Sunday, April 26, 2009

Barb's Visit

This past week, our friend, Barb, flew in from Vermont. Matt was away for most of the trip but I had a great time being her tour guide (above picture is of us at St. Jorge's Castle in Lisbon).

Lila at Pasteis de Belem (best cream pastry shop in Portugal)

Pasteis de Nata (cream pastries) warm and fresh

No trip would be complete without tastes of the local cuisine. So, each day I sought out a local dish, local pastry and wine (For those of you wondering - yes, I may have gained a pound or two - I refuse to weigh myself as long as my pants still fit - and they do. Travel and guests visits are "cheat" days. I'm back to being "good." At least for the next few days before we head to Ireland and I surely gorge myself on Irish cuisine and beer) for Barb and I to dine on.

We had some very delicious food and wine, including grilled cuttlefish with ink. The cuttlefish tastes a lot like grilled squid. If I have it again, I'll have it without ink (that is an option) because I didn't really love the inky taste and what it did to my teeth (see picture below)!

Cuttlefish ink - though, my wrinkles probably stand out more

No trip to Portugal would be complete without a trip to a winery and I took her to my favorite winery on the Setubal Penisula. There, she stocked up on some wine and reported back to me today that it all made it back home!

Lila and I at winery

Moorish Ruins - Sintra, Portugal

Barb's visit was the last of visitors for a while. However, I've discovered, during the past few weeks, that I love cooking for people. I've made a lot of homemade dishes including lemon-ricotta pancakes, apple-oat pancakes, french toast casserole, egg cups, bread, carrot cake, pizza and sauce, and more. It's a lot of hard work cooking for more than just my family and, thankfully, all of our guests have helped out with the girls while I cooked (and helped out in the kitchen too) and helped with clean-up. Barb rolled out the pizza dough so nice and thin that the dough turned out to be the crispiest, tastiest dough I've baked yet!

Aside from the nasty cold Barb came down with (why do all our visitors get sick a few days after they arrive?), her trip was a success. The weather held up and we were able to stay on the itinerary I had planned out before she came.

Well, we did have one scare. Olivia hid on the babysitter I had watching the girls on Tuesday morning while Barb and I were a hour away in Obidos (walled-in city). I got a phone call as we were almost ready to head back home. I tried not to panic as I raced back home. But, she had been missing for over an hour and the local police were now on the "case." Fortunately, fifteen minutes into our race home, she had been found. Sound asleep, curled up on the floor beside my bed, wrapped in our thick down comforter (don't ask me how the sitter missed that one). She had hid from the sitter because she didn't want to take a nap. She got one anyway and scared the crap out of all of us!

We'll miss Barb and look forward to seeing her in July during our trip "home!"


The Dunns said...

Neat pictures. Those tiles are beautiful. You look great! I think I see a B&B in your future.

Elizabeth said...

Your missing child story reminds me of one with Chris when he was 4. The people on the corner had a pool (not enclosed) The ladder was down and Chris was missing! Well, of course, being a mother, you think the worst. We searched the dreaded yard with the pool, neighborhood, house, and yard. Finally found him asleep in the hamper in his room. Worried, thankful, embarrassed, all kinds of emotions going on! That one will never be forgotten.