Day One Hundred Eighty One (um cento oitenta e um)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

4 Abril 2014

our last day

I got up early so I could still get my 5-miler in. John and I finished packing and then walked over to ALKE to say our goodbyes. John said the only time he got choked up at all was when he said goodbye to Ernesto.




We also said goodbye to Alexandre, Vitor, Saozinha (at the gym already!), and Marcy (the one who gave me eggs). We walked down to Pic Nic to meet Ken for our last cafes. Leila came, and then Lina and Carla showed up, too. We all walked back to our apartment to say our final goodbyes.

We gave Carla back our keys and everyone said goodbye to Romeo. We brought our bags outside just as Pedro was pulling up. We piled Romeo’s crate and our bags into the backseat, and I made Ken take one last picture of us.

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Pedro drove us to the airport in the Mira Mar van through the Azorean drizzle that had begun somewhere in Furnas. We pulled up to the airport right at 1:00pm, exactly two hours before we were supposed to take off. As soon as we hopped out of the van to start unloading the bags, I heard over the loud speaker: “ELEEZA DOODY, please report to gate number 11 immediately. ELEEZA DOODY, please report to gate number 11 IMMEDIATELY.”

I left John, Romeo, and Pedro on the sidewalk and ran inside to find out what the problem was—I was so worried it had something to do with Romeo and our flight. As soon as I ran in the door, I started scanning for gate number 11. But what I saw first was the lady who had helped me with my cargo bags on Wednesday, standing with a large SATA employee in a reflective vest. “Is everything OK?” I asked, breathily.

Oh, miss I am so sorry. I am new to this job,” she began, apologetically, “I forgot to ask you a few questions. And can I make a copy of your ID card?” She and the other man deemed my license and passport sufficient for that job. The other question? “How much are your belongings worth?” I couldn’t even tell you what I told her, it really seemed irrelevant. While she went to make a copy of my IDs I ran outside to tell John and Pedro that everything was ok. I hugged Pedro goodbye and we wheeled our bags, and Romeo inside his crate on a cart, inside.


I retrieved my IDs from my Wednesday friend, she apologized a few more times, and then we made our way to check-in. One lady took John to weigh Romeo inside of his crate while another lady checked me in. She weighed my one checked-bag: 1.8kgs overweight, “Oh no! Can I take something out?” I asked, “Don’t worry,” she replied. She also tagged our carry-ons and gave me a ticket for Romeo and my one checked-bag, which I was to take to another desk to pay. Romeo weighed in at 39kgs (anything over 23 is considered “overweight”) but she didn’t charge me extra for that either. What I thought was going to be a 450 bill was only 270. Not bad.

We dropped Romeo off at oversized baggage, where John took him out of the crate so they could x-ray it. John secured Romeo back inside, and we went off to go through security ourselves.

On the way out the door earlier, my Chinese store boots broke. Well, just the zipper-holder on one of them. I couldn’t get them off to go through security, so I left them on, knowing that they would set off the sensor and I would get patted down (worse things had happened). They set the metal detector off (four zippers!), a lady came over and violently patted me down, it was practically a crevice exam, and then used a wand, and then made me take my boots off anyways. Really? At least she gave me a paper clip to use. Obrigada.

We sat down at the one cafe and waited for our flight. I bought 60 bags of Gorreana cha verde with our last few euro. I got stopped by border control because I didn’t have a visa. Yes, I know I overstayed my 90 day tourist visa, but I’m going to play dumb because I’m leaving today. No one bothered John, but so far I’d been patted down and yelled at. The man gave me my passport back and warned me, “Next time, get a visa.” Sir, yes, sir.

We took off a few minutes late but mostly made up the time. We filled out our customs forms before we landed and deplaned without event. We got out forms stamped, retrieved our one checked-bag and Romeo, and headed for the US Dept. of Agriculture with Romeo in his crate. John had asked me if he should check off “animal” on the customs form as something we were transporting, “No.” I said, “he’s not a livestock or a bird.” But the guy at the USDA said we should have checked the box. Oops. He made a joke about Romeo being federal property before letting us go about our business. Romeo didn’t have to go through the X-ray machine, but our carry-ons and checked-bag did. I freaked out as we were going through because you’re not allowed to transport fruit or seeds and I had a banana in my bag. Oops. John accused me of being difficult to travel with but then he lost our customs forms. A few minutes later, when we found them inside his pocket he apologized. We were so ready to be home.

By the time we got outside my parents were waiting and we piled in. I broke Romeo’s crate because I was too anxious to get it in the car, and we hadn’t taken all the screws out yet. We sat in a little traffic on the pike, ordered Gianni’s, and once we got home and unloaded the car, my dad and I went back out to pick it up. We ate and crashed. #doesntfeelrealyet


25 Weeks in Povoacao. Como se diz?

Day One Hundred Sixty Eight (dia cento sessenta e oito)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

21 Março 2014

I got up early enough to run 5 miles before we hit the gym. I got back around 10:30am, and John was still knocked out. I set out to do a little cleaning, mostly the things I hate to do so I just don’t, like wash the windows, and clean the dryer filter (no, not the lint trap). At least I found €1.10 in the dryer. When I finished cleaning the tub of the dryer-filter-debris, John still wasn’t up so I decided to shower. He finally got up around 11:30am, but at that point I was committed to deep-cleaning. I’d go to the gym later….maybe.

I was trying to decided whether or not I should put real clothes on (what? Cut-off sweatpants aren’t appropriate in public? Tell me something I don’t know) and head to Pic Nic when I remembered that we hadn’t given Ricardo any of John’s birthday cake. I scooped some into a glass jar I had saved (John calls it hoarding, but I call it preparedness) and, after changing, went down to Pic Nic where I found John and Ken. I gave Ricardo his jar of cake and got a cafe. It was warm enough to wear shorts.

John went to the Mira Mar office and back to the gym to grab his phone and I headed home to continue cleaning the windows (I hate cleaning windows. I don’t think I cleaned the windows once in Newton and we lived in that apartment for two-and-a-half-years. #judgeme). One of the main reasons I hate cleaning them is because they seem to be instantly dirty again, especially when you have a husky stalking the cats outside of said windows. Yeah, yeah, Romeo. Keep trying to shove your wet nose through the window; you’ve almost got ’em.

After I made banana bread for John (and Paleo brownies for myself which John later deemed “pretty good”), I did finally head to the gym around 5:30pm so I could squeeze a quick work out in before I went above Toronto to teach. I foam rolled thoroughly first because my calves are still swollen and I had 14 miles to log in the morning. I did the same workout John and Ken had done earlier, plus some extra core:

  • :30/:15 4 rounds:
  • SB knee tuck to push up
  • Curl-squat-press
  • Chin-ups
  • Box blasts

I thought I was going to kill the chin-ups because I have been doing so many pull-ups, and the last time I did chin ups I could do 8 in a row (maybe even 9). On Thursday we did strict pull-ups and I did sets of 3-and-a-half or 4. Kill chin-ups I did not; in thirty seconds I did maybe one set of 4 or 5, dropped, then 3 or 4 more. Damnit.

  • Core, :45/:15 3 rounds:
  • leg lifts
  • suitcases (round 1) navy seals (rounds 2 & 3)
  • side bends right
  • side bends left

I headed over to Toronto to teach.


John had practice so I had leftover bacalhau and veggies with lentils for dinner.

Day One Hundred Sixty Nine (dia cento sessenta e novo)

Saturday (Sabado)

22 Março 2014

I slept until 9:30am. I was planning on going for my longest-long-run around 10:30am, but then Carla had to come over with a guy to fix our sliding glass door, because it doesn’t slide. I thought that maybe it was because it’s full of dog hair, but Carla said it has needed new rollers for a while. John ran next door and got toothpaste for us and he tried to buy shampoo for me. I told him the Portuguese word was champu and they sell really really ridiculously big bottles of it in crazy scents for one euro everywhere. He came home and said, “Nothing said ‘champu’ on it. The lady told me they were all shampoo.” The bottle said “shampooing” on it. It was conditioner. I officially hadn’t washed my hair with shampoo since Wednesday, and now I’m thinking I won’t. I also have been trying to dry my hair less, since I totally fried it on our trip to Barcelona. I will not wash, nor dry my hair, for the remainder of our stay. The amount of which has still not been publicly released.

I finally took off with Romeo around 11:15am. The sun was beaming so I opted for shorts and a tank top. Sometimes up in the lombas it is chilly, but it is worth being chilly for a little while just to run in the sun. I dropped Romeo off after mile one. I stopped to stretch my bulging calves at mile three.

I did a little more than 4.5 miles before I headed for lomba do Alcaide. I struggled up the beginning, until I came to lomba dos Pos where I stopped to stretch again, mile five-and-a-half. I stopped one last time at the very end of lomba do Alcaide to get water from the faucet that makes me feel like Alex Owens from Flashdance. Well, it used to make me feel that way, but now there is a hose on the end, so I feel more like a beached whale. Whatever. Mile 7.75.

I ran to where lomba do Loucao starts at Diane’s princess house and another half-a-mile still, before turning around and heading back to lomba do Alcaide and back down the way I came. I passed the faucet where I stopped earlier (beached whale) at mile 11. I found John heading to Pic Nic at mile 13.9 and asked him to run my last minute with me, but he had to meet the juniors. So, I ran around him in circles until my watched said mile 14. done.

Sometimes when I plug my watch into, what my watch called 14 miles, Nike+ calls 13.99. I usually try to run an extra .01 to alleviate this problem, because it stresses me out. This happened. This annoys me.

IMG_2355This is a really old picture, of me with my twins after my first half marathon in San Francisco. I wish I could always go out in public dressed this way.

I showered and ate and went to Pic Nic by myself and put up my Week 24 blog post. I went home to have a salad and I made John and Ken dinner for when they got back from the juniors game. I made another banana bread since they finished the one I had made the day before.

Lina had planned a Desperate Housewives dinner in Furnas for 8:00pm. Her car was full, so I was going with Leila and Lola. I had asked John to drive us there and pick us up in Leila’s car so we could all drink, which he said he would do, but then Leila said she is on meds because she is sick so she wouldn’t drink. Then Lola didn’t drink either, so it really wasn’t a big deal.

Leila picked me up around 7:15pm, just after John had come home and reported another loss (6-1, which actually wasn’t as bad as Arsenal’s 6-0 loss earlier in the day), and we stopped at Pic Nic to get cafes. Lola’s husband dropped her off, we got into Leila’s car and drove to Furnas where we promptly arrived at 7:58pm and were the only ones there for at least half-an-hour.

Alexandra and Liliana arrived next, and finally Carla, Lina, Paula, Luisa, and Catarina. Lorena arrived last, and by herself, coming from Ribeira Grande. We got settled in at the long table they had set for us. When we had the last Desperate Housewives dinner at Toronto Night’s, Lina set a round table, which is so much better. At a long table, you can only talk to the people right next to and across from you. I deliberately sat not at the end, because that is the worst seat. Lola and Leila took the ends, and me and Luisa, respectively, sat next to them. I had Liliana on my other side, who was sick last Saturday when we had dinner together and was still sick. Actually, she might have been a different type of sick now; she left the table twice to throw up. But she and Alexandra stayed until all three courses had been served and cleared.

