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August 10, 2012

week 30.

Sunday, July 22nd
When thinking about visiting Italy, I had long been dreaming of visiting Cinque Terre ("Five Lands"), an area on the northwestern coast of Italy made up of 5 colorful villages set upon the cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea.  After deciding to spend a week of our summer in Italy, this was the part of the trip I was most looking forward to, as it is less known, more calm, less commercial with regard to tourism, and as I anticipated, the most beautiful place I have ever been.  This is Riomaggiore, the village where we stayed, and in my opinion, the most charming of the five!  The first night surely lived up to my dreams...

Monday, July 23rd
Today marks the day when I thought I quite possibly might die... various times.  I would never ever call myself an athlete, and wouldn't even consider using the word "hiker", no matter what the terrain.  I would, though, consider myself very good at "Doing something artistic while sitting" or "Reading while lounging/riding/cooking". That being said, you can imagine that 5.1 miles through rigorous mountain terrain was not easy on this girl. Especially with an eager, athletic, and strong husband. Thankfully he was very encouraging, even after I growled "I hate this" in response each time he kindly asked me how I was doing.  He also graciously reminded me that we could always take the train to the next city instead of hiking the trail (I recommend that!), but by the time we were halfway through, I had Jillian Michaels screaming at me in my head ("Unless you faint, puke, or die, KEEP WALKING!") and was determined to finish!  And finish we did.  They say the hike should take about 4 hours, 5 if you stop to eat lunch, rest, etc.  It took us 6, and it was probably because I took about 150 photos like this...

Tuesday, July 24th
This is the how the ocean looks mere meters from the train station.  And yes, the water really is that clear. And turquoise!  This shot is straight out of the camera, as you can see by my continual problem of shooting a photo with a straight horizon... So sad to say goodbye to this paradise today!

Wednesday, July 25th
Though we knew before we left that our work cafeteria (which the staff eats in for FREE every day... so grateful!) was closed the week that we got back, but it slipped our minds around midnight Tuesday when we got back to Coimbra, and this morning, when we were a bit out of sorts from vacation.  Though we were pretty savvy in our saving for the trip, and definitely conscious not to overspend while vacationing, it still cost quite a bit, so we decided to go cheap for lunch today! Also, in Portugal, it is not uncool to eat at McDonald's as an adult!  After all, you can get a beer with your Big Mac for lunch! (Please forgive the low-quality cell phone photo!)

Thursday, July 26th
After what we thought was a strange bug bite that showed up the day before we left for our trip swelled up into a huge knob between my eyebrow and my eyeball, we decided upon arriving home that it was time to visit the dermatologist.  Thankfully it was just an epidermic cyst (read: little ball of fat that became infected by something on/under the skin and swelled up) and antibiotics cleared it up in a few days.  On a side note, the dermatologist's office was in a remodeled old house, which had these amazing wide stairways and stained glass windows.  It's not every day that you go to a doctor's office in a charming old house.  Could be a great idea to swap the bright white sterile doctor's office feel for a charming old house, right?  Just sayin'...

Friday, July 27th
Are we home... or are we home?

Saturday, July 28th
Sometimes you just need a vacation to recuperate from your vacation, right?  That's pretty much what we did all day (rest), along with lots of laundry and lots of staring at this screen. I have been hoping that I can use a few of my vacation days to stay at home and organize the thousands of photos I shot this year (and hopefully get a few of them on this blog!), but after lots of confusing hours in this photo editing program, I'm not sure how much I will be able to accomplish!  Maybe I should just hire someone for this...

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