Archive for February 24th, 2021

February 24, 2021

My Florida, wonderful memories!!!

And why not continue in memory lane and bring back this wonderful experience to remember forever. Let me update text and links on my memorable life in the State of Florida USA, just before my moved to my beloved France. Hope you enjoy as I and thanks again for reading me over the years!

If you search my blog you will see several posts on Florida. I am reminicent of my previous lives. Read and you will notice I lived for 18 years in Florida in addition to four years of University studies!!!while living in NJ (see post).  Florida is the Sunshine State incorporated into the USA in 1845. It has about 1,350 miles (2,170 km) of coastlines so a water lovers paradise as well. The earliest settlers were here before those northern claims…. when in 1513 a Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed and named it La Florida ( land of flowers) as it was during the Easter season or Pascua Florida.

You have several sources for tourist info depending on the area you are going. I lived in Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, both in Volusia county, as well as in  North Miami, Hialeah, both in Miami-Dade county; and finally, Miramar in Broward county.

North Miami is a totally different city than Miami in fact there are about 7-8 towns with Miami on the name including the county!!!

Some of the things to see in North Miami are: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) ,The Miami Auto Museum with large collection of classic cars, Hollywood cars, mini cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles from the collection of Michael Dezer, The Oleta River State Park is the largest urban park in the Florida State Park system. The park is located on 1,043 acres (4.22 km2) – 993 acres (4.02 km2) of land and 50 acres (0.20 km2) of inland water – on Biscayne Bay; the park contains one of the largest concentrations of Australian pine trees found in a Florida state park; and The Arch Creek Park is an 8-acre (32,000 m2) site at the junction of N.E. 135th Street and Biscayne Boulevard , just the area I lived! , and offers many opportunities for botanical, historical and archaeological study. It has a museum/nature center modeled after an early Florida pioneer home, displaying Indian artifacts dug from the grounds, and live animals from the nearby hammock. Remains of the original coontie mill are still visible across the creek, and the park exists as the only preserved archaeological site in the County.

The city of North Miami on things to do: https://www.northmiamifl.gov/514/Things-to-Do

Some of the things to see in Daytona Beach, other than the beach itself of about 23 miles or 37 kms are :City Island (married my Frenchie here) , City Island Ball Park, Daytona Beach Bandshell and Oceanfront Park Complex Seabreeze Historic District , South Beach Street Historic District, South Peninsula Historic District, the Tarragona Tower , Daytona 500 Experience, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach Boardwalk, Daytona Lagoon Water Park, Halifax Historical Museum, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Main Street Pier , Museum of Arts and Sciences,(best  Cuban museum outside of Cuba), and the Ocean Center.

The city of Daytona Beach on recreation: https://www.codb.us/891/Activities-Recreation

The Daytona Beach tourist officehttps://www.daytonabeach.com/

Some of the things to do in Ormond Beach ,other than the beach are: The Casements is a mansion , famous for being the winter residence of American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. It is currently owned by the city of Ormond Beach and is used as a cultural center and park, Bulow Creek State Park is a Florida State Park next to the Atlantic Ocean. The park is adjacent to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, and close to North Peninsula State Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area and Tomoka State Park. Tomoka State Park within the park is the site of the Timucuan village of Nocoroco, located on the Tomoka River. The site was inhabited approximately a thousand years ago.

The city of Ormond Beach on leisure services: https://www.ormondbeach.org/258/Leisure-Services

Some of the things to see in Hialeah are: Great transport hub served by the Miami Metrorail at Okeechobee, Hialeah, and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer stations. The Okeechobee and Hialeah stations serve primarily as park-and-ride commuter stations to commuters and residents going into Downtown Miami, and Tri-Rail station to Miami International Airport and north to West Palm Beach. The Hialeah Park Race Track is a historic racetrack on a site covering 40 square blocks of central-east side from Palm Avenue east to East 4th Avenue, and from East 22nd Street on the south to East 32nd Street on the north.The Hialeah Park Race Track is served by the Miami Metrorail at the Hialeah Station at Palm Avenue and East 21st Street. Originally opened in 1922 by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and his partner, Missouri cattleman James H. Bright, Hialeah Park opened as a greyhound racing track operated by the Miami Kennel Club. The Miami Jockey Club launched Hialeah’s Thoroughbred horse racing track on January 25, 1925. Even Winston Churchill visited in 1949. There are plans for a redevelopment complex but still going on unfinished.

