Last bits of Spain

I always appreciate a bilingual menu. I can’t remember the last time I ate at an “American cuisine” restaurant in the states that had a menu with translations into Spanish, German or French. Apparently other countries are more considerate than we are.

However, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the translations. Restaurants in China had my favorite incomprehensible menu items of “lilly bread over snow mountains” and “Backs of beans on rosy waves,”  but here are some good ones from Spain:

Can I get the Italian creaking mass on top of the hot daggerboard back? And a side of habitats tender? Thanks so much. Sounds delicious.

I like this sign as well. I’m giving it the Princess Bride “I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean” prize.


We drove under the Greenwich meridian marker on our way into Barcelona

Aragon SpainI didn’t realize you could physically mark time…

I love this picture from my last morning in Barcelona when I got up early to see the Picasso museum and watch the city wake up.


And this street art from Granada.


The painted street signs in Madrid


Unnecessarily beautiful street lamps of Barcelona


And the ridiculous “sidewalks” in Ronda


Despite all these posts and pictures, there were so many things I didn’t get to see in Spain so I know I’ll be back.

This feels like a good post to end on because I’m going to take a blog break for the month of September. I’ll be back in October.

Happy fall.


A taste of Madrid

Breakfast: Cafe con leche and Churros

Madrid Spain


Madrid Spain

Madrid architecture runs to buildings with huge brick facades decorated with gorgeous iron balconies and lamp posts surrounding central squares. Hard to photograph.

Madrid Spain

Each square  anchors a neighborhood. Cafes put out tables, street artists perform and the place teems with people at night.

Snack? Straight from the USA?

Madrid Spain

I would love to meet the guy that stacked these cherries.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, two of Spain’s favorite sons.

Plaza Espana Madrid

Lunch: wine and tapas

Fried potatoes with aioli and trout roe. SO. GOOD.

Madrid Spain

The Reina Sofia museum houses Picasso’s Guernica, a piece robbed of its impact in reproductions. It’s haunting, disturbing and so powerful. We’re going to try to drive through Guernica on our way north tomorrow so I’ll talk more about it then.

Additionally, Reina Sofia has one of Europe’s largest collections of Modern Art (much more my style than the Prado). I loved this piece, which is a working metronome called Object of Destruction by Man Ray, and the kid who kept trying to figure out how it worked.

Reina Sofia Museum Madrid

And now it’s 7pm.  Time to go home, take a nap and a shower and then come back out at 10pm for dinner. At least, that’s what we’re gonna do!


Corey and Kaitlyn, out.

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain


Bienvenidos a Madrid!

It’s been a long travel day. Enough said. But you made it to Spain! It’s noon, let’s start with the good stuff, like olive oil in a jug.

Madrid Spain

Perhaps you’ll enjoy eggs scrambled with cuttlefish ink – turning them an appetizing grey… – and then topped with fried cuttlefish??

madrid spain

I’m hearing a no. (which was also my reaction when it arrived. It was better than it looked, which wouldn’t be difficult).

Perhaps I can tempt you with an Iberico ham bocadillo, thin silky pieces of deliciousness trapped in fresh baked bread?

Madrid Spain

And Sangria! You’re in Spain so you gotta

Madrid Spain

The waitstaff is in no rush so you shouldn’t be either. Go ahead and make it a 3 hour lunch.

Now you need a walk or else that jet lag and lack of sleep is going to put you out. It’s hot (90 ish degrees) but there are dozens of pedestrian walkways covered with sun shades

Bonita, no?

Enjoy the manicured gardens

And a little flamenco reheasal

Madrid Spain

Stop in at the Prado. Corey says the proper order is Information, Espresso and then Art. Who are you to argue?

That’s a lot of Renaissance paintings of Christ, right? But the room of Black Paintings by Goya gave me chills.

Shake it off with some street art.

Madridlenos enjoy historical “monuments” to social causes. Actors paint themselves to look like statuary and then freeze in a position. Fortunately, they put out a little plaque describing their tableau or the situation might just be confusing.

The causes range from political, like this monument to women who’ve been silenced:

To entertaining, like this monument to Ham:

Madrid Spain

Leave them a tip and they’ll break their immobility to smile, nod or wink at you.

It’s 9pm but the city’s just waking up. See how much longer you can last before you have to fall face first in bed so you can get up and do it all again tomorrow. We lasted 3 more hours…

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

More tomorrow? Por supuesto.

Corey and Kaitlyn, out.

Surly witches masquerading as Delta flight attendants

My travel day started at 6am with a shuttle to Phoenix, a 3 hour wait in the airport, a 4 hour flight to Atlanta a 2 hour layover and then an 8 hour flight to Madrid. When people ask why Americans don’t travel more, I think they forget how big our country is and how long it takes us to get away from it.

My sleep deprivation was not helped by nasty flight attendants. From the behavior of the flight attendants on my trip to Atlanta, I can only assume the Delta has “only surly miserable unhelpful people need apply” in their flight attendant job description.

I’ve taken the liberty of writing the rest of the questionnaire for them.

If you want to be a flight attendant on Delta flight 1546 from Phoenix to Atlanta, please fill out this questionnaire:

1. Someone buys a plane ticket and chooses a seat assignment that violates your security policy, which the ticket system allows them to do. You:

A: Realize that this is a glitch in the system and that Delta is responsible.
B: Blame the customer.

You chose A. You are not the candidate we are looking for.
You chose B! We’re excited! Go on.

2. The customer in question is a mother with a squirmy 9-month-old baby boy and a 50lb diaper bag that she’s been hauling through airports all morning. She sits in the seat she paid for next to another mother with a squirmy baby girl. You say:

A. “There’s no way of you knowing this, but I can’t have you both sitting in the same row. How about I move one of you to a different seat? So sorry for the inconvenience.”
B. “This is illegal. There aren’t enough oxygen masks in this row for all of you. One of you has to move.” And then stand there tapping your foot.

You chose A. Goodbye!
You chose B. We love you already. Please proceed.

The mothers look at you uncomprehendingly because they bought and paid for these tickets with no problems. You:

A. Present another seat option or bargain with another passenger to trade seats and then help one of the mothers schlep all her things to another seat while apologizing profusely.
B. Tap your foot impatiently and repeat “I need someone to move” while the desperate mother juggles her screaming baby and diaper bag and looks around a full flight of people who are careful not to look at her so they won’t have to move out of their aisle seats. Then you watch her move into a middle seat (without helping her) thus guaranteeing that she will disrupt the entire row every time the baby needs a diaper change.

You chose A. We don’t know how you made it this far but security is here to escort you out.
You chose option B! Welcome to Delta.

And that means that I traded seats with the poor mom and took the middle seat – which I didn’t pay for – because I can’t imagine anything worse than traveling with a 9 month old baby by myself unless it’s on a plane full of people being mean to me.

Also, a swift kick goes out to the man who looked straight at the mom with the baby and said “Oh no, I won’t switch with you. I like being on the aisle.” You sir, have been badly raised and your mother should be ashamed.

That is all.


PS: We’re in Madrid! Here’s a terrible picture!

20% less bitching tomorrow. Promise.