i love this city

lisboaa week in lisbon was definitely too short, i always end up having a lot of chores, like meeting my accountant, going to the dentist, laundry, seamstress…doing all sorts of things we don’t have on island. so it gave me little extra time to see my family and closest friends.

still, it is always worth it, and being in the city itself fills me with energy – so i tried to absorve all of the good things i miss about lisbon – riding on the tram, walking on the sidewalks (called calçadas, they are the most beautiful sidewalks on earth!!), looking at the tiles (azulejos in portuguese) and admiring the views to the tagus river!

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the food is always an important component too, and although i always go for fresh fish, shellfish, portuguese pastries, and sushi – there is one favourite spot my portuguese friends know i have to go to – casanova.i-love-this-city-6

i-love-this-city-7it is owned by an italian and located by the river. i’ve been coming here since they opened in 2000, and they have the best pizzas on earth – yes, i feel confident saying it! i like so many of them that i usually order half and half – the casanova, the funghi or the pesto. i love their starters too – the scamorza affumicata, the bresaola, the bruschettas…the home made iced tea is unbeatable, although sometimes i go for the prosecco. and to finish off the panacotta is delicious and light – i know, not in calories though.

oh, life would be so much easier if i had casanova in turks and caicos….

it’s always packed, so it is best to go in between meals.

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ps – you can see other posts from my previous trips to PORTUGAL.

farewell to 2012

2012 was an amazing year, it might sound cliche, but i really think it worked out quite well for us. we had a few ups and downs, but the high moments really exceeded – we started feeling like home in provo, we got married in portugal with a few of our closest friends and family and we had a few amazing trips too. here are some of my favourite blogging moments of 2012 –

guest posts from friends visiting and sharing their view of turks and caicos – natasha, my mum and my sister ines, carleth & adrian who came for their wedding, pedro who i hadn’t seen for more than 20 years, and marta who was such a positive surprise.

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our turks and caicos favourite weekend get aways – amanyara and parrot cay.

10 things i love and don’t love about living in provo, an island that has been do good to us and has made me learn so much.

portugal, spending some quality time with friends and family.

cuba and mexico, our most amazing trip, and where we got engaged.

a couple of weekend breaks to london, where i always feel like home.

playing tourist at the conch festival in provo and crab fest in middle caicos.

beach spots and our favourite things to do on island – long bayturtle tailchalk soundbabalua beachcaicos dream tours and paddle boarding.

a sneak peak to our day (can’t wait to share more on our wedding – next week!!)

on and off island foodie spots, y’all know how much i love to eat – viajante, abc kitchen, lemon 2go coffee, hartwood, infinity bar, the f lounge, caicos cafe, and garam masala.

some favourite hotels from our trips, minervetta in italy, romaneira and mercearia da vila in portugal, the nolitan in new york, coqui coqui in mexico.

his dive story column, james’ diving outings on island and when traveling, more than 20 posts this year!

thanks giving and our first christmas in provo.

a huge thanks to all of you for following along, for your never ending support and all the sweet messages throughout the year…can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store –  love xxx joana

ps – find me instagramming, twitting and pinning.

mercearia da vila / ponte de lima

during one of my quick trips to ponte de lima with my mum, we decided to stay at a new small boutique hotel in town. it would be a fun thing to do, since it is right in the center of town and we always stay at home, in the village.

mercearia da vila, means “the village’s grocery shop” in portuguese, and that’s what the hotel used to be. i remember visiting all the time, because it was such a unique grocery store, it was always so neat and tidy and it looked just like a shop from the old days.

well, the nice old man who used to be at the counter – until he was 92!! – retired and it is his son who decided to convert the shop in a new business.

the rooms have so much light and some have great views too. the place has been modernized but using the grocery store theme and there are plenty of little details, like the toys my mum would play with when she was little.

the owner is an excellent host, the location is perfect, right in the centre of town, and the prices are pretty good too!

ps – (we paid Eur 80 per night – that’s about US$100) book through booking, it might be easier since their website is still under construction.

our day

we’re back, and i can’t believe how fast it was all – one month of fast track preparations; arrival of guests from chile, brazil, california and abu dhabi; the wedding weekend flew; and our honeymoon in italy is already over. it really was the happiest day of my life!

i had never dreamt of getting married, or better, i had never dreamt of my wedding day. bridal magazines never inspired me.  and somehow everything turned out as i have always wanted. i would love to share this picture of our day with you, and can’t wait to share a few more in the weeks to come.

i am now enjoying a couple of weeks back in lisbon, before i head back home to my paradise island in turks and caicos.

image by andre from branco prata

a little update

hey friends – i know i’ve been a little switched off from my myseastory, but believe me, it’s been hard and i miss it! if you’ve been following my pictures on instagram, you know that i’ve been traveling back and forth from lisbon to the north of portugal, where our wedding is taking place, in just three days!

i’ve had a gazillion things to do, since, even though we are planning a small wedding, it will take place in our family home. plus, catching up with family and friends, whom i haven’t seen since the last time i was in portugal.

the one thing that has helped me relax on my breaks is pinterest – logging on and pinning away has helped me forget any obstacles and stressful moments. some of you might think it’s kind of creepy, but it really helped me switch off from the bride mode and live some inspirational moments.

i am finally in the north of portugal now, the list of things to do is almost empty, james is on his way and so is my family and some friends. i really look forward to friday, seeing james after a month and a half, and enjoying the weekend with those who are closest to us.

ps – i thought i’d share a few images of my days in portugal, head over to facebook if you would like to see some more.