The city of Hialeah on things to see: https://www.hialeahfl.gov/101/Visit

The Greater Miami and the Beaches tourist office: https://www.miamiandbeaches.fr/

My last town was Miramar, Broward county, before leaping forward to France with after convincing her to live with me in the State of Florida for 13 years she convince me to come to France where we are already 18+ years here ::) as French.

Some things to see in Miramar are : Silver Lakes Sports Complex (where I played softball), Forzano Field (where I played beach volleyball), and SoccerZone Indoor (where I played indoor soccer). The city has over 40 parks, for the entire family.

The city of Miramar on parks and recreation: https://www.miramarfl.gov/1726/Parks-Recreation

The Greater Fort Lauderdale tourist office: https://www.sunny.org/

And things we were fond of while in Florida, was to eat out at a Cuban resto in Altamonte Springs near Orlando with parents; the train ride outside Fort Myers, the alligator sights at Cypress Reserve in the Everglades marshes; the frozen papaya trees in Ormond Beach, yes it can get cold there like down to 25F (minus celsius 0C =32F). The now closed Silver Spring in Ocala where the original Tarzan movie was filmed!

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Go on to watching the Yankees baseball spring training in Tampa, our eating runs into Columbia the oldest Spanish restaurant in the USA since 1905 in Tampa (me and my Frenchie) and then we also visited their branch at Saint Augustine, (me) the oldest city in the USA. The fancy French as always great restaurant La Provence in Miami still going strong!! The visits to Magic Kingdom and Epcot center French Pavilion!(me and oldest son) The visit to the Daytona Beach museum of Arts and Science and the best Cuban arts collection outside of Cuba!!! My university old dorm and apartment house right on Hollywood st off Main St Daytona Beach home of Bike Weeks!!! The Marineland of St Augustine, Miami seaquarium and Zoo as well as Mallory square in Key West, the beaches of Daytona and Ormond (my dear Martine), the birthplace of speed! (world record automobile in 1902). Picking up wines in Coral Gables from Crown wines (me), and up to the concerts at Daytona bandshell on the beach. And our last house in the USA at Miramar. All wonderful memories that I like to share with my readers and keep in my blog for the memories,for history,and for passing on down to generations of my family.

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The State of Florida tourist board! https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us.html

Cheers y’all, enjoy it as much as I do. Florida, the Sunshine State. Always remembered as if for anything else, where I was married and my sons were born! Hope you enjoy the post and do visit when possible me last time was 2015.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 24, 2021

New Jersey ,a story of human triumph: My American life!

And my saga continues not only of updating older posts but bringing my life’s history in my blog. That was my idea from the beginning and I am glad doing it. Thank you all for reading me over the years, and hope you enjoy it too. Let me bring you back to my American experience, Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, and New Jersey was first! Of course, I have other posts on NJ overall in my blog.

I think I came up with a poetic title to this post. After running from left and right wing dictatorships I finally landed in democracy. Not an easy adjustment with a totally different culture and language, but we persevered the American dream , and I made it with my parents. American as apple pie ,even on further lands we came to know and be part of, we will always be thankful of the New Jersey experience. This is my humble homage.

Some background info on the State of New Jersey: It is a state in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States of America (USA) . It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and the state of Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and state of Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states! It is divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey,(mine!) and South Jersey.

Ok so we move on to the county I lived for 13 years of my early life; Middlesex County.  Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area, and its county seat is New Brunswick (where i became US Citizen in 1980) . The center of population of the state of New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in East Brunswick Township, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike. The county was primarily settled due to its ideal location near the Raritan River and was established as of March 7, 1683, as part of the Province of East Jersey and was partitioned as of October 31, 1693, into the townships of Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge ; The county’s first court met in June 1683 in Piscataway, and held session at alternating sites over the next century in Perth Amboy, Piscataway and Woodbridge before relocating permanently to New Brunswick in 1778. My parents below in Edison Menlo Park Mall!

