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Portugal and Spain

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S: Portugal and Spain, 2010

FC: Portugal and Spain, 2010 Blythe, Bobby, Kate, Mark, Tiffany & Wilma

2: September 29 thru October 10, 2010 The day before - September 28 My Birthday!! Last minute errands at Target and Banana Republic Dinner at Valley View Casino Day 1 - September 29 Depart San Diego/Arrive Philadelphia Lunch at Chickie's & Pete's Depart Philadelphia Day 2 - September 30 Wilma's Birthday Arrive Lisbon, Portugal Check in at Holiday Inn Hotel Shopping at El Corte de Ingles (favourite store) Dinner at Restaurante Destino | Day 3 - October 1 Booked Hop-On/Hop-Off Tour for 3 days; tours for Sintra, Cascais and Estoril; and Fatima Hop-On/Hop-Off tour of the city Sintra, Cascais and Estoril Tour Shopping at the Supermercado at El Corte de Ingles Day 4 - October 2 Early morning, having a late dinner at the hotel Getting drunk with Mark, ha,ha,ha!! Back on Hop-On/Hop-Off tour Lunch at Restaurante Inhaca Fatima Tour Dinner at Solar Dos Presuntos - "No More Drama", Wilma! Cocktail and gelatos at Finzi | Day 5 - October 3 Blythe and I took a tour of a castle Last minute shopping at Amoreiras mall Back at hotel, pack and check out Depart Lisbon, Portugal Arrive Madrid, Spain Check in at Husa Hoteles Starbuck for free Wi-Fi Shopping at El Corte de Incgles Day 6 - October 4 Plaza Mayor\ Lunch at La Botilleria del cafe de Oriente Tour of the Royal Palace Mercado de San Miguel Dinner at La Barraca

3: Day 7 - October 5 Breakfast at the hotel Museo del Prado Hot Chocolates con churros at San Gines de Chocolates Futbol Estadium Santiago Bernabeu Mercado de la Paz Shopping at El Corte de Ingles Dinner at Botin Souvenir shopping after dinner Day 8 - October 6 Starbucks - coffee and free wi-fi again Plaza de Toros Beer and tapas at El Tigre La Cure Gourmande for chocolates and candies Sol Plaza Dinner at Mercado de San Miguel Tapas at Casa Luca | Day 9 - October 7 Early morning, helados at Giangrossi with Kate and Tiffany Depart Madrid Arrive Barcelona, Spain Check in at Gran Torre Catanlunya Hotel Lunch at Casa Martelo with Mark and Wilma Dinner at Martelo again Day 10 - October 8 Breakfast on the 23rd floor, Visual Restaurants Mercat St. Josep la Boqueria Temple Expiatory Sagrada Familia Park Gruel Passeig de Gracia Cacao Sampaka Dinner at Les Quinze Nits | Day 11 - October 9 Museu de Picasso Lunch at Udon for noodles xocoa Chocolate Shopping at Plaza de Jacint Reventos Shopping at El Corte de Ingles Dinner at El Rey de la Gamba Day 12 - October 10 Pack, shower and get ready Depart Barcelona Arrive Philadelphia, custom check Depart Philadelphia - Air Force One is here Arrive San Diego

4: Mark | Bobby | Kate | Tiffany | Blythe | Wilma | The Day Before - September 28 My Birthday 11:45am - Errands at Target and 12:05pm - Banana Republic 1:15 - Start packing 6pm - Dinner at Valley View Casino 10pm - Fell asleep Day 1 - September 29 12:30am - Shower/shave; pack; watch dvr & delete shows 4am - All ready to go 4:58 - Getting picked up by Bogie with Tiffany and Blythe Checking in at the airport 6:25 - Boarding plane 7am - Departing SanDiego International Airport 3pm, Eastern Time - Arriving Philadelphia Int'l. Airport 3:48 - Mark deposited cash for us via ATM 4:29 - Philadelphia Market Place, having a late lunch at Chickie's & Pete"s; Taking a picture with UFC Fighter Cheick Kongo 7pm - Taking pictures with the World Champion, Ireland in Jijutsu Competition 7:49 - Boarding gate in A21 8:04 - Plane went dark 8:07 - Lights came back on. Then out. Then on...WTH! 8:30 - Departing Philadelphia 9:35 - Captain announces Lisbon is 5 hours ahead, 2:35am, Lisbon 10:07 - Dinner time - only pasta is left

5: 6:25am - Departing San Diego | Wilma did her research, I'm impressed! | 3pm - Mark is not impressed with the airport. Oh really? | 4am - A luggage within a luggage. See, I'm prepared!

