Archives for the month of: September, 2010

Julia and I are going to Paris tomorrow morning! We are spontaneously visiting our friend Joanna, who has an internship and an apartment right in the heart of the city. As I might be out of touch for several days, I’ll leave with this pic I snapped outside of the Cathedral.Walking dog and bird at once- and they say Americans are workaholic multi-taskers!




I love to cook. And to try other people’s cooking! Having been in Spain before, there was some food I was looking forward to re-visiting. Take, for example, these humble but amazingly rich and delicious dates wrapped in bacon. They’re like the gelato of the tapas world. I tried to make them at home before, and achieving perfectly-textured bacon and non-crunchy dates was challenging. Thus, I give a lot of credit to this little tapas place in the Santa Cruz barrio in Sevilla for getting them just right…

One of my new favorite places is the Bar Alfalfa that I mentioned before. Here’s an example of what they offer for lunch…This is a tostada with Roquefort cheese and walnuts. In Sevilla, you can find Roquefort (a kind of blue cheese) on everything- chicken, pork, potatoes and so on. Also, most people here use a fork and knife when we uncouth Americans might just pick something up to eat, like in the case of this tostada, or pizza. It’s a cultural adjustment!

If you come to visit Spain (which you should! And visit me!), this is a super-typical breakfast: a tostada with tomato pulp and olive oil (tostada con tomate y aceite), fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a shot glass-size of café con leche. The coffee is more concentrated here, and usually very good, but I have to admit I miss Starbucks-sized coffees already.

Finally, the English translations of the menus here are often amusing enough to make the interminable waits for the waiters here pass quickly. For example, one restaurant listed sangría as “bleeding cup”- doesn’t that sound appetizing? A friend in my orientation ordered a “sweet pancake” from a menu, and here’s what she got…

Aren’t the sprinkles a cute touch?

More (many more!) food pics to come!



Sun, cathedrals, street vendors, men in capri pants, women in Zara, late nights, cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, gypsies with rosemary, tinto de verano…these are the characters and images that populate the streets of Sevilla in September. I’ve been here in Spain for 11 days. In that time, I have signed the lease on an apartment, walked a good portion of the city, eaten copious amounts of gelato (with an occasional break provided by frozen yogurt from Yogurtlandia!) and managed to embarrass myself a couple of times with my rusty Spanish. I am here to be a language assistant in a middle school in Jérez, a town of 250,000 south of Sevilla known for its equestrian school and sherry bodegas.

I’m living in the historic city center with my roommate from college, Julia. She’s teaching in a teeny-tiny town northwest of Sevilla called Valverde del Camino. It’s famous for its leather goods. Here we are in the Plaza de España, an impressive tiled wonderland built for the 1939 Ibero-American Exhibiton. It’s surrounded by a gorgeous Golden Gate Park-like place called Parque María Luisa.

For the past 10 days my mom was here helping with the apartment search, general settling into Sevilla matters and, of course, to do a little sight-seeing. This picture was taken at our adopted breakfast spot, Bar Alfalfa (yes, a bar is a perfectly respectable place to have breakfast here and yes, people are sometimes actually drinking at 11am on their work breaks!). This particular bar has amazing café con leches, fresh-squeezed orange juice and tostadas (toasted mini-baguettes with different toppings like tomato, cheese, ham, etc. and usually olive oil) for amazing prices. I have been there 10 times already! My mom left on Saturday, and Julia and I are already missing her- she was a strong connection to home!

I am so excited for this journey, and also anxious. I look forward to sharing it with you all! Thanks for stopping by the blog and please never feel shy to leave a comment!