I went to Barcelona with a gaggle of Irish girlfriends. Well, there were only 11 of them, but that's a whole lotta Irish craic when you've been deprived of the familiar warmth and lilt for too long. (You probably know that we lived in Ireland for five years before moving here and if you don't then that explains my plane load of Irish pals.) Half of us turned 40 this year and two of us live on 'the continent' so we thought it necessary to celebrate by heading to Barcelona.
I got off easy being able to drive myself there, much to the surprise of all the islanders. My inner Texas girl loves a road trip and she was happy to be set free behind the wheel with music blaring just like in the old days of driving the I35 corridor. Three hours is nothing to a Texan. I was raised on the road trip by my Mother and her itchy feet, clicking the headlight dimmer switch in our 1976 golden Ford Thunderbird as my sister and I slept through East Texas towns. So I flew down the A9 between Montpellier and Barcelona, France and Spain, in the same time it would have taken me to get to Dallas; windows down and whining away with Kelly Willis to 'Talk Like That'.
It felt like heaven.
When I arrived I met my fellow continent dweller, she of the fated diesel trip to Switzerland, and we set off to have some tapas. And the perfect amount of pink Spanish wine while we waited for the others. We met them later that night enjoyed the first night away madness by dancing until 4am.
You know how the first night of a vacation is....you feel a bit zippy and throw yourself full force into the delirium of the holiday. The next morning, four hours later, they all got on an air-conditioned bus for a tour of Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell. I know it was wonderful and there's nothing like having a private tour of a city and its most spectacular sites but I'd seen them before with Texas Bestie K and felt like I could use the time to do what I do best, relax on the beach. After the dancing I can tell you that I felt I'd won the jackpot with that decision. I headed down to the thick sand and crashing Med, so different from our little portion of the same Sea, and lounged.
|what 11 women out to dinner looks like|
But there's food. Of course there is. When I get a disappointing meal in a restaurant these days it makes me feel like crying a bit and I wonder, 'was I always like this?' or is it a combination of having three children and not eating out very much and living in France where purchasing, preparing, discussing and eating food are national obsessions. Maybe it's all of the above.
Unfortunately, I had a 'tears in my eyes' lunch while I was there.
But on the flip side I also had an extraordinary tapas experience. And guess what? It had to do with eggs. Again, here's me going on a weekend break and coming back obsessed by a plate of eggs. You remember the 'oeufs en croute', non? If not, you can read about it here.
Back to now....and these delicious Spanish eggs that I am now beholden to creating. They were at Cerveceria Catalana on Mallorca, just north of the Placa Cataluyna and if you get a chance to go there you should. La Canadienne recommended it to me and now I have to be extra nice and appreciative to her and invite her over when I make the Spanish eggs. I don't mind, she was the one who cheered me on in the kitchen when I made the French eggs.
These eggs were more homestyle, no fancy boiling, peeling, breading and frying. Just simple fried eggs, sunny side up on a bonfire pile of potato sticks and some garlic mayonnaise. The trickiest part of this dish will be getting the potatoes extra crispy and light. Sure, I can probably find some allumettes in the frozen section of Picard and work from there, but that would be cheating. I have got to find a way to safely use my mandoline and overcome my fear of frying in large quantities of oil.
I will do it though, you know I will. And when I do I will share it with you.
Now that things are back in full swing on the school front, I've had my lovely holiday and doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments have been met I hope I can come back to writing this blog like I love to do.
I've gotten a Stylish Blogger Award from my beloved Sara in Le Petite Village so I will be busy working on my list of favorite things Fall/Autumn.
Plus, there's more girl talk for those of you who can stomach it. This time it's about boobs. They really do squish them quite flat in between those lucite plates.....