Feelin' Beachy

Thank you all for the input on coffee drinks. There's no Starbucks here (much to Ryan's disappointment) so we make do with the simple coffee drinks. I am thinking that when I next visit the States I will go get a good coffee drink and try it out. I have never liked it before, but it is starting to grow on me (only if super sweetened).

Yesterday I had to run some errands that included picking up some souvenirs for friends and family (yes mom, Mer and Rachel you are included) when I come home to visit. I remembered seeing a cute little shop by the hotel in Praia along the beach. What better way to spend the afternoon! So I headed down to Praia which means beach in Portugese. The city is also called Praia. This is the only real sandy beach on the island.
This picture is of the beach, but it is also the soccer area. I find this so interesting. It is an enclosed beach soccer area. This way people can play (and yes it is called futebol here) and no one outside can get hit with a soccer ball while they are sunbathing.

You can see here that they have not taken down the tents from Praia Fest . Praia Fest was back in early August. This is a major food festival in the Atlantic. People come from all over the world to see this. Restaurants from main land Portugal are recreated in this convention hall setting. We went a few nights for dinner . There was also a cheese and dessert tent. Everything was amazing. If you are interested in seeing traditional Portugese food check out my Praia Fest posts from August (links in this paragraph).

Believe it or not there were actually people (not many) laying on the beach and a few in the water.

Here is the marina.


Gotta love the jungle gym on the beach for kids to play on.


Here is one of the hotels in Praia, right on the beach. The smaller building to the right is home to a handful of restaurants and bars. I think one has a night club feel to it with a disco ball and some neon lights.
Here's a closer view of the marina and the tents from Praia Fest. I am not sure if they ever come down. It is such a large event that maybe they do just leave them up year round. When I took this picture I was sitting in one of my favorite spots. And what do I like to do in this spot...
Eat a soft serve ice cream cone of course. There is a little stand just off the beach. We love coming and sitting on this bench. You can see in the water and there are all these little fish jumping about. It is very relaxing. I also realized I had very little to eat and the next stop after Praia was the gym, so I had to fuel up. If I tried to take a picture of this ice cream when it was full, well there just wouldn't have been a picture. They are always leaning for some reason, so you have to act fast before you lose it to the ground.
Then I did go to the gym and did some other things on base. When Ryan came home we were still doing some things and taking care of phone calls to the States and emailing people. Before I knew it the time was about 7 pm. I had to act fast to pull something together for dinner before it got too late. I have been looking at this for a while now. I picked this up at a farmer's market in San Diego while visiting my friend Amanda. I bought tons of these little packets. They smell so good. Since we finally got our household goods, some of the food we packed is finally available to us.
You can see how simple this is to prepare and how few ingredients are present.
Even though this had lentils in it and some protein, I felt like this alone was not going to be enough. So, I still have tons of the Morningstar farms nuggets since I ordered a case. These were perfect and would take almost as long to bake as the chowder would take to prepare.
Cooking up some chowder...
And the end result...it was delicious. Well the nuggets are nuggets! But the chowder was delicious. I will be having leftovers today for lunch. The sweet potato gave it the right amount of sweetness. The nuggets had enough sodium in them that you would never have even noticed the chowder had only 22 mg in a 1-1/2 cup serving. In fact, the spices alone in the chowder would have been enough even if the nuggets weren't there. It was a delicious meal that only took 30 minutes and so even though it was late we still had a little time to watch some TV.
My normal morning routine is to take care of the animals first and then worry about myself. This morning I did the same things I do every morning. But this morning was slightly different. I was wondering why my dog was still hovering around me even though I had just put down her food. Why wasn't she eating it? I went to investigate and I found my answer...
My cat had decided she did not want to wait for me to prepare her cat food so she took over the dog food, and my dog LET her do this. I tihnk the dog thought she could come bother me and get another bowl full of hers or maybe I would give her the cat's instead. Who knows for sure, but I did finally straighten out this situation and everyone is now eating food correct to their own species!
QUESTION: If you get a day off from work mid-week, what is your favorite thing to do?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love all the pictures! Looks beautiful...

The Moroccan Chowder sounds good... I love "interesting" Farmers' Market finds. And they bring back memories when you eat them later...

Gina said...

I Would go into that frozen yogurt place and tell them how to do it right!! NO leans please :)
If I get a day off in the middle of the week, I do errands! I usually get behind on my errand running (groceries, gas, library, etc) so any day off I use for that. I enjoy running errands :)

Holly said...

Mid-week day off? That means I worked (or will be working) the weekend at the hospital - total stress factor so I need serious destress.

Spa day for sure (massage, facial, manicure).

If not spa day, might go play some poker.

But next week I'm going up to the AF base to take an exam for my PME (professional military education). So not so relaxing afterall.

Mer said...

what is a day off work that doesn't involve a Jewish holiday or a wedding? If that EVER happens, I'd like to go SHOPPING! :)

Gina said...

Melinda,
Thanks for all the great information!! Don't worry about sending me your power points or handouts, as I have plenty. However, do you have any great simple recipes you could send me? IF not, it's ok, but that's what I need at this time. Thanks again for all the extra information, it helps to hear it from a real vegetarian.

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