Everything we had was delicious; Lina had gotten us a fixed price that included soup, dinner, wine and dessert. We started with a fish soup, got to choose chicken or fish, and then had a queijada de inhame (tiny little yam cake) with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I ate all of my food, a lot of Leila’s and Lola’s food, some of Liliana’s food and all of her dessert. I was stuffed.

After we finished the wine we moved on to 3 Bicas for more drinks. Leila hates parking, but we found someone who is worse at it than she is.

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In case anyone was wondering what a typical Portuguese person drives, it is not this.

I was pretty tired at that point and also incredibly full, so one shot of tequila and a bottle of water was more than enough for me.

My pregnant Carla:

Carla CatarinaCatarina, Lina, and me

The service is terrible here, just as it was when John and I went before with Leila and Ze. Once we finally got someone to take our money, we piled into our separate cars and went home. John was passed out, and while I had been almost on-my-face at 3 Bicas, once home and in my own bed, I was wide awake. John and Ken had finished the second banana bread in two days.

I read Ordinary People with my legs up against the wall. #runnerproblems

Day One Hundred Seventy (dia cento setenta)

Sunday (Domingo)

23 Março 2014

I was hoping to sleep like a baby after all that food and wine, but not so much. After falling asleep sometime after 2:00am, I stayed in bed until 9:30ish, but I hadn’t slept well. After I took Romeo for a stroll, John and I went to Pic Nic for cafes.

We went home and I made John pancakes because we didn’t have any cereal. Sleepy Sundays are still a hot commodity, and we’re not going to have many more before we head home and back to reality.

Eventually John went back to Pic Nic for some soccer game that was on. He came back around 2:00pm and said Pedro would drive us to the seniors game. John wasn’t playing (he’s done playing, he only practices). I told John I would’ve hoofed it up to the complex with him if we had to, but I was glad for Pedro. It had started to rain.

Pedro picked us up around 2:30pm and we secured seats inside the box with Serenela, Glebiana, Mufasa, and Mira. Sometime in the middle of the game, it stopped raining.

They played against Nordeste, who they tied twice in the regular season. Mira Mar won: 3-0. Berto with two goals, and Majid with the other. Adam got to play, and Vitor played with a broken toe.

When we got home I immediately got a message from Alexandra inviting me to her house for cinnamon buns. I was supposed to Skype with my dad in a little bit, so I called him on his cell phone using my Skype credits and caught him at Lowe’s. He was surprised it was me, “Liza?!”, and we caught up for a few minutes before Leila picked me up.

Alexandra makes cinnamon buns on the regular on Sundays, and I always complain that she doesn’t invite me. Of course, I had eaten like a pig the night before and knew that if I went to her house I would continue to eat everything in sight. Which is exactly what I did.

Leila picked me up and said she didn’t know where Alexandra lived. “I do!” I rejoiced. She has told me, as has Lola, that she lives in the pink house on lomba de Cavaleiro. I have run by her house and know exactly which one it is. I thought.

It had started to rain again when we were parking. They were a lot of cars in the driveway for the house next to the pink house, so Leila wasn’t sure the pink house belonged to Alexandra. I’m sure! I said, she’d told me a hundred times it was the pink house. The other house was definitely brown, not pink. I knocked on the pink door, but no one answered. We went to the brown house and an older woman answered. Leila asked her if she knew where Helio and Alexandra lived, and she told us they lived downstairs (I suddenly remembered that Alexandra told me she lived with Helio’s Tia). Tia de Helio ushered us inside (after telling us to wipe our feet, because she had cleaned) and showed us the door to the basement, where we found our friends.

Telma, Lola, and their significant others were already there. Alexandra also made an apple cake, chicken wings, and lemonade. I probably ate half the apple cake and at least 10 cinnamon buns. We discussed first impressions, baby names, Portuguese slang (Alexandra loves to teach me nasty Portuguese words and tell me they are other things. Like that time she told me her middle name was pinchelo, which means “pubic hair”).

Leila took me home where I promptly got into bed. John asked if I was going to sleep already, to which I relied, No, but everything I still wanted to do that day could be accomplished in bed.


Day One Hundred Seventy (dia cento sessenta)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

24 Março 2014

I got up, walked Romeo, and then went to Antonio’s to buy cereal for John, where I saw one of the ladies who stopped coming to my class a while ago. Her English isn’t great, but I used some of my Portuguese to tell her we were going home kind of soon. She got a real serious look on her face and gave me three hugs before she left. John is already trying to bet how much crying I’m going to do when we leave. It’s going to be a lot.

When I got back, I headed out for five miles, bringing Romeo for the first one. Ever since I came in second in Ribeira Grande, the lady who cleans my street (who has a Facebook account but not all her teeth) says Bom Dia and Ola! Every time I pass her, which on a vila run is at least 5 times.

When I got back John was getting up. We headed to the gym for Chest Day. Ken was supposed to meet us there, but he no-showed.

We went to Pic Nic after, and sat outside (because it was BEAUTIFUL). Carla came over and sat with us. She found someone for our apartment for when we move out, which is good for her. He is a doctor from continent and he’s living in one of her mom’s apartments until we head home.

After we went home for lunch, we both went grocery shopping. We went to Casa Cheia where we found the bread van outside (score) and then to the fruit market where I found avocado (double score). We sat down outside at Pic Nic for drinks, and shortly thereafter, Ken came by. He had fallen back asleep after texting with John that morning, and had done Chest Day solo that afternoon. John and Ken’s junior practice was cancelled (no game this weekend) so I went home to make chili for all of us. I was reading up on Macro diets the other day and tried calculating my own (which I never perfected, and kept getting different macros, but whatever). I downloaded an app to see how my own diet matched up. P36 means I didn’t eat enough protein and those nasty minus signs means I ate too much fat and carbs. I’d call Day One an Epic Fail.


I headed off to class and John and Ken headed off to play Fifa.


Ken and John got home a few minutes after I did. After we ate, John and Ken went to play futsol. They just had one mission to complete first: return the stolen mattress to Fatima’s. We took it when my parents stayed here almost two months ago. It’s time to bring it back. John tied Romeo around his waste and they walked it back up the street. Is there such thing as a un-con mission?

Day One Hundred Seventy One (dia cento setenta e uma)

Tuesday (Terça-feira)

25 Março 2014

Nike+ is the training plan I am following for my upcoming (Nike) half, two other halves, and a 200-mile relay (who’s idea was that?). I have their app, but I also have a We Run DC app that is linked to my Nike+ account. Everyday, these training plans show the same runs. Everyday except for this day.

This day Nike+ said 3.75, but We Run DC said 8. They were both interval runs (1m. warm-up, then .75 fast, .25 recover, repeat, cool-down 1m.). I was feeling a whole lot better than the week before, so I set off to do “at least 6”, figuring I would split the difference. I ended up doing all 8. I felt awesome.

My plan was to bail on the gym if John had left without me (or maybe go later…maybe). But he was still in bed when I got back! He got up and we got ready. We met Ken at the gym. John said he was not doing leg day, I only wanted to do light, and Ken wanted to do heavy legs so we each did our own workout. John did some upper body stuff, Ken did back squats, and RDLs, and I did front squats, step ups, single leg RDLs, and butterfly squats.

After we went to Pic Nic we headed home to meet the guys who were fixing our kitchen doors. Because of Romeo, Carla wanted us to be home when they came by. Rather than work on the doors there, they took our doors, fixed them, and brought them back a few hours later. Unfortunately for us, it was not as warm as the day before and it was flipping cold to not have any doors. But they weren’t gone long, brought them back, put them in, all while another guy fixed our shutters that broke a few months ago. In an effort to get closer to my macros for the day, I had eggs with ham for lunch, and chicken and lentils for dinner. Getting enough protein takes some real effort. Macros Day Two: Epic Win (close enough)?


I applied for Mass Health before the 3/31/2014 deadline hit, and got ready for class. John had practice so I came home, ate dinner, walked Romeo and got in bed.


Day One Hundred Seventy Two (dia cento setenta e dois)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

26 Março 2014

After deciding to run 8 and feeling good, and then doing light legs (light? then why am I SO SORE) running 7 was miserable. I barely made it home. John and I stopped at Pic Nic for a cafe before meeting Ken at the gym, where we did (#thankyejesus!) Arms:

  • weighted dips
  • DB curls
  • tricep cable pulls
  • planks (boys did upright rows)

When John, Ken and I got to Pic Nic it was packed. We secured one 2-person table so I left John and Ken there, and headed to Antonio’s. We needed dog food and dish soap so I caved and bought shampoo (champu). I headed home to wash my hair for the first time in 7 days.

Leila has been asking me and asking me what I want to do before we leave (I don’t want readers to get too excited; we’re not leaving that soon). I don’t really know what I want to do that we haven’t done already. She didn’t have to go to the hospital Wednesday, so she picked me up and we went to Poca de Beija, the small hot pools. Leila tried to tell me at Carnaval (where there was lots of alcohol) that we could never be really good friends because her English isn’t good, we can’t communicate, blah blah blah. Her English is great and we are becoming very close friends. After Poca de Beija we went to Gloria’s where we got bolos and cakes. I got some caramel cake for John and Ken.

When I got home, John and I each had a bolos. I got ready for class and John and Ken went to play futsol with a few of the juniors, since they aren’t practicing this week. Leila and her brother Philip were taking us out to dinner after class. This was the second day in a row I had 12 ladies!


After class I scooted home to shower, John and Ken were at Pic Nic, and I found a giant turd Romeo had left for me upstairs. John came home and they took him for a walk while I finished getting ready. Leila and Philip beeped around 8:15pm.

We were going to Lagoa for dinner, to a place Philip had been before. It turned out to be inside a youth hostel, and was totally dead. This is, on Sao Miguel at least, not a deciding factor for whether a restaurant is decent or not. In the states if we walked into an empty restaurant, we would probably turn around and leave. We ordered bottles of wine and meals, which I took photos of.

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We thoroughly enjoyed all of our food and our wine. I had pork that had stuffing on the outside, Philip had pasta, Ken had a traditional Azorean steak with egg and french fries. John had a steak that had bacon and bread underneath it. Leila got chicken wrapped in bacon, and on the side it had ananas (pineapple) with cocktail sauce. I know what you’re thinking, but it was actually really tasty.

Ken even asked for bread to slop up the remaining sauces so he didn’t miss a drop. We piled back into Philip’s truck to head somewhere else for dessert. There is a bar on the beach about 10 minutes from the hostel-restaurant that serves crepes. It had started to rain and we had kind of a hard time finding the entrance, but we made it.


Ok, so this doesn’t actually look as good as it tasted. Trust me, it tasted delicious.

We stayed almost until they closed and then headed back to Povoacao. 

