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Yeah, I’m still blogging…

portugal: setúbal

Portugal, Setúbal, estuario, estuary, Sado, dock, ferry

Over New Year’s I tweeted “If you haven’t been to Setúbal, then get here asap”, & I meant it! For some reason, the city had been off my radar but what a beautiful discovery. Here’s a bit of why we fell in love with Setúbal… & not just for choco frito 😉

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year in review: 2023

2023 by day, year in review
● Where was I? Spain, Morocco, Portugal, France, Gibraltar & 3 visits (!) to the USA.

Here we go again! As always, I write this for personal reasons but feel free to revisit 2023 with me. I survived one of the craziest work schedules I’ve had in years, full of beaucoup travel & very little time at home. On the flip side, I experienced a ton of new things, revisited some favorite spots & met great people in some of the best tour groups ever. Let’s review…

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usa: annapolis

USA, travel, Maryland, Annapolis, Chesapeake Bay

Sandwiched between our time in DC, Rafa & I spent five nights in Maryland. My bestie’s parents —Suzanne & Jim— invited us last year, but we changed plans & went to Boston after finding insanely cheap airfare. Now that DC was our main destination again, getting to Annapolis was super easy; a whole new state for us to explore. Hello, Maryland!

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usa: washington, dc

road trip, travel, Washington, DC

After traveling with Rafa around the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest on several occasions, part of the South & all around Boston, this year seemed perfect for us to experience the national capitol together. My first & only visit was 19 years ago in 2004, & I mostly stuck to monuments & walking the city. I knew Rafa would put together a busy schedule, heavy with fantastic, free museums… as you’ll see, we really took advantage of our time in DC.

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spain: gijón

  • spain
España, Spain, Asturias, Gijón

After an evening in Avilés, Rafa & I made our way to the largest metropolitan area in Asturias. We hit Carnaval festivities, but I was interested in exploring the city more than the party. With less than two full days in Gijón, we’d have our work cut out for us…

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DIPLE B2 Portuguese exam

português, Portuguese, B2, exame, DIPLE, study, notebook

While searching for information about the B2 European Portuguese exam, I found very little online about people’s personal experience either studying for or taking this test. The pandemic had spawned several YouTube channels that teach various aspects of the language —very much appreciated— but I only discovered a few people that discussed the actual examination process. So here’s my journey…

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spain: avilés

  • spain
Spain, España, Asturias, Avilés

Using a pandemic flight voucher that was set to expire, Rafa & I took a quick trip to Asturias in February. Not only could we both fly for free with that single voucher, but we also went direct from Sevilla. Win, win. I hadn’t been to Asturias since 1998, so those vague memories needed an update… whatever weather we encountered.

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recipe: espinacas con garbanzos

espinacas con garbanzos, Andalucía, Sevilla, Spain, España

With Semana Santa just around the corner, bars in Sevilla sell up to three times their normal rate of any tapa without meat… whether customers are observing Lent or not. Of course anything with cod is a big hit now, but espinacas con garbanzos are popular all year round. Tender, healthy & packed with flavor, this is a great way to get some veggies into your bar diet. Let’s get cooking!

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portugal: ovar

Ovar, Portugal

As a brief overnight stop between Alcobaça & Porto, I wish I’d had more time to explore Ovar. Situated at the northernmost tip of the Aveiro estuary, this city without tons of tourists was a welcome change… but between its beautiful tiles, great food & proximity to the ocean, I’m sure Ovar will be on the beaten path soon.

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