6: Paparazzi!! | Awww, British Airways! | 4:29pm - Having a late lunch

7: Our bags and carry ons | Combo fries - sweet potatoes and crabfries with white creamy sauce Mussels Lobstercheesteak sandwhich

8: Bobby - lobster cheesesteak; combo fries - sweet potato and crabfries with white creamy sauce; octoberfest beer Kate - philly cheesesteak and blue moon beer Wilma - mussels Tiffany - chickensteak and yuengling lager Mark - lobsterscheesteak and yuengling lager Blythe and Wilma - shared lobster cheesesteak we also ordered combo fries - sweet potato and crabfries with white creamy sauce Fb: Chris Singh - get some philly cheesesteaks! man i wish i went lol/September 29, 2010 at 12:30pm Robert Alcantara - That's what we're having right now. We had the lobster and philly, regular philly, and chicken cheesesteak sandwiches and beers to drown it./September 29, 2010 at 2:28pm Chris Singh - omg i hate yall/September 29, 2010 at 2:33pm Robert Alcantara - Don't worry Chris I took pictures of it for my photobook. | Free wi-fi at the airport

9: With UFC MMA Fighter Cheick Kongo; that's also him sitting behind Wilma and Blythe, top picture Fb: Robert - UFC fighter having lunch at Chickie's & Pete's. Cheicke Kongo(?). We have better pictures with him than this. Marito, do u know him?/September 29, 2010 at 2:16pm Marito - Looks like silva Anderson/October 8, 2010 at 5:46am Robert - No, Checke Mongo. You've just lost ur prize./ October 8, 2010 at 6:38am | Ireland - World and Individual Champion in Jijutsu. They won the world competition in Las Vegas and on their way home. Fb: Robert - World champion of jijutsu(?) From Ireland. Chris your mom said this was your favorite sport./September 29, 2010 at 3:42pm Chris - yeah brazilian jiu-jitsu!/ October 7, 2010 at 4:46pm Robert - Your mother was so excited. She had her picture taken with them, ha ha ha./October 7, 2010 at 4:49pm | We've been waiting on Gate A21 and we noticed how empty the gate was. I looked at the flight information and Lisbon was changed to Gate A12. All this time we were chillin', playing games and talking to the Irish lads. As we were walking to the gate, they started announcing all ticket holders must board the plane now and we started running, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!! Once we boarded, the plane went dark and Mark got scared. He said, he's "concerned" ha, ha. | 10:07pm - Only pasta is left for dinner | 9/30/10 - 7:47 am, coffee and pastry

10: Day 2 - September 30 Wilma's Birthday 7:47am - Lisbon time; pastry and coffee for breakfast at the plane 8:31 - Arriving Lisbon Portela Airport 10:19 - Checking in at our Holiday Inn Hotel 11am - El Corte Ingles, shopping center, our favourite store Made in China - Pililipino women, I hate them!! (more on them later, ha, ha, ha) 2pm - Back to the hotel and we all took a nap 8pm - Shower and get ready for dinner 10:17 - At the hotel bar drinking with Mark 10:35 - Dinner at Restaurante Destino, Barrio Alto | Lisbon, Portugal | 8:31am - Arriving Lisbon Portela Airport | OMG, this is old school, ha, ha, ha.

11: My passport stamp. | 9:10am - Baggage terminal | Lisbon Portela Airport | Chasing Mark! | 9:43 - In queue for taxi

12: 10:19am - Checking in at the Holiday Inn Hotel 11am - Walked around to find a place to eat lunch and we ended up at El Corte Ingles. I was looking at the chocolates for souvenirs when all of a sudden I hear voices in Tagalog, looked and saw a couple of Pilipino women. I heard one of them say that "these chocolates are probably made in China". WTF! I am so insulted and annoyed by this comment. I am talagang hating them, bad!!! After shopping, we were waiting for the rest and here they come sitting right next to us. Uggghhhhhhhhhhhh! 10:35pm - On our way to dinner. The restaurant that Mark picked was too expensive so we started walking around in Barrio Alto and found Restauranted Destino behind the first restaurant. | 10:17 - Having a drink with Mark

13: Restaurante Destino Vinho Verde: Alvarinho and Quinta de Azevedo Olives, almods, hot bread and butter Pork and clams Grilled octopus Brocolli and potatoes Grilled fish: salmon, bacalauh, seabass, sardines Prawns with rice Our waiter said we're ordering too much food. Obviously he doesn't know how much food we eat, ha, ha, ha. Desserts: puding flan; espresso; Tawny white port

14: Wilma's bill - yes!!