Day One Hundred Seventy Three (um cento setenta e tres)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

27 Março 2014

After having gone out to dinner the night before and getting home decidedly late (for an old lady like me), I slept in. I woke up just before 10:00am and peaked at my phone. Leila had messaged me saying her mom, my sweet Lucy, wanted to have lunch with me. My immediate thoughts were; “No, because I physically can’t get out of bed” and then “When I do get out of bed, I have to run 5 miles…” I messaged her back, “Maybe another day is better, I’m still in bed”. I got up, brushed my teeth and put my contacts in (this process makes me human). I messaged her again; I’d love to go for lunch. This is a picture from a different day, but I Love Lucy.


I set out for 5 miles without Romeo (much faster this way), hopped into the shower. Hell, I even styled my hair. Leila picked me up at noon.

We drove to her house on lomba do Alcaide where Philip and my dear Liliana already were. Lucy had made bacalhau, sweet potatoes, and a black-eyed pea salad. and two desserts. She made a custard pie and then a tarte de feijao which means bean pie but isn’t anything like the desserts I’ve made with beans (epic-fail brownies and chickpea cookies). It was sweet, and creamy, and tasted like cinnamon. Lucy’s aunt Mary Jo came by. She is Nedia’s mother and speaks English because she lived in Bermuda for 15 years. Her English was pretty damn good, but amused Lucy and Leila. It’s a lot better than my Portuguese.

Philip and Liliana headed back to work at the bank and Lucy pulled out pictures of Daniela, Leila, and Philip. They were mostly recent pictures, college graduations and such, but there were a few gems of them as little kids. Adorable.

I told Lucy I would give her a picture of me and John. She, like my mother, doesn’t like that digital cameras signified the end of the printed photo. We decided to go to Gloria Moniz (yes, again) for bolos and other treats. We stopped on the way at Nedia’s house where she showed me her DIY crafting skills (like the lamp shade she made out of cassette tapes–genius!) and her greenhouse. We had talked about the greenhouse when we walked the lagoa, because I have been telling everyone that when I get home I am going to grow my own vegetables (I can’t even keep house plants alive, so it’s going to be interesting). She cut me two big heads of lettuce and we were on our way. In the car, I added the lettuce to my bag of food that Lucy had given to me, which included all the leftovers from lunch. #foodfordays

We drove to Furnas and got bolos to take home, and I got coconut cake. Leila tricked me and got a ginormous piece of chocolate cake, and then only ate a few bites, which of course meant I finished it for her. My belly hurt for the rest of the day.

They dropped me off at home and I got ready to teach class. I was going to head to the gym to do Back Day before my class, but I just couldn’t. I decided to go afterwards.


When I arrived at Toronto, Leila had one more thing for me: the tarte de feijao. I couldn’t bring that into the gym with me! I left it at Toronto, did Back Day (with foam rolling, I was in and out in 25 minutes), grabbed my tarte and headed home. I was still full from lunch and snacks, so I had some leftover salad with avocado while I Skyped with Anna.

Days 140, 141, 142… “There’s a slug in my salad” and more tales from the Azores.

Day One Hundred Forty (dia um centena de quarente)


21 Fevereiro 2014

I had 5 miles to do before we hit the gym. I took Romeo on the first mile and then trudged along alone—either I was still feeling Leg Day or I am just fatigued from my sniffles (which were pretty much gone).

Friday: circuit day. We each chose two exercises to perform at 50 reps for a 300 workout. John chose curl-squat-press and SB leg curls, Ken chose downward cable rotations (50 each side!!) and hanging rotational knee tucks (25 each side). I chose alternating V-ups (25 each) and laying leg raises. Although we finished quickly, it was definitely difficult. Afterwards we headed off to Pic Nic to recuperate.

I am on this huge sauteed veggies and egg kick, so when we got home I made myself an enormous scramble and then showered.


I then tried (once again) to make corn flour tortillas (this would be my third attempt. Correction: third failed attempt.) I moved on to eat the black bean hummus I had made the night before—super delicious. While the corn flour tortillas ended up more like polenta, covered in my homemade PB and an Azorean banana, it still managed to satisfy my bread craving.


Since we stopped eating dinner at 11:00 at night, we got out of eating together at 5:30pm as well. It’s too early for me—when I get back from teaching Estou cheia de fome!! (straight translation: I am full of the hunger). John usually doesn’t even have a snack before practice, then gets home famished and eats a few PB&Js or a giant bowl of cereal. I, alternatively, have been coming home and making feel-good clean eats after class, but just for myself. Determined to form a better pattern, Friday I made a big bag of chicken drumsticks, with rice and veggies for him to eat before practice. I also walked down to the fruit market where I found eggplant. This is a giant score.

After I walked to the fruit market and finished making John’s dinner, I prepped for myself: rehydrated tofu flakes, cauliflower “rice”, and a diced onion. I was going to make myself some “fried” “rice” after class.

John headed off to practice and I went over to ALKE. Inspired by our morning workout, I put them through a 300 routine as well. Ten exercises, 30 reps of each, with a 1:00 plank (front, side, reverse, hands, elbows… etc) in between each set. Modifications included wall sit and jumping rope. Lola told me she had gotten avocados at the fruit market. Avocados? My eggplant were no longer seeming like a giant score. Except for some decidedly un-ripe guacamole Lina made for us when we first got here, I have not had an avocado in almost 5 months. She told me she had bought 3, and that there were at least 4 more. I planned to check on Saturday.


I love these ladies. I am going to miss each and every one of them.


I got home and whipped up my tofu and cauliflower “rice”. Which was delicious, but not enough food. I ended up satueing a bunch of veggies and (another!) egg to eat, too. I was going to clean the apartment, which I usually do on Saturdays, but I was exhausted. I was in bed with the light off when John got home from practice. #thisisfridaynight

Day One Hundred Forty One (dia um centena de quarenta e um)

Saturday (Sabado)

22 Fevereiro 2014

I got up around 8:30am to prepare for my long run. I had just gotten dressed and boiled water for my green tea when Ken texted John to say he was at Pic Nic. Ken’s friend, Tori, had arrived from Boston at 7:00am and Ken had gone to pick her up. After determining that nothing in the city was open and the weather was not that nice, they had come right back to Povoacao. John and I got ready to go (which involved me eating a spoonful of homemade peanut butter and grabbing a banana). We had to take Romeo for a walk first anyway, so we grabbed our empty water jugs and filled them up in the spring water spigot near Ken’s apartment while we did so. After we dropped Romeo back off we went to meet Ken and Tori.

Tori lives in New York but grew up in Connecticut and went to RISD. She had not slept at all when we met her, so after a quick cafe (and, in my case, shoving a banana gracefully down my throat) they took off so she could get settled. I had told Ken about the avocados, so they stopped in at the fruit market but told me later they had no more avocados. I took off for my 12 miles in the lombas and John and Ken went to their respective homes briefly, because some English Premier League game was on at 11:45am.

I was a little nervous about my run since I’d been dragging all week. I also got used to putting my rest day before my long run day as a preparation, rather than after. It wasn’t raining out, but the wind was really intense. This ended up working completely in my favor as the wind was blowing in from the water, and was thus hitting my back whenever I ran uphill. I had my fastest lomba run (and probably solo-long-run) to date.

When I got back I ate one of my homemade protein bars and took a warm shower (it had started to sprinkle at the very end of my run). Once I was clean, I went to cleaning the apartment and then making myself pancakes. #willrunforpancakes


I was trying to get ready quickly so I could get to Pic Nic for the Arsenal game at 2:00pm. Not because I give two hoots about Arsenal, but so Tori wouldn’t have to sit through a second soccer game with just John and Ken. I was sort-of-almost about to get dressed when John came home and announced that Pic Nic couldn’t play the Arsenal game because they don’t get the right channel. He also said that Tori was still napping, so then I didn’t feel quite as bad for not having left the apartment.

He had come home with a box of pastries. It was Rui’s birthday the day before (we totally missed it). We had seen Rui at Pic Nic that morning and he had reminded us. We said happy birthday to him, and also that we were sorry. “Parabens! Desculpa!” John bought him a cafe.

When John went back to Pic Nic an hour or so later, Rui presented him with a box of pastries and, just as quickly, turned around and left Pic Nic. I went to making some more chocolate-sweet-potato-”cookies” because I didn’t want to eat those treats. #eatcleantrainmean

Since the Arsenal game wasn’t on at Pic Nic and it had started to absolutely down pour after John’s return, we didn’t leave the house for the rest of the day.


We were planning to have Toronto Night’s pizza for dinner, but when we walked Romeo over a little before 6:00pm no one was there. No one was at Lina’s mom’s house either, so we decided to eat leftovers. I roasted up the eggplant I had gotten at the fruit market and put my leftover meat sauce on top to make little Italian treats. John heated up some of the drumsticks, and I made some more Tofu and “rice” with onions and zucchini. And a big fat salad.

When I was cutting up the lettuce for the big-fat-salad to put in my relatively new salad spinner I had spotted something brown on a lettuce leaf. At first I thought it was just a piece of soggy lettuce leaf, but upon closer inspection I saw what it really was: a slug. A SLUG. I began yelling frantically to John, who was in the bedroom: “JOHN. JOHN. JOHN. COME HERE. COMEHERERIGHTNOW.” He ran into the kitchen where I pointed with my carving knife (thanking god that I hadn’t chopped the damn thing in half!.

John watched quietly as I point down the knife and grabbed a paper towel to grab the slug with. Just as I went to reach for it, he “caw-caw”-ed loudly. I began screaming obscenities at him as he rolled onto the floor and then on to his back laughing. And crying. Once he finally got his act together, and I stopped screaming, he picked the slug up and threw it away. I finished washing the lettuce. #theshowmustgoon

That was pretty much the most exciting thing to happen to us on a Saturday night in a while. After we ate, we watched Disney’s “Up”, which I had never seen but John and Ken were quoting earlier in the week. As soon as it was finished I read one chapter of my David Sedaris book (laughing periodically), John walked Romeo, and we all went to bed.


Day One Hundred Forty Two (dia um centena quarenta e dois)

Sunday (Domingo)

23 Fevereiro 2014

Since my Nike+ Coach has moved my long-runs to Saturday (and the gym isn’t open on Sundays) I am trying to embrace my rest days. I got up early enough to take Romeo for a stroll around the whole vila and do a tiny bit of DIY kitchen yoga (which is harder than it sounds because Romeo thinks that just because I’m on the floor, I want to play. And by “play” I mean have him scratch my head and run into me repeatedly). John had a juniors’ game at 11:00am and the seniors were playing at 3:00pm. I was just really glad they were both home games.

After he took off for the complex I finished getting ready and then walked up to Ken’s apartment to get picked up with Tori. She told me Ken had texted her saying Pedro would be by a little after 11:00am. So we waited. Around 11:45am I asked how she felt about walking—it really isn’t that far, the sun was out, and I wanted to see at least one half of the juniors game. We started our uphill journey.

About halfway up lomba do Cavaleiro Pedro pulled up in his rental van. He had gone to my apartment and to Ken’s apartment and hadn’t found us. He plays pick-up soccer on Sunday mornings, and that was where he had been. We piled in and made it up in time to see the second half.

