Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roadtrip Random: Castro Verde

Our last couple of posts have been about our trip back to the States and what we ate there. This is our attempt to catch up with our blogging and also to get back to posting about life over on this side of the Atlantic. On our way to Lisbon (yeah, we went to Lisbon, last year, over Labor Day weekend, we know, we're terrible) we planned to stop for lunch about halfway through the 6 hour drive. Meghann thought that meant somewhere around Albufeira (you can see it on the map, the town right before we started heading north), but Graham did not and just kept driving. Which resulted in one of those arguments discussions about how we're both hungry and there's no place to eat and we're in the middle of nowhere and we're going to starve. We both turn completely cranky and unreasonable when we haven't eaten. So, Graham pulled in at a gas station and asked where the closest town with a restaurant was. And that is how we found ourselves in Castro Verde, Portugal - possibly one of the best, most random, roadtrip discoveries ever.

Despite being hungry, we were instantly intrigued by the little town and had to check it out. We parked the Mini on uno of the cobblestone streets and took a short walk.

Monday, March 26, 2012

East Coast comida

Our last post was mostly about our friends and familia that we spent time with in the States and a little about the comida that we ate while we were there. This post is all about the food. There are so many dishes we can't get and restaurants we can't get to while living in Spain. We tried our best to check all those off the list while we were there (and sí, Meghann actually had a list of food and restaurants). So, here's photographic documentation of our Maryland to North Carolina culinary tour. This should also explain why we've been trying to get to the gym as much as possible since we got back.

So, so happy that we were back during oyster season (we were both raised to believe the "months with an 'r' rule"). A fresh-from-the-Chesapeake-Bay dozen on the half at The Narrows are the perfecto way to start brunch. And on the left you can see their seared scallops with strawberries and balsamic reduction.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Familia, friends, and food...

is what our trip to the States was filled with. We took separate space-A flights over (flights that military members and their dependents can get on for free, if there is extra space) and both ended up on cargo planes. This meant there were jump seats instead of regular airliner seats, ear plugs were necessary due to the noise, we had to wear layers since it was not climate controlled like a commercial plane, and we spent most of the 9 hour flight sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag. On the positive side, it was free, we had plenty of leg room, and it got us where we wanted to go (well, we flew into New Jersey, but close enough) which was to Maryland to meet this little lady:  
Our niece, Abbigail! She arrived back in January, when we were in Belgium.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Primavera

Happy first dia of Spring! Even though the season is just getting started, the weather in our area of España has been warm and sunny since we returned at the end of February. Last week, we took a walk down to the playa, but the tide was high, so we walked along the sea wall instead. Meghann took some iPhone snaps of the springtime flores. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dining Out? Que?

We mentioned going to a Dining Out in our last post and then realized that probably means absolutely nada to just about everyone, or at least anyone that is not in the Navy. A Dining Out is a Navy dinner where the service members can bring their significant others (a Dining In is the same thing, but without dates). Everyone gets spiffed up, has cocktails and dinner, and is required to follow all sorts of "traditions" and "etiquette". Classy traditions, like drinking out of a toilet. So, the Thursday after returning from the States, Graham put on one of his (seldom worn) dress uniforms, Meghann cut the tags off a nuevo dress she had picked up while in Maryland, and we headed to a hotel in Rota. 

Here we are, looking pretty and enjoying cocktail hour:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back in España

After a (longer than expected) trip to los States, we're back in España! Actually, we returned last week, but we have been on-the-go since the plane landed. Graham has been busy with work and a master's class, Meghann is volunteering, and we've been trying to get settled in at the casa after being away for several weeks. There was a ton of laundry (and our tiny Euro washer and dryer weren't much help), the fridge was empty, and the house was a mess (how does that happen when we're not here?!). Throw in a mix of fun and not-so-awesome activities like a dining out, trip to the vet, doing taxes, taking the Mini to a mechanic, beach horseback ride, going to the gym, and dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in a pueblo blanco, and we haven't had a lot of time to relax. Or blog.

But today it was sunny and warm and while Graham was getting the Mini checked out in Rota, Meghann headed over to the weekly, Wednesday gypsy* market. Meghann strolled around for a bit, but only purchased uno thing - olives! The olive stand at the very front of the mercado has a grande selection of olives and other pickled goodness. Meghann went with the garlic-stuffed olives, a favorito in our casa, and also snapped some quick pictures.