Hittin’ the streets of Paris

Ok, I know, life isn’t that bad, and yes, I had made it to Paris despite all of the bumps along the way, but the stress and unknowing of the day certainly can make you really upset.  But yes, everything was better once I saw the Eiffel Tower in the distance and I knew Ryan was just a few short hours away.  Although, I will say, I was obviously still shaken up when I wrote the last post because there were so many typos.  Sorry, I apologize for the mess.

For various reasons with our schedules, we were meeting in Paris, so when I first got there, I had some time to myself, but I really only napped during that time.  I was excited that we could see the Eiffel Tower from the hotel room.  We were staying in the 7th arrondissement, in the Rue Cler.
When Ryan arrived, he happily showed me the goodies he picked up for me while he was in Germany.  The fudge is so good.
Then we headed out to the Rue Cler to have a look around.  I loved all the produce markets along the road.
Ryan had tried those red berries in Germany, and was not sure what they were, so we checked it out and they are red currants.
Here was an amazing looking cheese shop.
I love the buildings here.
We stopped in a grocery store to get some bottled water for later, and I thought this was really funny.
Then I stopped in to a fancy macaron store.  More on the macarons later, I promise.
By then it was time to grab some dinner, so we picked a place near the hotel.  There are tons of places to eat in Paris, all with nice patio seating, but the one problem is that this area is smoking, and a LOT of people in Paris smoke.
Oh, the glorious bread!
I could not resist starting with a cheese plate.  France is one place that I definitely associate with cheese, so I was going to get my fix.
Ryan ordered a Cobb salad.
I had a nice salmon burger.
Of course the burger came with FRENCH fries!
When we got back to the room, Ryan showed me the German wines he picked up and shared with me his trip to some wineries there.
Also on our grocery store trip, we picked up a few snacks for the room.  These cookies looked good…and they were!
That ends our first day in Paris.  Plenty more to come because there is a ton of stuff to do in Paris.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been to Paris?  France?  Have you tried German wine?

On of Those Days

Haver you ever just had one of those days?  You know, where absolutely nothing goes right and you think the world is conspiring against you.  I had one of those the day I was trying to leave for our trip.  Ryan was travelling ahead of me for work reasons, so I was meeting him.

I had to board the animals at the kennel, which is on base.  They close at 6 pm, and my flight was later, so I figured that I could drop them off around 4:30 I had more time with them.  At 3:30 I remembered that the kennel did not have the up to date vaccine records because I took the girls locally, not on base, for their shots.  I scanned and emailed at that time.  I get there at 4:20 with the animals and discover that my cat is missing the feline leukemia vaccine and the one from the year before has expired.  I can't board her. 

I panicked.  I had to leave soon for the airport and now I have no place for my cat.  The vet on base was closed and so was the vet nearby in town.  I thought about and decided I had to drive across to the southern part of the island, back to the Angra vet.  We called ahead, so they were waiting with the vaccine ready to go.  I drove there and back (about 15 miles, and had the vaccine and the cat was in her kennel "room" by 5:30.  Ah, a sigh of relief...

But not for long.  I got to the airport and they can't find my reservation.  The girl makes a call and says there is a problem with my ticket.  I needed to go to the customer service desk.  I got there and discovered the issue, which I could have predicted, was about my credit card.  The airline website did not let me enter my realy billing address, which is an APO (militay) address.  The states is listed as AE and the airline did not give me that option, so I changed the country to Portugal and it processed my transaction, and I got the confirmation, and my credit card company confirmed this with me by phone and charged me for the ticket.  So I thought I was good to go, but I was not.  Luckily, all it took was to show my credit card and ID to verify it was a legitimate transaction.  Ah, a sigh of relief...

But not for long.  The airline had 2 flights leaving at the same time.  I heard an announcement that sounded like it was for my flight and everyone was lining up and the sign said Lisbon.  I got in line, handed the man my ticket, and went downstairs to get on the bus that takes you down the runway to the plane.  Then I hear a woman cal out my name.  Yes, I had tried to board the wrong plane.  Mine boarded 10 minutes later, from the next gate over, with a very similar flight number.

It was certainly one of those days.

Here we go, I am finally ready to board for Lisbon, so know you know I was headed back to mainland Europe.  I think this is actually the sign for the other flight I wrongly boarded, but it still is for Lisbon.
Even with a rough day, I scored myself a whole row.  Things are looking up...but not for long.
Bye Island!  Look at the gorgeous coast line.
The sun is getting ready to set as we cross the Atlantic.
Here comes my meal.  They always serve sandwiches.  This time, I called and ordered vegetarian meals.  Nope, they did not have one for me on this flight.  So I settled on just the little cake.  I knew this would happen, because it was a rough day for me.
I did get lucky, and the flight attendant had a tuna sandwich in her meal that she was not going to eat, so she offered it to me.  Score!  I was very thankful for this, although I could have had a snack, since I planned for this, plus I had a 7 hour layover in Lisbon.
Lisbon, here I come!  The city is so beautiful.  I think I am in love with Lisbon.  It is fantastic and looked amazing from the sky at night.
After fighting to stay awake for most of the night, I was happy when the airport opened up again.  If you are wondering why I decided not to sleep in the airport, with my layover from midnight to 7 am, it was because I was having such a bad day, that I figured something bad might happen.  I played online and used skype to call home.

