Lately life consists of:
♥ a short trip to San Francisco ♥ little kittens
♥ tagging my name on a friend’s wall ♥ lots of delicious coffee
Recently I read a blog post about 8 Great Alternative Budget Vacation Ideas by one of my favorite travel bloggers, Nomadic Matt. One of his tips was to be a local tourist. I don’t know about you, but I have not taken full advantage of all that my city has to offer. Have you?
So in light of this idea, I ventured off on a mini road trip last weekend with family and friends to explore the little gold rush town of Julian to go apple picking and wine tasting. Only an hour drive away from San Diego, we hit the sierras and escaped the local beach towns and large highways for little windy roads and beautiful fall leaves. It was a refreshing change of scenery without having to venture too far.
So be a little spontaneous this weekend and be a tourist in your city. Happy Friday!
Last week I officially moved back to the U.S. But of course, to ease the transition back to California, I took a five day pitstop in Boston to visit some old college friends and wander around my old romping grounds. Being the food-loving human I am (I am obsessed with taking pictures of my food), I couldn’t stop in Boston without going to Quincy Market once or twice. I have to say that I missed a lot of the fatty delicious foods while in Spain. I’ve confirmed that Americans seem to be experts in this topic.
To be honest, these photos don’t even do justice to the amount of food I consumed over those five days. Between the deep fried macaroni and cheese balls, ginormous burgers, crab rangoon, countless bagels with veggie cream cheese and sprouts, hush puppies with sour cream maple syrup sauce and well…more sushi than I should admit, I survived my visit and am still eating my way through various cravings. What I am trying to say between this rant and reminisce of food is that if you are visiting Boston; make a stop a Quincy Market. It will make your taste buds dance and your stomach content: even for the pickiest of eaters. You are bound to find something for everyone in your group.
Suckling pig, known as cochinillo, is a traditional Spanish dish that is robust with simplistic flavors. This is not a typical everyday meal. I was lucky enough to enjoy this delicious delacacy in the company of my friend SK, who was able to capture the moment and snap all these great shots of our dishes. (You can read her blog about her visit in Spain and other interesting posts at viva la sk.) Many cultures prepare similar dishes that incorporate spicy herbs and fruits; however, at Jose Maria, a traditional Segovian restaurant, they follow a recipe that uses basic ingredients such as water and salt. This simple recipe makes the sourcing of their primary resources, in this case the piglet, very important. They use the highest quality meat from local farmers in order to extrapolate the best flavors possible. Whatever their methods may be, I have to say, this meal was incredible. I almost had to take my belt off at the table in order to eat a bit more. The complimentary pacharán digestif was the perfect way to ease the stomach and top off the meal. If you are ever visiting Madrid and would like to take a day trip out to Segovia, I would highly recommend this restaurant. Just make sure you make a reservation ahead of time. You won’t be disappointed.
I still have a hard time turning on the news everyday to see constant criticisms, negative sentiments and heartbreaking stories. Although this is not the main focus in today’s post, we can see that Greece has been under the spotlight when it comes to these negative stories and reports this past year.
Having just recently traveled to Greece (the Greek islands to be exact), I can honestly say it is a gorgeous place to vacation with accommodating people who try to communicate in as many languages as possible, maintain a strong sense of culture and have lovely views and scenery.
It saddened me to see all these people working so hard (normally 16 hour days) for half full establishments. And that was on a good day. Tourism in Greece has dropped dramatically. Accounting for approximately 16.5% of the GDP, it plays a crucial part in the success and welfare of the economy (you can read about it more on CNBC). With tourism on the decline and times getting more and more difficult for the Greek economy, I recommend, not only to help out these people, but also to have an incredibly relaxing sunfilled holiday.
Travel to Greece. Explore their culture. Eat their food. And lay out on the beaches. I will be focusing on great places to visit throughout the Greek islands these next couple posts. I hope you enjoy the photos and get to see them in person yourself.
I still am having a hard time believing that my European Excursion was almost a year ago. As a way to commemorate this incredible experience, I customized two pairs of sneakers to bring along on the trip (you can see how I made them here). My incredible travel buddy (aka mi madre) and I took photos in a part of the city that seemed most memorable to us. To be honest I haven’t looked at this photos in months, however I can’t help but giggle when I see these images. We made hundreds of memories during that month. I will never forget all the crazy looks we got from passersby while trying to maneuver some sort of balancing act on the dirty ground, atop various walls and benches, and even at the edge of a cliff in order to capture all the places our tired little feet had taken us. It was a mother and daughter bonding experience that I will never be able to exchange. The shoes on the other hand are completely trashed. Maybe a nice shadowbox encasing these dirty smelly things may do just the trick. Future project? I think so.