I had no idea what the score was, and I didn’t recognize any Mira Mar fans as English-speakers. I saw our crazy fan lady, Pedro’s mom. Pedro got a red card last weekend after the juniors’ game was over. I didn’t even know you could get a card after a game was over. He will be out for the next three games. Two other players got red cards, so John’s line-up was a little different this day. We got to see Saco score for Mira Mar (he left his shirt on this time) and Santa Clara score at least three times. Rui came and sat with us and kept speaking in Portuguese. I said “Falas Ingles, Rui! I don’t speak Portuguese.” When suddenly the sweet teenage girl sitting behind me said, “He’s asking if you’re going to watch the second game”. English?!” I said, “You speak English?” and she nodded politely, “What’s the score?”

At that point, it was 5-1 (including Saco’s goal). The game finished 7-1. Santa Clara is an incredible club, well-known and well-funded, and with Mira Mar missing three of their starting players, 7-1 wasn’t a terrible loss.

I tried to give Tori the low-down on who was who in the Mira Mar cast of characters. We had two hours before the seniors’ played, so we told Pedro we were walking down for lunch and he said he would drive us back up for the second game. We, along with Rui, started our descent.

Rui, who had generously given John his birthday pastries the day before, extracted from his pocket two keychains: one was a whale that said “Villy” for me, and another similar for Tori. We thanked him and wondered where they came from.

About halfway down the lomba, Pedro pulled over with the van, already containing two juniors players (Jose, and I don’t know who else) along with Ken and John. We jumped in, too, and it was not until we were sitting inside Pic Nic that I realized Rui had not gotten in the van with us. About 15 minutes later he walked in and sat down at the table next to us.

We all got omelets, which is something Ken regularly orders there but John and I had never gotten. I got mine just like I get my pizza; loaded with ham and veggies, sin queijo. It was delicious. We all got cafes and we heard Pedro honk from outside. The boys left in a hurry for their own game and Tori and I took our time leaving. We still had an hour before Pedro was coming back for us.

We paid our tab and walked back to my place to get Romeo. Tori loved him immediately (seriously, who doesn’t?) and Romeo made sure to put a show on for her. He was howling and hopping, running on the bed and snuggling. I put his collar on and we walked to Ken’s apartment. Tori needed to get some euros, so she grabbed her card and we walked down to one of the ATMs. While it was still very sunny, the wind was picking up. We walked Romeo home and headed back to the jardim to meet Pedro.

We walked over to the box where we found Glebiana with Mufasa and Serenela with her dog, Wendy.

liza&mufasaThis is me and my friend, Mufasa

Because there is no sun on that side of the field, we were pretty cold for the next two hours. John and Ken both started (no more funny business) and Mira Mar began the game moving the ball around very well. Berto got taken out inside Aguia’s box and was awarded a penalty kick (the ref started out relatively fair), which he scored. They ended the first half Mira Mar: 1, Aguia: 0. In the second half, Mira Mar was awarded three free kicks, one right after the other. They were like Goldielocks shots: Ken took one and over shot it. Alex took one and kept it on the ground, which hit the wall of players. John took the third which was a beautiful shot, but the goalie frantically saved. Aguia hadn’t had any good opportunities yet, so when Marco headed a ball in a few minutes later, I thought the game was ours, even when Aguia scored with 15 minutes left. What I didn’t realize until Ernesto was driving us home was that the ref had (inaccurately) called Marco offsides.

John literally knocked knees with an Aguia player in the first half, but brushed it off. In the second half, one of their players elbowed him in the nose. The ref “didn’t see it”, but John was bleeding pretty profusely. I didn’t even see him go down, so I was surprised when the lovely lady who works at Euromotas (the store next to our apartment) leaned over to me and said, “John! John!” pointing to the far end of the field. I didn’t even know she knew who I was. I watched John get up, lean over, and bleed his way off the field. After several minutes of rinsing his nose with their spring water spigot, he returned to the game, only to be taken out with 10 minutes left. They still didn’t put Adam in, this marking at least the third game in a row he hasn’t played a minute of.

When the game was over (and my self-indulgent ass was cheering like we had won..mainly because I thought we had), Tori and I ran our cold bodies to Ernesto’s car. I had told her he always drives me home, like it is an unspoken agreement. Even though he tends to be the first person out of the complex, he has never left without me. I introduced Tori to him and to Kevin (who had scored the winning goal in his futsol match the night before) and then we got into the warm car. It was then that Ernesto told me the game had ended in a tie, and that Marco’s goal had been called offsides. Bummer.

He dropped us off and I immediately made my favorite Gorreana green tea for me and Tori to warm our souls. John and Ken got home shortly after and we all walked down to Pic Nic so that the boys could have their Sunday beers. I got more tea on account of still not being able to feel my toes.

After about an hour of sitting, I was starving. We discussed the food situation, and I knew I had plenty to feed everyone (especially knowing that we would go shopping the next day). I went home to start dinner alone. Tori offered to help, but I warned her that I get kind of Nazi-like in the kitchen. I would text them when it was almost ready.

I had pulled some meat out of the freezer before we had left for Pic Nic, but it was no where near defrosted. I plugged the sink, threw in the packaged meat, and began to fill it with warm water. Meanwhile, I chopped up my beloved eggplant, a zucchini, and red and green peppers to roast. All of a sudden I heard a “tic-tic-tic” sound that I could not identify. I looked toward the stove, and then to the sink. The water was still running and the sink was overflowing. There was water all over the counter and the floor, and a few minutes later I discovered it was also inside my drawers and cabinets. Lovely.

I mopped up what was on the floor and grabbed rags to wipe the rest. I continued cooking until I had roasted veggies, honey-soy-garlic pork, meat sauce, pasta, and salad. The boys and Tori came home and we feasted. Somehow, water was still dripping.

I found out Tori tries to eat clean, too. She doesn’t eat white flours or dairy. I told her about all my gluten-free, sugar-free baking experiments and failures and she tried one of my sweet potato cocoa cookies. She said it was good, but I know they are an acquired taste. We told the previous night’s story of the slug, and I couldn’t help but notice that after that, Tori didn’t eat any salad.

Big Al & P.Diddy come to Povoacao: Days 126, 127, 128, 129, 130

Day One Hundred Twenty Six (dia um centena de vinte e seis)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

7 Fevereiro 2014

We woke up (early for us means before 8:00am) and it was raining. I had picked up the rental car the night before and Romeo had an appointment at 10:00am to get groomed (#thankyejesus). John and I got ready and picked Ken up.

We were planning on dropping Romeo off, going to the mall to shop at Continente, and having a nice lunch, before picking Romeo up and heading back to Povoacao (I had 8 miles to log !!) We drove through the rain and fog and got off the highway at the mall exit. I had been to the groomer’s once before with Carla to drop off her Honey, and I was pretty sure I knew where it was. I had showed it to John and Ken on google maps and they were sure they had walked by it a million times when they had been staying in Ponta Delgada. We took a right turn after the mall and quickly the boys pointed out the (wrong!) groomer. I told them that wasn’t it and then began giggling uncontrollably. “What?” they wanted to know, was so funny. “Well, we’re screwed”. We have no phone, no internet, and no idea where this place is. It was 10:05am.

Luckily, after a few laps around the surrounding blocks I saw it. We got Romeo out of the car and walked into the groomer’s. The groomer was a really sweet 20-something-year-old guy with shaggy hair. He was showing us into the room where he would groom Romeo when he asked, “Romeo is a dog, right?” John, used to this question, responded with “Yeah! He’s a dog–not a wolf, haha”. But then I remembered that in Portuguese they have two words for “dog”: “cao” and “cadela“. A cao is a male dog, and a cadela is a female dog (put it in google translate and it actually says “bitch”). “Yes, he’s a boy!” We all laughed and then we left. Romeo cried for a few minutes once he’d been chained to his table (sounds WAY less humane than it actually looks) but he was fine. The groomer said it would only take him 45 minutes. Forty-five minutes?! In the States it always took upwards of 4 hours.





We sped over to the mall where John and Ken got breakfast-bifanas, which are just like regular bifanas except you eat them at 10:30am. We scooted down to Continente where I bought some stuff for Carla (dog food and cereal bars) and some veggies and nuts for my new cavegirl diet. I also got some sesame nougat crackers, because I was starving and wasn’t going to eat a breakfast-bifana. Ken stocked up on Kinder Buenos and we headed back to the groomers. Romeo looked great, except he was still all wet. The guy was just finishing him up when we got there; he sprayed some deodorant on Romeo, clipped just his fifth nails on his front legs, and rung me up. Fifteen euros. Fifteen! I couldn’t believe it. I also couldn’t believe how much fur was still falling off of him.

I had put Romeo’s choke collar and leash back on but had handed him to John when I was paying. As soon as we got outside, Romeo shook his newly-clean fur and his collar crashed to the ground. Romeo turned around and gave us a look of realization before he took off into the street. John and Ken sprinted after him and I got in our rental car and peeled out after them.

Luckily for us, Romeo stopped to poop and John caught him. All three of the boys piled back in the car. We decided to stop by the cafe that John and Ken had gone to with their team before one of their last games. It was a Pao do Rei! Not the one that Lina, Carla, and I usually go to, but one of the other chains. We all got galaoes and the boys got some treats. We got back in the car, and sort of by accident (three people who think they know where they’re going) ended up driving home on the south side of the island.

It was so foggy that for a while I could hardly see 30 meters in front of me, but it had mostly stopped raining. When we got back to Povoacao, we dropped Ken off and it started to rain again. I had a power snack and put my game face on to go run.


I wanted to hit-up the bread van, too, so my dad could enjoy the fresh papos secos when he got here. I got all geared up and walked to the square, but the bread van wasn’t there. I put a euro in my tights with my key, just in case I saw him while I was running.

I declined to take Romeo with me (hell, he’d already gotten his run in!). After about a mile, I decided to drop my outer-most-layer off at home, because by this point it was so wet it wasn’t doing anything except weighing me down. When I got to our apartment I saw the bread van on the next block. I ran to it, bought 6 papos secos and ran back home with them. For at least two of my miles it didn’t rain, but the other 6 were pretty wet. When I got home I left all my clothes at the bottom of the stairs and took the hot shower I’d been promising myself. I was supposed to pick up some more papers from 7 Lombas rent-a-car and I wanted to fill up on gas so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning, but it was so cold and nasty that I did neither.

What I did instead was make unsweetened applesauce which was super easy and made our apartment smell like apple pie. I stored it in some honey jars I’d been saving and using for chia seed pudding. I am over the chia seed pudding at the moment and totally addicted to whole oats with a spoonful of PB and cinnamon.


When I went off to teach class it had basically stopped raining.


John was having more leftovers for dinner, so I just made some veggies with brown/cauliflower “rice” mixed in with the tofu I bought with Lina. It didn’t really taste like anything, so with the veggies and rice it was really just added protein. It comes dehydrated so I had to soak it for thirty minutes before I could cook it. I made my couve soup and cleaned for my parents. I got into bed early to read and rest before another early, even earlier, start tomorrow.


