Day 39: Farewell luncheon, UPon Lisbon and Stir Fry! also some "indoor hockey"

So today it was nearly 40 degrees (95 degrees Fahrenheit) so it was very hot and sticky. Just for reference. Apparently June 2019 was the coldest June that Lisbon has had in the past 20 years, so, ha! I wasn't just cold for no reason.

But yes! this will be a brief blog because it's late and I've been waking up early to do yoga--even if it's just for 10 minutes--so, I need to sleep soon.

Today at work I finished up a larger task--though I've started a project that will likely take the remaining days I have at the embassy, but it's a slow, slow process. But a fun and ultimately rewarding one! Anyway, today we had a farewell luncheon for one of our Foreign Service Political officers who will be leaving us within the next week, which is sad. It's an emotional experience, because though everyone is working together now, a year from now the embassy will be filled with a different mixture of people altogether. In this world, you never know who will be your coworker again in the future or if you'll never see someone again. It's bizarre but it creates also a very interconnected world. Anyway, we had lunch at a restaurant and this was the fancy-looking appetizer of bread and sauces:

Then, after work, I went over to a fellow Intern's apartment at the Upon residence, which has a pool, because it was just so freaking hot today, and there isn't really AC in my apartment. I don't know exactly what I'll do these next 3 weeks if it stays this hot, but maybe I'll get into the habit of bringing some reading to the embassy and staying late but in the AC'd common spaces there... I don't know. There's a fan in my room and I can also quit being such a wimp. Anyway, after swimming for like two and a half hours and chatting, we made a dinner of stirfried ramen noodles, with some veggies and eggs and chicken. It was a soy and ginger based stir fry, and pretty simple, but it was good. I had made Guacamole two days ago in my meal prepping spree, so that was a fun appetizer before swimming. The pool has a beautiful view of the Benfica stadium, but I didn't take any photos...this time. I hope sincerely that there is a next time, because it was so nice to swim.

We shared a bottle of brazilian soda, which has Guarana flavoring (picture of the fruit below stolen from google images). it tastes a lot like carbonated apple juice, and I don't want to think about how much liquid sugar I consumed just now. But it's tasty and gives energy, so it'll be okay.

Then after dinner, we planned a trip to Sintra and explored her television in her bedroom, which is locked in a funny reflective glass cabinet, so we didn't know how to watch the TV at first. We're both from New Mexico, so when we saw this sport, we thought, "oh it must be indoor hockey" because it looked like ice hockey but on roller skates and no ice. We watched it for a little while before Brianna said "but wait... ice hockey is indoors, too...." and I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm taking a friend from home out to eat dinner in a Portuguese restaurant (to take the pressure off of her in finding a good one for her next few days here!) She's studying in Spain and visiting Lisbon for the weekend with some other friends, so I'm excited to meet them!

Much love!

Day 38: Welcome Reception and other work!

So, today, all the photos you see in this post aren't taken by me. I don't really have a good reason except that I have had an extraordinarily busy day at work, and I was taking photos all evening after work, but since they were all from the embassy camera, I don't have access to the photos (though I hope to back post some of them soon--I stole some from the Embassy facebook to show you).

I realized this morning that including today, I have 15 days of work left. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I have so much planned and there's so much on my plate for upcoming projects and ongoing activities--I am kind of overwhelmed. Then today, after work, I went straight to Rami and Patrick's home, where they got ready for tonight's festivities at the Ambassador's residence. I was to take photos of the event on the camera, since many previous embassy functions didn't have photographers, so it was a bit of a heavy lift to make up for past neglect. However, it was a lot of fun because I got to meet many of the embassy's contacts and talk to a lot of staff at the embassy, as well as the Ambassador and his wife.

Their garden, largely thanks to Mary Glass' expertise (her training is as a Landscape architect), is gorgeous and enormous, considering it is in the center of Lisbon. However, it was a part of the Open Gardens of Lisbon event, whose facebook I pirated these photos from. I was instructed not to take photos of the garden lest I accidentally photograph something I shouldn't, so I am hoping these photos are approved, at least:

The event itself was a welcome reception for 3 members of the senior staff (the "country team") and 2 others. It was a lot of fun, and the catering at these things is always delicious. I had quail eggs, bacon wrapped dates, little breads, and a number of other things--I'm worried that these will leave me a little hungry tomorrow, but I made EXTRA oatmeal for tomorrow morning in case I have a large appetite. It's kind of interesting, but I've been slowly increasing the amount of oatmeal I eat in the morning, and I feel like I'm just constantly getting hungry. I don't know if it's because I am missing some nutrients (though I have been eating fine!) or if it's because of the times I've been eating, or something else. I noticed this last summer, too, though, that I had a much more intense drive to snack on large amounts of food between normal-sized meals. Here I go, talking about food again, even though I don't even have any food photos! wow. Here's a photo of the Ambassador, Mary, and the new arrivals to the Embassy!

