A Travellerspoint blog

Kauai Day 8: Coming Home

sunny 97 °F

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We spent Monday night in San Jose, and travelled home on Tuesday, to get home before Daniel has to start the new school year on Thursday. On Tuesday morning, we visited with Daniel's family.
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Aubrey trying on her grandma's glasses.
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"A spider!" Aubrey kept saying there was a spider there. None of the rest of us could see it. She seemed genuinely scared at first, until we saw what it was: the light shining through the crystal on the window in the door. Once Aubrey understood what it was she stopped being scared and started joking by yelling "Bah! A spider!" and running from it.
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After visiting for a while we headed to Fresno. In Boston we had left some of our souvenirs with Catherine's parents, so this gave us the opportunity to recover them. Luckily, they were watching Calista and Cecilia and Gabriel. Throughout our trip we have been buying gum everywhere. We've bought gum in Portugal, Spain, Boston, San Francisco, and Kauai. Calista and Cecilia love gum, and Catherine had told them that we would get them a pack of gum in Portugal. They were surprised and delighted by the large amount of gum that we actually had for them (Gabriel, who isn't old enough to chew gum, got tic-tacs).
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Finally home after our long journey. We have one full day to rest before Daniel has to go back to work. We have loved our entire time away, and can't believe that we had such a beautiful opportunity.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:56 Archived in USA Tagged home spider gum gabriel cecilia calista selma aubrey gum_pile tic-tacs dalton Comments (1)

Kauai Day 7: Until We Meet Again

semi-overcast 84 °F

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Today we had to leave Kauai and head home. We went to the airport, turned in our car, and waited together for our boarding time. Unfortunately our seats were all separate, but we were able to switch and trade until we could be pretty close to each other.
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Us on the plane, sitting together after a seat trade.
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Us with Daniel's cousin Robbie, who was sitting in our row.

We have had such a wonderful time during our trip on Kauai, and are so thankful to Daniel's grandma who took us all on this wonderful experience!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:46 Archived in USA Tagged airplane robbie depart leave aubrey aloha_oe Comments (0)

Kauai Day 6: Malasadas, Shave Ice, and Mai Tais

semi-overcast 84 °F

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Today we went to mass at the oldest parish on Kauai, St. Raphael's. Unfortunately the mass time we attended was in the very modern new church rather than the old one. After mass we went to a bakery to get malasadas. Malasadas are, essentially, doughnuts. The word comes from Portuguese, and literally means "badly roasted" or incompletely cooked. We got one that was plain, one that was chocolate filled, and one that had a surprisingly good-tasting black bean paste.
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Afterwards we went to lunch in Koloa with Daniel's parents, Hilary, Aubrey, and Daniel's grandma. We had a very nice lunch together, and talked about the idea of going to Kauai again next year.
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After that, we went to get shave ice. Aubrey was trying it for the first time, and really liked it!
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After lunch and dessert we went to Kalapaki beach, where Duke's is located. We decided to rent a standing paddle board to try what that was like. Catherine preferred to swim, but Daniel went out for a bit on the board.
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It was fun, but a bit stressful learning to balance and stay up. It does feel very majestic to skid along the top of the waves.
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Mai tais and a light dinner at Duke's.
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Catherine has had at least one plumeria for her hair every day of this trip.
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When we got back to the house we went for a walk to Shipwreck Beach, which was beautiful. Tomorrow we have to leave, but we hope that we can come back soon!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:36 Archived in USA Tagged church mass aubrey mai_tai duke's shave_ice koloa paddleboard malasadas st._raphael's kalapaki Comments (0)

Kauai Day 5: Picture Perfect

semi-overcast 84 °F

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We slept in a bit today, and started our day by driving to Koloa for lunch at the food truck courts. Daniel got a spicy green curry, and Catherine got curly fries with Kalua pork. It was very delicious. Afterwards, we looked at this memorial to the various immigrants that made the sugar industry possible, including the Hawaiians, the Anglo-Americans (called Caucasians on the plaque), the Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Koreans, and Filipinos.
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Daniel's mom met us in Koloa after lunch (she and Daniel's dad and Hilary had been in Hanapepe) and drove to Kapaa so that she could buy a ukelele. Daniel had bought a cavaquinho (the Portuguese ancestor of the ukulele) in Porto, but had broken a string and wanted to get it replaced. The shop, Kauai Music and Sound, was excellent. Kate was able to get a tenor ukulele, and Daniel got his string replaced and some advice about how to tune and play the instrument. Also, we had been dreading the traffic that seems to haunt the island on the weekdays, but on the weekend our road to Kapaa from Koloa was perfectly clear. Catherine thought we looked like a troupe of wandering minstrels.