Edison menlo park mall pipo-y-mima

And now to the town I lived for 13 years and my first contact with the American scene. My English is from here, my last years of middle elementary school, all of high school, my first driving license, sports, worked in parents small businesses as well as industry to save for University studies in Florida. Wonderful early life ,always fondly remember; Perth Amboy Panther forever !!!

Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter on August 4, 1718, within various townships and again by New Jersey Legislature on December 21, 1784, within Perth Amboy Township and from part of Woodbridge Township. Perth Amboy Township was formed on October 31, 1693, and was enlarged during the 1720s to encompass Perth Amboy city. Perth Amboy Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey’s initial 104 townships through the Township Act of 1798 on February 21, 1798. The township was replaced by Perth Amboy city on April 8, 1844. Perth Amboy served as a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 until 1776. In 1684, Perth Amboy became the capital of East Jersey and remained the capital until the union of East and West Jersey in 1702, and became an alternate colonial capital with Burlington until 1776. Thanks for several sites of historical government sites to gather all the information above. 

Some of the colonial legacy is still around such as the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son of Benjamin Franklin, still stands in the waterfront area of the city. St. Peter’s Church was founded in 1718 by the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from 1875, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving its charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Benjamin. Perth Amboy City Hall, first built as a courthouse in 1714, survived major fires in 1731 and 1764 and is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States, since 1789. The Kearny Cottage, moved from its original location, is a remaining example of 18C vernacular architecture. The site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. Regular service began in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance. A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum. The Waterfront, This is where the city was first settled and one of the few places left in New Jersey that has a historic and marina culture surrounded by water. Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. And this is the area of my last residence before moving on to Florida.

The Outerbridge Crossing, which opened to traffic on June 29, 1928, is a cantilever bridge over the Arthur Kill that connects Perth Amboy with Staten Island, NYC. Known locally as the “Outerbridge”, it is part of a popular route on NY-440 / NJ-440 from the south and west to New York City and Long Island. The bridge clears the channel by 143 ft (44 m), providing passage for some of the largest ships entering the Port of New York and New JerseyThe Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south. A project completed in 2005 replaced a swing bridge that carried four lanes of traffic with twin bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic, an outside shoulder and a bike lane. The city has NJ Transit train service at Perth Amboy station. The station provides service on the North Jersey Coast Line to Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and the Jersey Shore. I had my first train experience in the USA here! going to NYC! NJ Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal. More on the train station here: https://www.njtransit.com/station/perth-amboy-station

My parents below fishing out of Point Pleasant Beach on the Dauntless!!

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My schools! The William C. McGinnis Middle School for grades 5–8; and Perth Amboy High School for grades 9–12.  All from the 7th grade onwards , memories never forgotten and fondly remembered. At home 809 State St coming for visit from FL univ! below picture!

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We came in renting an apartment at 349 Oak Street, then move on to a bigger second floor apartment house at 809 State Street,and finally my parents were able to buy our first house ever at 106 State Street by the waterfront area. My parents had several small businesses in town that I of course help out; from grocery story, men’s clothing store, nightclub with live music and dancers, restaurant, and handyman sales of sundry items all over the State and even into NYC and Philadelphia, PA.

I played baseball on the Babe Ruth World Series sponsored by Chicken Delight restaurant and we won! Played baseball Freshman and JV at High School, intramural Volleyball, and foremost continue my soccer/football paths at the High School as I came over from Madrid, Spain.  All many memories, friendships that I must tell you endure today even after 40-46 years!!! My last visit to NJ dates from 2007 for four days! coming there from France.  A blog post or even a blog won’t be enough to cover it all but the heart is on this post. Thank you Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA; from a grateful citizen.

The city of Perth Amboyhttps://www.perthamboynj.org/

The New Jersey tourist board on gateway region with Perth Amboy: https://www.visitnj.org/nj/gateway-region/history

The Middlesex County official webpage on its history: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/Pages/History.aspx

The Central New Jersey tourist board on things to see includes Perth Amboyhttps://www.gocentraljersey.com/historical-sites-tours/

Again, hope you have enjoy the reading as much as I writing the post. Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey! remembered!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 24, 2021

The wines of Castilla La Mancha!

