience, and it was a franchise, but the vibe was great and as I always make a reservation, identify myself and the times I have been to Hard Rocks, and again, ask for the iPad, when I arrived, they said, we have been expecting you and addressed me by my name and was given a special table near the Hard Rock Porto sign. Yes, it was More Than A Feeling and the food, consistent, the service excellent and the vibe, well, when you can pick the songs and about 20 picked, and the usual suspects of my top 4 or 5, and plenty more, it made for a nice lunch time experience and one, as you know I will always recommend, but the people were wonderful and even though their stock of shirts were low, they said, they would get them in tomorrow, and WhatsApp me, with the options in the correct sizes and send them to the Lisbon Hard Rock when I arrive into Lisbon in a few days’ time, which I thought was going above and beyond.
In the end, it was a wonderful two days in Porto, and certainly not enough, and I write this, I am back in London for WTM, or the World Travel Market, one of the large trade shows in the world and will be for three days before I, yes, wait, go back to Portugal. Yes, I know, crazy, but I am the Wandering Puffin, so this was how I had to make this work, so I am excited to connect and re-connect with people there over the next three days and I may even sneak away to visit clients from Minnesota on the 8th of November before they fly home, as I have never met them in person and I thought it might be nice. In any case, the next three days will be busy and then I hit the road again and, in the end, 19 days from today, I will be with the love of life as she will be meeting me in Venice after my conference there and look forward to an amazing 10 days together, but that is for later.
Until next week, and greetings from London, for this very nomadic puffin, thank you for your support of my crazy little world and of my small business. It is truly appreciated, and as always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this.
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin