Madrid, Spain

Summer in March


Madrid has been warm. And by ‘warm’ I do mean, “We hit 20° yesterday, today was 24° out and the weekend’s supposed to be sunny as all heck.” To which all my Canadian and American family and friends are going, “We still have five feet of snow,” and, “We don’t care about you and your stupid weather.” While the Madrileños have continued to sport thick winter jackets, scarves and toques, my friends and I have labelled ourselves as even more foreign with our t-shirts, sleeveless dresses and capris. (I had a small child point and giggle as I walked by today and I spent the rest of my walk wondering if  I had something on my face before I realized I was the only person not wearing pants and yup, that’d be it.) Which meant that, when I met Alex’s parents on Wednesday, we got to take advantage of the terrace on El Corte Inglés in Callao. It had been on my list of ‘places to go’ for what feels like ages, but I just never made it (which is just sad when a person considers how much time I actually spend around Callao) and I’m glad that the day I did finally get up there, it was on a brilliantly sunny day.

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Madrid, Spain

Bikes & Bars


This cafe has a bicycle hanging from the ceiling and all your arguments are invalid. All other places better step up their decor, because this takes it to a different level.  Also: I should really start working on putting together ‘a guide to Madrid’ type of thing. (Sandra Juto’s Berlin and Gothenberg guides seem like good inspiration. Any other guides you’d suggest?)  Toma is my (new) favourite place to stop for coffee and Dubliners is where we stop at least once during the weekend, for a drink or two and some football.  Continue reading


[about coffee]


One of the first things I ever learned in Spanish was how to order my coffee. “Café con leche, por favor.” I’d often have to repeat it since I’d say it so quietly the first time around and the r’s on my ‘por favor’ would get stuck in my throat as I tried to roll them out just right. (I figured that would be the least of my issues, rolling r’s. Except French r’s purr and Spanish ones roll and as much as you might not think there’s a difference, there is.)  Continue reading

France, Misc., Plateau D'Assy etc.

The Coffee Break


Yesterday I woke up to slamming doors and kids yelling at each other. I checked my phone and could have almost cried when I saw the time. I’m not a morning person, but I’ll crawl out of bed when need be. ‘When need be’ yesterday should not have been 6:45. This morning, even though the kids don’t have school on Wednesdays, I came down to the youngest hugging the freezer door and sobbing because, out of the blue, he decided that he wanted ice cream for breakfast.  Continue reading