And love to come back to update this older post from my several trips to this region. Actually, I came to know the wines here late in life as started with those up north in Spain not to mention them by name here.  When I started coming to this region with the family several years back, the owner of the house we rented gave me a bottle of a local wine and it was not bad. Later checking in the Licoreria of Cuenca liquor store found out the price to my surprise it was a wine costing less than 10 euros!! I have been chasing down wines from this region ever since. I like to tell you a bit more on the wines of Castilla La Mancha!

I like to make my small contribution to the wines of La Mancha, and a bit story on wines of Spain in general.  My first ever taste of wine was by my maternal grandmother at my tender age of 8, and of course , it was Spanish wine from Tenerife. Ever since, my love for the drink has increase exponentially to the point of taken professional courses from the ICEX commercial office of Spain, and SOPEXA Food and Wine from France government entities over the years. I have tasted wines from many countries and even arrive of having my own small cellars averaging 50-100 bottles in the cave or basement cellar of my home as I write.

Wines are part of us, part of our culture ,and accompany with food of any kind they are always sublime, even on a hot day a glass of white or rosé is very good. Studies have repeatedly shown that the anti oxidant in red wines especially is good for your health, of course in moderation.  Spain has a strong old tradition on wines going back especially to the Romans. The wine business developed slowly with small families and the quality shows deficiency. However, as the country move up the ladder and investments came in, and more technically educated families began to get involved the quality has increase exponentially. Now the wines of Spain are all over the world even here in France my wine merchant has Spanish wines! And we buy them too!!!

My recollection of Castilla La Mancha was of very high alcohol content wines, cheaply made and quantity prime. As the years went by ,and my visits to the region increase, my tasting grew to the point that now there are several properties worthy of me buying and can recommend very good to all.  La Mancha is a Denominacion de Origen or DO area , an area designated to be of quality wines and you can see on the bottles the grayish black label on the back.  The areas are Toledo, Albacete, Cuenca, and Ciudad Real.  Going irrigated by the rivers Guadiana, Tajo, and Jucar ,and you have the biggest vineyards in the world with  about 400-600 000 hectares of grapes of which about 170 000 are under the DO La Mancha denomination. This makes it into the biggest vineyard area in Spain ,and it is known as the winery of  Europe or  “La Bodega de Europa”.  There are about 182 towns and more than 250 bodegas in it ,some with huge sizes. It is ,also, the biggest Spanish exporter of wine with 22% of their production exported. Surprise….!

You have them as in Spain in general the reds or Tintos  (we do not say red=rojo, tinto comes from how we name the grape tinto del pais ! that here it is call tempranillo ::)) . You have them jovenes or youngs, 60 days of ageing minimum, and crianza with 6 months ageing minimum, and reserva with 12 months of ageing minimum and gran reserva with 18 months ageing as minimum.  Of course, also, rosé or rosados, white or blancos, sparkling or espumosos, naturalmente dulces or naturally sweets. The region uses many kinds of grapes such as the whites: Airén, Macabeo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Moscatel, Pedro Ximénez, Parellada, Torrontés, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Viognier. The Reds or tintos such as Tempranillo, Garnacha, Moravia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Graciano, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. The last few years the harvest have been great and very good wines were produced, such as 2016 (Very Good) , 2017 (Excellent),2018 (Very Good), and 2019 (Very Good). 

The official wine regulation DO for wines of Castilla La Mancha in English : https://lamanchawines.com/en/

We drank the local La Mancha wines that were superb! all purchase in Cuenca at the La Licoreria store. There is a wholesale store just entering Cuenca by the bottle or box, we purchased there, and there is a regular liquor store of them in city center Cuenca. webpage: https://www.lalicoreriadecuenca.es/

Let me give some of the properties I seek and enjoy drinking over the years; of course this is my choices.The prices are from 2017.

