Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Pothole of Hell

Every year I look forward to watching shrubs, ivies and trees change their leaf color. What I enjoy most about this yearly phenomena is how streets in my town suddenly display bursts of color. Fiery reds stand blazing in the distance, as yellow trees holler at the spectator. Every autumn I tell myself to plan a trip to the mountains to observe and surround myself in a firework display of bright leaves. I finally did it, but I choose the wrong mountain. I should have researched national parks with deciduous trees that offer a display of autumn foliage.

The hike to the Montseny mountains, however, was not a disappoint as the trail was easy and pleasant. We took el sot de l'infern (the pothole of hell) trail and encountered a whimsical stream and watched a buff colored labrador retriver stomp in the down rush of water. There was a moment in which a slight breeze picked up and sent a soft shower of cascading leaves throughout the forest. Some children on the same trail laughed gleefully at the leaves floating about them, and stretched out their lands to try and grab the falling leaves.

Another happy moment was when I found at the onset of our hike a long sturdy birch tree branch, and used it as a walking stick to help me ascend and descend slippery inclines. I openly pretended to be Gandalf and assigned my husband the part of Frodo. Yes, I know. Silly woman, but nature did it's job by fueling my imagination. I recommend you visit the Montseny any time of the year and enjoy it's beautiful lush trails. Adeu!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

ABaC Hotel and Restaurant

Lost and without ideas on how to celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary? This post is for all those men and women in relationships, who cluelessly wonder how to surprise a lover or companion for a special celebration.

It starts like this, you book a reservation at an exquisite hotel with an exquisite restaurant (e.g. 2 Michelin stars). Lead up to the surprise by telling your loved one to dress chic and pack a light suitcase for a one night stay. Drive her (or him) to said place, and let the surprises begin at ABaC hotel and restaurant.

The gourmet cuisine at ABaC restaurant is created by world renown chef Jordi Cruz. Each plate is visually stunning, with bursting morsels of flavor and texture. The spa downstairs is warm and inviting, with dim lights to help the mind relax as you linger in the different wet areas. After spending time in the spa, we went upstairs in a languid state and collapsed on the airy down-comforters.

The next morning we ordered room service and I had a most delicate, and favorable breakfast, ever. I can still recall the delicacy of the egg with parmesan cheese and a plate of fresh bread. Then I headed downstairs for my facial massage with Debra Mitchell products--bee venom. The esthetician (Esther, if I recall her name correctly) has hands that will leave you in a deep slumber.

And that is how you plan a nice surprise a loved one will never forget.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fomentera Blau Bye

Les aigües blaves...the blue water of Fomentera has become my meditational image in the savasana pose after doing yoga: I stand on the shore and the heels of my feet sink in the powdery sand, a low lapping transparent wave swirls around my feet. 

Formentera, only 12 miles of island with turquoise waters.

Ace and I keep reminiscing about our trip and how we would like to return in June if all the right factors play in our favor. The pictorial narrative continues.

One last restaurant recommendation: Can Dani. We made a dinner reservation for Night 4 of our stay, and the cuisine by chef Ana Jiménez was an amazing reprieve from the local paella restaurants.  

Day 3
Cala Saona. Lots of jellyfish, so we left to a different beach.

Cap de Barbaria

My man

The famous sargantana lizard of Formentera. The only native lizard to this island.

Day 4

Platja de Illetes, another one of my favorite beaches.

10€ for the hammock and another 10€ for the umbrella. They ruin the landscape.

After our morning in ses Illetes, we went to Sant Fransesc and had a light lunch at Fonda Platé. Highly recommended and not expensive.

My cool Formentera tank top I purchased at the hippy market in Far de la Mola.

After lunch and a siesta, it was back to Platja de Migjorn.

 Day 5

For our last morning, we went to Rafalet's and rode out to the beach on the moto. These are the last pictures I took of Es Caló beach (for this trip, we must return). I had to photograph the launching ramps of fisherman boats.

Formentera, we miss you!

p.s. TRANSPORTATION: unless you are in good physical condition, renting a bicycle is an option. Otherwise, rent a scooter if you have experience driving one. You'll be able to get quicker to different beaches in the hot sun.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Formentera Blau Beautiful Days 1-2

Holiday, relaxation, and few tourists in late September. Ace prepared a trip to the Balearic Island of Formentera, for a post-wedding anniversary celebration. We both looked forward to this trip, since our actual anniversary was in August. Our time there was spent visiting different beaches and avoiding small brown jellyfish that floated insouciantly along the shore. For tranquility and beach bumming, Formentera is molt (very) recommended. We stayed at Es Caló Sant Agustí, at an apartment right above the restaurant Pasqual (we didn't eat there). It's a pleasant little town that is on the opposite end of the island of the main port, La Savina. 

The location is ideal, but getting into the water at Es Caló is a bit tricky, since you have to eye where you set your foot on the rocky sea floor. So, we hopped on the scooter and zoomed to Es Arenals, which is an excellent place to swim. These are Days 1-2. Adeu amics!

p.s. If you want to see a little bit more of who I am, visit

Day 1

Ensalada payesa from Rafalet Restaurant, an OK salad. Nothing out of this world. This place serves decent breakfasts, skip lunch or dinner. Not the place for quality paellas.

Mussels are always a must.

Day 2

Beach Es Arenals. My favorite to swim and bask in the sun.

Pano to the right of me...

pano to the left of me.
For lunch or dinner, Es Caló Restaurant is highly recommended. I advise to make a reservation before showing up without one. On our first day we saw a queue of hungry diners waiting patiently for a table. We went there for lunch, then dinner the next evening and were pleased with the food. PLUS, they have a bar person who made us indulgent drinks that were the bomb: caipirinha, pomadada, and cava sangria.

 This salmorejo is the best I have tasted. The bits of jamón Iberico and boiled egg gave it pizazz. 

Peeled shrimp with garlic. 

Fried baby cuttlefish, a.k. squid.

Why Italian sparkling water? Who knows.

Black squid ink rice, the main entrée. 

Cheesecake with cranberry sauce.

Ladies sitting on weathered wood bench outside of Es Caló Restaurant. 

After lunch we headed to Far de la Mola.

Ace having his smoke. Stunning cliff view.

Sunset at Caló d'es Mort. Lots and lots and lots of seaweed washed up on the shore. Not pleasant.

This is what the beach Es Mort looked like before the sunset. Notice the seaweed. 

Resplendent sunset view from our apartment terrace.