Week 4: July 1 - Jul 8th

Week 4: July 1 - Jul 8th

Setubal is renowned for its seafood. Grilled sardines and Choco Frito (fried cuttlefish) are available in many of the restaurants and fishing in general dominates the culture of the area. Additionally the Mercado do Livramento on the famous Av de Louisa Todi is reportedly the largest indoor market in the country and boasts some of the best seafood in the world. It's a 7ish minute walk from our apartment and does not disappoint. Here you will find tuna, salmon, sea bass, bacalhau, sardines, grouper, mackerel sword and scabbard fish, and many, many more varieties. There are also butcher shops, wine stores, cheese makers, farm produce stands, and olives, so many olives. This week Steve came home with potatoes, olives, cherries, and a bottle of piri-piri (hot sauce) made in central Portugal.

Monday was an evening at the city beach, and the kids spent ample time climbing on everything. Henry's parkour phase is in full swing and the top of the world photo taken below was approximately 1.5 seconds before he completely ate. it. 🤦🏼️

Tuesday was July 4th and Nora's birthday and we spent the morning waiting for the washer/dryer we ordered to arrive. Afterward we took Nora to Chocolate & Cia (Chocolate and Co) for a mid-afternoon treat. Then came presents! One oddity of Portugal is that you can't find wrapping paper just anywhere. The only place we can remember seeing during our time here has been on the way out of Auchan, and it wasn't for sale, it was a gift wrapping station you could use as you leave the store. In the end Erin had to get creative with some reusable bags we have around the apartment.

Fast forward to Wednesday where we made good on the rest of Nora's birthday plans. The family and some friends got tickets for a dolphin watching cruise in at the mouth of the River Sado. It's the body of water partially enclosed by the Setubal and Troia regions, and I was today years old when I learned this type of topology is called an "estuary". Setubal has a pod of dolphins that are stationary in the region, which is apparently very rare, occurring in a handful of places globally. The dolphins were easy to spot and we loved seeing them play.

Thursday was low key, but a major highlight was dinner at Tostaria do Bairro. Tostas (literally toasts) are toasted panini-style sandwiches, commonly cheese (quejo) or ham and cheese (mixta) all the way up to wild and even sweet desert tostas. This place has amazing tostas like almond, pear and goat cheese, and salmon and brie. We forgot to take any pictures of the food, but it was absolutely one of the best places we've been to so far.

We had a few ancillary pieces of Idea furniture arrive on Friday, and the apartment is really starting to come together. We also kept the running tradition of Friday family movie night but this time decided to take it on the road to Cinema City for Spiderman Across the Spider-verse. The theater was great, the kettle corn was amazing and Henry's unrestrained belly laugh when there was a callback to the the bagel throw scene from Into the Spider-verse was simply the best.

Saturday I finally caved. I took the kids to McDonalds. It was inevitable really as it's in constant view from our apartment, taunting the children as they look out of their bedroom windows. Don't get me wrong, I love me some McDonalds. I've just been afraid to go to this location as we still have PTSD from a year ago when my brother and I were trying to get our families and our two rental cars from Setubal all the way south to Tavira, unload, and then return the cars to Faro airport. We knew we were already short on time and therefore decided to stop at this McDonalds where we could let all 5 kids out of the cars and still make it quick. Spoiler, the situation was out of control at McDonalds and it was a major contributor to a stressful day. I have no idea what day of the week that was, but our recent lunch there was nothing like a year ago (in the best way possible, lol). It was also foggy here for the first time, such that you couldn't even see down to the water - it was definitely new here, and also was a nice cool day for a change. Lastly, for those friends that know Erin and I have had a Saturday night it wantan night ritual, I'm happy to report we're back in business. We've found good gyoza, and have the rice prep dialed in again!

Highs and lows

Highpoint Lowpoint Learned this week
Steve Nora's birthday! No energy Sunday There is a pod of dolphins that lives in our bay, and there are only a couple of pods like that in the world
Erin Nora’s birthday and the dolphin tour Finding out Junie’s class might not be what I thought it was There are just so many cute dogs in Portugal!
Nora My birthday and the dolphin tour Across the Spider-Verse ended on a cliffhanger Fog covering the whole city on Saturday! (Didn't know that could happen)
Henry Meeting Carl (a boy in his upcoming 5th grade class, the dolphin tour, and Nora’s birthday The playground near Castelo de Palmela was disappointing (small) It’s hard to get salsa here (especially Pace brand salsa)
Junie The dolphin tour Across the Spider-Verse ended on a cliffhanger We invented the Game of Goddesses with Maggie

Adeus! Steve and Erin