Day One Hundred Twenty Seven (dia um centena de vinte e sete)

Saturday (Sabado)

8 Fevereiro 2014

John and I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30am. A time we have not seen since we arrived here (even on New Years I think we fell asleep at 5:00am). We got ready and headed to the aeroporto. The weather was slightly better than the day before, but it was still a little foggy. I had checked before we left and saw that my parents’ flight had left Boston on time, but when we got to the airport they had actually been waiting about 45 minutes.

We rejoiced at each others’ presence and then got back in the teeny-tiny rental Hyundai which John had tried to clean Romeo’s fur out of. We went home via the north side of the island but then I missed the exit for Furnas, and we nearly ran out of gas. John was the one who noticed my missed-turn and we were able to get back on track, but not before we made my dad super-nervous, “Did you say you were lost?” It’s pretty hard to get lost on an island, but if anyone could do it it would be me. Or my mom. However, when there is only one road to Furnas, it’s almost impossible. We turned around, made the correct exit, and traveled through Furnas without further confusion. We stopped for gas.

As soon as we got home and I put fresh sheets on our bed both my parents took a nap. And John went into our makeshift bed-on-the-floor-in-our-loft-living-room and passed out, too. Then Romeo fell asleep and I was alone. I took advantage of the time and blogged before everyone woke back up. I had changed up my running schedule (and gotten off track of my Nike Plus!!) so I wouldn’t have a run today, but it turned out that I had a few hours to spare.


Once everyone arose from their respective naps, John headed to Pic Nic for the Arsenal game (they were already down 2-0!) and the rest of us set off to walk the vila and then meet him at Pic-Nic. It was raining. Before we walked anywhere we went into Carla’s salon so my parents could meet her. I had remembered to tell my parents some Portuguese things (like to pack your own toilet paper for the soccer game), but I had forgotten to mention the kiss-kiss greetings they would surely receive. Fortunately, Carla broke them in gently.

We were going to take a little walking tour, but it was crummy out so we just walked to Pic Nic and my parents and I got cafes. I still have not mastered at-home coffee brewing so I bought some instant before they arrived. They are not really instant-coffee-people, but it was better than nothing. My dad did some surgery on my tablespoon-tea-bag-filter on Sunday and tried to make Dunkin’s, but it wasn’t quite a win. Yet.

After our coffees at Pic-Nic John joined us as we walked to Antonio’s to grab some snacks. My parents poked around the Portuguese-style supermarket and we bought rose wine, butter biscuits, cashews, dog food and a Kinder Bueno for my dad to try. We headed home again. We were getting pizza from Toronto Night’s at 5:30pm before John and Ken got picked up for their game at 6:30pm.

My parents and I walked over to Toronto Nights where the got to meet Lina. We had gotten two fully loaded and one without cheese for me and my mom that also had half without meat (Lina is good people, so she deals with our annoying-ness). We walked home and Ken came over. My mom probably hasn’t had pizza in a decade but she loved it and my dad couldn’t get enough. John and Ken went off to get picked up for their game. I walked Romeo (still raining!) and we all got geared up for the Mira Mar vs. Vale Formoso game. This is their neighborhood rivalry (Vale Formoso is from Furnas), Mira Mar got smoked last time they played, and of course there was drama with the referees making terrible calls and all the Vale Formoso players diving excessively. Especially the captain. Vale Formoso is currently in 1st place and Mira Mar is in 5th, out of 7. This game was kind of a big deal.

When we arrived at the field (after DRIVING there! what a novelty) we settled into the box seating. Serenela and Glebiana were there with Mufasa the puppy.


It soon became apparent that the refs were considering cancelling the game due to the weather; there were giant bubbles in some spots, while in others there were air bubbles. The turf was a mess.


The refs were warming-up pretty seriously and didn’t seem perturbed by the conditions. The Vale Formoso officials were trying fervently to get them to see how bad it was. One official kept attempting to bounce a ball at half field and it would just land lamely with a thud. I think the Vale Formoso players and officials didn’t want to jeopardize their cushy 1st place position with shitty conditions, but that is just my opinion. After an HOUR, yes an hour, the refs started the game. But the one-hour rain delay (forcing a 9:00pm start time) wasn’t the only troubling thing. John was sitting on the bench through most of the discussions, while the rest of the team was sitting-pretty in the locker rooms. He stayed on that bench when the starting line-up took the field (he has never, since we arrived in October, not started a game), and didn’t play one minute of the game.

IMG_1821 IMG_1823

I asked Marcelo who had also come to sit in the box and he said he had no idea why John wasn’t playing. When Filipe came off the field in the second half, he too joined us in the box. He also said he had no idea why they weren’t playing John. 

Mira Mar scored off a corner kick and held Vale Formoso at bay for all 90 minutes for a win. It was awesome that they had beat the 1st place team, at home, but it sucked that JB didn’t play. It also sucked that this weirdness happened while my parents were here. They have never seen John play.

When John and Ken came back after the game (to finish their pizza, of course) neither of them had any idea. Neither coach had said anything to John about why he hadn’t started, or even played, in the game. He took Romeo for his late-night stroll and stopped at Cesar’s to have some commiseration/celebration beers. Everyone was pumped they had beaten Vale Formoso. John forgot his key so he buzzed at some point and it took me a minute to figure out what the sound was before I got out of bed and fumbled to the buzzer.


Day One Hundred Twenty Eight (dia um centena de vinte e oito)

Sunday (Domingo)

9 Fevereiro 2014

I woke up around 9:00am and everyone was still sleeping. I made my tea, had some oatmeal, and got ready to run. My mom got up and we had a little vila-lesson-involving-google-maps so she wouldn’t get lost. I found her around mile 4 staring at the “map” outside the zoo (it’s more like a picture of the east half of the island..helpful in no way whatsoever) and we went to the water closet together. I was here at least 3 months before I finally figured out what WC meant. And by “figured out” I mean I asked Ken. All the bathrooms in Portugal (and Spain, if I remember correctly) are marked “WC”. When John, Ken, and I flew to Lisbon together before Christmas I finally asked Ken, because I knew he would know. When I was telling this story to Lina later she admitted she never knew what it stood for, just that a WC was a bathroom. Bathrooms are funny because everyone calls them something different. Lina calls it going to the washroom. I mostly say bathroom, unless I’m trying to be less-crude and then I say restroom. Ken says toilet which makes for endless fun. “I was in the toilet,” he’ll say. “Really?” I’ll reply, “You were inside the toilet?”

After my mom and I used the impeccably clean WC, I took off to finish my 5 miles and she continued walking. When I got home I grabbed cash and quickly scooted up to Fatima’s before they closed at noon. We didn’t have any lettuce, were running out of instant coffee, and I wanted to grab some eggs. I saw my mom again and we discussed where the apartment was.

She never did get lost, but she probably would never have found our apartment if it wasn’t for Carla’s salon. She was on the street staring at our door and a few of our neighbor’s doors when she saw Kadu Instituto de Belza. She knocked loudly because she didn’t know which buzzer was ours.

John made his bomb-tastic hashbrowns for him and my dad and I made eggs. I just made ham and eggs for my dad, but I went all out for me and my mom: sauteed onions, peppers, zucchini, and to mine I added some cooked chicken I had in the fridge. We had our big fat brunch and then walked down to Pic Nic, where John was already watching a game. After we had coffees, my parents and I walked around the vila a little bit and then home where I started dinner.

I made meatballs for the boys and sauce with tofu and eggplant for me and my mom. Once I had nearly burned, but mostly finished our dinner, John and Ken came back and we left for Furnas. I drove us up through the lombas where I run so my parents could see it. We went up Lomba do Pos to Lomba do Alcaide and finally down Lomba do Loucao. Then we made our way to Furnas. We probably got to the pools (which we never would have found had there not been signs) around 5:00pm. We started in one of the larger pools and then made our way to the tiny, hot-tub-like pools where you can sit. I have never seen my dad so relaxed in my entire life. We got changed and then made our way to the place where you get the best bolos levedos ever.

We got a 5-pack of that (which we dug into right away), a few pieces of the incredible caramel cake, a pumpkin thing, and two fofas. We then drove back to Povoacao where John and Ken walked to Pic Nic to get beers. We ate dinner (the boys had their meatballs on the fresh bread van papos secos and my mom and I had our eggplant on zucchini “pasta”) and then indulged in the treats we had brought home. Once I start eating treats I can’t stop, so after I had half a fofa and a whole piece of caramel cake I went out to walk Romeo. When I got home we all started settling in for bed.


Day One Hundred Twenty Nine (dia um centena de vinte e novo)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

10 Fevereiro 2014

We all got up a little earlier than we had the day before. My mom got ready to walk, and John, my dad, and I walked over to the gym to meet Ken. We did chest day:

  • 30 push ups
  • DB bench @ 4 rounds
  • DB inclide@ 4 rounds
  • Cable fly @ 4 rounds
  • 30 push ups

My dad did his own thing, which happened to include 100 push ups. He also got on the bike and the treadmill and hung out with us until we were done. We were going to meet my mom at Pic Nic, but as we were walking down the driveway we found her coming down the stairs of Toronto Nights, “Mom!” She said she remembered that the gym was behind Toronto Nights. Ha. We walked to Pic Nic together and my parents indulged and got galaoes. It had started to rain, and only got worse as the day went on. My plan had been to go to the fish market and make fresh fish for dinner. I made some sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies and then finally braved the rain. John and I walked Romeo to the fish market first, which was closed, and then to Antonio’s where we bought frozen salmon and more rose wine for my mom.

John ended up having double practices, so he took off with Ken (and the car!) and I took off for class.


My dad cooked the salmon while I was gone and we had it with roasted veggies and salad. It had cleared up outside, so after dinner the three of us took Romeo for a long walk by the water and enjoyed the warm, dry air.  We all settled in for bed just as John got home–he still didn’t know what happened Saturday night.


Day One Hundred Thirty (dia um centena de trinta)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

11 Fevererio 2014

Again, I woke up extremely early (before 7:00am) and went downstairs to wake up my mom. It is super dark here at that hour (actually, I bet it’s not quite as dark as it is in Massachusetts). I told my mom it was 7:00am. “What time is it?” she asked. “Well, it’s 3:00am,” I answered. She has been really confused about the time difference since she got here. “What?!” I explained that it was 7am here, but 3am at home (where she will be returning to today). We both meandered in the kitchen drinking tea and coffee (and I had a few PB balls) and then I headed out to run 6 miles. I was supposed to do my second Fartlek, but I didn’t read the details of my training run and just went out. That was probably just as well since I ran like a slug. I had another 6 mile run the next day, and I decided to do that one as my Fartlek to make up for it.


When I got back I almost ate-shit slipping on our front step. It was wet out, but I think it was my new sneaks since I have gone out a hundred times in the rain and never slipped here. I got nervous that my mom would fall too so I used Romeo’s towel to wipe it dry. Of course, she came home a minute later and didn’t slip at all. I took Romeo out quickly while I was still all wet. Romeo had gotten into my mom’s ear plugs (which she wears because my dad snores like… well, like I do). Both my parents along with John had searched high and low but only found one ear plug (a bright orange plunger-shaped foam thing) but when Romeo relieved himself that morning, I found the other one. And just like everything else that dogs eats, he hadn’t chewed it at all. I grabbed it for my mom, knowing full-well that she wouldn’t want it. I brought it back to the apartment in a littered gum wrapper. She didn’t want it.