15: White Port - the guys offered complimentary shots when we said it was Wilma's birthday, woohhhhooooo!!!! We even got the workers to drink with us. Wilma said it's so sweet she can drink the whole bottle, ha, ha, ha! | Fb - Kate - Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!! FREE SHOT SHOT SHOT! Haha! Only in another country.....September 30, 2010 at 5:29pm.

16: Day 3 - October 1 1:27am - Walking around in Barrio Alto after dinner 1:46 - Grabbed a taxi from Hard Rock Cafe to the hotel 2:11 - Back to the hotel 2:49 - Meeting at Wilma's room for tomorrow's plan. 6:36 - Woke up. Back to bed. Woke up again... 7:30 - Up and getting ready for the day 9:36 - Coffee at Continental. We booked Hop-On/Hop-Off Tours for 3 days; Sintra and Fatima, the 3 tours were 123 Euro ($168) 11:03 - Taxi to Marques de Pombal for our hop-on/hop-off tour 11:58 - Alcantara 12:00pm - 25 de Abril Bridge (25th of April Bridge) 12:20 - Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) 12:37 - Pasteis de Belem, desde 1837 2:30 - Tour for Sintra, Cascais and Estoril 3:27 - Sintra 5:54 - Cascais and Estoril 6:45 - Shopping groceries at El Corte Ingles 10:15 - We all fell asleep | October 1 1:46am - Taxi back to hotel 2:49-3:21am - Meeting in Wilma's room for tomorrow's plan and accomplished nothing! Wilma telling stories from the past including Bogie as Baby Imus, placed in a shoe box, ha, ha, ha, ha. This was hilarious, never heard this one before!

17: 11:23 - Marques de Pombal, meeting place for the hop-on/hop-off tour | 11:23 - Getting on the bus for our city tour of Lisbon

18: Downtown Rossio

19: The 25 de Abril Bridge (25th of April Bridge) is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, capital of Portugal, to the municipality of Almada on the left (south) bank of the Tejo river. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966 and a train platform was added in 1999. Because of its similar coloring, it is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. In fact, it was built by the same company (American Bridge Company) that constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and not the Golden Gate, also explaining its similarity in design. With a total length of 2,277 m, it is the 20th largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper platform carries six car lanes, the lower platform two train tracks. Until 1974, the bridge was named Salazar Bridge (Ponte Salazar).

20: Santa Maria de Belem is the official name of the Abbey of St Jeronimos. It is one of the most famous monuments in Portugal. Built in the Manueline style, the monastery took over 100 years to build and was home to the Hieronymite Order of monks. The monastery was built on the site of an earlier chapel where sailors came to have their spiritual needs looked after. It was in that chapel that Vasco da Gama prayed before taking off on his journey of discovery.

22: Padro dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is a monument that celebrates the Portuguese who took part in the Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration, of the 15th and 16th centuries. It is located on the estuary of the Tagus river in the Belém parish of Lisbon, Portugal, where ships departed to their often unknown destinations. The monument consists of a 52 metre-high slab of concrete, carved into the shape of the prow of a ship. The side that faces away from the river features a carved sword stretching the full height of the monument. It was conceived by Portuguese artists, architect Cottinelli Telmo and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida as a temporary beacon of the Portuguese World Fair in 1940. The Monument to the Discoveries represents a romantic idealisation of the Portuguese past that was typical during Salazar's Estado Novo regime. The original monument was built with perishable materials, but it was rebuilt in concrete in 1960, in time for the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator, the sponsor of the Portuguese Discoveries. He is the figure at the tip of the monument, looking out over the river. Behind Henry, on both sides of the monument, are statues of other great people of that era, including explorers, cartographers, artists, scientists and missionaries. The 33 featured Portuguese personalities are: Infante Pedro, Duke of Coimbra (son of King John I of Portugal); Queen Philippa of Lancaster; Ferno Mendes Pinto (explorer and writer); Friar Gonalo de Carvalho; Friar Henrique Carvalho; Luís de Cames (renaissance poet who celebrated the navigations in the epic Lusiads); Nuno Gonalves (painter); Gomes Eanes de Zurara (chronicler); Pro da Covilh (traveller); Jácome de Maiorca (cosmographer); Pedro Escobar (navigator); Pedro Nunes (mathematician); Pro de Alenquer (navigator); Gil Eanes (navigator); Joao Gonalves Zarco (navigator); Infante Fernando, the Saint Prince (son of King John I of Portugal); Henry the Navigator (sponsor of the Age of Discovery); Afonso V of Portugal; Vasco da Gama (discoverer of the sea route to India); Afonso Gonalves Baldaia (navigator); Pedro Álvares Cabral (discoverer of Brazil); Ferdinand Magellan (first to circumnavigate the globe); Nicolau Coelho (navigator); Gaspar Corte-Real (navigator); Martim Afonso de Sousa (navigator); Joao de Barros (writer); Estvo da Gama (sea captain); Bartolomeu Dias (first to cross over the Cape of Good Hope); Diogo Co (first to arrive to the Congo river); António Abreu (navigator); Afonso de Albuquerque (second viceroy of Portuguese India); Saint Francis Xavier (missionary); Cristóvo da Gama (captain)