Some of the pioneers of this region and the most famous is the Marqués de Griñon ,Carlos Falcó. Here is a brief story:  There is about 43 years ago that he planted the first grape in the area; it was a cabernet sauvignon that he hidden in his apples as at the time it was illegal to bring foreign grapes into Spain. Within the olives and flower trees of Toledo he set up the winery in the farm call  Pagos de Familia Marqués de Griñón, an extension of his family since 1292. The denomination of  Valdepusa, as his wines are label for the first simple wines bottled in Spain and today export to the world. Webpage: https://www.pagosdefamilia.es/html_en/vinos.html

toledo marques de grinon dom valdepusa 2010 red

We went over for a bottle of Finca La Estacada, from the Uclés area year 2014 red tempranillo Crianza 5,57€!  this was great yummy full and crafted in an old farm belonging to the descendants of queen Maria Cristina of Spain and widow of king Fernando VII. Acquired by the current owners in the mid 20C the family Cantarero Rodríguez ,winery from 2001. The complex now has bodega, hotel ,and restaurant. The wine like said is heavy powerful red full with raspberries and vanilla, light fruity tannins in mouth full body , great yummy in the end. Excellent price: quality value to grab by the case! webpage: https://www.fincalaestacada.com/los-vinos.html

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The Finca Antigua recommended by the rental house owners.  This winery is part of the great Spanish winegrowers Martinez Bujanda, very well known to me. The wines of Finca Antigua were first time tasted and we got several bottles due to the knowledge of the winemaker and the local recommendation. The winery is in the town of Los Hinojosos practically in the border of the provinces of Cuenca and Toledo in Castilla La Mancha of course. We first tried the Finca Antigua Cabernet Sauvignon Crianza 2014 and it was a bit light for our tastes; mineral hints from the cabernet but with nuances of dairy and undergrowth, indicating the freshness we obtain due to the altitude of the estate; grapes from Las Mejias lot. However, only 5,12€! worth it for the price. We moved up to the Finca Antigua Unico Crianza 2011, with cabernet sauvignon ,syrah, tempranillo, and merlot grapes.  This one was much better for our tastes. Highly intense dairy hints of yoghurt, toasty character with woodland hints oak spicy nutmeg clove and tobacco and slight toasted sensation. smooth creamy on the mouth, full bodied and rounded, well integrated acidity/alcohol and very balanced, long creamy finish, very fresh . Just fantastic at only 6,38€ to grab by the case! Finally, we have drank the Finca Antigua Reserva 2010 cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and merlot.  Very intense, delightful sensations of fallen leaves with fresh mint, thyme, eucalyptus to the front. Touches of vanilla and dairy ,oak well integrated with the fruit hints of tobacco, leaf, juniper, aniseed, very elegant complex suggestive. The taste full and powerful great body with backbone very rich and pleasant, great for rich cuisine. We love it, and only 10,24€ to grab by the case!! webpage! https://fincaantigua.com/en/our-wines/

Then, we went for the unique Alejandro Fernandez  (Grupo Pesquera) a winemaker very well known to me and have met him, (now business run by granddaughters) this was again a first time drink on the El Vinculo 2011 Tempranillo red. The winery is near the windmills of Campo de Criptana (of Don Quijote fame) that was purchase a manchego typical house that was modernized into the winery or bodega in 1999.  The name of the wine is to make it close to the original bodega of the family in the Duero region ; El Vinculo= the tie end or link. The wine El Vinculo 2011 red tempranillo was aged for 18 months in American oak barrel and 6 months in the bottle. In the mouth has sweet tannins mark with a mature fruit and an explosion of cherries, blackberries and blueberries. Wonderful and price at 10,16€ is a bargain to grab by the case! webpage: https://familiafernandezrivera.com/fr/el-vinculo-9/

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My sneaky sons already had the  Calzadilla Classic 2010 out for drinking and we did!  This is the property we tried to visit twice in last two years and always closed in August even if we did call ahead to see it. Well , we purchase the bottles at La Licoreria and tried the red wine.  Their site tells us in Spanish and I translated, the Bodega under the name of Bodega Familiar Uribes Madero is born in 1980 and the first bottle under Calzadilla does not come than in 1992. Today at  Pago Calzadilla  you have 26 hectares of which 20 are dedicated to the vineyard with a production of 100K kg of grape to produce the tintos or reds.   The Calzadilla Classic 2010 is done with Tempranillo 60%, Cabernet-Sauvignon 20%,  Syrah 10%, and Garnacha 10%. Harvest from land parcels name Fogón,   Aldehuela, Bildorado, Chocilla del Vinagre, and Viña Olivos.  The taste is of the lighter variety,not our favorite on this bottle but nice nevertheless.  The color is deep red with aromas of prune, raspberries, and white fruits like pear. You see the eucalyptus and tobacco, vanilla, and glycerine. Fruity sensation by the mouth from beginning to end .  Round  , balance with good acidity , long and expressive final. I just need to add was light texture with hints of wood, and high tannins still in it. Price at 12,71€ is ok but can do better cheaper. Webpage: https://www.pagocalzadilla.com/

