Thursday, May 29, 2014

~ a new favourite ~

When we're travelling we usually have a few "rules" about choosing places to eat. 
We avoid the obvious tourist restaurants in favour of the ones frequented by locals, we won't go into empty restaurants and we rarely go back somewhere twice. 

(Usually we're anti fast food too but sometimes when travelling with kids you just need hot food now {not at 9pm when everything opens}, reliable {ie they have something I know they'll eat}, with a playground and clean toilets and the bonus of wifi and {you know where I'm heading with this} McDonalds is the only option!!)

The exception makes the rule though...and sometime a cafe or restaurant is so immediately appealing or there are so many delicious options that we just have to return.  
(It helps if it looks like they're filming an episode of a Spanish version if Offspring there too).

Gogoko Goxuak in San Sebastián was one of those places. It was a haven from the rain on the first day we found it...bustling with people and smelling delicious. I went back for a quiet coffee alone later in the week and we all voted it our top choice for our last breakfast. 

It would make a great local. 
If you're ever in the area. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

~ our joyful moments - week 21~

I'm a bit late this week because we've been staying in a castle in Spain and there's no internet because the walls are too thick!!

My moment was a coffee and a muffin alone...a very precious commodity during our trip. 

Karin made this beautiful bouquet for her mother for Mothers Day 


Friday, May 23, 2014

~ lately ~

It wasn't an auspicious start to our week in San Sebastián - the GPS took us the wrong way down a one way street and then had us parking in a pedestrian mall outside our apartment!

Fortunately it's improved since then. 

We've lapsed into Spanish time (thanks to shutters that block out ALL the morning light...and the fact that nothing opens for dinner until after 8.30pm and so even the kids are up until after 10 every night. And they're not alone...the streets are full of people promenading, wandering, gelati searching...) and have settled nicely into San Sebastián where there really isn't much to do beyond enjoying the beach, the walking, the good and the icecream. 

We're still finding our rhythm to this holiday/adventure. I am fighting the tendency to mild anxiety if we're not doing SOMETHING cultural or specifically Spanish (...or French/Finnish .. depending), the children are slowly adapting to a life without routines and we're working on their ability to wander without purpose (In other words the endless refrains of Where are we going? When will we get there? What are we going next? are diminishing). The Doc is just being with us, being in the moment, not being at work...really just what this was all about. 

We wander, we wonder, we observe the new, the different, the down right odd and we learn. 

About other countries. Other lives.  Ourselves. 

(Photos La Concha beach and the carousel on the waterfront, playing with shapes, Hondarribia, Getaria, our local grocer, wall wanderings, laneways in the old town, tulips at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, wandering feet)


Monday, May 19, 2014

~ our joyful moments - week 20 ~

The old carousel down on the water front at San Sebastián is so very children loved having a ride last night. 

Karin is revelling in pretty spring flowers..I can almost smell that lily-of-the-valley from here 

This is our year long photography project finding the little joys in our weekly lives. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

~ Market towns ~


Each of the little bastide towns in our area runs a local market at least once a week. It's mostly local produce...fresh veggies, cheeses, cured meats, tins of foie gras ...but some other non-traditional (to my eyes anyway) stuff is sneaking in. 

Despite markets being top of Jack's "I never want to go to one again" list (whereas Gracie has museums on hers) we managed to get to a few this week (the bribe of fresh, sweet strawberries and the town's version of the walnut tart has worked a treat).  And a shoulder ride so that the view is not just legs, legs, legs always helps. 

We sampled the markets of Beaumont (amazing fresh not's just not that appealing!),  Les Eyzies (accidentally purchased $70 worth of cheese here), Sarlat (on crazy Saturday and the quieter Wednesday...when we found that amazing tart in the bottom picture) and our base town of Monpazier. 

We tried duck sausage (but not the kangaroo!), all sorts of tapenades and terrines, super sweet nougat, the sweetest strawberries and that fabulous cheese. We made fabulous picnics and even cooked at home a few times. 

Not foie gras though. Just can't do it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

~ our joyful moments - week 19 ~

Flowers from both of us again this week - and why not -  spring flowers are so very joyful. 

I received these beautiful foraged daisies from my children for Mothers Day (and then I learned on IG today that their  Danish name, Tusindfryd, means 1000 joys. How perfect). 

Karin is revelling in her beautiful peonies. They sit on one of the prettiest shelves on Sweden (her series of shots of this shelf on IG is delightful).

#ourjoyfulmoments is a 52 week project in which Karin and I are sharing the small joys in our lives each week. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

~ this week ~

This week we;

- climbed the Eiffel Tower (well, caught the elevator actually but we did walk down the 700 steps from the second stage).  It is simply amazing how captivating the tower is - every time we catch a glimpse I'm still all girlishly excited by it. 

- wandered through Monmartre

- ran into more than a few spring cute is this couple?

- gasped at pretty windows, doorways and even garden sheds (so much more romantic than ours!).  My camera roll is full of shots if walls and windows (and strategically placed bicycles) 

- ate the best breakfast ever

- turned up at the Louvre twice (it was shut the first may have been our last gallery/museum visit too as Grace has declared that "museums are boring and only for really old people")

- walked into far too many boulangers and consequently ate a ridiculous number of croissants/ crepes/baguettes

- drove on the wrong right side of the road for 700 km (the Doc not me, I've got road fright)

We're now in the Dordogne region- it's so pretty. We've got a week here exploring and then we head further south.