24: Pasteis de Belem History: The Taste of Tradition At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, in Belém, next to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery) there was a sugar cane refinery linked to a small general store. As a result of the liberal revolution of 1820, all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down in 1834, the clergy and labourers expelled. In an attempt at survival, someone from the monastery offered sweet pastries for sale in the shop; pastries that rapidly became known as 'Pasteis de Belém'. At that period the area of Belém was still far from the city of Lisbon and could be reached by steam-boats. At the same time, the grandeur of the monastery and the Torre de Belém (the Belém Tower) attracted visitors who soon grew used to savouring the delicious pastries originated in the monastery. In 1837, the baking of the 'Pasteis de Belém' was begun in buildings joined to the refinery, following the ancient 'secret recipe' from the monastery. Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in the 'secrets room', this recipe remained unchanged to the present day. In fact, the only true 'Pasteis de Belém' contrive, by means of a scrupulous selection of ingredients, to offer even today the flavour of the time-honoured Portuguese sweetmaking. We saw this bakery on an episode of Samantha Brown's Passport to Europe. Of course we got some pasteis and bacalhau croquettes.

25: Back to Marques de Pombal for our tour to Sintra, Cascais and Estoril | Pasteis and bacalhau | Sintra

27: (So Pedro de) Alcntara is a civil parish (freguesia) of the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Its name is of Arabic origin, meaning "the bridge", and refers to the Roman bridge that once existed there in the kingdom of Dom Joo V. Although today it is quite central, it was once a mere suburb of Lisbon, comprising mostly farms and palaces. In the 16th century, there was a brook there which the nobles used to promenade in their boats. Through the late 19th century, Alcntara became a popular industrial area, with lots of small factories and warehouses. Through the centuries, this area has lost all of its charm and old buildings, as well as its brook, and the womenfolk used to go there to do their laundry. Around the early 1990s, Alcntara started to become a place for pubs and discotheques, mainly because its outer area is mostly commercial, and the noise generated at night, and the "movida", would not disturb its residents. Today, some of these areas are slowly being taken over by loft developments and new apartments that can profit from its excellent river views and central location. | Cascais | Alcantara - Mar

28: Back at our favourite store, El Corte Ingles shopping for our dinner, including Spanish ham. | 2:27am - October 2 We all just woke up and now we are having a late dinner: bacalhau croquettes, iberico ham, foie gras pate, cheeses, baquettes, bread crackers, palesteria - stawberry and pear tart, coffee, tea and portos! | 3:56am - October 2 Mark came over to get drunk. So Mark and I drunk a bottle of white portos and after, he wouldn't let us sleep! | Fb: Robert, 6:15 AM - Mark is drunk and is talking non-stop!! October 1, 2010 at 10:16pm .Dorilee Parales Alcantara hahahahaha October 1, 2010 at 10:26pm .Chris Singh lol October 2, 2010 at 1:52am | And look what else we found, Filipinos cookies, ha, ha, ha! | October 2

