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Lisah101

Photo Review April/May 2015: Disney, Eclipse TA, London

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For side dishes, Terry ordered the mashed garlic potatoes which surprised me since he doesn't care for garlic. But no worries, the garlic was minimal and he finished them all. It wasn't a large serving which was perfect.

 

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I ordered the mac and cheese and although it was a healthy size serving and served piping hot..... it wasn't to my taste. There was a very stringy layer of top cheese which was hard to get through, then underneath it was watery without much cheese flavor. I tried a few bites but let it go.... not my thing.

 

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And then came the desert menu........

 

Terry will almost ALWAYS choose Tiramsu over anything else. For a man's who's heritage is French Canadian, Cherokee Indian and a bit of German..... he sure loves anything Italian!

 

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He finished every drop, it was so good.

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I couldn't decide if I wanted creme brulee or panna cotta so I asked for recommendations. The server said both were very good so I went with the Pistachio Creme Brulee. One of the top 10 desserts I've EVER had!

 

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Edited by Lisah101

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After we ordered dessert, they were bringing me coffee and Terry some hot tea when I saw a plate go to another table that looked like a dessert sampler. I asked what it was and tried to describe it, but it was gone to the far room before the server saw.

 

So then they bring me one of those also which was a plate with an amazing panna cotta, incredible gelato, flan and a hard candy strawberry. Oh my - I tried at least some of everything but it was all wonderful. I'm not a big flan person so that was good, I did try it but I probably wouldn't order it.

 

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Close up of some amazing gelato! I don't want to go crazy over a little scoop of vanilla gelato but the vanilla flavor so so pure, you could tell this was not the same stuff they serve in the cafe.

 

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April 30 - Ponta Delgado, Azores

 

Yeah - solid land!

 

Karen and Les were our CC contacts for our organized tour. Karen is a great organizer. I think she could herd cats if she had to!

 

The tour was through Green Visions I think. The tour guide's name was Hugo Melo. He was both our guide and our driver.

 

So... all I could say about this tour is that it rained and rained and rained. So.... we had umbrellas in hand, our rain gear ready and we were determined to see what the Island had to offer, bad weather withstanding.

 

View of the port from the Ocean View Cafe

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Hugo spoke with us about the planned tour to drive up and see the views. With the rain and clouds though, he advised you couldn't really see anything. So we changed plans.

 

First stop was a local pottery called Ceramica Vieira. Loved the pottery. Many of the tiles reminded me of Catalina Island off the California coast.

 

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Edited by Lisah101

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We loaded into the van and set off to see more sights. Hugo was wonderful and drove to some photo stops also allowing us to stop along the way when we asked so we could see more of the countryside.

 

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I'm not sure what this place is called, but we stopped for some ocean pictures.

 

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Boat Ramp - yes, on vacation I think everything is picture worthy.

 

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At then end of the pier was a swimming pool. Hugo said it was for the children to use.

 

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We drove to the hot springs and parked. In the parking lot, these 2 were there to greet us. They were not shy.

 

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This was probably very nice on a sunny day. There was a lake very close, but hard to see in the rain.

 

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Notice the waterfall at the top, the hills and the hot springs. Very interesting place.

 

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Some were water, complete with warning signs as it was hot enough to burn.

 

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Some were hot mud.

 

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There was a section where they had built concrete casements to drop in large pots to cook using the heat of the hot springs. I almost had a photo of them pulling out a large pot but someone stepped in my way :confused:

 

Lesson - always stand as close as possible so people can't walk in front of you. I'm sure we were all so focused on the sights that it is easy to do.

 

Back in the van (we are VERY wet and cold at this point) and off to our next stop.

 

Photo along the drive (its not easy to take a photo through a window covered in rain!

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Our next stop was a tea plantation.

 

Here is Hugo explaining how the old drying racks were used.

 

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Here is the plantation we toured - Gorreana

 

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I wish the weather had been better so I could see the fields where the tea grows.

 

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At the end of the tour was a sampling station - yes, I tried all of them!

 

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We we cold and wet and that tea tasted so good! We did buy 2 bags of Orange Pekoe to bring home. We were afraid it only tasted good because we were cold and wet, but it was just as good here in the dry climate of Phoenix!

Edited by Lisah101

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We've always had tea in the house, but not loose tea. It was so good, that I bought Terry a tea ball to make a cup of tea at a time with loose tea.

 

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But then we started drinking more tea so I had to get a tea pot. This works very well!

 

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Back in the van for a short ride. This was the highlight of the tour for me. We had lunch at a local farmhouse which is their home. Our hosts, John and Goretti Estrella were so nice and personable when they invited us into their home that they made us feel like part of the family.

 

Here is their home as pulled up in the drive.

 

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There was another large van that was the original tour group that would also meet us here for lunch. The original group was full so Karen managed to get the 6 of us on a second van. I thought it worked well because the smaller van and group was easier to navigate (and find us each time we wandered off).

 

Anyway.... their wonderful home.

 

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Wet and bedraggled, we still convinced Goretti to take a photo with Karen and I (I'm the bedraggled one in the Green jacket).

 

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I will admit, we sat down and didn't wait for the large van to arrive. They get their shortly but I wanted a seat on the kitchen end near Goretti so I could see all the wonderful things she was bringing out.

 

The table was already set with the first offerings.

 

This is blood sausage (made by Goretti) and local pineapple. I've been to Hawaii and so had others in our group, but sorry Hawaii.... this pineapple is sweeter!

 

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I did try a few bites of the blood sausage and although the flavor wasn't bad, the texture was strange to me. Mom - I did try it!

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Also on the table was a homemade goat cheese (I could almost live on this stuff!), chorizzo and a local farm cheese, bought at the market.

 

My notebook has "Queijo de Cabra" witten down - I think that was the soft white goat cheese which was very mild and creamy.

 

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There were bottles of water and 2 local wines.

 

A green wine Moura Basto vinho verde was made in Northern Portugal.

 

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It was a sweeter wine and very nice.

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The other was Pico Wine from Pico island which was a robust red wine. I really liked this one.

 

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