To the hot springs.

On our second day in Azores we continued to drive around the little island, and visited a bunch of different places. At the Furnas we were immersed in the humid, hot and sulphur smelling springs, that could be spotted all over the place.  
Due to volcanic activity there are tons of places with hot water baths, and we wanted to have a try at that. We had a bath at Poça da Dona Beija, for which I don’t have any pictures of, but it was so so relaxing. There are a number of different small pools of hot water (some were around 40ºC!), and despite being a bit crowded, it was nice to just sit in the warm water and relax, and Leo enjoyed it too!

After the warm bath we went to Terra Nostra’s gardens. We just took a little peek, because it started raining, so we ended up having lunch at the restaurant of the hotel, which was one of the best decisions we made over there. Everything was so delicious!

The idea was to try the famous “Pot-au-feu” from Furnas’s Hot Springs, which is a mix of meat and vegetables that are boiled in the hot waters of the Furnas. It’s going to cook very slowly, and that is the secret for such a delicious meal. We, however, presented with so many other delicious options, ended up choosing something else. I had the black risotto with squid on top, while K had the fried forkbeard fillets with veggies, and we did not regret it.

While driving we could spot a lot of places for sight-seeing, and we’d eventually stop and just wander around.

Today is going to be a very long and busy day. But also very exciting. Please take a look at my stories on instagram!

Have fun!

Green paradise.

There’s a small archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic that is the definition of paradise. And it’s 100% Portuguese: Açores.

These beautiful islands are specks of green surrounded by deep blue waters, from a distance, and once there, it’s like you are immersed in a sea of beautiful shades of green, with clear crystalline water showing up here and there, and, if you’re lucky, a misty breeze on the horizon.

Back in November, we flew out of main land to Açores and visited the main island. We drove around the tiny island for 5 days and left wanting more.

In two more days I’ll be on spring break. I can hardly wait…!

And I’m already packing for the next trip – check the stories on my instagram, I’ll have a lot of those over the next few days, and I promise they’re going to be interesting! (and I’ll probably make a fool of myself, so…)

Have a nice Monday!

Holiday break for two

Back in August K and me had the chance of going out of town for a few days, just the two of us. After a few indecisions on where should we go, we ended up going to Sevilla — where we had been back in February — but we couldn’t have had a better time.

That trip can be summarised in just a few key words: beer, jamón serrano, cocktails, pool, walking, wine, tapas.

Yeah… those were really nice days.

NYC, I’ll see you later.

And quickly we got to the end of the New York city photo batch. This was an incredible trip. Leo was 1 year old and went to the other side of the Antlantic for the first time. We were aprehensive and a little bit scared of what it meant to have such a long trip with a one year old, but she behaved like a champ. We would definitely do it again in a heartbeat.

NYC day 6

I recently turned my instagram private, due to a number of things, including what I talked about last post, and I’ve had a number of people, fellow teachers, coming to me saying that I should keep the account open, that they understand but that we also need to have a life outside of school, and it shouldn’t stop us from having more exposure. Which is all very true. I was so surprised by the messages that I immediately made the account public again. Thank you all for those words. I really really appreciate it and it made me very happy! 🙂

On the sixth day around New York we strolled around as usual and made it to Brooklyn at the end of the day, where we admired the most beautiful sunset right on the Brooklyn bridge.

Just gorgeous — and it’s these pictures that make me miss this city.


NYC days 4 & 5

As I go through my pictures I realise how many of them I forgot. I have photos from Sevilla and Açores to put up. More often than not, these days, I want to close down the blog. Make it private, maybe? This is something I do for me, most of the times. I know I have something to look back to, all my ‘memories’ are up here. The good ones and the bad ones. That’s why I love the blog so much…but it’s just hard to keep it up sometimes. And then there’s a privacy issue that is kind of a bother.

With facebook linking instagram it’s getting harder and harder to keep akane kinomoto away from the me out there. I’ve had a lot of students adding me on instagram — why kids are adding teachers on social media is so mind boggling to me; back in the day, if I saw a teacher outside of school I’d try my very best to avoid him! — and it’s not like I mind that they see my pictures, but it’s like…I cannot get a break! I like to keep things a little separate and it’s becoming harder to do that… I’m hoping that will change with age. Not theirs, mine. I’ll get crankier as years go by, so they will want to avoid me. Right? Right.

Here’s a bit of NYC from our 4th and 5th days in the city.

On the third night, we went to bed with live images of the gun shots to the police force. We woke up the next day and could tell by the news that the next few days were going to be tense. We were caught up in a middle of one of the protests, but managed to quickly get out of the area before the police arrived. That was intense though.

If you ever read one of my posts on trips, you surely know that we like to randomly walk without agenda. And that is most of what we did back in New York. We never really had a plan except to go out and enjoy everything around us. The city is incredibly diverse and nice, and you find something interesting on every corner, but its immensity is also a fact, so walking all of it was a bit daunting. When we go out somewhere, we almost never get on a subway — with the exception of Tokyo, I don’t remember being in a city where we’d take the subway to go anywhere — and in New York we also managed to get by without it by walking the High Line.

This place is called Tacombi and we found it thanks to Jim Gaffigan (I loooooooooove him) who mentioned it in his series. It’s a taco place that served delicious margaritas and, of course, tacos. The place was vibrant and happy and busy, and the food was really really good.

We fell in love with the High Line. We would walk to it nearly everyday just so we could cross 20 blocks or so, going from the Meatpacking district through Chelsea and getting out on 34th street. This 2.33 km pathway was once a railroad that crossed the city on the West side, and it is now a beautiful walkable elevated park that offers gorgeous views of the city and great sites to just sit and relax for a while. You can see more photos on I really really enjoyed the High Line. It’s one of those places in a foreign city that you adopt as a temporary home, or at least, I do.

By 5pm on the fifth day in NYC, the 10th of July, something happened that made millions jump with joy, including us.

Against all odds, Portugal football team won the playoffs, got to the final and won the European championship. We are European champions! On a foreign land that doesn’t really care much for football, we suffered, I must say. First we agreed to not watch the game — it would just be a waste of nearly two hours, and we only had a few more days in NYC — but we found a bar that was playing the game and stayed there for a while. The bar was way too noisy. And there was a guy there, right next to us, playing the expert in soccer, who apparently knew all about Cristiano Ronaldo and hated him, for some reason, and was so happy when he was injured. Ronaldo couldn’t go on. We decided to leave right then and there. We sat along the bay and listened to the game on the radio. It was nerve wrecking. We were tied. I had to go to the bathroom so we walked to the nearest mall and accidentally found a restaurant that had the game on. It was us against everybody. People were looking at us and sneering. Portugal would never win. We never win anything. And GOAL! and we won. And we shouted and screamed and jumped up and down! We facetimed home. We had to feel nearer somehow: CAMPEÕES! was the first word we heard. It was real! We won. We are the champions. And it felt so freaking amazing — New York felt even better that day. And I’ll leave you with this, just because.