29: Day 4 - October 2 2:27am - We woke up and having a late dinner 3:56 - Mark wants to get drunk, with me! 6:15 - Mark is drunk and won't let us sleep 9:15 - Getting ready for breakfast 10:45 - On our way out 10:57 - Hop-on/off tour; walked around Rossio 12:12pm - Got some cd's of Amalia Rodriguez, a well known Fado singer 12:26 - Santini ice cream 1:28 - Lunch at Restaurante Inhaca 2:30 - Tour Fatima 4:05 - Arriving Fatima 8:12 - Back at the hotel 8:50 - Heading out for dinner 9:30 - Dinner at Solar Dos Presuntos 10:14 - Wilma walked out, such a drama queen! 11:54 - Gelato and cocktails at Finzi | Fresh hot chestnuts! Did we buy some? I don't remember. | Rosio

30: D. Maria II National Theatre | Santa Justa Lift | Original custom worn on a play | Fado music | Electrico 28

31: 12:26pm - Santini ice cream parlour | They have great and unusual exotic flavours! | Bobby - green corn; Tiffany - tangerine;

32: 1:28pm - A quick lunch at Restaurante Inhaca before our tour in Fatima

33: Seafood platter: langostinos, shrimps, oysters, gooseneck barnacles, clams, dungeness crabs Crab roe, grilled sardines, bacalauh with fried potatoes, and Sagres beer. As I was eating the langostino, the pincer claw got stuck on my lip and it hurt, ha, ha, ha. It took a minute or two before I was able to get it off of my lip! Lunch was delicious. | After lunch, Blythe, Mark and Kate took the 1st taxi so that we can make it to our tour. As we got there, they were laughing so hard. And I knew. I just knew. Made in China were there!! Uggghh!!!

34: 2:30 Fatima Tour

35: This is the original sighting where Our Lady of the Rosary first appeared to the three shepherd children--Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco--in a series of apparitions at Fatima, Portugal from May to October 1917.

36: The Apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia dos Santos and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Between May and October of 1917, the three children witnessed several apparitions. The last one, on October 13th, was confirmed by a miracle witnessed by 60,000 people known in the catholic world as "the day the sun danced". The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to the three shepherd children ("the Three Seers") near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed. Our Lady of Fatima is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also used in reference to the same apparition; the children related that the apparition specifically identified herself as "the Lady of the Rosary." | I had the shawarma sandwhich and it was sooo goooood!

37: 9:30 - Dinner at Solar Dos Presuntos Olvies; bread and butter; pata negra cured ham and azeitao cheese, sardines Shellfish cream soup; spider crab soup Lobster and prawn acorda in bread | Check out those ham!! And look at those prawns and lobsters, they are humongous!!

39: Tiffany - spider crab soup and risotto in squid black ink Bobby - shellfish soup; lobster and prawn acorda in bread Mark - beef tenderloin Kate - Wilma wanted the seafood platter but no one wanted to share with her. After awhile, she had a big "S" and walked out and went back to hotel by herself.

41: Tiffany - spider crab soup and risotto in squid black ink Bobby - shellfish soup; lobster and prawn acorda in bread Mark - beef tenderloin Kate - Wilma wanted the seafood platter but no one wanted to share with her. After awhile, she had a big "S" and walked out and went back to hotel by herself.

42: 11:54pm-1:13am - Finzi, gelatos and cocktails Wow, those are big eyes Marky Nark! | Mark's drinking again. He's reqested 80's love song. He'll be singing Air Supply's "All out of Love." October 2, 2010 at 4:05pm

43: Day 5 - October 3 1:13-3:45am - Shower; pack and write postcards 9am - Taxi, leaving for the castle tour 9:30 - St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge), Alfama 11 - Shopping at Amoreiras mall 11:52 - Back at the hotel 12pm - Checking out of hotel. Waiting for Blythe to finish her postcard while she waits for the Singh family 1pm - At the airport, it is pouring hard! Also, we only paid 16Euro. We paid three times the amount when we first got here, damn taxis always ripping you off!!!!! 1:17 - Queuing up at the airport 2:11 - Lunch at the airport 2:47 - Waiting to board plane 3:27 - Up in the air To Madrid, Spain 6 - Arriving Madrid. Madrid is 1 hour ahead of Lisbon, 9 hours ahead of San Diego 6:27-On our way and checking in to the Hotel Husa 7:50 - Starbucks for wi-fi 8:25 - El Corte Ingles | 9-10:50am - St. George's Castle, Alfama Blythe and I took a tour of the castle. Everyone else is still sleeping. It is very windy and then it started raining.

46: Outside the castle

47: Ceramic tiles are well known in Portugal and can be found all over the neighbourhood. | Urinol | Front side | Inside - open door!

