Candy, Candy, Candy!

My daughter just posted her very first video on her new YouTube Channel – Amanda’s Antics! She is reviewing Spanish candy.  Give it a go and subscribe if you can!


Granadas In Granada

Our carmen here in Granada, Spain has several fruit trees in our backyard including a granada tree (that’s a pomegranate in img_0264
Spanish).  We have over 50 ripe ones so today my eight year old and I decided to try a couple new recipes using the granadas as well as the ripe lemons.

We picked the fruit off the tree and opened them up to find beautiful, red seeds, that were sweet and delicious.  I sent my older son to the local, organic market with a list in Spanish – plain low fat yogurt and miel (honey in Spanish), we made a delicious dip for our Granny Smith apples.



We used the lemons by combining a teaspoon of olive oil with plain yogurt as well black pepper to make a great salad dressing.  We made a salad with arugula, tomatoes, chickpeas and pesto chicken and topped it off with my little man’s salad dressing. Yum! Dinner is served.

Street Art in Spain

Spain is full of graffiti, or street art.  Granada seems to be covered in it and I’m trying to decide whether it distracts from the beauty or gives the city an edge and character.

Do you love it or hate it? I can’t decide. It depends on which corner I turn.  Most of it I despise, particularly when it’s just tagging on an ancient church.  It just reeks of disrespect. Apparently there is a hefty fine of 3000 Euros but I haven’t seen that as a deterrent here.

But I can tell you there are some amazing murals found on the walls throughout the city and it would be great to see these artists talents put to better use or at least have their art positioned or commissioned where it would be appreciated.  In some places the government is actually commissioning some of these artists to spray paint on walls throughout Europe.

In 2014 Madrid ran a “contest” for street artists. Really, it was just a ploy to identify the artists work so they could arrest them in the future.  Pretty smooth!

The Oasis hostel actually offers a free tour of the street art in the city.

Do you love it or hate it?  Where have you seen the best street art?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’ll be on the lookout for the most interesting, creative street art.  Stay tuned.

Some samples around town:


The Point

I’m reposting this because really, this is the whole point of this crazy trip.  This is the reason we rented out our house, sold our cars, and embarked on this insane journey. Life is so short.  Not all of us are happy with our decision every single day.  Sometimes our kids hate us.  But I do hope that one day, it will mean something to each of us as individuals.  We’ve all been challenged already in so many ways and that has brought us closer.  My hope is that my kids stay close.  That we will all have stories to tell, and to laugh about, for many, many years. I want to see the world and show my kids the world and that can be a really scary thing.  It’s much more fun having those you love by your side.


Post-workout Brewski?

Weak body builder

Great research was done at University of Granada to prove a beer after working out is a good idea.  We put this to the test today.  Bueno!



From our rental/agriturismo in Lamporecchio, Tuscany, we took a fifteen minute ride to Vinci, the home of the great Leonardo. I was surprised to find out that DaVinci was not his last name, rather he was a child born to unmarried parents that didn’t want to claim him. Hence, Leonardo of Vinci.

We learned a lot even before we got there by reading the “Who Was..” children’s book series on Leonardo. The town is quaint and pretty. We arrived after seven so we missed visiting the museum but we walked along the streets and visited the gift shop with plenty of information on the great Leonardo.  I wish we had more time here and I do recommend making a stop, even to spark conversation in our kids.  It’s amazing a man from such a rural area and with an unstable home life could have such an incredible impact on the world! 

Oh Lord, We rented a Mercedes Benz.

We needed to rent a car to travel from Rome to Tuscany. In order to fit our family of 5 plus several suitcases we needed to rent a very large car.  We had a hard time getting advice on this and in Italy, the choices were limited. We ended up renting from Hertz in Rome which was conveniently located near our hotel – The Marriott Flora. We rented a large black Mercedes van –  The Vito, the very basic version.

We hadn’t seen one like this in the States. It fits nine passengers,with three bench seats -including three in the front seat which made the competition for “shotgun” much easier.  The car is big but a bit quirky – it lacked cup holders and the back seat could get pushed up but refused to go back down.  It is an automatic but will actually turn OFF each time we are at a stoplight or if you pause for a few seconds.  When you take your foot off the gas it starts right back up.

My husband stopped a couple times to put gas in the car in Italy and that was a new experience as well.  The first time he planned to go into the station and grab a few granola bars and some water. He came out explaining there was a bar and champagne but no granola bars or snacks.

At one gas station there was no attendant, in fact it was completely empty – but he was still able to buy gas.  I don’t think that’s possible in the states but maybe I’m wrong.

My husband inserted 80 euro into the machine but it only cost 65.  Instead of getting change he got a receipt/form that indicated he needed to mail that piece of paper in in order to get his change.

Overall the car worked out great – lots of room to nap!  But be aware there are high tolls – over 50 Euros from Pompeii to Rome.   I’m not sure how else it would happen with so many people and so much luggage.  The kids are hoping to get that Mercedes ( I believe it’s the Metris in the states),  when we get back to California.  We sold our cars to go on this trip so we may just have to do that!