Sometimes when money is tight, it’s fun to look for free things to collect as souvenirs. One Danish detail that really made me smile was the plethora of free postcards around Copenhagen. Most restaurants had a rack full of free, funky cards for customers, which I enthusiastically perused every time I stumbled upon one. I love the idea of holding onto these free prints and eventually matting and framing some of my favorites.
As I was skimming through my Conde Nast magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to find an article about tapas in Madrid. As I read the article, I was even more surprised to find that it featured a lesser-known, but up-and-coming street in Madrid called Calle Ponzano, which just so happens to be a three minute walk away from my apartment! This street is full of trendy, crowded restaurants that offer a variety of traditional and non-traditional tapas—most of which I have never tried. So, Saturday night, we pinpointed a few of the restaurants we wanted to target and did our own tapas crawl. We started off at an extremely typical Spanish bar called Bodegas la Ardosa (Calle de Sta Engracia, 70) with some beer and vermouth and what some call “the best patatas bravas in Madrid.” I don’t know if they’re the best in Madrid, but they’re definitely some of the best I’ve ever had. We then meandered over to El Doble (Calle de Ponzano, 58) and had some olives and beer, followed by Lambuzo (Calle de Ponzano, 8), where we ate some garlic shrimp croquettes and shrimp and basil spring rolls, which we washed down with some delicious Albariño wine. WHAT. A. NIGHT. Before we move back to the the US, we plan to make it a point to seek out more of these fun restaurants that we have been neglecting for so long! You can find the article here.
AIRBNBS I <3
Just when I think I can’t love Airbnb any more, I meet a host like Annick from Turckheim, France. We found ourselves staying five nights with Annick over spring break and this sweet woman went above and beyond the normal duties of an Airbnb host. The first day, she picked us up from the train station and graciously drove us to the supermarket. Later on in our stay, she offered to drive us to Eguisheim, a nearby village unreachable by train. It’s considered France’s most beautiful city, so she was insistent that we didn’t miss it–and I’m we didn’t. She then took us to a winery for a tasting–meanwhile she sat back reading a magazine, reiterating kindly that we take our time. Later on, she drove us to an Easter market where we browsed the stalls together, laughing at the rowdy roosters that suppressed the background noise. Besides driving us all around the region, she shared her kitchen with us, baked us bread, offered us cheese, and did everything she could to ensure we were comfortable and happy in her home and village. What a wonderful soul this woman has—she is living proof of the kindness that strangers can show you if you just give them the chance.
If you have plans to travel to the Alsace region of France, be sure to check out Annick’s place. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3975417
If anyone has been a photography inspiration to me, it’s Dallas-based wedding photographer, @hilary.grace.cinque. This girl knows how to work a camera and her love for photography and attention to detail is out of this world. On her feed, you’ll find shots of fabulous weddings, trendy Dallas hotspots, #SeamusCrushSundays, homemade cocktails and sweets, her worldly travels, bouquets of lavish flowers, and so much more. Hilary is beyond talented and it’s an honor to call her a friend. I love every opportunity I get to shoot with her and learn from her and I couldn’t be more excited to see her (and her hubby!) here in Madrid next month!
ON MY RADAR
Nope, still not finished with California. How cool would it be to do a night kayak over glowing neon blue seas? Count me in. In Point de Reyes, California, about an hour north-west from San Francisco, the sea glows with blue bioluminescence, a phenomenon that occurs when all the conditions are right. Many companies offer night kayak tours that bring you up close and personal to this incredible act of nature and it’s just a matter of time before you’ll catch me paddling away in awe of this wonder.
Nothing much happening around here this week, but I hope your week is full of reasons to smile. Cheers!