Obrigada, Gina, for a memorable day, seeing next year’s vacation home!…What a pleasure!

View from the Garden Café this morning as we waited to disembark in Madeira, Portugal.
Gina and I in the kitchen. We can’t wait to sit on the barstools drinking coffee and enjoying the view of the sea from almost every room.
Another view of the wraparound veranda.
The drive as we left the house in the Riberia Brava area.
We entered one narrow tunnel after another on our drive around the island.

Today, reminded us why we chose to travel the world. Enmeshed in another culture while driving through the winding mountainous roads of the quaint villages of Madeira with expansive views of the ocean around us, we felt enriched and in awe.

Gina, owner of the home we’re renting next year was excited to show us the house.The 20 minute drive on the winding mountainous road was breathtaking.
The winding barely traveled road from the house was easy to navigate.
Gina said we are welcome to pick the fresh organic vegetables daily from the garden her fathers tends to each day. He’ll also deliver free range chickens to our door.

Our future home for almost three months beginning May 15, 2014, we looked at this port of call with different eyes than one would look on an excursion from the ship.

Another view of the garden from our future home.

Comfortable living room with leather sofa, WiFi, TV with some US stations, sound system and extraordinary view will make us feel right at home.

Cozy working fireplace in living room.  Unlikely, that we’ll use it during the spring and warm summer.

Gina, owner of our future home, albeit short term, met us promptly at the pier welcoming us in broken English with universal hugs while giddy with enthusiasm.  Warmth and charm exuded from Gina in a manner that captured our hearts as we all chatted on endlessly while listening intently to decipher the meaning of her words.

The well appointed kitchen had everything we need, including a bottle of fine red wine Gina will save for us.
The kitchen was well equipped with dinnerware, pots and pans, serving pieces, wine and beverage glasses along with many utensils.  Gina lives across the street and offered to bring us anything else we may need.  Of course, we’ll invite her and her husband Carlos for dinner. Carlos speaks no English, but perhaps by then, we’ll speak a little Portuguese.
Nook area off the dining room.

Somehow, we managed to communicate well enough to enjoy the hours we spent together in and out of her Citroen, touring the 35 mile long island, crossing its many bridges, traveling through its multiple narrow tunnels, all the while reveling in the unique design of its homes and buildings, entrenched in rich history and tradition.

Didn’t see too many of these in the US, although quite common in other countries. The home has three full bathrooms. Perhaps, I will select one exclusively for me, the one with the Jacuzzi!
Oversized bath with Jacuzzi. 
With three bedrooms, either of two could be the master with two en suite bathrooms as well as a third guest bathroom.
All areas are modern and well equipped.

As we maneuvered through the narrow winding roads on a 20 minutes drive, Gina took us to see “your house” as she frequently referred to the awe inspiring home we’ll be renting next year. 

Plenty of room for guests!
View from the veranda.
Third bedroom with king bed, private veranda and Jacuzzi bath.

Pulling into the tiny driveway, she steered us to the wooden front door to reveal the home exactly as it had been pictured on the rental website, that in person, illustrated a warmth commensurate with her charming demeanor. 

Intriguing stairway to second level.
Every turn presented an interesting view, The opposite side of the island was less desirable with cloudy and rainy weather.
The colorful narrow roads held one interesting view after another.
We’ll never tire of the quaint neighborhoods.
An outdoor restaurant in Funchal, known for its fresh local seafood was recommended by Gina.
We walked along the boardwalk in the town of Capanario, near “our house” as described by Gina.
More narrow roads, lined with upscale homes on the road to Funchal.
Many of the road were one-way and driving was on the US standard on the right side of the road.  There were many round-abouts, tunnels and bridges throughout the island.
The road, as we neared the Port of Funchal.
Our future home.  Perfect for us. I wanted to move in today, but we cheerfully tucked it away for yet a year to come with so much to anticipate in the interim;  a cruise to Dubai including a 13 night stay, a Mediterranean cruise, two to three month stays in homes in Tuscany, Kenya, South Africa and Morocco, all before we return to Madeira.
Colorful buses and tourist vehicles busily moved through traffic.

Ah, please pinch me.  Tom, on the other hand, easily settles into the reality of our lives on the move, while I engage in childlike wonder at the prospect of it all.  Together, we make a good pair of world travelers, filling in the blanks for one another while tempering the excitement to a manageable level.

View of our awaiting ship, the Norwegian Epic. 

Yes, obrigada, Madiera, for welcoming us to your little piece of the world.  Next year, we’ll share our stories with our loyal readers from all over the world. Obrigada dear readers, for sharing this journey with us.

Back to our current home, the Norwegian Epic, for seven more nights.Then, one night in a hotel in Barcelona. Then on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
For more information on this wonderful vacation home, please visit Gina at her Facebook page.  She’s quick to respond to email inquiries and uses Google Translate for English translations.

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