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Other nice bottles we had over the years were from lesser known properties such as the cooperative or Cooperativa Virgen de las Viñas, the biggest in Europe and maybe the world, presided by Rafael Torres.  In the bodega of Tomesollo, (Ciudad Real) built in 1961 with 17 farmers and 300K kg of grape, following year 6M kg and now more than 200M kg of grape!  Managing an area with 3000 farmer associates and about 7000 families in  Castilla-La Mancha. We had tried the Rua tintos. webpage: https://cooperativarua.com/

An anecdote, the wine labels  Oristan Crianza (tried) , and  Marqués de Toledo Reserva  (not tried) from the Bodegas Lozano, were prized with double gold and silver at the  Sakura Wine Awards 2017,the most important wine competition in Japan and Asia with a jury all of women; they tasted almost 5000 wines!! webpage:https://bodegas-lozano.com/en/vinos/

Of course, all these wines were tried on site when possible and brought home !!! and we are waiting patiently to be back for more as these cannot find in my area of Morbihan! But we have still in bottle Dominio de Valdepusa , Marqués de Griñon , and Pago Calzadilla Allegro 2007. Again, all these wines are great to buy and drink, the price/quality ratio is huge, and bargains of gastronomic proportions; La Mancha is it, and Spain is stepping out. Drink with moderation but drink wines is good for you too.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 24, 2021

Madrid, it’s a love affair from childhood and forever!!

I have truly enjoyed updating these old posts in my blog, and thank you for reading me. This one ranks up there as memories flash back as I write. It was a very moving moment in my life and plenty of anecdotes in my blog on it. For now let me bring back again my dear Madrid, it’s a love affair from childhood and forever!

Ok , as the nostalgic season is continuing and I am on the mood of remembrance, I need to tell you about Madrid. I arrived on December 30 1970 and left on May 10 1974, it was a shocking beautiful experience, still very much in me.

After years been told by my grandparents that were from Tenerife and speaking to me about Spain that elusive far away country I came to dwell on its customs and food and tradition, finally I was on the land of Cervantes. Lucky enough in life to be able to come back and visit often, and from 2003 every year at least once. Never enough.

So here I am again to speak about the city of Madrid again. I have several posts on it ,but some are older ,from my beginning blogging. This is their story, my story.  I am not going to go into full lenght on what is Madrid to me. It was simply a early teen view of a new surrounding, once told by grandparents and now visually upon me back in 1970.

I grew up there at Calle de Alcalà 331 , 2do A ,Buzon 67, metro Quintana line 5 just out of the metro. Nearby is Plaza Quintana, and our closest park was Parque el Calero. Going to the sports complex Elipa  was fun on the bus P13 now name 113. Docamar the best patatas bravas of Madrid since 1963 are still there! Calzados Victor at 238 Alcalà my mom purchased my first shoes in Spain there, and ever since, I stop by and already got my boys shoes there too. The beltway or first one the M30 was finished by 1974 when I left Madrid. It was nice to walk all the way to the Monumental Ventas bullring.

It was a nice quiet working class neighborhood part of district Ciudad Lineal, and now drastically change, almost beyond recognition even thus I do stop by for memories’s sake.  I still remember the elevator/lift in my piso/apartment you could take it up but not down, it was from the belle epoque era very nice but old and rusty. We were only on the second floor (3rd US).

Anyway, I get very sentimental just talking about the city.  As the saying goes; From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!! yes!!

There, now do enjoy Madrid to the fullest, as in Spain, everything is under the Sun.  Plenty of pictures on Madrid elsewhere in my blog, I leave you with my passport id photo for arriving in Madrid !!!!

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Hope you enjoy the short introduction, there is a lot more on my doings and goings there in my blog. Madrid is more than just a tourist city for me, it is like home! Capital of the kingdom of Spain and everything in Spain can be found there.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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