48: Saint George's Castle can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. Its oldest parts date from the 6th century, when it was fortified by the Romans, Visigoths, and eventually the Moors. It served as a Moorish royal residence until Portugal's first king Afonso Henriques captured it in 1147 with the help of northern European crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. It was then dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of England, commemorating the Anglo-Portuguese pact dating from 1371, and became the royal palace until another one (that was destroyed in the Great Earthquake) was built in today's Comercio Square. | Ha, ha, ha, someone actually uses the urinol (below) | Outside the castle of St. George"s

49: 10:50 - On the way to Amoreiras Mall | Supermarket at the mall - bacalauh and seafood | 1:17pm - Queuing up at the airport | 1:17 - I had the Barcelona with a mojito while Tiffany had the New York sandwhich | 2:47 - Waiting to board the plane

50: 6:17pm - Baggage claim - waiting for our luggages in Madrid | Our hotel - Hotel Husa | 7:50 - At Starbucks - so that we can use Kate's laptop for the free wi-fi. | 6:27 - On our way to the hotel. Our taxi cost 26Euro. Blythe's taxi costs twice as much and she was pissed because her driver took the long way route, ha, ha, ha. | 8:25-9:01 - Our favourite store, it is everywhere. Love it!! | Gooseneck barnacles | Fresh prawns and langostinos

51: Day 6 - October 4 9am - Breakfast at the hotel 10 - Plaza de la Puerta del Sol. Mark withdrew 150Euro and we split it 11:13 - Plaza Mayor 2:45 - Lunch at La Botilleria del cafe de Oriente 4:09 - Royal Palace 5:45 - Back to the plaza. 6:07 - Mercado de San Miguel - OMG, loving it here!! 7:10 - Back to the plaza 8:38 - At the hotel, droppimg off our bags; bathroom time 10:45 - Dinner at La Barraca from San Brown's Passport to Europe | 9am - Breakfast at the hotel | Finally, we're taking the metro | Ha, ha, Wilma doesn't know how to use the turnstile | 10:48 - Heading out to the plaza

52: Plaza de la Puerta del Sol

53: Plaza de | Plaza Mayor

54: Ha, ha, ha, Mark is so cheap. Instead of buying the painting, he just takes a picture of it! | Blythe, Kate and myself were bbming each other to meet at the Plaza Mayor. Mark, Kate, Tiffany and Wilma couldn't find it so they were helped by an old lady to get them there. | Plaza de Oriente 2:45 - Lunch at La Botilleria del cafe de Oriente near the Royal Palace

55: Having a late lunch as usual near the Royal Palace. The food was just okay. We had calamari, egg frittata, artichokes with tomato, ham croquettes; wine and coffee Afterwards, we took a tour of the Royal Palace.

56: The Royal Palace | Right: 5:45 - Mercado de San Miguel from Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation

57: Gelatos | Bought some fans for the ladies here | Jamon Iberico | Bacalauh, just like the way Mamang makes it | Toast with caviar, a couple of bacalauhs, sardines and grilled octopus

58: Bacalhau store | Chicharron - wow it has it own stand and of we bought some! | Fresh oysters

59: Gooseneck barnacles are so good | Prawns and langostinos | Toast with sardines | Look at these delicious cookies | Hmmm, french macaroons. Did we have some? | Desserts and coffees | Toast with sardines

60: Back at the plaza | 11:09 - Waiting for our table | 10:45pm-12:53am - Dinner at La Barraca | Fb: ?Robert Where am I? Andrew Alcantara likes this. Kathleen Singh Plaza Mayor! and right next to me. Ha! October 6, 2010 at 3:31pm .Mer Alcantara Dork..l October 8, 2010 at 5:42am

61: Queen Seafood Paella - Bobby and Wilma Fideua Mariniere - Kathleen and Tiffany Griilled prawns - Kathleen and Tiffany and a pitcher of Sangria | Okay, which one of you girls took this picture? | Tiffany, it was you! I hate you, I thought you were taking a picture of me.

62: People were looking at me when I was taking pictures when our paellas came out but afterwards, they started taking pictures too!

