Tuesday, February 22

Tapas in Barcelona

Yesterday Bree and I spent the day roaming the city shopping with our mutual friend Pat. Pat used to live in Barcelona and her husband still does. We spent the day shopping and then sharing some wine. When Bree and I would have thrown in the towel and headed back to our lovely B&B for a nap, Pat wouldn't let us. Instead plying us with coffee and water so that we could forge ahead.

And in the end, we went to Quimet & Quimet where we met up with Pat's husband for some tapas. It was a tiny place that in passing you would think was a liquor store. And it did have loads of wines, a few beers and whiskeys. But there behind the counter, you spy some lovely foods. Incredibly fresh, we tried many and they were almost all incredible. All the while standing up surrounded by locals and a few other tourists.

Here's Bree, Pat and her husband:
Quimet & Quimet

And here's some of the food (click to go to Flickr for notes with descriptions of each item):

My favorites were the razor neck clams, the fava beans, the beef and the white asparagus (which I forgot to photograph).

Monday, February 21


Remember I said we were going to London for the boy's birthday. Well we did and had a great trip. We ate some really good food and walked a ton! It was lovely to walk along the Thames, they've really developed it into a nice pedestrian area.

So here we are in front of Buckingham Palace:
Buckingham palace
That's me holding my two new pairs of boots (I think I'm addicted to boots)

And here we are wearing bibs as we at yummy noodle soup at Pho Cafe in Soho:
Adding cilantro
Wearing bib's at Pho Cafe

And now on a bridge crossing the Thames with Big Ben just barely in the background:
See Big Ben?

At one point in the trip I mentioned that I wanted to return to see Wicked and he told me he'd never heard of it. So I say, "It's the story of the Wicked Witch of the West." Blank look. "You know, from the Wizard of Oz." "That's American, I've never seen/heard of it." "Dorothy? Toto? The yellow brick road? Munchkins? Flying monkeys?" Obviously there is some serious cultural sharing that I need to do. Maybe he'll enjoy it the most if I play it along with The Wall though...

Andorra Schmandorra

And Ian think's Luxembourg sucks. Andorra is not worth the visit people. Sure it's a beautiful drive to get there:

Catalunya Region, Spain

Catalunya Region, Spain

And you get to stop in cute little towns like Le Seu d'Urgell to have lunch:
Le Seu d'Urgell

But then your in Andorra and it's like your in a 1980's Panama City with mountains instead of the beach. It was packed full of people, many of them Russian, people still smoke inside there, we walked down the main strip for about 20 minutes before finding a restaurant (pizza and pasta) that didn't look terrifying. And by terrifying I mean plastic pictures of food out front and only men inside smoking and drinking beer.

I'm traveling with Bree and we only went for one night. Mostly because we'd never been there and it's a "plus 1" for countries we've visited. But in the end, totally not worth it. Especially since we didn't get a passport stamp out of it!

Thursday, February 10


Meet Babette:
Babette on the roof

I've started a cat share! I used to love my farm share in California and still miss it, but this experience exceeds that by a long shot.

I work with a great woman, Monica who has a great cat and has had her for 10 years. However, 3 years ago, Monica had a baby. And the cat doesn't like the baby/toddler so much. I'm sure, much like me, the cat finds him too sticky (note: it's not that I find Monica's son especially sticky, I tend to find all children under the age of 10 to be sticky).

So, now Babette is living with me part time (Monica is taking her back when I go on holidays (well, holidays longer than a weekend)). She's much more dog like than cat like in that she always wants to be petted and by your side. Except when she wants to go out - oh wait, that's like a dog too. I know the way she's different... when outside she loves to be up on the roof!

Anyway, she's great! And when I've got my camera back here at home, I'll show you how cute she is too!

Traveling fool

Holy moly, I've been doing a lot of travel since returning from Australia (as if that weren't travel enough!).

Went to the beach
A cold day at the beach in IJmuiden

It was much colder than it looks. See how bundled we are (in things I've knit for us):
A cold day at the beach in IJmuiden

Went down to Den Haag (you might know it as The Hague) to chaperon THIMUN. This is an MUN (Model United Nations) conference with over 3,000 student delegates. It might be renamed, MMM (meat-market-mun). You've never seen so many geeky teenagers finding love.

That was Wed - Friday and then immediately headed down to Utrecht. I've been there before, but this time was to have dinner with Amy, who I went to Munich with, and we decided to turn it into a weekend. Which included lunch with my landlord. He's a pretty awesome guy. It was lovely.

Last weekend I was in Brussels with our junior math team (one of my teams took 11th place out of 65 teams!). I like Brussels, but by the end wasn't feeling well. No surprise with how much travel I've been doing. Thankfully, I seem mostly recovered. Which is good because this weekend it's off to London for the boy (pictured above)'s birthday.

So I'll try to return here at some place to post more, but it really requires me to be home more.