As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
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We woke up and read our cards from each other and our DDís, we enjoyed the same breakfast as yesterday.
We then headed out to Alvor, about 15 minutes from where we were; we found a place to park and walked around looking in all the shops. I did notice quite a few British tourists in this area, as it was fairly early in the morning I imagine that many of them had rooms in this town. I found a cork store and was very excited, they had cork jewelry, ties, shoes, pants, you name it, and of course some beautiful purses (I wished I had waited to buy my purse, but there was not so much cork available last time we were here).
After walking around the town, we headed back past our hotel to the Algarve shopping mall in Guia.
We arrived hungry so we decided on a Mediterranean counter service, I had a Greek salad, DH had a small salad and chicken pita. I was expecting feta cheese, but instead found it to be a Portuguese cheese; it was ok, but not the same. Once we finished we walked around the mall, DH was treating me to a ring for our anniversary. I was not looking for anything expensive or flashy, just something unique. I tried on lots of rings, but had no luck finding what I wanted.
We left the mall and stopped at a large home improvement store and had a look around, both DH and I enjoy looking at different types of stores like this and grocery stores when we are in other countries. Portugal up until recently did not have shopping malls or home improvement stores, it was usually small independent stores, markets and grocery stores. And there still are lots of small independent stores around.
The Algarve is well known for its pottery and I love this stuff, so we headed to our favourite store. They make all the items there and it is a fairly big store. We wandered around, and I really tried not to buy anything as I have nowhere to put anything, but I did pick up a few wall tiles and some gifts. When we retire and live in Portugal for 3 or 4 months I am going to invest in a Portuguese pottery set of dishes. We headed back to the hotel and relaxed for a while.
We got ready to head out for dinner and I surprised my DH with a new dress I had purchased. I am definitely not a dress wearing kind of girl, so my DH was very surprised and quite happy with my choice.
We headed out to Cafť del Mar, where we were seated with a nice view of the ocean. We shared a bottle of wine, I had chicken piri piri and fries, DH had halibut with bananas, potatoes, beans and carrots. He was not sure of the banana sauce, but thought he would give it a try, and he really enjoyed it. For dessert I had chocolate mousse and DH had a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, we really enjoyed our meal.
My mousse, some how I did not take a picture of my dinner.
We went for a walk on the boardwalk to the pier and light house, taking pictures as we went, I had to have proof that I do wear a dress every 20 years or so. We stopped in the Casino on our way back. It was very smoky, and I do not do well with smoke, so we tried a few games with no luck and headed out. It was not enjoyable at all, itís a shame they still allow smoking everywhere in Portugal.
We headed back to the room and called it a night. It was a great day just spending the time together and enjoying each otherís company.
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Enjoyed our buffet breakfast again today, we left the hotel at 9:00 am and headed to Lagos, it took us an hour. We found the marina and booked a dolphin boat trip for 12 pm.
Since we had a few hours to kill we went for a walk along the river that lead to the ocean. There were quite a few little shops to stop in and even an indoor market, we also saw some kind of small castle, so we headed that way. It was called Fortaleza, a small fort; we paid the entrance fee and headed inside. We walked around in all the little nooks and crannies and then headed up to the top. There were some really cool art pieces (not sure really what to call them), that I liked, good thing they didnít sell them as I would have had to figure out how to ship them home.
We headed back to the marina for 11:45 and boarded the zodiac boat at 11:55. It held about 15 people, we were with a group of special needs adults and the young man next to me really enjoyed the trip, letting out shouts of joy each time we hit a wave. It was a 2-hour trip out into the ocean and unfortunately we did not see any dolphins, so I was a little disappointed, but it was a fun experience.
We were pretty hungry when we finished the tour and since there was a pizza hut on the dock thatís were we went for lunch. I had a small pizza with pineapple, chicken, and peppers; DH had a bowl of soup and a chicken quesadilla.
We then headed out of Lagos and went north for about an hour. We programmed the GPS for Foia, the highest point (902m or 2540 ft) in the Algarve, in the Serra de Monchique hills. Of course the GPS decided it should take us on all the back roads and at one point I donít even think what we were on could be considered a road. We made it to our destination but it was very foggy and we did not get as good of a view as we would have liked. We walked around and took some pictures and then headed back deciding to follow the 2-lane road this time.
We returned to La Gioconda Pizzaria from our first night as we had really enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. We decided to order a pitcher of Sangria, as we have never had it before. I wasnít nuts over it but my DH really enjoyed it so it all worked out. I had the meat tortellini with cream sauce, bacon and mushrooms; DH had soup, spareribs, salad and fries. It was a very good meal once again. We stopped along the way back to the hotel for ice cream, I had chocolate caramel and DH had rum raisin.
We relaxed, updating photos and chatting with the DDís.
Lunch Ä 20.00
Dinner Ä 32.20
Dolphin Tour Ä 50.00
Fortaleza Tour Ä 6.00
Up next: Last day in the Algarve, and my favourite chicken dinner
Great day in Lagos! (Every time I read "Lagos" I think "Nigeria" and think you've had a VERY long day's drive!) Sorry you didn't see any dolphins, but it must have been a very scenic boat ride. The castle, or fort, is an intriguing building. The terraced hillsides (and the donkey!) are wonderful and it really seems to be one great meal after another here. I think the Department of Tourism should hire you. I'm ready to book a trip right now.