Once things opened close to 5 am, I stopped by the Harrod's cafe for a bite to eat and some coffee.
Oh was this tasty.  Just what I needed, although I was exhausted.
Look who it is!  None other than a giant Harrod's bear.

Drum roll please...

If you guessed that our trip was to Paris, you are 100% correct.  It seems so romantic there and there is a ton to see.  So we planned to meet in Paris for a few days.
Can you believe they had my vegetarian meal on this flight.
I had a steaming hot veggie sandwich for breakfast, and some fruit.
Here I am, in Paris.  I was so excited to see the Eiffel tower from a far while driving in.  then i got to the hotel.
Here is our room.  As soon as I got in, and after I took this picture, I took a shower and took a 3 hour nap, until Ryan would arrive.
There you have it, the world conspiring against us to take this trip.  In fact, that is why I did not say anything soon.  I avoided details so I did not curse myself.  The planning was roacky with constant changes to our vacation plans.  Originally, we were going to go to London, Paris and Brussels, but it fell through, so then we planned for just Paris, and I decided to stay hush, hush on the details.

But, I am here now, actually getting this post written as I wait for Ryan to arrive at the hotel.

Stayed tuned...more to come on PARIS!

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever had one of THOSE days?  What city do you picture as being romantic?

Cleaning House

When it is time to go on vacation, and you still have a folder of pictures on your computer that is all the random and leftover pics that didn't make the cut before, it is time to clean house, to make room for the tons of new pictures you plan to take on vacation.

Today I am doing just that.  This is a cleaning house post so I can make room for great pictures and plenty of material for posts about travel in Europe and the great food that exists in other cultures.  Sorry if you find these boring.

A while back, I made this loaf of Italian bread for one of our From Scratch Weekends Meals.  The is nothing better than using homemade bread to make grilled cheese, so while I was working, Ruan whipped up this meal.
One hazy day, I took this picture from my yard.  I did zoom in, but this is the mysteriuos patch of trees in the field across the street.  It looked extra with all the fog.
I did get my second Chocbite bar.  I won this a few months ago, and there was an error with my first one due to a change in toppings available, so this was the replacement.  Again, not what I ordered, but it tasted really good.
If you remember my birthday, my mom sent me a card with a duck that grows in water.  I left there in a bowl while I went on vacation, and when I came back Ryan was like "I don't think it is going to get any bigger, can you do something with this?"  So that was it for the duck, but you can see how big it did get.
I am fairly certain someone new got to this base who has celiac because when I returned from my birthday trip there was a significant increase in the amount of gluten free products, which translated to many new vegetarian products to try.  Most of what they ordered for stock included Amy's products, so I am really enjoying these right now.  Don't forget, just because this looks super healthy, it has as much sodium as any other frozen meal, about 1/4 of the RDA, but I can still enjoy them on occassion.
Here is my new "thing" to do when I do to cafes and places that serve eggs.  Since egg and cheese sandwiches are not on the menu, but both eggs and grilled cheese are, I order both, and then make my own snadwich.  Ryan jumped on board with the idea, so here are our eggs.
This is a baguette with tosta queijo, and if you remember from the Portuguese lesson, that is pronounced toe-sh-ta kay-sh.  Basically, this is a grilled cheese.  Usually it is a tosta mista, which is ham and cheese, so you can see why I do not order that.
The other day I bought I giant sweet potato and enjoyed this with dinner 2 nights in a row.  It was seriously so big, I could not eat the whole thing at once.
I picked up this melon at Modelo, a local store.  This nice sized half melon cost .89 rueo, which is about $1.14.  I am still not 100% sure what kind of melon this was, but it tasted good.
K over at the Special K Treatment swapped some goods with me.  I just got the package the other day and I am eager to try these goodies.  She is in Germany now, living overseas, just like me, so these are all German goods.  There is some candy and coffee.  Thanks!

There is a great soup and salad place in Praia, and the lady prepares large amounts, but once the food is gone, it is gone and she serves it until there is nothing left.  Trust me, the food is good, and she can run out fast.  Ryan and I met for a quick lunch one day and this is always a favorite choice.  Basically, for around $6 she piles the plate high with any of the salads she has to offer.  Some are pasta salads, some are veggie salads, some are meat salads like tuna or chicken, and some are fruit salads.  Here is my plate.  I should no better, but I piled it high and then couldn't come close to finishing. 
These last few pictures are from a recent lunch stop at a local cafe/bar right on the beach.  I had no idea they served food, but I spotted a picture sign in front that showed food and realized I have never seen that place so busy.  It is called the Blues Sound Bar and they do offer live music and I think this is the place with a disco upstairs.  These seemed like the perfect place for lunch.  For placemats, the server brought us old records.
Ryan and I split some onion rings.
Then we both had tuna sandwiches on a baguette.
Look, I made a face out of my food!
The sandwich was pretty good, but I think I like it at AquaEmotion in Angra better.  I would still order this again.

Well, that does it for my leftover pictures.  Stay tuned for trip pictures when I return.  Since I am busy, this is probably going to be my last post until I get back.

I know I haven't mentioned where I am going yet, but here is a clue...This place seems super romantic and has tons of museums to see.  See you when I get back!

QUESTIONS:  Any guesses about my trip location?  Do you find that sometimes random pictures pile up on your computer?  When on vacation, do you also try to take a vacation from blogging, or post while away?