Much love!

Day 37: Florence Mangin, Bitoque, and Meal prep

Today Is going to be a shorter post because yesterday I went to bed at the glorious hour of 10:45 and I'd like to get as close to repeating that as I can (though it's going to be tricky) because I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in a long time. I don't know quite what it was, but nothing can compare to waking up feeling like I'm in the right place, I've done all I can to prepare for this day, and it's going to be great.

Perhaps part of it was that today I would be Notetaking on a meeting between our Ambassador Glass and the Newly appointed French Ambassador to Portugal, Florence Mangin. I've been working on the briefing checklist for this meeting since mid-June, so it was cool to see all my work (and the work of many editors) come to real life in a way. Anyway, after that I got some other interesting tasks and I tackled them with glee. It helped that the cafeteria in the embassy now has ice cream--my glee can be extended dramatically with the help of ice cream.

Anyway, I learned today that tomorrow's schedule will be such that I don't have time to return home for dinner--and if I do, it would be for only about 30 minutes--before I am volunteering to take photos at a reception. I'm super excited, because receptions are fun, even if I have to work, and I came upon the realization that my access to these sorts of spaces and opportunities is extremely limited. I'll be here and I'll be gone before I know it, and my time here is precious experience and filled with opportunity to learn and grow. So I spent my time today, before going out to dinner with some housemates, prepping lunch and dinner and breakfast for tomorrow. I made Peanut satay sauce with curried tofu, which I thought came out pretty good :)

Tofu with cilantro and such--a lunch or dinner for tomorrow :)

Peanut butter, coconut milk, Lime juice, soy sauce, and cayenne/garlic/onions are the ingredients I used for this satay sauce! Ana, one of my housemates, said she would hire me as a cook if she could (after trying the sauce) so I would say this is a success!

Then I went out with some housemates, chatted about politics more, and enjoyed a Bitoque--a fatty cut of beef grilled and served underneath a sunny-side up egg with fries and rice on the side. Carb-heavy, but yummy!

Much love!



Day 36: Flying back to Lisbon

Today, I bid my family farewell and made my way back to Lisbon after a yummy lunch of spaghetti and a car ride that I accidentally dozed off in. I tried to sleep on the plane but my back and neck hurt so much that regardless of the position, I was uncomfortable. This means I probably got enough sleep in the days prior--only when I am pretty sleep deprived can I manage to fall asleep on planes. Instead, I read and finished Tiny Beautiful Things, which, though it is a book that is better experienced in small pieces than in one fell swoop, made me cry heartily as the Danish couple next to me pretended not to glance over in concern. I don't know. It just made me remember all the things I have to be grateful for but also all the things that make life so sad. I miss people so much. Here is a handful of miniature Haribo that was so cute it also made me cry about how small it was. Maybe I just really needed to cry today and any reason was taken.

Enough. It was a little bizarre to fly back into Lisbon on the same flight path over the city as I took just over one month ago. Now I recognized landmarks like the Christ statue, the Lx Factory, the Necesidades park and palace, the Basilica Estrela and the adjacent park, and of course larger land marks like Marques de pombal and the Parque Eduardo VII, Praca do commercio, and the St. Jorge Castel. On one hand it's nice that I can see and recognize so much of the sites in Lisbon from the plane. On the other hand, though, it means that the planes are really close to the city and the air can be noisy. Flip sides to everything.

A word to the wise: (and also to those who anticipate coming to Lisbon to travel) the airport metro stop is probably the worst place in all of Lisbon to buy a metro ticket. There were over 100 people in line for the machines that dispense and recharge the tickets, where in normal metro stops these machines sit alone in a corner. I don't know what I advise instead--perhaps Uber--but the time that I was in the Aeroporto metro stop today made me extremely happy I had a card and it didn't need to be recharged. Anyway, I emerged from the metro into the Gulbenkian park and walked home from there, and it was so nice and sunny and warm out that I almost--almost! but not quite!--ate ice cream. *note: the tunnel shown below is not the metro exit, it was just a nice photo. Please don't use this photo as a guide to the metro stop.

