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Tag Archive 'tourism'

It must go down among the biggest porkies a man ever told a woman – right after Christopher Columbus telling his mother he wouldn’t be long; he and a few friends were just taking their boats out for a spin. And, never has the term “farm”* been used more euphemistically than when Felipe V of […]

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“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” – Don Quixote de La Mancha I have been told that the Inuit have more than 30 words for snow and a similar number of descriptors for the myriad tones of white, blue and grey that color their environment. If desert-dwelling Arabs had a similarly nuanced vocabulary […]

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Five years in the making, and after at least six months’ meticulous planning, this was not an auspicious start. Within twenty minutes of claiming our luggage off the futuristically-plastic baggage carousel at Madrid-Barajas, and after spending the few coins we brought with us on a pair of sorely-needed cortados, we stood, incredulous and cash-less, in […]

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As an icebreaker at the beginning of the birthing classes we took in preparation for the arrival of our first-born, participants were divided into male and female groups and invited to sit together and discuss their greatest hopes and apprehensions for impending parenthood. The biggest concern of our fellow soon-to-be-parents turned out to be making […]

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Barcelona’s La Boqueria is perhaps the most famous food market in the world, and the most famous of its bar/restaurants is undoubtedly Pinotxo (pee-not-cho), run by the equally famous Juanito Bayen. His immaculate sense of dress and reputation for treating his guests like family have made him and his 14-stool establishment legendary. Indeed, such is […]

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I have never known an aroma quite like it before: an intense, aromatic perfume. We could smell it from miles away – even before we had passed the last of the strip centers and construction sites. On one side, the low khaki scrub of the sandmine, on the other the hot, itchy pine forests, then […]

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On our first afternoon in Buenos Aires, as we lazily wandered the Palermo district, stupefied by an overnight flight and a filling lunch featuring our first Argentine steak and an immoderate milanesa napolitana, we paused to admire the way the beautiful lilac-blue flowers of a blooming jacaranda overhung a stucco wall that years of sub-tropical […]

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As Montreal braces for its annual mid-winter festival, a lot of which takes place au plein air as they might say, much of the US East Coast braces itself for the kind of frigid, snowy conditions that Montrealers witness 6 months of the year, illustrating just one of the ways they and their city distinguish […]

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Many among us, ourselves included, can be forgiven for spending a few wistful moments during the more tedious passages in our lives wondering what it might be like to wander exotic locales, rubbing shoulders with cultured types all while sipping fine wines over plates artfully decorated with exquisite regional specialties. When we come out of […]

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Conventional wisdom dictates that one should never eat at an empty restaurant, especially early in the week, but if there is absolutely nowhere else open and you have no choice, do yourself a favor and avoid the seafood. Happily, Vieques, a 55-square mile island off the east end of Puerto Rico, and former bombing range […]

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The largely unknown city of Compiegne, France, has the distinction of being the site of one of Louis XV’s most extravagant homes away from home. Under him, the Chateau de Compiegne became one of three distinctly opulent seats of government alongside Versailles and Fontainbleau. The latter French monarchs were hardly known for their desire to […]

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As Odysseus was nearly drawn to his destruction on the rocks by the enchanting song of the sirens, so your hardy WANF voyagers were almost powerless to resist breaking themselves on the plentiful tables of Uruguay. However, unlike Homer’s hero, for whom women were the main weakness throughout his epic peregrinations, during our recent travels […]

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Looking for a ray of sunshine in your diet?

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It’s nearly a year now since we were in Madrid, and while during that time we’ve managed to shed some of the excess poundage we gained there, we’ve lost none of our longing to be back there. And, it’s a strange thing about longing that all your memories become more vivid, and you remember even […]

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Since Amy and I have been together I think we’ve only spent two Thanksgivings in America – not because we don’t enjoy turkey, but because it is often the cheapest time of the year to leave the country as many expat Americans are returning home. And true to form, this year, despite a sizable delay […]

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Have you ever eaten something so fabulous, so lucious, so decadent that you almost felt the need to run to confession (to confess your indulgent food “sins”), say three Hail Mary’s (that’s for you Catholics out there) and pray really hard that you can zip your jeans up again? Ok, a bit exaggerated, but looking […]

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The first time I ate pulpo a la gallega was at a very disreputable-looking food stand not far from the Estadio Balaídos in Vigo, Spain, before watching a soccer match between Celta de Vigo and Racing Santander (it finished 2-2). It was served on a slightly wilted plastic plate with a toothpick that looked suspiciously […]

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Gentle readers, please sympathize with me, for I, like a man who’s been dining exclusively on centipedes, have the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth. That this humiliation and defeat arrived, to twist a metaphor, at the hands of nothing more sinister than a pig’s foot, has only served to exacerbate these feelings of embarrassment and self-loathing. Those of […]

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We are fortunate enough to live in a city with a ridiculous amount of diversity when it comes to restaurants, and one place we frequent often is a ‘hip’ Colombian restaurant (what the hell, it is Brooklyn). When we go there it’s because of two things: 1) We’re friggin starving and are ready to eat […]

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Recently, Amy and I had a lovely vacation in northern California, spending the latter portion of it in the charming and constantly hilarious company of the Garing/Combs family – Amy’s aunt/uncle/cousins on her mother’s side (in case you care for that level of detail). On our penultimate day with them, we visited the “world-famous” Mystery Spot, […]

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In a later post, the husband will write about all the, shall we say, interesting tapas we ate while in Madrid. When I use the word interesting, I mean that many may find some of these tapas to be gross and/or bizarre. Personally, I am always willing to try something new. Only then can I […]

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A slightly macabre headline, I know, but the point it attempts to convey is that, instead of being a pig’s idea of paradise (it would be more like a peculiar kind of mortuary, I guess), it is the pork-lover’s paradise. With an entire floor is devoted to fresh meats, charcuterie (norcineria) and cheese (the second […]

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