63: Day 7 - October 5 12:53am - Back at the hotel 2:30 - Went to bed 7am - Breakfast at the hotel 11:06 - Leaving late again. I reserved a couple of vans for the airport, 50Euro each 12:12pm - Museo del Prado 2:43 - San Gines Chocolates from San Brown's Passport to Europe 3:50 - Futbol Estadium Santiago Bernabeu 5:40 - Shopping near the stadium 6:17 - Mercado de La Paz 7:45 - El Corte de Ingles 8:45 - At the hotel 9:45 - Dinner at Botin, world's first restaurant 11:24 - Shopping for souvenirs near the restaurant | 7am - Breakfast at Hotel Husa Eggs: scramble, sunny side up, fritata Meat: Jamon serrano, bologna, salami, sausages, American bacon, different kind of Spanish dried hams Cheeses: Monchego, brie, Swiss Vegetables: roasted and fresh tomatoes, salad with oil and vinaigrette, Yogurt, cereals, pastries and jams, churros, donuts Rice, rolls, and toast Beverages: Orange, pear-apple and pineapple juices Nespresso coffee with hot milk, tea, milk, water Fresh fruits: pineapple, watermelon, melon, fruit salad, apples, oranges, bananas | Double shot of coffee for me!

64: 11:06am - Leaving late. I made reservations for a couple of vans to take us to the airport. Made sure the van would accommodate 12 large luggages plus 6 carry ons. Our van was 50Euro each. | 11:25 - At the metro | 12:12-2:43pm - Museo del Prado

65: Museum ticket and guide book is 19.50E, which I got but nobody else did. Later on at the souvenir shop, Wilma wanted the book too and tried to show her ticket but too late! | 2:45 - Chocolateria San Gines, since 1894 from Sam Brown's Passport to Europe

66: Hmmm - dark, thick chocolates and churros. Simply delicious! And yes we bought some to take home of course. | 3:50 - Futbol Estadium Santiago Bernabeu Mark and Wilma went back to the hotel

67: Real Madrid store | Pepe Iker Casillas Kaka Xabi Alonso Cristiano Ronaldo

68: 6:15 - On our way to Mercado de La Paz from Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern | Mercado de La Paz from Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern - Bought some foie gras, rose petal and violet jams. I love foie gras! Mark was looking for the balls of the bull but no one had it. Yuck! | 7:45 - El Corte de Ingles Ooohh, guyabano and dragon fruit | 9:45 - Dinner at Sobrino de Botin, Plaza Mayor Sobrino de Botín (Calle de los Cuchilleros 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain) is a restaurant established in 1725. It is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest eatery currently in Madrid and the rest of the world. Part of the restaurant's folklore has it that a young Francisco Goya worked there as a waiter whilst he was waiting to get a place at Madrid's "Royal Academy of Fine Art"). The restaurant is also mentioned in the book Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Pérez Galdós (published 1886-1887). The restaurant was founded by Spanish man James Botin and his spouse, and was originally called Casa Botín. It was inherited by a nephew of theirs called Candido Remis, thus explaining the change of name to Sobrino de Botín, which survives to this day. The Sobrino and its speciality of cochinillo asado ("roast suckling pig") are mentioned in the closing pages of Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Sun Also Rises. Its other signature dish is sopa de ajo (an egg, poached in chicken broth, and laced with sherry and garlic): a favorite pick-me-up with Madrileño revellers. External links

69: Roast suckling pig - cannot be more than a month old or weight more than 7lbs. It is cooked in woodfired oven for 3 hours with fresh herbs and spices, olive oil and white wine | Down to the basement for our table

70: Fresh hot bread; garlic soup with egg Morcilla - black (blood) sausage with onion Clams - Blythe Baby squid - braised in it's own ink stuffed with tentacles and ham served with rice Roast baby lamb - Bobby and of course, roast suckling pig!!

71: Day 8 - October 6 Writing a piece for DFFL 10:15am - Time for a shower 11:11 - Starbucks 12:14pm - Plaza de Toros 1:45 - Walking around Gran Via 2:45 - El Tigre for drinks and tapas 3:15 - Shopping 4:42 - Back to the hotel. We lost Kate and Wilma 5:30 - At Starbucks writing my postcards and for wi-fi 7:17 - Back in the room 7:49 - Sol Plaza; shopping at La Cure Gourmande for chocolates, cookies, caramels and nouggart 10:09 - Walking around to find tapas for dinner but ended up at Mercado de San Miguel. This time Blythe had an "S". 11:49 - Tapas at Casa Luca with Kate and Tiffany | 12pm - Plaza de Toros

74: Wilma is so gross! What do you think she's trying to grab?

75: 1:52 - Walking around the plazas and Gran Via. We are looking for El Tigre for some tapas

76: 2:45 - El Tigre for tapas It took us awhile to find this tapas bar. It’s always bustling — and with good reason. With a 1.50 euro caña (small beer) you get a free plate full of whatever’s on the grill and more: patatas bravas, croquetas, jamón, egg, fried peppers, stuffed mushrooms, cheese, beers and a pitcher of sangria. Afterwards, we all separated and did some shopping.