Today for dinner I wanted to make something filling and fast. Instead, I meticulously chose my veggies and seasonings to make this summery bowl of Ramen dressed up with cilantro, vegetables and a lime-vinaigrette, which was filling but far from fast. Oh, and an egg. whoops. It was pretty good but maybe a bit too much work to be considered an easy dinner--boiling the noodles, frying the egg, chopping everything up, flash cooking the bean sprouts and then seasoning everything did take some time, but maybe with more people it would feel more easy than doing all that for one bowl. I also bought beer for myself for the first time. Well, maybe not really beer, but a Radler, which is beer mixed with lemonade and it's a nice refreshing summer drink.

Much Love!

Day 33: Political parties, African Affairs, and Germany!

Today started off as a normal day of work--whatever that means. I came to the embassy and soon, me and some other interns were shuttled off to attend a speech that the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs was giving at the University of Lisbon Institute for Political and Social Sciences. In the car ride on the way there, I got to listen to a lively debate about Portuguese politics, which is vastly interesting from the outside perspective, having been raised in a two-party system. topics ranged from student activism to bull fighting, which was fascinating. Anyway, the speech given by Ambassador Nagy was very high-level and broad, but his ability to make the Q&A session afterward work for him and for the United States even when questions were pointedly accusatory or aggressive or tangential or not even really questions, just commentary, was extremely impressive.

See link to the Embassy facebook post here

Anyway, later in the day, on my way to the airport, I saw this sign, which is for the Left Block party about climate efforts. It fit well with the political themes of the day.

Then, it was tchau to Lisbon and Hallo to Dusseldorf as I am spending this weekend with my family in Germany. It was kind of weird to watch the ocean and sunshine world of Lisbon fade away and emerge, two and a half hours later, in a forested/agriculture/city area where the roofs aren't all red. So here are the obligatory plane photos ;)

The airport :)

The ocean in Lisbon--the other side of the Tagus is pictured (this is the side the Jesus statue is on, but it's just barely out of the frame of this photo)

Coming into Dusseldorf

I am so happy I managed to see my family here--it almost didn't work out with days off--and so these weekend blog posts may be a tad briefer as I spend time with everyone here.

Much love!

Day 32: A Relaxing 4th of July--jam thumbprints and stir fry

Today I thought I would go to Cascais, the beach town near Lisbon. However, I slept till 9 and felt so content to read at home and clean my room (finally), so I spent the day mostly at home. I called home and Kat and journalled for a bit and did some other errands, and went about making cookies as a thank-you to Dave for spending the past Sunday with the interns. Spoiler: I stayed home basically all day except to get some groceries and read outside. And it was great. I feel weird about it though--am I wasting my dwindling and precious time in Portugal to just "feel relaxed"? Are days like this going to be regrets later on? On the other hand, this is my time and these are my choices to make. I'll come back to Portugal, I know it. I will hopefully have no regrets. Plus, the house that I'm living in is beautiful and comfortable and feels like home. It's so perfect--there are funny people, there's a kitchen, it's modern and clean, an it's extremely well lit.

The cookies I made were a bit of a wild time. There aren't really any bowls in the house big enough for baking, nor is there a hand mixer besides the blender. However, I made it work (and hand kneaded the dough, which may have made it much fluffier than intended--however I also replaced baking powder with baking soda, so there are several alterations going on here). This is the mess of the cookie dough. I think the recipe I used assumed I had things but that's okay. live and learn and constantly improvise.

The fun part of baking in this house is the attention and curiosity from my housemates. Cookies are a rarity I think (since they're not super tradition) but much loved by the people here, as long as they don't see how much sugar or butter goes into them. Anyway, I had an audience (as I often do when I'm baking here--whether it's crepes or pudding or dinner, maybe I am funny to watch? Laura says that I am). Here are the cookies pre-bake :D

And here they are post-bake. I think they turned out pretty good. They're extremely soft and delicate--one of my housemates said they would be perfect for old people without teeth. I think it was a compliment. I hope Dave and his family like them! After I had packed them up for Dave and fed my audience and packed some up for myself tomorrow, one of my housemates who loved the peanut butter cookies the most came crashing down the stairs for the cookies. I was flattered--like I said, I feel so at home here, even if there can sometimes be a pretty severe language barrier.