After this, we headed back to Koloa/ Poipu to get ready for the party. Daniel's parents were hosting the entire family at their house, and Hilary had set up for a photographer to come and take professional portraits of the family.
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We took a lot of pictures right outside the house, then walked down to Shipwreck Beach to take some near the ocean.
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Aubrey walking with Daniel's grandma and Daniel's Aunt Vickie.
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Catherine with Aubrey. Daniel found a tree with pink plumerias to give to Catherine, Kate, Hilary, and Aubrey for the ocean pictures.
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Aubrey with a pink plumeria.
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Catherine with a pink plumeria.
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Us during the photo shoot.
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There was a ping-pong table in our garage, and so we had chairs around the garage and people were able to play ping-pong during the party. It was a lot of fun, and we think everyone enjoyed the party.

Posted by danielcatherine 20:35 Archived in USA Tagged traffic party filipino portugal hawaii chinese pictures hawaiian kauai catherine korean daniel kate portuguese plumeria ukulele cavaquinho aubrey koloa kapaa ping-pong Comments (0)

Kauai Day 4: The Grand Canyon and the Rest of the Southwest

semi-overcast 82 °F

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The first thing we went to see today was the Russian Fort, Fort Elizabeth. This was built by Russian representatives who had the idea of making the Kingdom of Hawaii a Russian protectorate. It is a complicated historical incident, but it seems likely that Kaumuali'i, the chief of Kauai, was simply trying to enlist Russian help in gaining independence from Kamehameha. The fort operated as Fort Hipo under the Kingdom of Hawaii for some time before being dismantled.
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The fort looks over the spot on the Waimea River where Captain Cook first landed in Hawaii, and (according to the plaque) was mistaken for the god Lono (Catherine pointed out that the "explorer mistaken for a god" story seems too common to be true in every case in which it has come up).
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Afterwards, we visited the town of Hanapepe. Hanapepe is home to the westernmost bookstore in the United States (meaning that on this trip we have seen the oldest bookstore in continuous operation in the world, and the westernmost in the United States. Perhaps we should start an "extreme bookstores" blog). The store is called Talk Story, and was a very nice little shop. They had an extensive collection of vinyl records, but these would have been hard to transport home so we mostly looked at the books.
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Hananpepe is famous for something else as well: it is the town that inspired the setting of the movie Lilo and Stitch. Last year, before we went to Maui, Catherine thought that Daniel needed to watch this movie before we went to Hawaii. We watched it and both enjoyed it. Catherine was very excited to see the town where it all took place.
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There are numerous art galleries around Hanapepe, including this koa wood gallery that has beautiful furniture and art. There was an incredible koa wood dining table with eight chairs, but at $18,000 we thought it was a bit out of our price range.
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We had some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches with macadamia nut pesto for lunch.
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And then some guava and lilikoi shave ice for dessert!
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After this we toured the Kauai Coffee Company plantation. We thought it might be very similar to the Gorreana Tea Plantation on Sao Miguel, and we were right! It had a self-guided tour through the coffee fields, and a free tasting, as well as a gift shop and cafe where you can buy coffee and other merchandise.
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The coffee trees. This plantation supplies half of Hawaii-grown coffee.
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They harvest it with a blueberry harvester.
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More pictures on the farm. They dry it on these covered patios. The plantation has a view of the ocean, just like Gorreana.
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We tried many different types of coffee, and ended up buying some as a souvenir and as gifts. It was very good, and Catherine said that she would be willing to drink some of the flavored coffees black.
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A picture of our rental car, which has been a wonderful car. It is roomy and comfortable and fun to drive.
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We then started driving up to Waimea canyon, "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific." There were beautiful views all along the way.
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The views from the top were especially beautiful. It really does look just like the Grand Canyon. The colors are spectacular and the depth of the view is amazing.
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We went back to the Koloa/ Poipu area and swam at Poipu Beach. It was very rocky, but we were able to walk along a ridge for a bit, then swim back in.
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We went to dinner at Bangkok Happy Bowl, which was delicious. We had been wanting Thai food for a while. There was live music, which started with one of the songs from Moana, which we thought would have impressed Aubrey.
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And after dinner, we went to Brennecke's Beach Broiler for some after-dinner drinks. It was a wonderful day!

