The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have been home in Arizona for one week now and am missing so many things about Spain:  Janel, the coffee, jamon, cava, beautiful produce markets, walking culture, outdoor cafes, baby burros. . .

On our last evening in Madrid, the three of us sat down over cava (naturally) and tried to come up with a “superlatives” list.  This is an overview of what we observed.  I am sure there were some things that should be included and I apologize in advance for skipping anything.


Accommodations: L’Antic Espai (Barcelona)        Honorable Mention: Bella Easo Apartment (Donostia)

Coffee Spot: Le Pain Quotidien (Madrid)

Tapa (paid for): Janet – Olive at Mercado San Miguel (Madrid)      Linda – Jamon at Siete (Madrid)

Tapa (free): Asparagus with jamon at El Cisne Azul (Madrid)

Free Tapa Experience: Totally unexpected treat of caricoles (snails) with chorizo at Tolosa Market

Pintxo: Shrimp Brochette at Goiz-Argi (Donostia)

Degustation Menu: Etxebarri (Axpe)

Walk: Urgull Mountain (Donostia)

Star-Gazing: Tickets (Barcelona) Tony Bourdain rocks!

Day Trip – Hondarribia

Purchase: Linda – Maz shoes    Janet – Artisan necklace    Janel – Skull dress

Guilty Pleasure: Grilled Goat Butter (Extebarri)

Quote: “She took away your adjective!”

“I don’t like the coast.”  (don’t fret – you had to be there to understand these)

“My cava meter is running low” (self-explanatory)

Excess: Cava and fresh oysters at Mercado San Miguel (Madrid)

Light Lunch at El Cisne Azul (Madrid) consisting of Asparagus w/jamon, 2 types of mushrooms with foie and soft egg, goat cheese a la plancha and Rioja wine

Eels and caviar at Siete (Madrid)

Animal Encounter: Burros in Oiartzun

Ponies somewhere in Pais Vasco

Kitty chewing on dog’s tail (Madrid)

Dessert:  Goat Cheese/marmalade (El Cisne Azul – Madrid)

Madagascar (Paco Meralgo – Barcelona)

Coffee Ice Cream (Elkano – Getaria)

Helado de Queso (Extebarri – Axpe)

Decor: L’Antic Espai (hotel Barcelona)   TIED WITH  Hisop (restaurant Barcelona)

Monument or Famous Site: Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)

Racion: (larger than a tapa) Garbanzos with pork (Bar Pintxo – Barcelona)

Mode of Transport: Rental Car

Meeting Spot: Bear Statue in Plaza Sol (Madrid)       Honorable Mention: McDonald’s – Donostia

Food Photo: Gambas (Extebarri)

Sea Cucumber (Extebarri)

Hake Throats (Elkano)

Home-Cooked Meal: Pulpo (cooked by Janel in Madrid)

Mercado: San Miguel (Madrid)

La Boqueria (Barcelona)

Tolosa Saturday Market (Tolosa)

Spanish Tradition: Siesta



Bar: Siete (actually named “El 7 de la Cava”) Madrid

Unexpected Delight:  Meeting Tony Bourdain

Village of Vitoria

WORST  There was actually only one category that deserved a “worst.”

Food Item: Cheese #4 at Hisop (Barcelona)

Crema de Palomitas (popcorn cream) at Ojala (Madrid)


Greatest Navigational Feat: Getting to Extebarri (kudos to Janel)         Honorable Mention:  Finding Restaurant Elkano in Getaria (kudos to Aldo)

Biggest Driving Challenge: Roundabouts

Pole Parking (this is in a parking garage where the spaces are only about 2 inches wider than your car, you barely have room to turn into the space                                                                  AND there is a huge pole one one side.  Do NOT “pole park.”

Most Useful Blog Commentator: Penelope

Friendliest Service: Abel/Sergio at L’Antic Espai (Barcelona)

Cute waiter at El Cisne Azul (Madrid)

Everyone at Cinc Sentits

Juanito Bayen, owner of Bar Pinotxo (Barcelona)

Entire staff at Bar Siete (Madrid)

Owner of Goiz-Argi (Donostia)

Bean Vendor at Tolosa Market (Tolosa)

Most Hazardous Activity: Walking in Madrid


Janel: Sea Cucumber, Morels, Physilis, Salsify

Janet: Txakoli, Sidra, Baby Eels, Foie, Jamon Iberico, Tinto de Verano, Clarita, Spanish Tortilla, Orujo (liquor de yerbas)

Linda: Sea Cucumber, Morels, Physilis, Salsify, Orujo, Txakoli, Tinto de Verano, Clarita

New for all: Hake Throats, Javelina, Shrimp Brains, Lettuce Sorbet, Turbot, Helado de Queso

This trip was special in so many ways.  I hope our readers have gotten a sense of what it was like to share this awesome experience with both my daughter and my sister.  Where do you think we should go next?


5 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. You have not been to ALL of Spain, therefore you should build on what you have done and where you have been, then go do it all over again.
    This has been such an event for you three, and it makes us proud that you have taken the time to share your experiences with us, and many others. I know Penelope would love to be a part of the next trip 🙂


  2. What a wonderful summary for such a great trip. And what a special picture of three smiling travelers.

  3. I’m just back from vacation myself (Pacific Coast / Vancouver) – what a wonderful recap of your Spain trip! Looking up Physilis & Salsify next.

    Whoop! I won a category!! YAY! And yes, I would love to be part of your next adventure, but am also just extremely happy to read and comment. 😎

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s