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Greetings from Texas…and a shout out for a friend

6 Sep

Just a quick post – Justin and I are back in Austin…it’s only been several months since our move back, so I might be a little behind on this!  Life is good, things are busy, but I just haven’t been thinking about writing at the moment…

What I did want to do is to give a shout out to a friend who has embarked on a crowd-funding campaign to bring a new kitchen grater (this one will do oh-so-much more than just grate cheese).  The fundraising is through Indiegogo – if she doesn’t raise the $40k she hopes for, all money is returned to contributors.  If she does, then you can be happy being part of an entrepreneurial endeavor and go home with one of her thank you gifts (I donated $100 and can’t wait for my new grater!).  If you are a foodie, entrepreneurial investor, or parent interested in preparing your own baby food, take a look:   http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gourmand-s-grater-retro-3-in-1-food-tool-that-grates-grinds-even-muehls?c=pledges

More soon…

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San Isidro – a special saint…

20 May

…to the bankers especially!  You see, all this week, the banks have closed at 12noon in celebration of the Festival of San Isidro, which is Madrid’s biggest festival.

Actually, San Isidro sounds to me like he was a pretty nice guy – he is the patron saint of the farmers, and he is said to have been very kind to animals  (that earns someone a lot in my book)!  A bit ironic, though, as this week marks the beginning of the bull-fighting season in central Spain, and there is a huge component of this festival devoted to bull-fighting.  Not our cup of tea.  I saw more than enough when some guys on the same flight as me in April went through all of their “toro” pictures on a laptop when we were briefly in the air on our cancelled flight.  Enough said.

Regardless, we met our friends Begoña and Javier to go check out the Pradera de San Isidro on Tuesday, which is the day that Madrileños celebrate San Isidro (a holiday for the city only).  Although my dictionary tells me that a “pradera” is a “prairie”, Begoña told me that in this context, it means small church.

The Pradera de San Isidro.

All around the Pradera were festivities – stands with food, including the special “rosquillas” that are ring cookies with colorful icing, people selling big helium balloons, and half the populace of Madrid….dressed up in costume.

And what costumes!  Everyone had versions of the same theme – girls and women had large, red flowers put in their hair (often stuck smack dab in their bangs) with black and white dresses, and boys and men sported fantastic flat caps and waistcoats.

Madrileños dressing up for San Isidro day – this is not just for children!

Note the red flower placement – I prefer the flat cap!

I would have thought I was in England if I only saw the costumes worn by the men and boys.

We enjoyed seeing the festival, although there were so many people…Begoña and I must have said, “demasiada gente” (too many people!) to each other 4 or 5 times!  We had a bite to eat and then walked towards a Metro station that was well away from the festivities.  Upon boarding the train, what a treat – this is why we love the Spaniards (apologies for the video quality, but we were on a moving Metro!)…

Sunday strolls (and where we’ve been!)

13 May

It’s true – we’ve been missing in action.  We’ve been messing around on our boat in the US, but we’re back in Madrid now.

For the past week, we’ve been dealing with the exhaustion and feeling of being rundown that seems to accompany a return to real life after a vacation of sorts, coupled with real jetlag.  This weekend, though, life has returned to normal, and we’re enjoying some warm summer-like days.  We have been taking our girls on really long walks – we missed them while we were gone, and our longer walks allow us to spend lots of time in the greenest areas of our neighborhood – this is good for the soul!

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