Posted by danielcatherine 17:41 Archived in USA Tagged canyon music thai russia poipu waimea shave_ice koloa hanapepe lilo_and_stitch fort_elizabeth Comments (0)

Kauai Day 3: Pineapple Princess and the Dancers of Fire

overcast 81 °F

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Started the day with the same breakfast we had regularly in the Azores: sweet bread, pineapple, and passionfruit juice.
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Then we headed off to Hole in the Mountain Farms/ Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapples for our second pineapple tour of the month. The sugarloaf pineapple is white and lacks much of the acid and fiber that the typical yellow pineapple has. Our tour was led by the owner of the farm, who had a great deal of scientific information for us. It was interesting to the adults, but our niece and nephew Aubrey and Dalton preferred to play near the car with Daniel’s dad.
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The inside of the leaves of the pineapple contain the respiratory cells, which the farmer explained are kept closed all day and only opened at night, which leads to great drought tolerance.
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A pile of “slips,” which are produced by pineapple plants and can be grown into new plants.
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A cover crop of sunn hemp or Crotalaria, which is planted in used pineapple fields to restore nutrients to the soil. The farmer says that Hawaii’s soil is very poor, but that the temperature makes things grow well nonetheless.
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Some pictures of the pineapple fields.
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Us in the fields.
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The flowers, or baby pineapples. These grow right with the mature pineapples, which is very different from how it is done at Arruda Ananás or at Maui Gold. You learn so much by touring multiple pineapple plantations.
Then we had the opportunity to plant pineapples. Some of the tour started wondering whether we had been tricked into performing agricultural labor and paying for the privilege.
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Daniel’s Uncle Peter planting a pineapple.
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Daniel’s cousin Gretchen planting a pineapple.
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Daniel planting a pineapple.
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Catherine planting a pineapple.
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Daniel’s mom planting a pineapple.
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Daniel’s Aunt Jackie planting a pineapple.
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Us again.
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We also got the chance to pick our own pineapples.
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Pineapple Princess redux.
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After this the farmer, Jude, cut some pineapple for us and let us try it. It was delicious. Very sweet and low-acid. Jude was convinced that we would no longer like yellow pineapple, we agreed that we still like yellow pineapple, especially Maui Gold.
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They also make pineapple frosties, out of nothing but pineapple. They were pretty delicious.
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After a brief rest and change of clothes at the house, we went to the luau.
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Catherine with her Blue Hawaii.
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A beautiful rainbow formed as we were watching the beginnings of the hula show.
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Us under the rainbow.
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Some pictures of the show, with dancers performing dances of various Polynesian cultures, including Hawaiian, Samoan, and Maori dances.
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The fire knife dancers were very impressive. Some of them danced with two fire knives, and some crouched on top of each other while spinning the knives. It was a very impressive show.
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Aubrey loved the “pink tree.”

Posted by danielcatherine 02:05 Tagged new_zealand hawaii maori sugarloaf luau pineapple polynesian samoa pineapple_princess fire_dances blue_hawaii hole_in_the_mountain Comments (1)

Kauai Day 2: Plantation Railroad

overcast 80 °F

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We started our day with the Kauai Plantation Railroad. Apparently, Aubrey has wanted nothing but to go on a train and see pigs.
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Both of these were fulfilled by the Kauai Plantation Railroad. We had the opportunity to feed the pigs (tortillas, their natural food source in the wild) and see the large numbers of piglets. Apparently, there are 400,000 wild pigs around the island.
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Various plants around the plantation, including taro, cashews, macadamia nuts, octopus tree, ti plants, etc.
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After this we went to the double waterfall at Wailua Falls.
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Then we went to lunch at Duke’s Barefoot Bar which is at the beach. We had a wonderful dinner at Duke’s on Maui last year, and we had an equally delicious lunch this year.
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Some pictures of the area around Duke’s, with plumeria trees and the ocean.
After that, we went to Daniel’s cousin Jerry’s birthday party. He is turning 27 today, and the party was at the house where his family is staying. It was a nice party, and a great first full day in Kauai.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:03 Archived in USA Tagged train birthday plantation kauai jerry pigs ti 27 taro duke’s Comments (0)

