Sunday, February 19th
As we were leaving Pinhel (Luis's hometown) this weekend, we were driving out of the historic plaza of two castle-like towers, through tiny little streets, and there was something about the sun shining on this church steeple combined with the old architecture and the blue sky... I couldn't resist choosing it as my photo of the day!
Monday, February 20th
Remember last week when I expressed my undying love for live street music? I found the same girls on another trip downtown, and this time, playing in a group, and the sweet grafitti in various languages enhancing the background didn't hurt either!
Tuesday, February 21st
Luis Miguel and I both agree that going out to eat isn't really our preferred way to pay for entertainment (as opposed to, say, taking a gondola ride in Italy, for example), and I'm proud to say that even on holidays we stuck to our guns and made pizza at home on Valentine's Day and saved our dinner and a movie for the next random Tuesday night we had free, which just so happened to be today. (the word "holiday" here obviously only being relative to the American in the house!) Hello, deliciousness. Be still my heart. [Insert your own affection for baked pasta here]. I love pasta. LOVE. L O V E. And this didn't just start recently folks. I fell in love with my mom's spaghetti with meat sauce before I could speak. (Probably). I knew it was love-at-first-room-sharing when I lived with my dear friend Shari in college and found she loved pasta even more than I did! I digress. We found an absolutely fabulous Italian restaurant in Coimbra (not an easy feat!) and returned for a second time today. Mmmm... gnocchi!
Wednesday, February 22nd
I love mail! And especially when it's a new photo of Peter, the little boy that we sponsor in Tanzania. I had been sponsoring a boy since 2001 and after he was able to leave the program last year, we inherited a new member of our family. :) He is happy about being sponsored, I promise!
Thursday, February 23rd
Girls night! Unfortunately Cristi was sick, but I was hoping to invite some new girls too, and Catarina (far left) is a new OT working with Luis, and she likes gummy candy like Marisa and I (weakness confession!), so she definitely fit in well with us! Plus she likes crafts. :) We saw "This Means War" (Guerra a Guerra) and it was surprisingly cute and a lot less cheesy than I thought! Hooray for new friends!
Friday, February 24th
My super fabulous working machine of a mother-in-law, LuLu (seriously, she never stops moving! Even sitting, she is always doing something productive!), loves to help me with projects (huge benefit of marrying an only child... mother-in-law inherited the daughter she never had!) and this was one of them. I gave her this photo with some sewing instructions I found online and loosely translated into Portuguese, and she gave me this! We had purchased some big euro-style pillows from Ikea, and I found the supersize 1.5 inch button in a pack of 8 at the Chinese (dollar) Store for 1€! I sewed on the button and the loop LuLu made me, and I had myself a big Pottery Barn pillow! (It really doesn't look wrinkled in real life, but something about the natural light in our guest room enhanced every little wrinkle!)
Saturday, February 25th
My first Portuguese soccer game! It was Benfica (Luis's team) and Académica (our local team in Coimbra) and was pretty fun! It was here in Coimbra and my sweet boss and her daughter thoughtfully gave us their tickets as they had previous commitments. As you can see, we had great seats and invited Luis's dad to come down too! (Bonus: Mama LuLu volunteered to stay home and IRON Luis's BUTTON-DOWN shirts since we only had 3 tickets, which would seriously make any outing worth it!) If you don't know about European Football, they are pretty crazy dedicated and are standing and cheering/singing/rallying others for pretty much the whole game, at least in the "klacks" super-fan sections! The only thing I can think might be on this level of fan support is Lambeau Field on Packer Sunday, even though I've never been! :) And yes, they ALL wear scarves with their team name. Everyone.
Sunday, February 26th
Lunch with our "couple group", (as I still don't really know what to call it!) was decided on instead of our usual dinner, as the aforementioned soccer game was in just about every guy's plans that night! Cristi was trying to get an action shot with the game chips, but my camera didn't cooperate very well. We also had a sweet new addition to our group, Naomi, an American girl from the Midwest (holla!) studying Portuguese here for 4 months, who just so happens to have one of our volunteers at the Center as her professor, and 3 other foreign volunteers as student colleagues... it's a small world, even across the ocean!