October 17th, 2011

Hemos tenido un fin de semana muy divertido! Juanjo compró entradas de último momento para ver Ryan Adamas, un cantante que nos gusta mucho, en Napa el sábado. Fuimos con la capota bajada en un día de buen tiempo de otoño, disfrutando del tiempo y de los viñedos empezando a cambiar color.

Caminamos por el downtown de Napa, que apenas conociamos. Descansamos y comimos cositas cuando hacia falta (cada vez mas para mi!). Disfrutamos de una cena riquísima al aire libre, en un restaurante que discubrimos llamado Rotisserie and Wine. Comí mucho – estoy comiendo más, sobre todo carne! Y después fuimos al concierto, que fue excellente. Días espontáneos como este son lo mejor!


What a great weekend! Juanjo bought last-minute tickets to see Ryan Adams in Napa on Saturday, and we drove there on a glorious warm fall day, enjoying the top down, the vineyards just starting to turn color.

We wandered around the downtown. Took rests and snacks when I needed it (more often these days!). Had a delicious dinner outside by the river at a restaurant we discovered called Rotisserie and Wine. I ate a lot – am eating more lately, especially meat! And then went to the concert, which was excellent. Spontaneous days like this are the best!

Un día glorioso

June 7th, 2011

Después de muchos dias de cielos gris y MUCHA lluvia, hoy hemos tenido un día glorioso de sol. Fui a la oficina de Juanjo a comer con él y damos un paseo hasta el Ferry Building del Embarcadero. Últimamente llevo la camara a todos lados, así que disfruté tomando fotos en el buen tiempo también. Sobre todo de mi marido querido!

Escape to Cadaques

February 16th, 2010

Cadaques harbor, feb 2010

Last weekend Juanjo planned a surprise trip to Cadaques, a small town near the border with France. He rented a house in the old town and we drove there from Barcelona after finishing work on Friday. The drive was about 2 1/2 hours, so it was dark when we got there, and we had dinner and went to bed. The next morning, this was the view from our bedroom window:

view in cadaques, feb 2010 view from our apartment, cadaques, feb 2010

Deep blue water sparkled in the morning sun. The whitewashed houses shone, the green mountains behind stood out against the blue sky, and the only sounds were birds and an occasional motorcycle in the distance. As you can imagine, breakfast in bed was in order.

flower pot out the window in cadaques, feb 2010

Later on we we bundled up and went to explore the town. It’s a town famous for its art (Salvador Dali had a house nearby), and fishing, and isolation in a small harbor. There were few people, and we wandered the harbor, skipping stones into the bay.

stones in cadaques, feb 2010

We walked up through cold windy streets, noticing blue doors, whitewashed houses, and winding vines, barren now in winter.We sat in the sun by the water, listening to French tourists walk by, and dreaming about coming back for a week some day.

cadaques street, feb 2010 cadaques harbor, feb 2010

We had lunch in the old casino, now a cafe.

cadaques casino, feb 2010

And in the afternoon, we went back to the house and read like cats in the sun, drinking tea and watching the clouds blow in.

On Sunday, we went exploring Cap de Creus park, a nature reserve that surrounds the town (and the largest coastal nature reserve in Spain). Cap de Creus is the northeasternmost tip of Spain, a mass of slate and scruffy grass jutting out into the Mediterranean. We could see the Pyrenees Mountains in the distance, and feel the cold of their snow on the northern winds that apparantly blow here all winter long.

Cap de Creus park, feb 2010

juanjo at cap de creus, feb 2010

We drove out to the lighthouse, and went for a hike to the edge of the sea, careful with each step as the cold, wintry wind was strong enough to throw us off balance.

Cap de Creus lighthouse, feb 2010 hiking at cap de creus, feb 2010

the mediterranean sea, cap de creus, feb 2010

I wish we could go back next weekend! We hear it’s nicer in the summer when the weather is warmer, but there was such a clear, wintry peacefulness to it in February that we’re glad to have gone when we did. Juanjo has set quite a high bar for our “surprise trips” in February…where am I going to find as wonderful a place in California next year? 😉


By the way, I want to say thank you for your comments, dear readers. It’s wonderful to know who visits us here!

Saturday Drive Up the Coast

January 17th, 2010

Costa Brava Drive, 1-16-2010

One of the things I’d been looking forward to about this year was taking small weekend trips. Until now, we’ve mainly spent the weekends working though, or have done family trips to Toledo. But yesterday we finally took a meandering trip just the two of us, up the coast of Barcelona to the Costa Brava and a small medieval town called Pals. Mostly driving and stopping and looking around, the point was to explore the coastline north of us. I used to do a lot of this when I was younger and first learned to drive, taking a day to explore the area around my home.

What did we find? That there are stretches of the Mediterranean north of here, especially closer to Barcelona, that are completely taken over with tall, cheap vacation apartment buildings. Nice beaches, but almost no charm in the towns. But then as we got further north, and the road got windier, there were more open spaces of nature and coastline. I usually get carsick on these kinds of roads, so I drove, but unexpectedly, Juanjo got completely carsick! That put a damper on things, but I drove as slowly as I could, pulling over to let cars pass, and we stopped often. The day was partly cloudy, with spots of warm sun, but it was definitely winter, and we didn’t see many people out. Most of these places come alive in the summer when everyone is on vacation, but are ghost towns the rest of the year. The coastline reminded me a lot of California in parts, especially Central and Southern California.

Us on the coast, 1-16-10 We finally reached our destination in time for a late lunch. Juanjo was feeling so sick though that he rested a little, and we wandered the town of Pals before eating our sandwiches in a park. Pals is up on a hill, not on the coast but near it, with an old bell tower, church, and winding Medieval streets. Very picturesque old town center.

Hopefully we will take more excursions like this in future weekends. It’s a good way to not work all weekend, and get to know the area around Barcelona. Maybe a southern coastal route next time?

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2009

Thanks from us

We miss our CA home today, and send love to everyone. Have a wonderful day sharing food, family and friends!