Kauai Day 1: Time Travelling

semi-overcast 84 °F

While our group...
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Visited beaches...
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Snacked on Portuguese food...
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And watched the Running of the Bulls on Terceira...
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We flew through the air, first from Boston to San Francisco and then from San Francisco to Kauai. Our flights were not bad: from Boston to San Francisco we sat in front of Catherine’s parents, and next to a woman from Boston who owns a ranch in Oregon. We had a nice conversation with her. After our flight, we parted ways with Catherine’s parents and flew to Kauai. Our seats were very nice because we had an empty third seat in our row.
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We got to Kauai, rented our car (which turned out to be a Jeep) and drove to the house that Daniel’s family is staying in. Our room is very comfortable and the towels are folded into a turtle. We are very excited to start this leg of our trip, and to explore Kauai!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:49 Archived in USA Tagged food beach san_francisco portugal seats boston kauai bulls Comments (1)

Portugal Day 18: SATA Plane!

semi-overcast 78 °F

While our group...
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Climbed Pico...
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And went sailing on Jose Antonio’s boat...
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And Daniel’s family saw seals and turtles in Hawaii...
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We were saying our goodbyes to Faial and flying on the first leg of the journey from the Azores to Hawaii. Our first stop was Boston.
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Our hotel was across the street from Fenway Park, and a game had been played earlier that day. Our hotel was a historic building, and had been the venue for some of the plotting in the 1919 fixing of the World Series. It was a somewhat odd and dated room, but we slept well and were glad to have a chance to rest after our flights.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:20 Archived in Portugal Tagged turtles boat hawaii boston pico sata faial jose_antonio Comments (0)

Portugal Day 17: Semana Do Mar

sunny 80 °F

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Walking to mass in the morning. We went to the church up the hill, which is newly renovated and open for the first time in over 20 years.
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The mass was very nice. Fr. Michael concelebrated, and was able to distribute communion and speak Portuguese enough to do so. An elderly woman in front of us had some health issues during the mass, which was a bit worrisome. The fire department came in and helped get her to medical attention.
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Underneath the church is a very nice grotto. We went down and said a prayer for the woman who was having trouble during the mass.
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Throughout Horta there are several monuments to this man, the Duke of Ávila and Bolama. He was born in the house next door to where we are staying.
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Later in the day we went to Castelo Branco to see the church where Anthony’s grandfather Antonio Furtado was baptized. Antonio left Faial when he was thirteen years old and never went back.
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We believe that this is the grave of an ancestor of that Antonio, maybe his father or grandfather.
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We went to lunch at Peter Cafe Sport, where Katie and Anthony tried the tuna and linguiça sandwich. We played it safer: Catherine got a steak and Daniel got chicken curry.
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We had been told that the procession would go by Peter’s, but we weren’t seeing it. Daniel went on a walk towards Porto Pim, but didn’t see any sign of the procession.
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Then, we saw we had been looking the wrong way. The processions started at sea!
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It continued on land. The priest from mass this morning gave a short homily in Portuguese, then they began processing with the statue and the marching band back towards Porto Pim. We watched for a while.
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We then went to the Semana do Mar festivities. It was a lot of fun. Our last night in Faial is somewhat bittersweet, but we have had a wonderful time.
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A delicious waffle and ice cream shop.
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Enjoying the festivities.
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Michael and Catherine convinced Daniel to wear all three of our commemorative Semana do Mar mugs, and then began to put coins in them.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:14 Archived in Portugal Tagged priest ships waffle tuna procession curry steak mass horta semana_do_mar porto_pim peters_cafe_sport linguiça Comments (0)

