Spain trip

A Starchy Heaven in Madrid

If you've ever been to Spain, you have found out that their tortilla is not the tortilla we have here in the states. In fact, it's specifically called Tortilla Española, i.e. Spanish Potato Omelet, i.e. Starchy Heaven. Though the Latin American tortilla is a starchy heaven to me as well (the FLOUR ones of course! MmmMm).

You may have seen some of Jose and I's adventures in Spain (here & here)... but there was one day that I just wanted to really capture the things we did. Try that. If you're interested in photography, put that intricate photoshoot on hold and just try capturing something you do at home. Savor the details that are easily missed :)

While in Madrid, we stayed with Borja's Aunt - Gloria. Jose was set on learning how to make the tortilla Española and Gloria was ready to teach.

First, a LOT of fine potato slicing....

I jumped in for a split second to help..

...and jumped right back out to let Jose & Gloria handle business ;)

Added some salt..

And into the hot olive oil skillet they go!

Or *swimming* in oil, I should say. Slow cooking :)

Get tender for me papitas!

The cooked potatoes join their bowl of whisked eggs..

Then go back for more cooking!

And this is where you earn your Chef jacket. Flipping the cooked mixture on to a plate...

Friends. Please make sure you use a plate that is bigger than the skillet. The idea here is that you need to cook the other side of this omelet concoction.

Chef jacket? Check.

Now the uncooked side gets to go in for a tan...

And one last flip! Ohhh.. the suspense!!

Just to make sure everything is cooked :)

This next step is absolutely important.

Find a spot other than your kitchen table.

Set it up..

Throw in some yummy jams. <-- I say "jummy jams" or "yummy yams" if I say that too fast.

And enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Actual recipe: Here

Cheers to food. And Spain. And starches. And to awesome husbands who cook said starches.

Happy Valentine's weekend!!

Spain: San Sebastian II

What I failed to mention in the first San Sebastian post, is the food fair that HAPPENED to be taking place the day we got there.

Y'all. Here's comes my Paula Deen voice. We L-O-V-E food, and more than that -- food from another country. After a long train ride from Barcelona, and chilly weather mixed with light rain... a food fair was my only saving grace in leaving our hotel room. This fair only happens ONCE a year with dishes represented from ALL over Spain! Perfect!

Wait... did I say perfect?

Maybe not all of it. That's why you see Jose sucking out the meat from that and not ME. I tried it and ... *shivers* ... not my thing. Bread treats on the other hand? YUM!

That's right.. just dunk the WHOLE Octopus in there. My favorite were the meat kabobs. They were SO savory and tender.

The next day we did more strolling around...

Can you tell I love window shots? Spain is so cute.

I mean, this is the most quaint and calm city we visited. Fishing, walking, and surfing. That's what represents San Sebastian to me.

One thing that was difficult with "living" out of hotels were the lack of fruit and vegetables we ate. We couldn't exactly go grocery shopping since we didn't have a fridge. Spain is known for it's tapas which mostly contain some kind of meat and bread. There were a few with veggies, but we had to make it a point to buy some fruit from markets...

As we were nearing the end of our visit to San Sebastian -- Jose wanted to do "something." And by "something" I don't mean read books on the beach. I posted this on my wedding blog a few months ago:

"We opened up the tourist booklet the hotel gave us and scanned some of the options. Surfing? If the water wasn't FREEZING. Kayaking? Phone number is out of service. And then we saw it. I had been skydiving before, but this... this was different. Jose smirked -"Well, we finally found something you haven't done... what do you think?" It was a little pricey, but ... when would we EVER get the chance to fly in Spain?!"

Paragliding. So we walked 35 minutes into the downtown location, where one of the Urruti Sports representatives drove us to Orio (about 40 minutes away). The first day it didn't rain!! But I didn't know we'd have to HIKE an additional 30 minutes to the spot we'd be jumping off from wearing a pack with our gear! I kept hearing "Alejandra, you doing okay?" Ha.

We were actually doing this..