Then I napped! after expending so much energy baking and eating cookies and asking awkwardly in broken Portuguese if the tap water has been fixed yet, haha. It was, needless to say, a complete accident. But that's okay. sometimes the body knows what it needs. Even if it just had an espresso, it can sleep for 1.5 hours.

For dinner, I tried to use up the rest of everything that was in my fridge, because tomorrow I'm going to Germany and I don't want to leave too many groceries in my house. I have a tomato and some parmesan and pasta for when I come home on Monday, though, so I feel ready. I made a ginger-soy-garlic-"sweet potato"-brocoli stir fry. I'm so confused about the sweet potato I bought like 4 days ago or something. I thought it was tapioca, but I checked, and the label in the store does say batate doce, and though it doesn't taste or look like a sweet potato I'd eat for thanksgiving or something, it does taste like a vaguely sweet potato? I used an egg too, haha. Who knows what I ate, but it tasted fine!

One of my housemates prepared Carpaccio, which is raw meat cut super thinly, served with tomatoes, arugula and parmesan and bread. it was very good--but I could just see papa in my mind's eye, saying "raw BEEF" incredulously. yes, and I'm fine so far :)

Much love! Tomorrow night at this time I'll be in Germany! woo!



Day 31: GLEX and Independence day

Today was an extremely exciting day from start to finish.

First, I attended the Global Explorers Summit (GLEX) in Lisbon, which was the most mind-blowing, amazing, and inspirational event that I think I've ever attended. And mind you--I've seen Kinky Boots live in Broadway Boston ;) Among the many people I met and got to listen to were amazing figures in Space exploration--NASA Chief Scientist Jim Garvin, NASA program executive Alan Stern, NASA Principal Investigator Linda Elkins, as well as Astronaut and doctor Dafyyd Williams of Canada. Then, there was a term on Ocean exploration, where I heard Don Walsh and Victor Vescovo speak together (each are famous for their deep-sea records set in the Mariana Trench near Guam), as well as many conservationalists and hearing about different projects and startups that seek to innovate how we--as humans of a united planet--will save the ocean and the earth, where species go extinct at an alarming rate. Finally, I got to hear from a variety of Polar explorers: Felicity Aston, Liv Arnesen, and Tim Jarvis, each with incredible polar exploration stories. It was so amazing to hear these stories and look at their expedition photos. I don't even think I could ever express what sort of emotions these speakers started to stir up in me--something between hope and fascination and awe. To get a sense of the drama that the conference was aspiring towards (and, I would say, achieved with grace), take a look at this video:

The building this first session took place in--fundação champalimaud in Belem--looked like something from a utopian future. the view of the Tagus river right outside the auditorium combined with traditional portuguese cork trees made it more connected to Lisbon and Portugal, the location of the building, but I think it could have really been anywhere, it was so futuristic. It was a beautiful venue--and a good one to choose as we're learning about the past and future of exploration. Portugal is such an apex of both--future and past exploration, from Magellan's circumnavigation 500 years ago to the budding space agency today--and this was an awesome way to commemorate this. I probably sound like I'm gushing, but it was just. so. cool. I feel like I learned so much and got to know so much about the world of exploration (which is, admittedly, an extremely wealthy but not extremely lucrative world, so a lot is fund raised or self funded), which before I knew little to nothing about. Also, with a topic like exploration, everyone from Artists to Astrobiologists to Activists to Astronauts to Academics got invited to speak. it was crazy.

I also got an astonishing amount of loot (maybe it's called conference swag or tools or goodies) from the conference, which was cool. sorry for the brag photo, I am just very excited about the free toad bag!

Then, after the conference, I went home and changed in record time for the embassy 4th of July party--themed Western, so I had to improvise a little. That said, I think I did a good job.

It was such a fun party--I spoke for a long time with several people from the German Embassy, as well as the other Interns and their plus ones. There was a live band that played country music all night, and I did the swing, and the jive, and the rumba. :) As well as the Cotton eyed joe, which was pretty great. all in all, it's been an incredible day and a supremely exciting one.

Does that say "Manor House Saloon"? yes, it does.

Did they remove the doors to the historic Manor house and replace them with the saloon style swinging doors? yes, they did.

Was the ambassador's entrance music reminiscent of "the good, the bad, and the ugly"? yes, alas, it was. apparently we have a long way to go when it comes to being aware of cultural sensitivities back at home that make things like that horribly inappropriate in my opinion.