Portugal Day 16: “The Isle of Home is Always On Your Mind”

all seasons in one day 77 °F

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Today, Pico was completely clear, and we could see it easily from the street where our house is located.
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There is a large monument commemorating the founding of Peter’s Cafe Sport one hundred years ago.
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Some views of Faial.
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This monument to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception overlooks Horta from the hillside. It was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
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The view from the outlook, and some pictures of us with the view in the background.
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This bull, acting like Ferdinand among the flowers. We felt that his Ferdinand would only be temporary if he were provoked in any way.
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Our next stop was Cedros, where we could visit Aldina’s Restaurant. Aldina is Catherine’s third cousin, not on the Andrade side but on the Escobar side. Catherine’s great grandmother, Maria Escobar, was from here and was a sister to Aldina’s great grandmother. Aldina owns a grocery store and restaurant in the same town where their great grandmothers grew up.
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Catherine trying the lapas at Aldina’s. She says she really likes lapas, but Michael says she really likes garlic and lemon.
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A soft, mozzarella-ish cheese with a hot pepper sauce.
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Delicious bacalhau (cod fish) com natas. We’ve tried this a few places, but none of them have been as good as this.
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Rice and French fries, both of which were good. There was also some pineapple pork, which was also very good but we didn’t get a picture.
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Dessert was an ice cream cake.
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After lunch, we went towards the house where Catheine’s Great grandmother was born and raised. Anthony remembers her as his “Grandma Andrade” who lived with him when they were little. It was an amazing experience to see the house. Unfortunately, it has recently been sold to a French couple who is seriously renovating it, but for now no one was there and we were able to see it.
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Catherine has heard before that her great grandmother was born in “a red windmill.” She had the story slightly wrong: she was born near the red windmill, which can be seen from the house.
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Some pictures of the house and the view from the house. Michael keeps asking why his people would have left. Life was hard here, we hear, but it is still hard to imagine leaving. We talked about the song Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears which is about Irish immigrants but seems applicable to the situation of Maria Escobar when she left. Thus, we titled our post for today after the song.
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Some pictures of the family around the house. It was an emotional experience for Catherine and her father and his siblings to see the house.
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Escobar descendants in front of their grandmother’s house (alternate caption, suggested by Jill Leal: Escoballin’)
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Praia do Norte, where the Andrades are actually from. We took some pictures here, which was a nice opportunity.
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Next, the Capelinhos lighthouse ruins and eruption site. In 1957, a great deal of land was added to Faial by this volcanic erruption. People died in the earthquakes the caused houses to collapse, and the land was ruined. People had to dig for crops that had been planted above ground. Catherine’s family was in America already by this time, but many more recent immigrant families left when the United States created a relief act to allow Azoreans to immigrate easily to escape the destruction of the volcano. The entire large hill to the west is new, having emerged from the ocean in the erruption.
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This picture shows the new land very well.
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Daniel attempted to take a picture of the group talking, but Jill started dancing mid-picture. It shows everyone was having fun.
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We stopped to go swimming at Castelo Branco. Interestingly, while Catherine’s Andrade cousins live in Castelo Branco, they actually came from Praia do Norte. Her Furtado relatives came from Castelo Branco. We went swimming in a little pool connected to sea water, and then in a natural lava-rock swimming area.

Faial looking tropical and beachside.
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After that we went down to the waterfront to see the festivities. It is amazing how late it goes, and how people of all ages seem to come.9AB8312C-5EF1-4448-8A4D-D1A8FA74C219.jpeg
Katie with a SuperBock beer.
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Dinner at a little barbecue-oriented place. We ordered chouriço, bread, and some cheese to make sandwiches. We also had the opportunity to have some ginja in edible chocolate cups.
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They were selecting the queen (rainha) for the Semana do Mar, which consisted of girls walking down a runway with music playing and people being able to vote by phone or Facebook. Apparently a queen was chosen after we left.
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Some beautiful buildings in Horta.

