Flashback Friday: Summers Past

Happy First Day of Summer!!!  I am a Winter baby but there’s a distinct affinity I have for the summertime.  Life’s somehow much better with a little heat (no pun intended, Miami champs).  Here are a few of my favorite Summer moments.

Graduation party in Málaga, Spain exactly one year ago today.

J&S

Dancing with someone´s grandfather in Costa Rica, 2007.

CR Gramps

Celebrating Feria in Dax, France, 2012.

Apero Crew Sips in Panama, 2007

Panama Coconut

Learning to dance salsa at home, where the heart is, 2006.

Salsa

I could go on forever but time to go make more memories!!!

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5 Days of Global Goodies

Birthday Treats

This week is my sister’s birthday.  So, in honor of her sweet tooth existence, let’s shine a light on los postres, les gourmands, i dolci!  Yes, the rest of the week is all about the sweets.  I’ll begin with some of her favorites.

SONY DSC

The napolitano de chocolate (in Spain), pain au chocolat (in France), chocolate-filled croissant (in the US).  The first and best placed she ate these were at a bus stop in Madrid.  Who woulda thunk it?  According to her, the bakeries didn’t hold a candle to the bus stop. Take notes, bakers!

Stroopwafel

Hol-y cow…the death of us both.  Stroopwafels.  They’re just so good, I don’t know where to begin.  A Dutch specialty, this waffle sandwich is all kinds of irresistible. It’s made of two thin waffles with a caramel syrup holding them together.  It puts you right on the edge of a sugar high.  They’re sweet but the cinnamon cuts the sugar just enough to make you think that you’re not really consuming 50g of sugar.  And its softness somehow makes you eat them twice as fast.  They’re typically eaten with tea.  BUT, I discovered that dipped in Cream of Wheat….uuuh!

Llaollao

Llaollao (pronounced yao-yao), another Spanish must.  I’m no frozen yogurt connoisseur but this is the best we’ve had.  It’s a tangy, tart, sweet cup.  Ordering the ‘Sanum’ is the best deal.  You’re able to choose three different fruits, a chopped topping and a drizzle.  Mine goes a little something like this, “un sanum con kiwi piña, fresa, muesli y chocolate, por favor.”  Translated, “a sanum with kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, granola and chocolate, please.”  Wait a minute or two for it to soften so that everything blends together.  Can’t beat it.

Carrot Cake

Good ol’ American carrot cake.  Not much else to say.  Just yum!!!

Happy Hump Day 😉

Sevilla Feria Week: Twirling Under the Tents

Sevillanas Plaza de Espana

Aside from the dress, aside from the rides, aside from the proper food pairing stands the dance: sevillanas.  From the age of three, youngsters learn how to move.  The art of circling each finger one by one, stepping firmly, twirling about and ending each segment with “Ole!”, is what gives life to the fair.  With this, it’s a party!

Watching alone makes me want to stomp and fling my hands.

Sevilla Feria Week: Styling Step by Step

A model presents a creation from Vicky Martin Berrocal during the International Flamenco Fashion Show in Seville

Ruffles are in this season but they’re a way of life for all women of feria.  The dress…it’s all about the dress.  They can cost as much as €800 (over $1,000).  And the key to making it pop is all in the appropriate accessories and voila, look completed.

Start with a dress, full of volantes (ruffles), colors and often printed with lunares (polka dots).

Trajes_de_flamenca Cuatro

Then top it off with a flowing pañuelo (shawl).

FASHION-SPAIN-FLAMENCO

To match, find a big and bold flor (flower).

Traje Head Piece

Next, earrings.  Plastic hoops are popular.  The fancy folks may opt for sparkles.

Feria Pendientes

^^ notice the rebujito they’re drinking ^^

And finally, shoes.  Kitty one-strap heels are very traditional.  And functional for those that need to last until 6am!

Feria Calzado

….and for those of us that don’t have the head-to-toe gear but still want to look festive.  Anything colorful wins!

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Happy Friday!

Sevilla Feria Week: Montaditos y Rebujito

      No good fair exists without the proper food and beverage.  The official drink of feria is a cocktail called rebujito, a mix of Sprite and Sherry.  As for the food….well montaditos (traditional Spanish mini-sandwhiches) aren’t feria-specific.  But they are quality picks for any occasion.  We all love to find good, reasonably priced bites and that’s exactly what 100 Montaditos provides.  This Spanish chain is designed around the idea of providing high quality products at competitive prices. Here, montaditos are available in 100 varieties (hence the name 🙂 ) and cost between one and two euros (about $1.30-$3) each.  Wednesdays you can get any of them for only €1 (about $1.30)!!  Most purchases at any fair tend to be overpriced.  So today, a strategic eater and feria attendee would plan to load up on €1 sandwiches then dance the night away with some rebujitos.  Even when it’s not feria time, be sure to stop at 100 Montaditos and taste something rebujito-ish if ever in Spain!
Montaditos Full
Montads y Jarra
Photo by Bill Sinclair
Montaditos
And the rebujito…
rebujito jar
rebujito spread Rebujito pour
                                                                               Photo from youngadveturess.com
Good news: 100 Montaditos has expanded to over 250 locations around the world, and plans to continue growing.  It’s already in Florida.  May be coming to your city next!

Sevilla Feria de Abril Week

Feria Portrait        The pinnacle of Spanish culture is back!  Starting today, the city of Sevilla will look like <— that poster for a week.  I describe the occasion as the marriage of a high school prom and a state fair.  People of all ages, from toddlers to seniors, dress in detailed gowns or slim-fit tuxedos with top hats.  Sevillanos have a reputation of knowing how to party and during feria, it is evident.  From early afternoon until 6am, everyone travels from tent to tent dancing and socializing and some make their rounds on the fair rides.  There is an abundance of energy and adrenaline pumping through feria-goer’s veins.  After months of preparation and thousands of euros spent, they are finally able to do what they do best: disfrutar de la vida (enjoy life)!  The city shuts down just so everyone is able to partake in the festivities – no school, banks closed, lucky to find an open grocery store.  Yes, it’s serious.  And there’s nothing like seeing the everyone come together to show love for their culture and preserving their traditions.  Let the fun begin!

Feria Damas Feria Horselady Feria HorsemenFeria CircleFeria Stroll

¡Olé!