We all got ready and left for the city. The rain had lightened up, but the fog was intense. I drove to the city via the south so we could show my parents the big lake in Furnas (Lagoa do Furnas). I wasn’t sure how to get to the highway that way, so we just followed the signs for the Lagoa and it was easy. By the time we got to the city, the sun was peaking out of the clouds. We parked on the street pretty easily and walked the Portas de Cidade. We sat down for lunch at a restaurant called Angel’s Bay (Baia do Anjo) where our waitress spoke almost-perfect English (this is where the cruise ships dock). Her English was really good, but then when she was asking what my mom would like to order she said, “And you, lady,” which sounded kind of rude, but she was being very polite.


We enjoyed our lunches–I had a giant (GIANT) shrimp omelet, my mom had a sailor’s salad, and both John and my dad had beafsteak with rice, salad, french fries, and, of course, two sunny side-up eggs. We finished our meal off with cafes and walked back to the teeny-tiny rental car. Just 10 minutes later we were at the airport saying our goodbyes. These were not as hard as when we moved to Portugal–when John and I moved we had no idea when we would see them again, and I had no idea what I was in for. This time we know exactly how many days until we see each other again, and it really isn’t very many.

After we dropped them off we scooted over to the mall where we were meeting Vitor, Mira Mar’s new goalie. I was hoping to do a little shopping, but we didn’t have enough time. We followed him to Ribeira Grande where he has the friend who does tattoos.


Vitor was getting one tattoo finished and getting another small one. This is where John & Ken came last week and got theirs, but I couldn’t go with them.


I talked to the guy about what I wanted but ultimately we didn’t enough time. Which was fine, because now he will spend a good amount of time drawing it up and not rushing. We made a plan to come back on Thursday. We followed Vitor back to Povoacao.


I ran up to Fatima’s because we didn’t have any food. I decided not to take the rental car because, seriously, it is three blocks away. Of course it was the one time I had a bag rip on my walk home, and then I was cursing my stubborn self. I put the groceries away (after I picked them up off the street) and hurried off to class. 


When I got home I made a big salad and put salmon and chicken on it. John was at Pic Nic watching the Benfica game and he and Ken came home shortly after I got home because Pic Nic had been so packed. Once I finished eating the cleaning commenced. A bajillion loads of laundry, cleaning up the bed upstairs, and sweeping, sweeping, sweeping (Romeo’s fur is WORSE if at all possible!). It also became apparent while my parents were here that we have enough glasses/plates/bowls for two people to eat easily without a dishwasher, but four people (sometimes five) and no dishwasher meant a constant stream of dished being washed and/or dried for anyone to eat/drink something.

Once I was mostly done cleaning and down to just doing laundry, John went downstairs to give Vitor some money. He left the door cracked open which was all the invitation Romeo needed. As I was just getting settled in to finish my book This is Where I Leave You I heard John: “Romeo! ROMEO!” and then footsteps running down the street. John hopped in Vitor’s car and took off. I stood on the steps for a few minutes calling Romeo’s name until Ken messaged me saying that both John and Romeo were at his place. Goodnight.

112, 113, 114… packages, peanut butter balls, and more long runs

Day One Hundred Twelve (dia um centena de doze)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

24 Janeiro 2014

I was in bed when John got home from practice the night before (which has been my MO since we started eating dinner earlier) so it was only fitting that he was in bed when I went out to run the next morning. I had two Peanut Butter energy balls that I had made the afternoon before (total experiment and if you are a resident of Massachusetts, don’t even BOTHER, just go to like I’ve said before). I didn’t bake them and they were totally sticky, so I figured they might “set” in the fridge overnight. I guess they were slightly less sticky in the morning, and ridiculously delicious so I didn’t care. They also sat very well pre-run and mid-run. Romeo came with me for almost 2 and I finished 5 altogether. On Thursday I had hit 100 mile for the month. Thank you, Nike.


It’s been really warm the last few days—like run-in-a-tank-and-shorts-warm—so after running I need to change or else I will freeze to death sitting in a puddle of my own sweat. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I am a sweater. And I’m not ashamed to admit it; I sweat like a whore in church. Mostly when I’m running or lifting, but sometimes when my coffee is too hot or I’m nervous, or for any number of other tiny instances that require my body to self-regulate.

Anyway, after I ran and changed (and threw some chili together and left the heat on low) we walked over to meet Ken at the gym. We had two packages waiting for us and John was really excited because his mom had sent him new hair clippers a few weeks ago, so he thought they were here. I tried to gear him up for the realization that my dad sent a package before his mom and also our friend Anne and her fiance Joseph had sent something from Turkey. Sure enough, we had packages from P.Diddy and Anne Kranz (sorry JB). There was another package sent from a company in England addressed to Lina, but she hadn’t ordered anything and assumed it was meant for us. John and I decided it was a new pair of cleats that Ken had ordered. Since Ken wasn’t at the gym yet, Ernesto suggested they play a nasty trick on him.

John and Ernesto opened his package and took the cleats out of their signature orange Nike box and replaced them with old running sneakers. They put them back in the packaging and duct taped it closed again. I am not good at keeping a straight face, so I tried to steer clear of the pranksters when Ken showed up a few minutes later.

He was so excited when he saw the package from England; he knew it was his cleats. He tore into the package and his face dropped when he saw the sneaks but then the corners of his lips turned upwards into a grin, “You guys! Nice try. Where are my cleats?” But John and Ernesto didn’t let up, John said, “Oh man. I was nervous when I saw that duct tape. I thought something might be up.” And Ernesto just kept shaking his head, hands out wide. Ken’s face dropped again as he read the packing slip. I actually thought he was going to cry. Once Ernesto showed him the cleats he was hiding under his desk, it took Ken a solid ten minutes to calm down again. He was had.

Once all that excitement was over we started our Friday-circuit-workout, 5 rounds @ 10 reps each:

  • decline push-ups
  • alt v-ups
  • TRX single leg hops (kill me)
  • reverse fly’s (boys did chest fly’s)
  • upright row

I did two :90 planks at the end and then threw my legs up on the tiny piece of wall between the elliptical and one of the bikes for 2:00. I read it on one of my yoga-poses-for-runners articles. The one that is saving my plantar fasciitis from overtaking my life is toes pose. And I had one more for your IT band that it also a lifesaver.

After we went to Pic Nic we went home. My chili had cooked onto the bottom of the pot which totally messed with the flavor. Not my best batch—but I made meatballs for John and Ken which were thoroughly enjoyed, so no one else had to suffer through my sub-par chili-fail. I finished the rest of my sweet potato soup for lunch.

Along with the warm weather we’ve been enjoying we’ve also experienced some increased humidity, which for Romeo means excessive shedding. More excessive than usual. We haven’t had him groomed or even brushed him since we’ve been here (almost 4 months now!). I told John I couldn’t stand to sweep twice a day and then turn around and still see more fur on the ground; we were going to the pet shop/7 lombas rent-a-car. We took Romeo with us and made a pit-stop at Casa Cheia so I could grab conditioner for me and a Monster for John. We went into the pet shop where I found the brushes quickly. The lady behind the desk asked me if I need any help in Portuguese. I asked if she spoke English which she did, very well. John and Romeo came in the store, too, and she went on and on about how beautiful he is. We bought a brush and headed home.

Needless to say I didn’t need anymore loose fur in the apartment so we kept Romeo outside while I brushed him. I thought about using a bag, but I didn’t. More fur came off of Romeo than I’ve ever seen before. I just kept pulling it off the brush and tossing it into the street. By the time I was finished, the whole street was lined with giant tufts of Romeo fur. Lina walked by and marveled at all of it.

IMG_1657Yes, those tufts? Those are tufts of Romeo.

I made meatballs and Ken came over to eat dinner with John. I decided to eat my basically-botched chili after class. It was a little colder on Friday than it had been the two days before, so after we warmed-up outside, we worked-out inside.


At the end, I had them do 10 laps around the pool. One of the ladies in my class, Monica, is also my neighbor. Her son comes with her most days to class. On this particular day, they had seen Romeo’s fur in the street, but didn’t know it was Romeo’s fur. Monica’s son had asked her what was in the street, to which she replied, “Someone must have ripped open a pillow.”

John thought the PB balls were a little crunchy because I hadn’t baked them, so the chocolate chips were whole. I decided to try another batch, but bake them at 350F for 15 minutes like some of the recipes I’ve found suggested. I went home and ate my chili, showered, walked Romeo, started some laundry and got in bed. When John got home I was wide awake so we finally watched Catching Fire. Usually I fall asleep not long after we start movies at night, but Jennifer Lawrence is a rockstar, Hunger Games is great, and this movie was awesome. #teamgale


Day One Hundred Thirteen (dia um centena de treze)

Sabado (Saturday)

25 Janeiro 2014

JB was passed out when I got up so after I had my PB energy balls (I had one unbaked and one of the new baked ones… they tasted almost exactly the same) and walked Romeo, I headed to the gym solo. The gym was almost completely empty. It is very relaxing when you don’t have to worry about if the machine/area you want is taken. I did a nice long yoga warm-up, 5 miles on the bike, and then some TRX & free weights:

  • front squats to weighted box blasts
  • weighted TRX trail leg squats to box jumps
  • TRX core: 15 reps @ 3 rounds: mountain climbers, pikes, knee tucks, and leg curls. DONE.

I headed back home where I found John getting ready to go watch some Cup games at Pic Nic, so I went down with him for my galao. When I got home, I had lunch, showered, and went downstairs to Carla’s salon. Her cousin is finishing up hair school so I asked her to color my hair for me. Carla and I had talked about what color I wanted (dark-dark brown) and she had talked to her cousin for me (who speaks no English). Two hours later my hair was a few shades darker than it had been when I walked in to the salon. But it was shiny and someone else had done it for me—other than Carla pluckin’ my brows on day 5 I haven’t paid for a service. Not a mani, not a pedi, not a haircut. It was so nice to sit in a salon, with other ladies (even if most of what was said was not understood), having someone wash and dry my hair. I felt like a million bucks.

John came home from playing FIFA at Ken’s and we hung out for a little while before going to watch Kevin’s futsol game in the gymnasium. I had been planning to go to John’s game, but then I found out it was at 9:00pm and there wasn’t any room in Serenela’s boyfriend’s car. When we were leaving Kevin’s futsol game—John to go to his game, me to sit in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy—Filipe told me I could ride in Pedro’s van with the players. Hmmm.. I could. Or I could sit in my warm bed and watch Grey’s. Thanks, anyways. The boys’ lost again because the referees are all corrupt and make call after call against Mira Mar to ensure a loss. I am so glad I was not in that van. As it turned out, I was in bed before their game even started.


Day One Hundred Fourteen (dia um centena de catorze)

Sunday (Domingo)

26 Janeiro 2014

I had been sleeping when John got home a little before 1:00am. I got up around 9:00am, took Romeo for a stroll, had some PB balls and a banana, and hydrated for my long run. It is my second-to-last long run before my actual training plan starts for the Nike Women’s half marathon. I set out with Romeo a little before 11:00am. I felt a whole lot better than I had the week before, trying to run after eating junk food and going to bed late. After I dropped Romeo off and headed for the lombas in a tank top I finished 11.5 miles.