Posted by danielcatherine 13:14 Archived in Portugal Tagged food queen house family rainha cedros horta lapas aldina’s escobars praia_do_norte bacalhau semana_do_mar Comments (1)

Portugal Day 15: Insane

all seasons in one day 69 °F

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The first thing we did was drive up to the Caldeira do Faial, the giant volcanic caldera in the center of the island (the island is fairly round, or slightly pentagonal). There is a hike around the entire Caldeira, which most of the group did. Catherine and some others stayed at the vista point and walked a little bit onto the trail.
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At first, there was a great deal of fog. It was a very nice hike, but it was impossible to see anything particularly interesting besides the trail. Nonetheless, it was very pretty and the weather was pleasant.
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A sign showing the distances to the various places from here.
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Then, it cleared up beautifully. We could see all the way down to the Caldeira and all the way to the ocean, including a view of São Jorge.
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The hydrangeas are abundant around the Caldeira.
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To quote Fr. Michael “if I had to pick one phrase to describe this view, it would be ‘insane in the membrane.’”
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A small chapel at the end of the hike.
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Faial at its most tropical-looking.
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I don’t have many pictures of this, but we went to Varadouro, which is a beautiful swimming spot among volcanic rocks that seems to be pronounced the same as Barad-dûr , Sauron’s evil fortresss in Lord of the Rings. While the dark volcanic rocks and jagged crags do look a bit like Mordor, it was a very pleasant place to swim. There are large coves in the ocean equipped with ladders, diving boards, etc. Most of us jumped into the ocean, first from the ledge and then from the diving board. The waves make it a sort of wave pool, and the water is cold but rather pleasant in the heat. We had a great time swimming there.
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After this we went to the home of Jose Antonio, who is Catherine’s third cousin. His mother is Natalia, who’s mother was Maria. Catherine’s grandfather Tony visited Maria in the Azores shortly before Maria died. Maria’s mother was Ana, whose brother Francisco was Catherine’s great grandfather. There are more pictures from this dinner, but they were taken on other people’s cameras so we will post them later. We had a wonderful dinner, and enjoyed visiting with the family. Our lack of Portuguese skills was a bit of a problem, as they spoke limited English and the older generations did not seem to speak it at all (although we learned that videos of cows dancing are the universal language. Which, if we had to describe in one phrase...). Also, we must learn to make arroz doce.
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After this, we walked down to the waterfront. While Semana do Mar has not yet officially started, there are already many stands with food, concerts going on, and people out late. It was a lot of fun to walk around and look at everything.
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Usually in California, Portuguese festas are held at halls called “I.D.E.S. halls.” This stands for Irmandade do Divino Espírito Santo, or Brotherhood of the Divine Holy Spirit. It was interesting to see that they have the same society here in the Azores.

Posted by danielcatherine 07:08 Archived in Portugal Tagged shrines rice family faial insane_in_the_memebrane caldeira hydrangeas jose_antonio dancing_cows Comments (0)

Portugal Day 14: To Donny!

all seasons in one day 69 °F

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Today we flew from São Miguel to Terceira, then from Terceira to Faial. We booked our flight along with Katie and Anthony, but when we got there they had a direct flight and we had a separate flight. We got on a plane that was bound for São Jorge, which was stopping in Terceira, and then had to get a different one that was heading to Faial. Katie and Anthony had to get on one bound for Faial, which was stopping in Terceira. They had to get off the plane on Terceira, go upstairs, then get back on the same plane. We all got to Faial nonetheless. It was an emotional experience for Catherine to see Faial, the island where her ancestors lived for hundreds of years.
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Some pictures of Horta and our house.
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Michael said that he was going to go to mass at a nearby church. He invited us to come with him to the 6 PM mass, and then set off. We followed and got to the extremely beautiful church.
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Michael ended up getting to concelebrate the mass. The priest from the parish, also young and newly ordained, is visiting California soon for a festa, but couldn’t remember where he is going.
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Afterwards, we went to the house where Catherine’s Aunt Marie (Sis) and Uncle Bob, and her Uncle John and Aunt Terri are staying. It has a weirdly placed oven, but also a nice pool. We got pizza delivered by a company called California Pizza (not California Pizza Kitchen), which is owned by a man from the Azores who used to live in Fremont. It was a very nice evening.
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After dinner we walked down to the waterfront. Horta is a major stopping point for yachts going across the Atlantic, and people often paint murals to celebrate their arrival here.
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A castle near the waterfront.
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We went to Peter’s Cafe Sport, famous for their Gin and Tonics and for being a popular spot for anyone who visits Faial, especially on ships. It was Don Santos’s birthday, and we had planned to meet him there and celebrate. We toasted a few times “to Donny!” before he arrived. Then, he arrived. When he walked in, we all raised our glasses and yelled “to Donny!” The customers at the other tables joined in (probably thinking that Donny had sailed here). Donny was so happy (his nephew Dominic told us that this had been his best birthday ever). We were sure that being in the land of his people and being toasted and proclaimed in the bar were very memorable experiences.
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Us with Anthony and Donny.
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The moon over Horta and Pico.

