Friday, February 12, 2016


Our 4th day in Barcelona was New Year's Day, and Hubby's 66th birthday. On that day, we decided we just couldn't take our hotel's breakfast, which was the same every day, any longer. We'd been warned that most businesses would be shut down that day, but decided it was worth the risk to go out in search of a better breakfast. Guess what we found, just down Las Ramblas, near La Boqueria market? Escribà!

It was a bit chilly to be dining outside that morning, so we made our way through all the candy and confectionery, and stepped down into the cozy indoor seating area.

We both ordered different versions of their breakfast sandwiches, and I seem to remember my hubby downing a chocolate croissant as well. Plus they had excellent tea choices, for a country obsessed with coffee and hot chocolate.

Mine tasted as if they had taken croissants, stuffed them with luscious ham and creamy cheese, then pressed and cooked them pannini-style. Yum!

I could have stayed there all day, but eventually Hubby got itchy feet, and we were off to do some more 'splorin'. He did, however, agree to come back for breakfast two more times, so we could try the Belgian Waffles with chocolate sauce, and the almond croissants.

Okay, now I'm really, really hungry. Thank heavens we have our own little Sugar Shack, right here in Wimberley, which does an amazingly delicious almond croissant!

Is this place gorgeous, or what?

Thursday, February 11, 2016


I'm sure you've heard about Austin's "Keep Austin Weird: Support Local Businesses" motto. After that, our own little town came up with the "Keep Wimberley Weirder" sticker that I've had on my Mini for so many years, it's no longer legible. But, did you know that Dripping Springs now has a motto too? They pride themselves in being "Just West of Weird." The wedding venue Austin and Areej chose is on the outskirts of Dripping Springs, as you head towards Austin on 290W, and since Hubby and I are still on the hunt for someplace to host a Hill Country Rehearsal Dinner, we've been spending a lot of time scouring that stretch of highway for the perfect location. Two options we visited yesterday included:

1) A food-trailer park called The Rusty Mule...

Great location right on the highway, midway between the wedding venue and the hotels where many of the guests are staying. If only they had more food trailers. Right now it's Southside Pizza, which doesn't keep reliable hours, an ice cream trailer, and a pulled pork trailer which has many yummy sounding options but, alas, pulled pork is not universally loved.

2) Farmhouse Pizza + Jester King Brewery

Farmhouse on the left, Jester King on the right.
The Pizza Oven
The Farmhouse, With Hanging Heaters, Just in Case
Love it that Farmhouse not only has a wide variety of beers on tap, but also keeps handmade cider, root beer and fresh squeezed lemonade on tap!

Inside Jester King

If only they weren't so far off the beaten path, down those deer infested, dark and twisty Hill Country roads, where even Hubby and I managed to miss the turn off, in broad daylight! We'd hoped to make it easy for all the out-of-towners to find.

So, we're still searching. Got any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


After a brief rest and and a bit of journal writing, we prepared to go out on the town and ring in the new year! Our original plan was to dine at 4 GATS, spotted when dining at Set de Gòtic a couple of nights before. We just thought it looked interesting, and had no idea it was a favorite of Picasso and his buds, back in the day, and quite famous. Unfortunately, it was fully booked for the evening. Or perhaps I should say "fortunately", for when we saw the price of the evening's set menu, it made us both gulp! Adding to our good fortune, the kind maître d' actually left his post to escort us around the corner to their sister restaurant, a braseria called Melic del Gòtic (I think, if I'm not getting my business cards mixed up!) where pretty much everything was cooked on a grill. We couldn't have been happier with the resulting meal -- especially this part!

Virtually every restaurant we had been to in Barcelona had "tomato bread" on the menu. Sometimes it was pretty good, others it was sort of mushy and bland. But this place? Well, they took it to a whole new level. Instead of bringing you the end product, they brought you the ingredients, including bread that had been grilled until it was nice and crunchy. Our waiter demonstrated how to make the first batch, rubbing the bread with a clove of garlic, then with the cut side of a flavorful tomato, and finishing with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. After that it was up to us to prepare it, as needed. Believe me, this bread was anything but soggy and bland!

We spent the rest of the evening just wandering the streets, bathed in the glow of a million twinkle lights!

Origami Trees in Plaça Catalunya

Have I ever mentioned how much I looooooove twinkle lights?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


You'll never guess what we saw, on our way to see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, over in Kyle this week.

The Ever-Masculine One-Finger Wave

A tad unusual, even for Texas!

Monday, February 8, 2016


From Parc Güell we caught a cab down to La Pedrera (aka Casa Milà), Gaudi's iconic apartment building which you've probably seen pictures of dozens of times, without knowing exactly what you were looking at. Fortunately, this time we only had an hour's wait until our timed entry -- just enough time to stroll around the corner for a bite to eat!

Now that's a BIG BEER!
 We began our tour on the roof-terrace of La Pedrera, with its storm-trooper-like chimneys...

and an amazing view of Gaudi's masterpiece-in-progress, Basilica de La Sagrada Familia.

Next came the attic, where residents used to have storage/laundry space, but which is now a mini museum.

Finally, we actually got to tour an unoccupied apartment, which has been furnished as it might have been in Gaudi's time. The most amazing thing about this building is that it has two large interior courtyards that extend from ground level to rooftop, and each individual apartment circles around one of these courtyards, allowing each and every room to be infused with natural sunlight!

I'd move here in a heartbeat!

On the ground floor there are two arched entries with gorgeous sculpted gates and, in the early days, horse-drawn carriages would enter through one gate, drop off passengers, follow a curved ramp down to the underground stables (now a parking garage), then circle back up to retrieve their passengers and leave through the other gate. Rather innovative for its time, don't you agree?

From there we strolled down Las Ramblas to the "block of discord", to take a peek at a few other unusual houses, including Gaudi's Casa Batlló, with it's dragon-like roof.

We wound up the afternoon having tea in the rooftop cafe of El Corte Inglés, a department store in Plaça de Catalunya.

Then it was time for our siesta!