Asheville, NC/

9C1C4024-0FD4-4512-BF3E-A0ED717A11B3We so enjoyed our stay!💕. We would drink our coffee on the kitchen porch every morning and eat our fruit and cheese with wine in the late evenings out there with little blankets. The afternoons were spent getting to know downtown Asheville. We loved the French restaurant called Isa’s and sat outside watching the people pass by as we nibbled on small appetizers. At the little children’s shop across the street I found the sweetest things for my two littlest  grandchildren. We rode the trolley and heard all the history and funny stories the driver told. We were even lucky to see a mama bear and her cubs while riding. The driver pulled over so people could take pictures, but made us promise we wouldn’t get off the trolley.  We are going back to The Grove Park Inn for an early lunch because we heard some of the other tourist talking about how good it was. We tried and enjoyed the crepes at the Twisted Crepe. I make crepes and like to find new recipes for them. We missed the crepes at  Isa’s because they only serve them on Sunday for brunch. Oh well, next time! We walked all over the city up and down the streets over rough bricked areas eating our chocolate candy rounds. So many chocolate stores if you ran out you could just pop into another one for more. Bought a children’s book at the book store called “Goodnight Asheville” to read to my grand babies. We had coffee at the fancy McDonald’s in the Biltmore Village area because I saw that on TV years ago and heard they had a fireplace inside. ( They do!) 😘.

Goodnight Asheville until next time!

3FAA3D7B-7AC4-4469-A17B-7EFE3FA27624

848A12FF-3FD4-4247-A7CC-5A7E2E93FDA5.jpeg

F4FBFD37-D196-411A-9299-7BBD402EDDA5

Don’t you just love small towns?/ï»żOviedo,Florida

IMG_7973

On a recent visit to Oviedo, Florida to see my childhood friend, Thelma McFarland Taylor, we went into town. And what a fun little town is it. Beautiful feathered chickens of all colors run around everywhere. The reason I’ve been told is that when they tore down an old building that used to be a restaurant in which they used its own eggs it distroyed the little chicken coop too. Well, they all felt so bad that the leaders of the town allowed the chickens to remain as honorary citizens and the eggs they lay are in lieu of paying taxes, I guess. So roam they do. Oviedo has antique shops, second hand stores, tea rooms and even a Panera Bread. So our afternoon was full of shopping and eating. We came home with bright red dishes that were so cheap I couldn’t pass them up! Thelma and I neither one need more dishes, but how could we resist!! Well, we didnt!

Here is a recipe from one of the Tea Rooms there.

IMG_0702.JPG

PS. Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the chicken soup off the menu but I’m sure they didn’t use any of the  chickens that walk around town!! 😳

Savoring The Last of Summer in Spain

 

IMG_9619

Madrid, the capitol of Spain, has castles, the most museums, the largest Plazas and the busiest streets. We found out quickly that the roundabouts work well here because when you make a mistake which is easy to do and you need to turn around you just go to the next roundabout and go the other direction. The parking under the streets works well too to get you where you want to be the closest to. They have shopping for everyone except gun enthusiasts since Spain has a law against owning guns.

One of the restaurants that Natalie showed us was one her father in law said was his favorite. He travels to Madrid a lot so we took his suggestion. And we are so glad we did. It is called Las Cuevas De Luis Candelas and it is under the main square in a cave. The sangria was filled with different kinds of fruits,  the salmon was grilled to perfection, the salad was cold and crisp and the ice cream was just enough to share. At the end of the meal they brought us a small cup of strong black hot coffee and that was perfect to end the afternoon with. We just added a lot of sugar and cream.

IMG_9496

 

 

IMG_9880

IMG_0204

IMG_0241

IMG_0249

Roman Spa/ Relaxing

After days of traveling to visit all these small historic old towns here in Spain, it was time to do as the Spanish people do to relax and beat the heat, 100 + degrees. So we drove about thirty minutes north of Merida to Extremadura. Aqua Libera certainly did their research before they opened this Roman House. It was built and operated like it was 2000 years ago when the Roman’s occupied this area. The day passed so quickly as we had massages and sat in the baths and relaxed under the shade. The people were so helpful even without speaking English. The way they treated us needed no language. It was a warm and universal caring that came through. Even their dogs were especially respectful as they wondered around the spa stopping to sit with each of us for a moment as we relaxed and read books we had brought with us. I will be going back for dinner some evening after 10:00 pm, of course, to experience the ancient  recipes they studied to prepare here.

IMG_9390

IMG_9392

IMG_9407

Mediterranean Diet

IMG_9304The Mediterranean diet is an easy diet to be on when you’re in the Mediterranean. Everywhere you go things are cooked with olive oil or they put it directly on your salads and you can dip your bread into it. Their tapas is served the minute you sit down, and it consists of olives or small dishes of cut up tomatoes and herbs with olive oil, or just small plates of anything for you to nibble on while you wait for your meal. Your meal is never heavy with flour coatings and fried. And talk about salads, the lettuce is paired with a variety of healthy choices like avocados, artichokes, very flavorful tomatoes, onions, red peppers, fresh corn cut right off the cob, legumes and any kind of seeds and nuts. The dressing is olive oil and vinegar, of course.  It looks as pretty as it tastes.

 

Olive oil is added to shampoos, lotions and conditioners as well. It feels very soothing on your skin and helps with the dry heat to keep your skin soft.

IMG_9098

Caceres, Spainï»ż

IMG_9256

We decided to drive just an hour north of Merida for dinner and see yet another one of Spain’s small historical towns. It was a little deserted at first but the time there was only 7:00 pm, a bit early for most Spaniards to eat dinner. So we walked up the hill, following the sounds of bells until we found the old church where they originated. As the sun began to set the people started coming out, and talking to them was one of  the most unique situations we have had. The conversations began in a restaurant that had a seductive feeling about it as the lights began to come on. Everyone was so receptive to us too  and it started with our waiter. With David interpreting, we had a very informative conversation with him. We learned that Spain does not allow their people to own guns and that their crime rate is very low. He said “I have a knife and that’s all I need!” He also proceeded to tell us “what big balls” our president has and that they admire him. Then later, we got into another conversation with a man and his family from Egypt. Again, he was saying how our president is a businessman whose own pockets are full so he doesn’t need other countries to fill them with bribes. He thinks he’s really doing a good job of trying to straighten things out for our country, trying to get industries to set up there and giving them incentives to do so in order for more Americans to have jobs.  He continued to say, “your president means what he says and will do everything he can to do what he says,” again saying how much he admired him. I’m not used to all this positive talk. On Facebook and in the media all the time you hear how bad Trump is doing, pointing out the bad and not letting go of past things. It was a fun and informative dinner, conversations that none of us were expecting.

IMG_9259

IMG_9267