Friday, August 22, 2014

Black and White Friday

I took these pictures inside the Chapel of St. Agatha in Barcelona. The only way to get into this church is to pay for a visit to History of Barcelona Museum.  Built in the 14th century, the chapel is very simple in design, yet I love the curving lines of the archways and clerestory windows.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Time Out to be a Mommy

I am taking a break today from travel-oging to write about being a mommy.  Today my daughters returned to school--many of you have already done so, you know the drill...special outfit, extra time spent on hair and make up, I actually got up early to make breakfast and then photos. Boy, do we love photos around here!  Then it's a mad dash to get to school because I took too many photos.
Well, this year is extra special because my daughter Eliza is a senior.  Today was her last "first day of school."  Today we made our last "first day of school" drive in Germany.   Today was the last time I would be in charge of Eliza's "first day of school" memories. I've taken my last picture of her holding a sign up designating her year in school.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alone in Monaco and Loving It!

For just €3.40 you can take the train from Nice to Monaco. It's only about 25 minutes and you pass some lovely beach towns along the way.  The kids weren't interested in another "adventure with mommy" and truth be told, I was super happy to have a day to myself to wander, meander, dilly dally and window shop.  

Here are a few facts you may not know about Monaco...
*It is officially a principality bordered by France on 3 sides
*Ruled by a Monarchy in power since the 13th century
*France supplies power, cell service and military strength to Monaco
*Less than 1sq mile, Monaco is the second smallest country and most densely populated city in the world.  
*Most well known for its Casino, Grace Kelly and the Grand Prix

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Four Days In Nice

Aww, sun! I love this picture Eliza snapped on my iPhone, it transports me back to a lazy sunny place on the beach and that is exactly what we were in the mood for this summer.  And thank goodness we got it in France because as I write this post we are going on day 5 of lame weather in Germany.   

From Italy our next stop was 4 days in Nice.  We chose Nice because of its proximity to other beach towns and had planned to use it as a launching pad for further discovery, but once my kids planted themselves on the beach they had no desire to go anywhere else.  Nice was Eliza's favorite of all the cities we stopped at.  It wasn't mine, but it did offer shopping and other things to do when we tired of the beach.
We stayed in an apartment just 4 blocks from the beach. The location was very good, but with no-AC we had to keep the windows open and the street below was incredibly noisy at night. They also didn't have wi-fi which I didn't think would be a big deal, but holy cow, you forget just how much you use the internet for.  Check in and out went very smoothly and the recommended bakery on the corner was every bit as good as it was claimed to be.   I think we stopped in twice a day, every day.  If interested in more information contact the owner at

Monday, August 18, 2014

Munich Monday--Carnival At Olympia Park

Last week we took the girls to the annual summer festival in Olympic Park.  I saw it as a chance to practice some night photography while the girls had nothing but rides on their brains.  I was a little disappointed with my photographic results, but the girls had a great time.     

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cooking in Barcelona

Having already been to Barcelona once before I wanted to experience the city in another way.  A cooking class was in the back of my mind, but I didn't research anything before our trip so when we happened upon the Cook and Taste store front I was delighted!  Eliza and I signed up for the market tour and cooking class so it took the better part of a day, but it was loads of fun.  
The day began with a trip with our chef to the local market.  We got to taste a few things like salt cured cod, fruit and ham while she chose fresh ingredients for our seafood paella. She then gave us a tutorial on those ham legs hanging from the ceiling and why they cost so much. It was super interesting actually.  The most expensive legs are from pigs fed on acorns then aged 3-6 years. 

Back at the kitchen we were each given a job to do so it really was a team effort.  The menu included tomato rubbed bread, jambon (€116/kg), two gazpacho soups, a veggie appetizer, paella and cream brûlée for dessert. Truth be told, I was not a big fan of the seafood paella, but everything else was really, really good. The chef did a good job managing our tasks, explaining what we were doing, how to do it right and even threw out a batch of pesto when it didn't turn out right.  She said, "if it doesn't taste good today, you will never make it at home, so we begin again!"  

This was such a fun activity to share with my daughter, but equally enjoyable was getting to meet the other tourists in the group.  If you are in Barcelona I would totally recommend the cooking class.  
The Details
Cook and Taste
Address:Paradis 3 08002 Barcelona
Phone:+34 933 021 320
Cost: €65 + €13 for market trip
Time: 11am-3pm, or 9:45am if joining market trip