Was there a mechanical bull for people to ride? yeah, indeed, there was.

Hats and beer and hot dogs and country music galore. I think this has been the biggest 4th of July party I've ever been to.

Much love!

Day 30: Dr. Garvin, Chinese food, and Lucas!

Today work was pretty fun, because I got to accompany NASA Chief Scientist James Garvin (with other people from the embassy) on a program of activities at the IST in Lisbon. He also gave a speech which was pretty amazing--I feel like we've been working so hard to get him here, to organize the program on all sides, and to watch him give his talk to a bunch of students was super rewarding.

After work, I finally got to meet Laura's boyfriend Lucas, who arrived yesterday night! I've heard so so much about him and it was so great to meet him.

We had dinner at an Asian-foods foodcourt and supermarket. I had soup dumplings and cold noodles, both of which were fine considering the price. I didn't take a photo of the food before it was eaten, sadly.

Then we walked around and ended up at...Nannarella! yes, artisan gelato two days in a row is excessive at best, but it was so good and besides...Lucas had never been there and it's truly a crucial part of Lisbon to experience. Though I didn't take any photos of the ice cream I had this time (Coconut, Peach, and Raspberry), there was lots to see along the way! I'll never get tired of the architecture in Lisbon, haha.


On the way home, we saw someone painting a mural, which I thought was pretty cool. Also this is Lucas and Laura doing a photo in front of a car like a bunch of goofy people. gotta love 'em.

Anyway, that's all for tonight! Tomorrow I'm going to a conference so I have to wake up a tad (like 20 minutes) earlier than usual.

Much love!

Day 29: Nannarella, Gulbenkian, and too much green curry!

Hello! tonight it's kinda late for a work night--especially with my new goal to do yoga every morning before work--but I just had to iron all of my clothes. it takes time, but at least I only have to do it every two weeks or so.

I wanted to post a photo of my morning breakfast--which is fun and gets more complex every day. This is coconut flakes, toasted Hazelnuts, chocolate chips and hot chocolate powder on my base of oats in oat milk with some brown sugar. I know, I know. It's overkill. But I love it! hehe

Today after work I took a new intern in the Political/Econ Section, Lilli, to Laura and my favorite gelato place--Nannarella. This location, though not as picturesque as the one downtown, is still very nice, on the top floor of the El Corte Ingles. The food court up there is extremely swanky, with gourmet restaurants and fancy imported foods. But the views are fun and the ice cream is reasonable considering the quality. This combination--Cianduia (chocolate hazelnut), coffee, and whipped cream is my favorite.

I quite like the style of the rooftop, it's very hip and modern. It reminded me a lot of China for some reason, and the swanky malls and architecture there.

Then, we walked around the Gulbenkian garden for a while, getting to know one another and chatting a bit. I love the variety of things to be found there--Ducklings! brutalist statues! bamboo! a stream! it's just a nice place to be after a long day of sitting. It's so large and filled with so many small nooks and crannies and paths that I feel like every time I turn a corner I either discover a great new spot to sit and read in private or I encounter a couple who seemed to think the spot was private too.


Finally, I came home and made a tofu-brocolli-tapioca root green curry. Why tapioca root, you ask? well, the answer may make me sound dumb. I thought it was a sweet potato when I was buying it. I was in a rush and it looked about right while I was in the store, so I just assumed it would be fine. By the time I was peeling it to boil it and toss it into my pre-curry-stir fry and I saw the telltale purple skin under the rough brown skin, it was too late. I decided to just pretend it was a sweet potato and add it anyway. It was actually pretty good--it tasted like a potato but the texture was less mushy. Tonight I was cooking with no less than 3 pots--one for the rice, one for the boiled roots, and one for preparing the tofu and frying the veggies and making the curry. I was pretty proud of myself, even though my rice was truly horrible. oh well. I'm getting better at tofu, too, which is exciting. Here's a photo of the finished curry. I'm pretty pleased with myself, in case you couldn't tell from this paragraph of text describing my dinner. ;)

Much love!

Day 28: An Adventure with Dave and the Interns: Nazaré, Óbidos, and Ericeira

Today started bright and early at around 9 am, when we met to go take a day trip to municipalities and beaches north of Lisbon. It was, in short, incredible and fun and amazing, and Dave's expertise when it comes to food is not to be questioned. He's the one who also made the Pizza, and he took Laura, Michael, and I to see some of his favorite places. Warning: this post is pretty darn long. I took a lot of photos today, haha. I'm sorry this post has over 40 photos--this hopefully makes up for all the days where my post is literally just a photo of dinner and me saying I'm tired (i.e. weekdays). Honestly each one of these cities is enough to merit an entire blog post on its own, so I'll try and keep it short. (HA! -Lara, after 2 hours of choosing photos and blogging)


The first stop was Nazaré, home of some of the world's biggest waves due to an underwater canyon that's right off the beach.