I made chocolate chip pancakes for John and PB-oat-banana-chocolate-chip pancakes for myself—gluten-free(?) & dairy-free. John smothered PB on top of his and said they tasted like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I pinned about a dozen recipes the night before for pancakes, but then I just did my usual throw-a-bunch-of-stuff-in-a-bowl and called it a day. Delish—will definitely make again as a re-fuel. However, while they were delicious, they were not really picture-worthy.

I started my once-a-week clean everything I see routine. Ken came over and eventually we headed down to Pic Nic—me for my galao and John and Ken for Pic Nic burgers. I left them to go make chocolate chip cookies—Carla was having us over for drinks & snacks.

IMG_1666Sometimes I get a double.

Joe picked me, John, & Ken up around 7:30pm and took us to their house in lomba do Loucao. Soon after we arrived Lina and Ernesto and then Luisa and Emanuel showed up. Carla had a whole spread of fruits, cheeses, prosciutto, nachos with salsa and sour cream, vegetables, shrimp pastries that got a big thumbs-down from everyone who partook (except for John), and was busy making chicken quesadillas. I brought my chocolate chip cookies that I had drizzled melted peanut butter on top of. I had one and it was delish. PB always is.

Francisco was a riot—he was playing a game called Talking Ted on Joe’s smartphone and was leaning against John asking John to watch him play, in Portuguese of course. You could make Ted do different things, and one of them was fart. Francisco went around the table showing everyone individually Ted’s “bufa”. We toasted Carla and Joe’s baby-girl-to-be and her to-be God Parents, Lina and Ernesto. We talked about how corrupt soccer on this island is, and Emanuel told stories about when he managed Mira Mar and had the team walk off the field a few times because of bad reffing. After many more laughs, drinks, and cookies, Lina and Ernesto drove us home.

108, 109, 110, 111… Chinese food, double runs, and outdoor obstacle courses

I have been completely unmotivated to write this week, but here is my best effort. Before my final edit, this is basically what I had down:

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 8.13.47 PM

Day One Hundred Eight (un cem oitavo dia)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

20 Janeiro 2014 (Lina’s birthday!)

I got up and ran four miles alone. When I got back we got ready and headed for the gym. John has been doing a lot of reading about strength training and he convinced me to try assisted chin-ups. This is a big deal. If you know me, you know I hate help. When I did the Tough Mudder last year with John’s sister and her fiance I did all but one obstacle by myself. It is supposed to a “team effort”. Guess I’m not really a “team player”. At the FH we had large resistance bands that we could put on the squat racks for pull ups, but in this instance I put my toes on John’s thigh. It went very well. I did:

  • Single Arm squat–OH press to assisted chin ups
  • Single leg RDLs and lateral lunges
  • Hanging leg raises, decline sit up, SB roll outs

We headed to Pic Nic for galaoes then to Fatima’s for groceries. In my best effort to eat well (including eating breakfast) I made a ridiculous egg lunch with sauteed onions, zucchini, and ham. Which in the first draft I had written as “crack lunch deliciousness”:


I made more homemade hummus, but this time I didn’t take the time to skin the chickpeas and aside from taking way longer to blend in my ghetto food processor was totally delicious and I’m never going through all that trouble again. John and Ken said they were going to cook dinner for me for a change. I had a phone interview for a job in Arlington (I’m not able to disclose my homecoming date, but I can tell you it is sometime between when my parents leave and April 27th–a.k.a the Nike Women’s DC Half). The boys ended up having to go coach the juniors’ practice. John had facebook messaged the president, Betinho, and asked him if they had practice but he hadn’t responded.

This is how small a town this is: at 4:00pm John and I were walking home from the Fruit Market, which is next to Mira Mar’s office. One of the senior players ran out and said “Hey John! I’m supposed to tell you the juniors are practicing today”. They practice at 6:00pm. Soon after they left for practice I left to teach class.


After we finished Lina served us all fruit from her orchard (oranges, banana, and guava) while we sang Happy Birthday.

IMG_1616 IMG_1617

I Skyped with my sister-cousin Meg until the boys called me for dinner. They made a saffron chicken with mushrooms and onions and a side of baked zucchini. They also made rice but starch is not on my intake-guide right now. I didn’t even do the dishes.


Day One Hundred Nine (un cem nono dia)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

21 Janeiro 2014

I went out to run 5 miles and I saw Carla cleaning her salon windows. All of a sudden Carla looks very pregnant! (But not your nose, don’t worry!) She is 19 weeks. We decided to take Lina out for a birthday lunch in the city on Wednesday. When I got back from running, John and I took off to meet Ken at the gym:

  • Single arm bent row to rotational cable pulls
  • FWD lunges to deadlifts
  • leg lifts, suitcases, side bends; 3 rounds @ 35 reps each

When Ernesto saw me doing my forward lunges outside with 20kg he said I looked like Ronnie Coleman. I didn’t know who Ronnie Coleman was but John said that wasn’t a nice thing to call a woman. When we got home later, John Googled him for me. This is Ronnie Coleman:


After we went to Pic Nic we headed home for what I wrote originally as “epic meal time: salad with tuna and homemade hummus (crackpot)”.


I also made sauce for dinner @ 5:30pm. I headed off to class and John to practice.


When I got home I made a sweet potato for dessert and soup for amanha. I Skyped with Meg again, walked Romeo, and went to bed.


Day One Hundred Ten (um cem decimo dia)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

22 Janeiro 2014

Since we were headed into the city, I got up early and ran. Because I was only going out for 3 miles I ate when I got back. Carla and Lina picked me up at 11:00am and we decided to have Chinese food for lunch (which is not like American Chinese food, but it is incredibly delicious). We got egg rolls, chicken chow mein, Chinese chicken salad, and honey BBQ chicken wings. We went to the American store afterwards and Lina and Carla bought fruit loops. We headed to the mall where I stocked up on leite de soja and chocolates. All three of us kept looking at sweets and Lina suggested we go get our pastries before we bought every sweet thing in the supermarket. We went to Pao do Rei and I got a Natas (which is like a mini custard pie.. SO GOOD) and my galao. Another thing I stopped doing a few months ago was adding sugar to my coffee and tea–it’s an easy way to control your sugar intake.

John mentioned the other day that I write a lot about food in my blog. Well, I do. I also write a lot about training and nutrition is a huge piece of that. You can skim over any workout/diet stuff you’d like–this is a blog about my daily existence. Which happens to revolve around food.

When we got out of the car at Pao do Rei Carla realized she had forgotten to exchange a pair of pants for her mom at the mall. So when we were done with our pastries we went back to Parque Atlantico. That took way longer than expected as the lady at the store took 30 minutes to change out one size for another. We went to the Cash-n-Carry so Lina could get supplies for a baptism reception at Toronto Nights on Saturday. We all agreed that next time we come to the city we are just going to eat and walk along the port de citade. We started talking about the cachorros (hot dogs) and almost went to eat them. Nah, nah, nah… Back to Povoacao we went.

When we got back it was only 5:00pm. I usually run 6 miles on Wednesdays so I decided to go out for 3 more which turned into 4. I never run at that time, so I got to enjoy the sun going down over the water–it was beautiful. I also got to scare the shit of of Majid and his girlfriend who were canoodling in the rocks by the small beach. When I got back I got ready and headed over to ALKE to teach class. Because of the reception this weekend Lina and crew had set up the tables in the banquet hall so we warmed up outside Lina’s mom’s house next door. While we did the workout inside, Leila suggested we do the whole workout outside the next day, because it was so nice.


I got home and warmed up some soup for dinner (John went from coaching the juniors straight to futsol at the gymnasium). When I took Romeo out for his nightly stroll I saw a man walking by the bus station, which wasn’t that strange. But then he started glancing around and then stopped abruptly with his back to us. Weirder. Then I saw a stream of liquid spilling onto the ground diagonally in front of him. PEEING! The man was PEEING! I coughed, he turned, and I made the most disgusted face I could muster. Gross.

As we were walking by the gymnasium, Kevin was walking in. Romeo freaked out and started howling and pulling but Kevin just nodded and kept walking. Romeo was so excited to see him that when Mira Mar’s new goalie walked by a moment later, Romeo dolphin-jumped all over him. Desculpa. Luckily he knows who we are. I Skyped with Anna and went to bed.


Day One Hundred Eleven (um cem decima primeira dia)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

23 Janeiro 2014

I got up around 9:00am, ate half a PB&J, took Romeo for walk, drank my tea, took romeo and ran 4. We went to gym.

Ken wanted to do a  1RM (one rep max) which John wanted to practice going through. While they were doing their thing, I worked out solo:

  • dips to bicep curls (5 supinated, 5 neutral, 5 pronated)
  • squat jumps to RDLs
  • Core: hanging rotational knee tucks, burpees, and stability ball knee tucks, trez series at 15 reps

In case you were wondering what it’s like to workout with John, here is a sneak peak:

Because John and Ken were no where near done I went home and showered and then met them at Pic Nic. I had more soup for lunch and  prepped food for dinner; we were having chicken drumsticks (shake & bake) with peppers, zucchini, onions, corn, and cauliflower “rice”. Since it was another warm day, we were able to hold the whole class outside.


IMG_1651 IMG_1653 IMG_1654

In addition to Valentine’s day, they also celebrate girlfriend’s day and guy friend’s day here in Portugal. Toronto is hosting dinner, dancing, and KARAOKE for girlfriend’s day. I am ridiculously excited as Karaoke is one of my favorite pastimes. I love to sing but am so horrible it can only be condoned when my peers are hammered. Karaoke is a nice blend of the two. After class I Skyped with Cathy, and then Meg (yes, again). This time when Romeo and I went for our walk we found our new stray friend who has a little limp. I would like to adopt him. And I keep calling it a him but I’m pretty sure he has nipples. This is a picture from earlier in the day when we saw her.


Days Ninety Five and beyond.. Ken comes back and I find Romeo’s twin

Day Ninety-Five (nonagesimo quinta dia)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

6 Janeiro 2014

Romeo and I went for a run in the morning. It is getting “chilly” here, and by that I mean in the 50s. It’s also incredibly humid here, so the air feels especially cold. Now, I know what you’re thinking Mass. Residents, and I am fully aware that I am turning into a baby about the weather. When I get back in the Spring, it will be 50 in Boston. I don’t care, it’s cold here! And there is no heat in houses or apartments (unless you happen to have a fireplace, which some people do) so I sleep in my sweatsuit and hiking socks. It’s so cold, Romeo even sleeps on the bed with us for the whole night (which he usually does for about 10 minutes, and then he gets too hot).

We went out for 3 miles. I dropped him off at 1.5 and finished with 15 sprint intervals. Then, John and I went to the gym, Pic Nic, and Fatima’s. John wants to get on a more regimented program at the gym, some of which I change up because I don’t want to look like the female version of the Hulk who happens to also skip leg day.