I didn't mention this in my last post because I didn't want people to have a heart attack... but let me go ahead and explain how I almost lost my husband.

Similar to skydiving, you're attached to your instructor. However, instead of jumping out of a PLANE ... you're jumping off a cliff! But the idea is that you'll run towards the end of the cliff but pull the chute BEFORE hitting the end of the cliff so the wind picks you up. Is your heart racing yet?

"When I say run, just start running FAST! Then I will say SIT and we'll be in the sky!" -- yelled Jose's instructor.

I crouched in the back, watching Jose go first. After a few practices, they start to pick up momentum on the run and as the instructor yells "RUN!" he immediately follows it by "STOP! STOP!!!!" He proceeds to pull on the left side of the chute and a cord comes off!! Oh you know, just one of the cords that helps you maneuver the chute in the sky so you don't slam into a cliff.

Granted, there are a number of cords that create tension on the chute -- but there could've been more! Apparently someone hadn't double knotted one of the cords (!!), so he double checked all chutes and all knots.

Jose and I looked at each other from across the field. And we're still doing this? Yep. Right after another prayer!

Here I goooo!!

And in case you didn't watch the video before...

That was San Sebastian. So much for reading on the beach :) Our next stop: Madrid.

We Were Flying

It rained. Rained, rained, rained. Our second city in Spain, and the weather wasn't letting up. We opened up the tourist booklet the hotel gave us and scanned some of the options. Surfing? If the water wasn't FREEZING. Kayaking? Phone number is out of service. And then we saw it. I had been skydiving before, but this... this was different. Jose smirked -"Well, we finally found something you haven't done... what do you think?" It was a little pricey, but ... when would we EVER get the chance to fly in Spain?!

"We stood so tall, we caught a plane
By the wing and held it safe
Until we found it a place to land"

I'm finally finished editing this, and an exhilarating emotion runs through me every time I watch the video. Mainly because it takes me back to Spain, the wedding (still!), and being able to do all of this with Jose. I feel so lucky... so blessed to be able to experience things like this. Yes, paragliding does make you feel incredible, but "Oh, for love we become larger than life size.. great in the eyes of someone... larger than life size we become" -- A Fine Frenzy.

Have you ever or would you consider doing something like this?!

Spanish goodies for you!

I could slap myself for the amount of photos I took in Spain. Ahhhhh -- I sit in front of my laptop, going through hundreds, deciding which to keep, which to post online, and which to edit. But I guess I shouldn't complain because at least I have photos to play with. I'm dying to start photographing again and my patience is really being tested here. My desire is overwhelming, but I have to trust God that he has plans and I need to just... breathe.

So that's me. In the bullring stands. In Madrid. How awesome?!?! A friend of ours, Borja, is from Spain and we visited his family in Madrid. Before going to the bull fight, his mom gave me that fan. Love it :) But here's another awesome thing...

I want to give YOU some Spanish souvenirs!! Since it's clearly not possible to buy everyone something from Spain, what I can DEFINITELY give you... is an artistic photograph. Something to hang in your home, from Spain, made with my love, for free. I love decorating a wall with different sized frames and photos like so:

MORE examples!

Clearly, you don't have to use mine, but in case you needed something different that wasn't a photo of a random stranger... I thought this might be fun :)

My question is: What kind of picture would you prefer most- the artistic one, or the Spanish one? I ask this because some of the artistic ones do not necessarily scream Spain, BUT make great photography prints and vice versa.

Let me show you an example of artistic versus Spanish-y versus both. Keep in mind these are my actual photos (that you can have :) inserted into STRANGER'S homes via photoshop (haha).

(to me, it says Spain AND Latin America, but to some it might just be artistic :P)


(b/c of location.. it's my city shot of Barcelona)


Spanish + Artistic


These are just some examples of what I have. Clearly combining artistic and Spanish is the MOST ideal, however, those are very rare because people have individual interpretations of what they consider "Spanish"-y.

SO pick: Gimme artistic, gimme Spanish, gimme either! ;)