Rachel Comes to Visit

Again, this was over a month ago, but my sister did come to visit.  She was here for my graduation, but she stayed for a week.  This is just a quick run down of the food we ate and some of the activities we did.  Mostly we just hung out and enjoyed the nice weather.

Our first dinner was at Porto das Pipas because my sister really likes the octopus there.
I ordered the squid, which is also very good.
Ryan had a steak, which is buried underneath all of those homemade potato chips.
The next day I headed down to Angra with my sister.  This is the only major city on the island, and is actual small for what you might consider a city.  It is also the capital of the island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On the way we stopped to take pictures of one of the coolest sculptures I have ever seen.  This is in the middle of the roundabout just before you reach the bull fight arena in Angra.  This was not here when we first got to the island so it was neat to see the entire process.  There are actually 3 bulls jumping and all point in different directions.
After walking around and doing some shopping, we stopped at one of my favorite sandwich shops, Sandoxa (pronounced san-do-sha), for some lunch.  Rachel had a nice salad and then we ordered some veggie burgers with an egg.  So good!
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One thing my sister really liked the last time she was here was the corn bread.  It is very different from American cornbread.  So we went searching for it.  The closest we came was a this, except despite being fresh baked and warm when we brought it home, it was a little burnt.  Didn't stop us from enjoying it!
The next day we went to another favorite snack place called Mimos.  I had my favorite tuna melt.  It is on a local made onion roll, with local caught tuna, topped with hardboiled eggs and melted cheese.
That afternoon my next door neighbor asked if we wanted some potatoes (and by some I mean that big bucket below).  It seems he had his biggest harvest ever and had no idea what to do with all the potatoes.  We gladly accepted.  Even better was that he gave us some of his eggs too from his chickens, and we all know eggs go great with potatoes!
Dinner was at a restaurant that we call the whale.  Actually, it is called O Cachalote, which means Sperm Whale in Portuguese, and there is a giant whale sculpture coming out of the front of the building.  The owner is very nice and we love to dine here.  He showed us his newly completed upstairs dining room.  This would be for 2-4 people wanting an intimate dining experience, perhaps for a special occasion.  He had just put the finishing touches in the room and was eager to show us.  Of course it looked beautiful.
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Both my sister and I ordered the fish, which was presented beautifully, just as the owner, who is also the chef, always does.
The next day we headed to the wine museum.  It is so nice to walk around the grounds there with all the pretty flowers.  Here is my sister enjoying the Azorean air.
Dinner that night was at home and about as local as you can possibly get.  We started with eggs, which came from my neighbor.
The day before, Ryan had gone spearfishing and caught a couple Veja (Parrotfish).  He cooked these in locally made butter (yum)
Then we had some potatoes, also from my neighbor.
The end presentation for both myself and Ryan was a breakfast burrito (wish the tortilla was local but it wasn't) with a side of potatoes (seasoned with Old Bay), the fish and some olives.  My sister does not eat dairy, so she just had some eggs and potatoes along with the salad she had purchased from the organic farm in our village.
While Rachel was visiting, San Joaninas was going on.  This is a huge festival in Angra, non-religious, despite the carrying the name of St. John (Sao Joao in Portuguese).  There were so many people and things going on, so we just went to check it out a little while my sister was here.  The highlight of the food part was probably the churro lady from Lisbon.  They were hot and fresh, and filled with chocolate, just like they do in Spain.
Here you can see a float for the parade, and some little cheese and sausage stands set up in the small square.
We were hoping to visit the local crafts tent, but they did not open until 7 pm, so we settled on lunch at another favorite, AquaEmotion.  It is mostly a favorite because of the location directly at the marina, overlooking all the boats.

We started with some sardines.
My sister enjoyed a gorgeous salad packed with shrimp and tropical fruits.
Ryan and I enjoyed a local cheese plate (they know how to do cheese out here!) and then we each ordered a tuna baguette.  Seriously way to much food, but very tasty!
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Here we all are enjoying the meal and the view.  Just behind us is the outdoor patio and the marina.
This is another float we passed by on the way back to the car.  They have massive parades with insanely decorated floats and elaborate costumes.  This island is known for it's festivals.  They have the most out of all the islands.  All summer long is one festival after another.  In fact, this weekend starts another major one known as Festas da Praia, or Praia Fest.  Hoobastank is playing this year.  Oh, INXS played at San Joaninas last month, and that was huge.  For this upcoming festival, they will have more bands, but none that Americans would know.  They will have restaurants and other food vendors from the mainland, and tons of people will come from mainland, the US and other islands to enjoy.  Enough about that and back to the current post here.  Just can't help getting excited for this weekend.
For our last dinner with Rachel here, we went to Buzius, actually for the second time, because her all time favorite is the spicy squid (Calamari Fra Diavolo).  I have shown pictures before, and therefore didn't take any new ones, but this is one awesome dish.  Ryan had the eggplant parm, which is my second favorite dish there.
The last day she was here we went to Praia da Vitoria, the second largest city (and not much of a city by most people's standards) on the island.  We enjoyed some coffee and the great ocean view, chatted a little more and then said our goodbyes as I took her back to the airport.
Next time she comes to visit me we will be in Japan.  I know she has been waiting years to travel to Japan so I am glad she has an excuse now.

I love you Rachel!

QUESTIONS:  Do you have any siblings?  Do you get along?  Do you visit each other or plan trips together?


Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Looks and sounds like a great and delicious visit! I know there will be great food in Japan, but I already miss the island food you've been showing us... :)

I have one sister. Unfortunately, we aren't as close as I would like to be. But we have recently learned that we work well together when our family needs us to.

Unknown said...

I have no siblings, but I love my bro and sis-in-law. We live about 4 blocks away and we do go on trips together :)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Sounds like you had a very memorable, and food-filled visit with your sister! I do have a brother, but he's 13 years younger than I am. We get along great, but obviously we are so different and basically grew up in different generations. It's crazy.
I hope the move is going well!

bejellyfish said...

Wow! What a blessing to have a homemade meal like that! I can't imagine a neighbor coming over to offer some potatoes AND eggs! I would think I won the darned lottery if that happened!

I don't have any siblings. :( So no sibling trips.

Special K said...


It is clear to see how connected you are, to your family, your husband, your community. Where ever you are tonight, as you read this, know that I am thinking of you and wishing you well.

eatingRD said...

Wow, glad you got to visit all those places before you moved. Chocolate filled churros in spain?! Going to have to search for those :) I do have 3 little step siblings that are 8, 6 and 4 years old. Hope everything is well!

Rachel/Coconut Crumbs said...

the fish looks particularly good! Great time with your sister too : ) Also, congrats on your graduation Melinda!

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