Settling into Leiria

It has been a rough week or so, but things are starting to settle down and get better. Earlier this week we left Sintra and came to Leiria. We stayed for 3 nights at a hotel right by our new apartment. That was a tough transition because there was so little space. We rented two hotel rooms, but it was still a tight squeeze and we missed having a kitchen and refrigerator. We moved into our apartment a few days ago. Before we did so, we were able to buy mattresses for everyone. That’s all the furniture we have at the moment.

Sofia helping with grocery shopping

Things went wrong with the apartment pretty much immediately. Kyle noticed that there was no hot water. He contacted the landlord and she told him to just turn on the water heater. He tried for 2 hours, but it wouldn’t work. He called her again and she agreed to come over. After some time she figured out that the gas line outside of the apartment had not been connected.

At that point we had hot water, which was great, but we still couldn’t get the radiators to work. They use hot water to heat the house. That first night was pretty bad because the house was freezing. We all bundled up as much as we could, but we were still cold. At bedtime we realized that none of the bedroom doors close, which sounds super trivial but matters to me since we have such young kids and don’t want them wandering the house alone right now. At 3 in the morning Leo found his way into our room. Poor guy was probably freezing.

At that point, Kyle went to try the radiators again and he noticed that the water heater was pouring water out. He called the landlord and she told him how to shut the water off. So then we were freezing and had no water. And Leo wouldn’t go back to sleep.

I think that leads to yesterday. I was super grumpy and hated everything. I hated the apartment, I hated Leiria. I was just exhausted and frustrated. The day before yesterday we had a few frustrating encounters and some people were rude to us. People told us it was a fluke and that people in Leiria are usually nice, but I was still feeling weird about those interactions. So back to yesterday- we decided that a fun day was in order, so we put off shopping and trying to furnish our apartment.

We went to downtown Leiria and spent the day walking around. They have the Christmas stuff all set up and it just adds to the charm. When we first got to Leiria I really missed the charm and beauty of Sintra and Lisbon. Well, downtown Leiria is charming. I like it there. Our apartment is a bit further than I want, but once we settle in it won’t be such a big deal.

One of our last stops yesterday was an ice cream/ coffee shop. They have some of the best coffee I have ever had. They also have boba ball smoothies that Sofia loves. It’s nice that anywhere we go now is somewhere we can go over and over again.

Ice cream with a shot of espresso. Yum!

While we were out we signed up for phone/internet/cable. We got a Black Friday deal for 61 euro per month, which makes me really happy. We were paying $150 just for two phones in the US. We also have fiber optic internet, which is awesome.

Last night when we got home the cable/internet people showed up at the same time as the maintenance guy and another guy to fix our water heater. So it was pretty busy in the house for a while, lol. At the end of it all we got hot water, working radiators, doors that close, and internet. Our TVs were delivered too, so at least we have TV now. It’s amazing how much life improves with some hot water, heat, and TV. I’m feeling a lot more optimistic today.

Trying to get furniture has been a challenge. Our cards get declined when we try to make big purchases. We have daily limits but we’re not sure what they are. Our cards get declined when we try to make online purchases. I know banks here take security seriously, which isn’t a problem as long as you’re not trying to furnish a house. I think we are going to have to try making smaller purchases to get stuff. Hopefully, we can get some furniture in this week. For now, it’s just nice having a kitchen and showers back.

We are completely out of clothes, so we’re trying to catch up on laundry. Until now we have been using laundromats, but we have a huge patio and a drying wrack now, so we’re finally doing our laundry the European way. Our patio doesn’t get sun until afternoon, so I don’t think we will have clean/dry clothes for a while. A day at home sounds perfect right now though. Fingers crossed that we can get some furniture in here this week!

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