Our Europe Adventure: Legging Problem and American Health with Brooks Hollan

Have you ever done something amazing…then waited WAY too long to do it again?

Well, I had not been to Europe in over 30 years and recently made a two week trip where I explored Portugal, Spain, and Gibraltar with my husband Brooks.

While this blog will be great…you can see all the video highlights pinned on my Instagram page.

Our Europe Adventure, Legging Problem, and American Health with My Husband Brooks Hollan pin

That said…

Many of you followed along on social media and had a lot of questions about what we did, what we saw, how we figured it out, and what travel agent we used.

Let me tell you, I used a really crazy expensive and VERY hard to book travel agent.

It’s called my husband!

Just kidding.

Well, not really. Because he actually really did a great job on that…and I’m just guessing he’d be expensive because he put a lot of work into it…and it showed.

For this podcast, it was a bunch of firsts. First time having my husband on, and first time just having a fun conversation about a trip.

We each share our perspectives, what we saw, what we did, what we learned, and we bring YOU along for the ride!

As promised in the podcast, we’ve linked everywhere we stayed below.

Lisbon – The Intercontinental Hotel We started our trip here, and the last night of our trip was here. Had to get the breakfast buffet one last time before heading to the airport! (4 nights total)

Then we went back to the airport which was about 15 minutes away to pick up the rental car we would use the rest of the trip. We drove about 2.5 hours south to the Algarve area.

Algarve – Porches – Vila Vita Park – This place was incredible! We extended our stay 2 times here. Ended up doing 4 nights. Probably the nicest resort we’ve ever experienced. Rooms, food, views, pools…nice gym too! I literally wanted to move/live here forever.

Drove about 3.5 hours and entered Spain. Super easy, no physical border crossing. Went past Seville and down to Jerez.

Jerez de la Frontera – Casa Palacio Maria Luisa – A beautiful boutique hotel in the walking district (no cars!). Wish we had time to spend another night here. (1 night)

Had a beautiful 1.5 hours drive to the British Territory Gibraltar. There IS a border checkpoint, and you will get a passport stamp.

Gibraltar – Sunborn Gibraltar – The world first floating 5-star yacht hotel. We stayed here for 1 night, as the main reason for this stop was to see the Rock of Gibraltar.

Brooks was totally excited about seeing the Rock of Gibraltar as he remembered a lot about it from when he was in school. I had never heard of it…lol.

Definitely worth a full day to experience it. The history, the caves, the WW2 compounds, and of course….the wild monkeys!

We left the next day, and had about a 5.5 hour drive to basically the middle of nowhere…lol. It is an area in the country of Portugal called Barrocal which is not far (about 4 miles) from the Castle at Monsaraz.

Portugal, Barrocal – São Lourenço do Barrocal – This is basically a boutique 5-star experience on a 2000 acre farm that has been in the same family for over 200+ years. Watch the into video they have on their website (we got to see the wild horses…while on our own 2 hour horseback ride).

This is a certified organic farm to table resort. They make their own wine, honey, and olive oil. Not to mention their own fruits, herbs, etc. it was incredible!

There are only about 30 rooms here…all build into what were parts of the farm/winery. This is nature at it’s finest. You get free access to a mountain bike when you stay here, if you want to explore more than just by foot.

We did a 4×4 tour of the property with a guide. We also did a 2 hour tour of the property by horseback. Brooks could have called this place home.

Because we booked through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, we had 4pm late checkout. We left about 3pm and made the 2 hour drive back to Lisbon for our final night at the Intercontinental.

All in all, it was an amazing trip where we stayed in 5 different places…from city, to beach, to historic, to a yacht, to a farm.

Hopefully you take the time to listen to this episode, and we look forward to your feedback!

The best way to see pics and video from the trip is on the “Portugal” and “Spain” highlight on my Instagram page @nataliejillfit.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Posted by Midlife Conversations with Natalie Jill

I help simplify complicated health topics for MIDLIFE women so you can OPTIMIZE aging and thrive at any age!