Europe
Barcelona, full of color and tapas

Barcelona, full of color and tapas

Make sure to look at the street lights, said the narrator on the Hop on Hop off bus along Las Ramblas street in Barcelona, so I did. Next, make sure to visit the market, so I did and wow so colorful! The man selling Jamon hams was an expert slicing samples with his large knife....
Valencia, Spain for Paella

Valencia, Spain for Paella

In Valencia, Spain, Paella is very serious cooking.  I found a local restaurant to try for authentic paella and asked a Valencia tourist information officer his opinion.  He took a good long look at the pictures of cooked paella at Alqueria del Pou restaurant and deemed it the real deal! We started with a pitcher...
Palma de Mallorca History and Chocolate

Palma de Mallorca History and Chocolate

Palma de Mallorca, Spain is a beautiful seaside town and rich in history. Father Junipero Serra grew up here and left on his journey to start the missions in California and is remembered with his statue.  Being from San Diego, I’m familiar with his legacy. One thing I remembered about Spain from a previous trip,...
The Sweetness of Nice, France

The Sweetness of Nice, France

Nice, France and the Lovely Promenade

Nice, France and the Lovely Promenade

The elegance of Nice, France.  People strolled through the streets while walking the dog and appeared to be part of an artist’s canvas. I found this shop which captivated me with special sugars for crepes, flavored salts, dried potpourri and many lovely items I just couldn’t live without. How I wish there was a Girofle...
Wine Tasting in Wonderful Tuscany

Wine Tasting in Wonderful Tuscany

The weather was perfect for wine tasting in Tuscany in the foothills of Pisa, Italy.  On the way there in the motor coach, our tour guide explained the minerals and sea breezes make for some very good wines in this region. This was my opportunity to taste Sangiovese wine since I usually drink California Cab...
Tasty Tuscan Tomatoes and Wine

Tasty Tuscan Tomatoes and Wine

A new awakening about tomatoes in Tuscany, Italy. Many people know of San Marzano tomatoes from Sicily and these beauties from Mediterranea Belfiore are delicious in their own way. Papa Donato began his farming in the 50’s and mamma Renza and the three daughters now oversee the farm. The Perfect Peel tomatoes are harvested for...
Port of Rome and Salami

Port of Rome and Salami

After leaving Naples, the rain storm across Europe became worse. We docked outside of Rome and due to rough seas and high wind, spent an extra day in the port of Civitavecchia. I braved the winds and found the market in town joining the locals shopping for cheese, bread, meats and pomegranates. The focaccia bread...
Naples-Espresso and Neapolitan Pizza

Naples-Espresso and Neapolitan Pizza

Salvatore, our tour guide in Naples, drove us to Gambrinus coffee house in central Naples, near the Royal Palace. The Italian style building is a famous meeting place for International officials and Pope Francis made a visit here. It’s full of activity inside and I watched the never ending production of making espressos. The espresso...
Taormina-Cannoli and Arancini Abounds

Taormina-Cannoli and Arancini Abounds

Oh cannoli in Taormina, Sicily. As we docked in the port I snapped this picture of the setting moon and the Mt Etna volcano. Then I was on the search for cannoli. I happened into a shop selling cannoli with cream and pistachio. Pablo graciously had his picture taken with me as I held the...
Siracusa, a Sicilian Treasured Port

Siracusa, a Sicilian Treasured Port

Malta is Marvelous

Malta is Marvelous

Malta is a most interesting UNESCO world heritage site and surrounded by centuries of walled fortresses. Our cruise ship docked in Valletta and we hired Karlito’s Way private tour company to delve into this tiny island. The long history about being conquered by the Romans, Moors, French and the British is seen throughout the country....