  • Single arm squat to OH press → pull ups (and some chin ups…)
  • Alt DB press → lateral squats (JB did lat pull downs)
  • Core: hanging leg raises, roll outs, decline sit ups. 10E @ 4 rounds. My core was still burning from Saturday.

We headed to Fatima’s to grocery shop and then I made a third (and if it turned out bad, it would have been my final) attempt at chicken soup. John only had practice for the Juniors, so we were going to eat after that. I bought a bunch of bananas because the Costa Ricans ones I bought the week before were still lime-green. I read an article about how you can speed-up the ripening process, but I’d say I was fairly unsuccessful.


I boiled the bone-in chicken breasts with salt and pepper, took them out once they were cooked-through, put an onion, two potatoes, and two carrots in the broth. I let those cook for about an hour before I put the now cut-up chicken back in. I taste-tested the broth and it was a little weak. I was worried about putting too much salt in, so I added more pepper. This was my only faux pas.

John left to coach the juniors and I went to ALKE. I thought about all the New Year’s Resolutioners and I got nervous that my routine wouldn’t work if I had too many women (it was only designed for 12, and I only have 13 black bands). But I needn’t have worried; I had 6 women. It was my 50th class.


My soup was delicious, albeit a little too peppery. After my other two failed attempts, I’m calling this a win.


Day Ninety-Six (nonagesimo sexta dia)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

7 Janeiro 2014 

John’s phone started tweet-tweeting at 7:00am, which is not a time we are usually awake. It was Ken. Ken was in South Africa for a wedding after spending the holidays with his family in Geneva.

Ken is a very smart kid, so I naturally assumed he was hammered if he thought texting us at that hour was appropriate. He kept saying he was arriving that day to Ponta Delgada and could John make sure someone would be there to get him? And then he stopped texting. I was now incredibly confused because I know it is a 12-hour flight from South Africa to Lisbon and then another two-hour flight to Ponta Delgada. John said he was going to land at 1pm, but I knew this wasn’t possible, especially since Ken also said he was chilling at his hotel and wasn’t sure when his flight was even leaving.

We got up and I decided to run after the gym. Again. This whole eating-before-I-run thing is messing with my schedule. My previous routine consisted of getting up, making green tea, getting dressed, chugging water, all while catching up on FB before taking Romeo out to run. I still want to have my cha verde first, but then after I eat I have to wait an hour before I run. This takes too much time, so I ate my PB&J and we went to the gym:

  • Single arm bent row → RDL (JB did flys)
  • Cable throw downs → back extensions
  • Core: leg lifts, suitcases, side bends. I did six rounds at 10 reps, John did three rounds at 25 reps. My belly was still sore from Saturday.

We headed to Pic Nic and on the way we saw Betinho. Betinho doesn’t really speak English, but he sort of understands it. Just like we don’t speak Portuguese, but we understand some of it. It is a funny conversation to watch: John speaks English to Betinho who responds in Portuguese. Apparently, Ken told both Marco and Betinho that he is arriving on the 8th. Which makes sense, even though he said he was coming back on the 7th. We decided it must have been an overnight flight and continue on to get our galaoes.

Before we moved here my Dell died a tragic death. Me being my-sort-of-anti-computer-self just let it sit dead. For months. I didn’t need it; I had (finally….finally!) finished my master’s and I had a sweet Apple computer at work. What did I need my nasty old Dell for? Oh yeah, all those pictures, songs, and documents… hmm.

For my 25th birthday I bought myself a MacBook. Along with that I got discounted data transfer, the only problem with that was I had waited so long that my hard drive was actually dying. Who knew? Not I, obviously.

My options were either pay thousands of dollars to send my hard drive to Oklahoma or New Orleans, or somewhere else in the vague “south” or cut my losses. And then I found the prince-charming of Geek Squad. He told me whoever had tried the transfer before had neglected to realize the important difference between my PC and my Mac. He said he would try again for me. Free unless he could transfer all my files. I left him with a detailed list of things most important to me.

Twenty-four to 48-hours later and he had moved a few photos. Not totally successful, but it was possible! He told me I could only move one file at a time, otherwise the transfer would crash. He showed me how to do it, and made some joke about if I had hours and hours of time to kill I could spend them doing this. WELL, then I quit my job(s), sold my car, and moved to an island the size of Houston. I finally have the time.

But I didn’t do it right away, which is silly because my hard drive was still dying a slow death (along with all things electronic and sentimental stored therein). I gave up on the tunes a while ago because they don’t transfer in whole songs, but short clips that don’t even sound like the original. Which is too bad because I bought a lot of music…. Is Napster still around? Ha ha ha…

I finally started transferring 6 or so years worth of photos and word documents (the second half of my bachelor’s and all of my master’s work). It is the main reason I am behind on my blog.

I made sauce for dinner which we ate at 5:30pm before I left for Toronto and John went to practice. I had a big fat salad when I got home and then went back to transferring files. Ken did not come back to Povoacao.


Day Ninety-Six (nonagesimo sexta dia)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

8 Janeiro 2014

I asked John if he wanted to go to the gym, but he reminded me Wednesday is a rest day (which sometimes it is). I went out for a five mile run. Romeo came for half.

I think the reason Romeo can’t run as far hear as he could at home–I could always take him for 3.0 and I could stretch it to 5.0 if it wasn’t too hot, and one time he did 8.0 with me–is the humidity. It is so humid here! Even when it’s not raining (which it often is), the air is like a wet blanket. I think this is why Romeo can’t hang.

The other day when I took Romeo for a long walk I saw his twin. His twin! Remember that time Serenela told me she saw Romeo on the loose but he was really chillin’ with John at Ken’s? She swore up and down that she saw a dog that looked just like Romeo. But I had never seen such a dog.

Then on Christmas Lina told us that one morning after walking Romeo she went shopping at Casa Cheia. She was pretty sure she’d deadbolted the door behind her. However, upon leaving Casa Cheia she saw “Romeo” in the jardim. She said her heart dropped and she went for a closer look. She said this dog was a little too dark and his fur was matted on his but. It wasn’t Romeo.

Romeo and I were just rounding the corner by the gymnasium when I saw the beautiful creature (I didn’t have my phone so I couldn’t snap a pic!). He(?) looked just, JUST just like Romeo! He was a few shades darker, but the same exact color. He looked older, and his tail didn’t stand up anymore so it just fell flat on his back. Also, he wanted nothing to do with Romeo.

There are a lot of street dogs here who wander without owners. Some of them are nice, but a lot of them are nasty. I was worried about letting them play and having no help to break them up if it went poorly so I let Romeo sniff a little but, ultimately we left the doppelganger alone.

After I ran, John and I went down to Pic Nic. John asked me if I wanted to go to the gym then. We can’t, I replied, because on Wednesdays (just Wednesdays) the gym is closed from 2-5:30pm. It was 1:30pm. If we want to go on this day, we have to decide early. We had our galaoes and then went home, where I desperately tried to Skype with my darling friend Carrie but the connection was just too terrible. I started at the top of the stairs where reception is usually the best. Every time I lost her I moved down a step. Finally I was at the bottom and we still couldn’t finish a sentence without “Wait, what? You’re frozen.” Just when I was giving up, the doorbell rang. It was Ken!!

Ken brought us more Swiss chocolates (which are really just Lindt truffles, but he swears they are different) and we caught up on the three weeks we’ve all spent without each other. We took Romeo for a walk and Ken went to get a snack at Pic Nic. In all the excitement of Ken coming back, neither John nor I grabbed a key. We had locked ourselves out. Again.

Never in my life have I been such an incapable human being. Probably because in my past life I just straight-up didn’t have time for that shit. One time in Newton John and I locked ourselves out when we walked to have breakfast and I had to crawl into my bedroom window (luckily we lived on the “garden level”). But seriously, twice in one week? Not to mention all the laundry that falls off my line in between Carla’s salon and her storage room. What can I say? I am not a fan of laundry pins.

Wednesdays are Carla’s day off, so she wasn’t even next door to come to our rescue. And she doesn’t have a smartphone. And we don’t have a regular phone. We walked over to Lina’s mom’s house and Lina called Carla for us. Again, we thank our lucky stars that Carla just happened to be at Pic Nic having a coffee with a friend. A decaf coffee. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Carla found out she was pregnant right before we moved into her apartment. She was only a few weeks pregnant at the time, but now it is public knowledge. Her belly is starting to pop and Saturday she will find out the gender. Francisco will have a little brother or sister in June.

John and Ken went off to coach the juniors and I went to Toronto Nights. Lina made us pizzas for dinner and Ken came home with John. We get them fully loaded with ham, bacon, pineapple, olives, onions, and peppers. And of course, one has half-cheese.


Day Ninety-Seven (nonagesimo setimo dia)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

9 Janeiro 2014 

After I ran 3.0 with Romeo, we met Ken at Pic-Nic instead of the gym, where he was having breakfast. Switching things up for the day, I had my galao before working-out and John didn’t have a fofa. We headed to the gym where Ernesto made fun of Ken for having skinny-legs from not working out. While I gained 3kg on vacation, Ken lost 3kg. The difference between men and women #45,749.

We did:

  • Single arm preacher curls → dips
  • Inverted rows (feet on SB) → lat pull downs (boys did military press)
  • Core: hanging rotational knee tucks, burpees, SB pikes

I opted out of military press because after doing this workout last week, I couldn’t lift my arms until yesterday.

John and I started a 30 day push-up challenge today. Day 1: 45 kitchen push-ups.

We headed home to clean up and have lunch and then I took off for some errands. We somehow forgot to buy milk (leite de vaca, cow milk) on Monday. We had it sitting next to our cart and that is where it remained. John’s been drinking my soy milk, but since I can’t count on Casa Cheia to have more I want to buy him a little until we go real-shopping again on Monday. We also don’t have enough towels for when my parents come (or for when Ken comes over after practice sometimes, like yesterday), so I stopped at Euromatos next door to us and bought two nice white towels for 6.50. On New Year’s Day I broke the only real bowl we had (sorry, Carla…) so I went to Euromatos and bought four new bowls for 3.50. I like this store

While I was out I saw the bread van again! And this time he had fofas! I bought seis papos secos e uma fofa. When I got home John and I split the fofa that I heard was better than Pic-Nic’s. It definitely had more cream, but John said it wasn’t better.

John headed up to Ken’s to play FIFA before practice. When I went to leave for ALKE I couldn’t find my key (yeah, here we go again). I assumed John had at least one (hell, he had them both) so I sent him a quick “please-drop-a-key-at-toronto-so-i-am-not-locked-out-all-night” text and headed over to teach.


The end of class came and gent and John had not appeared with a key (the wifi at the guys’ apartment doesn’t work) so Lina offered to drive me up to Mira Mar. Luckily, as I was walking up the street I saw Pedro driving them to practice. #notlockedout

I am attempting to eat a little healthier (read: eat less crap). So for dinner I made zucchini pasta (#Pinterestrulesmylife) and ate it with leftover sauce. Now, I must admit it doesn’t actually taste like pasta but it is so delicious you don’t care that it isn’t pasta.