It's been the site of some world records for surfing, and the light house at the tip of the peninsula was full of surfboards from famous surfers who frequent the area. However, summer is the calm season, so there weren't any waves to write home about today. At the tip of the peninsula, there were some incredible views of the ocean.

We took some photos at the edge of the peninsula, with the view of Nazaré and the beach and the ocean in the background.

I wanted to go to this rock outcropping here:


It was a bit slippery going down, to say the least, but I've always been told there's no shame in going down on your butt, so I did. :) I know in the video it looks like I'm going behind the bush when there's a perfectly good path right there, but trust me, the better path was behind the bush.

DSCN0232 (sorry if you have to download the video to watch it--I just thought it was kinda funny)

The views from that rock were gorgeous as well, and the water was starting to get more and more turquoise as the sun was coming out. I am so small compared to everything!!! :D it was great.

Then we walked along the boardwalk and scoped out potential places to eat dessert. The beach was beautiful and pretty empty, and I just really loved these boats.

For lunch, we ate at a seafood restaurant, and I was so in love with the clams I tried in Ericeira that I wanted to eat them again. These are in the style of Bulhao Pato, which basically means white wine, garlic, lemon, and coriander. And olive oil. These were delicious. They're so packed with intense flavor and the liquid they are served in was so amazing. I know I've disliked seafood most of my life, and this is just awesome. they're fun to slurp! and then bread dipped in the liquid is so richly flavorful.

Michael had cod and Laura had "an entire flounder". quotes for the emphasis. ;) Dave had some fish that we're not entirely certain what it was, but all in all, it was so good. I was so full after a plateful of clams and a bread--it was awesome.

Finally, we went to the beach after some ice cream and a chocolate filled Berlim pastery (Berliner), and the sand was warm. I'm wearing jeans as you can see, because it was a tad chilly, but there were people lounging in swimsuits, so it's possible that I'm just a little wimpy. That's okay though. It was a beautiful beach (and much less crowded than yesterday's, though to be fair the distance from Lisbon is also far greater so it makes perfect sense. There were not many--if any--non-portuguese tourists out and about).



Partially surrounded by a city wall that is crowned by a beautiful castle, Óbidos is another town, sort of in between Lisbon and Nazaré. It's an adorable town--it felt a bit like talinn with the city wall, but it was just so beautifully quaint.

This was a bookstore that used to be a church--they left the decorative aspects of the church front but removed all the religious iconography, which I thought made it look kind of ethereal and whimsical--without any grounding ties to the christian themes it was built for, it was just a really beautiful space.

We climbed up the city wall (on the portions where it was permitted, a lot of it was closed. it looks like they are renovating a lot here right now, probably to meet the demand of the recent massive tourist influx), and the views of both Óbidos and the surrounding farm fields was really cool as well.

While walking around Óbidos, we had a Ginjinha shot served in a chocolate cup--a very traditional thing that this city is particularly famous for, though you can get them in Lisbon too.

Then, we walked into this tiny bakery that was making massive trays of pastries and breads filled with chorico. This was another one of Dave's favorite places--upon asking him what it was we were about to eat, he said "love". And honestly, it was pretty amazing. This cake was so moist and sweet and flavorful--you could really taste the butter it was so good. I was astonished. It had coconut and orange (which might be what keeps it so moist in the fire stone oven that they were using) and enough butter that it could be tasted.

Other sites and delights around Óbidos:


This was the fishing village and beach that I had visited before, with my housemates. This time, though, we went in the other direction of the coastline. I loved it as much as I loved it the first time.

The city is so idyllic, and the weather was gorgeous today as well.

I love the coast! and the ocean! It's so beautiful here!

I have started spotting the tile that I really love--though there are patterns everywhere, I like to find the more complex designs, which truly are everywhere as well. :)

That's all for tonight--today was super long and I have spent the past 2 hours just typing up this blog, haha. But I'm so full, I couldn't imagine eating dinner. I may just bake some cookies for Dave tomorrow, iron, and call it a night.

Much love!