Posted by danielcatherine 08:11 Archived in Portugal Tagged church sao michael anthony katie miguel mass homeland gin faial donny to_donny peter’s gin_and_tonic Comments (1)

Portugal Day 13: The Mouth of Hell

all seasons in one day 74 °F

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Some pictures of our house in Ponta Delgada. It is three stories, and has very nice common areas. Our room is in the attic and has a very low ceiling, but is nice and comfortable nonetheless.
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A quick breakfast of local pineapple and a toasted bolo lêvedo (basically an English muffin) with jam.
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Our first stop was a mountain with an excellent view, especially of Lagoa do Fogo (lake of fire...but it seems to be full of water.). The fog and mist made it difficult to see some of the view, but it was still wonderful.
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What the Azoreans call a conteira, also called kahili ginger.
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After this we visited a distillery that makes a variety of liqueurs that we were able to try. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, so there aren’t any here.
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Next we visited the Gorreana Tea Plantation, which is one of two commercial tea plantations in Europe, both of which are in São Miguel.
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Around the “factory” and the fields of Gorreana. No one was sorting or processing tea today, but we got to see the machines and the fields where the tea is grown.
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Us in the field.
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Us with Katie in the field.
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Us having some tea, with a mysterious figure behind us.
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Having fun at a picnic in the rain (there were shelters available which we used. Plus, we had the whole place to ourselves.)
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Next, we stopped at an old aqueduct that is no longer used. We weren’t sure when it was built, but it was fun to climb to the top of it!
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Another viewpoint: Boca do Inferno (the Mouth of Hell). It doesn’t look particularly hellish at the moment.
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Sete Cidades is named for the legend of the Seven Cities (which is related to legends such as Atlantis, Hy-Brasil, etc.), but really has no cities, just a small village and some beautiful lakes. It was around this time that Catherine and her cousins started discussing the idea of pooling our money and buying a house here.
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We went swimming in this piscina, which really means swimming pool but here seems to imply a place near the ocean that is set up for swimming. The water was somewhat cold, but it was still an incredible experience. It really felt like the ultimate wave pool. EEE35487-BD0D-484E-B721-C617E24F5712.jpeg
We had a great time.
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A São Miguel street scene.
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Dinner was at O Galego, said by some to have the best steaks on the island (though our tour guide, whose brother-in-law owns a restaurant, thought otherwise.) Neither of us eat a lot of beef, but we both got our steaks well-done and they were in fact enjoyable. For some reason, in the Azores steaks are served with a fried egg on top.
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For dessert, the waiter asked if we would like chocolate mousse or pineapple. Daniel took this to mean that we had the choice between chocolate mousse and pineapple mousse, and ordered the chocolate. Catherine correctly ordered pineapple, which proved to be simply half a pineapple on a plate. After dinner, we met a lot of our group and the other group (Don, Marcia, and Dominic) at Doris Bar by the marina. We had a wonderful day and can’t wait for Faial tomorrow.

Posted by danielcatherine 17:39 Archived in Portugal Tagged food marina tea guide swimming tour egg steak plantations azores pineapple piscina ananás ponta_delgada são_miguel boca_do_inferno doris_bar Comments (1)