77: Marky Mark with his special "traveling back pack" | OMG, we're we really that hungry that the 2 ladies next to us felt to give us their leftover because they couldn't finish theirs? Ha, ha, ha, ha!! | Wow Blythe, slow down on the sangria

78: 9:14 - La Cure Gourmande, we had seen a man carrying a bright yellow bag earlier and it was a sign! We found the store as we were looking for a place to have dinner. Okay it's French but seriously, who could pass this up! Got some cookies, caramels, nougat and candies.

79: Blythe had a big "S" so she was on her own. We all went back to Mercado de San Miguel but line was too long for the tapas I wanted so I left and walked around. Wilma took a taxi and went back to the hotel after dinner. Mark was supposed to meet us but he never did and just stayed in at the hotel. 11:49 - Casa Lucas Another tapas bar with Kate and Tiffany. | Plaza Mayor

80: Tapas: chicken in soy sauce with grilled onions and corn mousse with sesame oil; pork tenderloin with grilled onions; spinach and leek pie with prawns; ratatouille warm with fried quail egg and ham; beer and red wine 12:22am - Getting some helados at Giangrossi Bobby - Passion Fruit Kate - After Eight Tiffany - Carrot Mandarin, this was the best flavour! | Wow, this is like the longest tunnel ever.

81: Day 9 - October 7 12:22am - Giangrossi 12:40 - Metro 1:21 - Shower; starts packing 2:30 - Going to bed now 4:13 - Getting ready 5am - On the way to the airport 5:15 - At the airport, Blythe and I had to pay 30Euro each because it was overweight. Fudge! To Barcelona, Spain 8:30 - Arriving Barcelona 9:02 - Getting taxis; Checking in at Gran Torre Catalunya Hotel 9:45 - Since we only got a couple of hours of sleep, we took a nap 1:09pm - Lunch at Casa Martelo with Mark and Wilma 2:45 - Walked around the area 4pm - Back at the hotel; nap 9:45 - Dinner at Casa Martelo with everyone 11:45 - Hotel | 8:49am - Barcelona Airport | Ha, ha, ha, my luggage got tagged as "heavy"

82: 1:09pm - Lunch at Casa Martelo with Mark and Wilma | Bobby - Fisherman's soup | Mark - Leek soup | Grilled groove prawns | Grilled meat with fries | Supermercado near the hotel

83: 9:45pm - Dinner at Casa Martelo Artichokes with bacon tiffany and Wilma - Grilled seafood: razor clams, mussels, clams, prawns, langostinos, lobster Bobby - Clams and leek soup Blythe - Paella Tiffany - Razor clams and leek soup

84: Day 10 - October 8 1:30am - Going to bed 10:10 - Breakfast on the 23rd Fl, Visual Restaurants 11:39 - Heading out 12:21pm - Mercat St. Josep la Boqueria 1:31 - Temple Expiatory Sagrada Familia 4:30 - Park Guel 5:53 - Bus 24 6:21 - Passeig de Gracia 6:47 - Cacao Sampaka 8:37 - Les Quinze Nits 10:13 - Walking around 10:40 - Metro; drinks at the hotel bar | 10:10am - Having breakfast at the top of the hotel with Wilma and Kate. Mark is still sleeping so I took his place, ha ha ha! View from the top of the hotel.

86: 12:21pm - Mercat St. Josep la Boqueria This market is so cool.

87: Awww, suckling 3 little piggies! | Awww, ducklings now

88: Hmm... fresh fruits and a very refreshing exotic drinks

89: Wow check this out: tripe, brains, bull testicles and goat heads | Wild mushrooms

90: Breads and sandwiches | Brains | Wild mushrooms | Razor clams | Wild mushrooms | Mussels and clams | Tapas bar | Shrimps and crab claws

93: White Port - the guys offered complimentary shots when we said it was Wilma's birthday, woohhhhooooo!!!! We even got the workers to drink with us. Wilma said it's so sweet she can drink the whole bottle, ha, ha, ha! | Fb - Kate - Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!! FREE SHOT SHOT SHOT! Haha! Only in another country..... September 30, 2010 at 5:29pm.

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  • By: Robert A.
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  • Title: Portugal and Spain
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: about 7 years ago