Portugal Day 12: Food From a Volcão

semi-overcast 75 °F

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Today we set off on our tour around São Miguel. Our group separated into two vans, with younger people in one and older people in the other. Our driver, Paulo, was a police officer who leads tours in his free time. The other driver, Igor, lived in England for some time but was from the Azores.
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Our first stop was Cerâmica Viera, in Lagoa. Catherine loves the blue Portuguese tiles and pottery, so we had a great time touring the various rooms, including the painting and the sculpting areas. She decided to a purchase plate with a hydrangea on it, although we also thought about getting a piece of religious artwork out of tile like almost all of the houses here seem to have.
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More of the beautiful scenery as we drove around.
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Tobacco cultivation. They grow tobacco and make cigarettes with it on São Miguel. Smoking seems to be very popular.
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More scenery.
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We stopped at a little beach area, where there was a swimming pool filled by the ocean water.
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There were fishing boats coming in. Every boat seems to have a religiously themed name and a small image on the bow.
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More scenery.
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We went to Nossa Senhora da Paz chapel, where apparently some shepherd children saw an image of the Virgin Mary. We hadn’t really heard much about the miracle, but it was a beautiful church.
As you walk up the steps, every landing has a tile image of a different mystery of the rosary, starting with the joyful mysteries.
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303AB87A-D463-4593-B395-9953376A9313


The Annunciation.
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The Visitation.
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The Nativity.
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The Presentation in the Temple.
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The Finding in the Temple.
Then the Sorrowful Mysteries
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The Agony in the Garden
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The Flogging at the Pillar.
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The Crowning with Thorns.
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The Carrying of the Cross.
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The Crucifixion.
58C98EB3-FE61-42EB-AD15-574A795AA8C2.jpeg484A0D0F-258F-4AF1-9D8F-FFDA1CA9DAD9.jpeg86ACAF72-BB17-41E9-82AE-36FD61B3F3BA.jpeg99677A9A-9888-41D5-8756-9F18F9C85C5B.jpeg6182BE80-33DC-43C5-8E9B-55188515EBEA.jpeg3468CBBF-B26B-4C98-ADF7-7C4E3C54BA4F.jpegB635648D-94A2-4157-B280-52B06050CB51.jpeg62B9D778-14D8-4887-82DE-A2ACFE5331DF.jpeg7F9C8C80-7138-4338-87C3-C659CD5E72AA.jpeg232950E8-9362-4D6D-97E9-F1B56103376F.jpeg
Some pictures of the chapel and from the chapel. It was a beautiful place. The staircase appears to have been build in the 1960s, but the church is older. We did wonder where the Glorious Mysteries could be found, and then we found them behind the church.
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The Resurrection.
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The Ascension.
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The Descent of the Holy Spirit.
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The Assumption.
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The Crowning of Mary.
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After this, we went to Lagoa das Furnas, where there were beautiful gardens around the lake.
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The Capela de Nossa Senhora das Vitórias, apparently built after the owner of the property prayed for his wife to get better when she was sick. She lived, so he built the chapel.
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Around the lake. The Azores feel like Hawaii mixed with the Pacific Northwest.
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The geothermal cooking pots where they make cozido das Furnas.
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A beautiful picnic of volcano-cooked food for us. One of the ingredients, morcela (black pudding) was familiar to Anthony and his brothers from their childhoods.
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Next we stopped at some volcanic hot springs. There was a beautiful garden near the hot springs.
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Taro, or inhames as it is called here. It is a very common food, and was an ingredient in the cozido.
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More of the garden.
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The springs are very warm, and are a very different experience from most swimmimg. They are murky and sort of intimidating, but rather pleasant once you get in.
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Some refreshments and a picture of the gardens.
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We stopped at one last viewing place to take some pictures and see the beauty of the ocean and the island.
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Catherine’s cousin Nicole wanted Italian food, which sounded good to us too. We walked down to the marina area and found a restaurant with Italian, Japanese, and Azorean food. After we ate, we met up with Ryan, Michael, and a person named Dominic, who is the nephew of Anthony’s cousin Don Santos. We walked to a place called Doris Bar. We had a couple local beers (there’s an Azorean beer called Especial) and tremoços (lupin beans). Dominic talked about his adventures in Terceira last year, when he ran with the bulls during the festa (on the television screen at the bar there were “highlights” of bullfighting and bull running disasters). It was a very fun night and we had a great time, and feel so lucky to be here in these beautiful islands

Posted by danielcatherine 07:23 Archived in Portugal Tagged islands volcano beautiful beauty pottery bulls rosary tile cozido são_miguel tremoços taro inhames Comments (0)

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