Potes – Bridges and Mountains

June 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 151 views

PotesLiterally for years my wife has been saying, “Hey, maybe this weekend we can go to Potes!” It’s almost become a running household joke, like an unobtainable holy grail of family activity. Potes is a little mountain village in western Cantabria in the mountain range known as the Picos de Europa (European Peaks). At almost 300 meters of elevation, it regularly gets snowfall that we don’t get down here at 1 meter of elevation. For reasons explained above, it’s been one of the towns loaded into my phone’s weather app for years because I’m always asked what the weather’s like there this weekend. Normally it’s a handful of degrees colder than where we live, and often rainier.
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The 15th Annual Laredo Beach Golf Tournament

June 02, 2015 By: erik Category: Beach, Golf, Photos, Spain 62 views

Laredo Beach Golf Tournament 2015I was very excited to play in this year’s beach golf tournament last Saturday. It is most likely the only one of its kind in the world, made possible by the unique geography of the beach in Laredo, which has a wide tidal area, where low tide reveals at least a hundred meters of beach that high tide covers. That, combined with the finest sand I’ve ever seen, makes for a flat, hard surface on which a golf ball rolls as straight and true as on the best golf greens of the world.
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State of the Offspring Address – May 2015

May 31, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 87 views

Saturday morning with DaddyThe highlight of this month was an eleven day visit from my parents. As always, they got along splendidly with their two grandchildren. Just as expected, Ian’s English improved considerably. A skeptic would still consider a lot of what he says to be little more than parroting back the last few syllables he’s heard, but he does an increasingly better job of pronouncing those syllables. At dinner with my parents, he concocted sentence constructions as long as “More tomato please, Grandpa!” The boy can’t get enough tomatoes.
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Porto Branco – White Port

May 26, 2015 By: erik Category: Travel, Wine 60 views

White PortFor some years my wife has, often as a Christmas present from her employer, received wooden boxes or cylindrical containers with port wine in them. We have never been very keen on this type of wine; on the rare occasions that we have opened a bottle it has been forgotten, and then used for special recipes that call for port, usually to make rich red sauces.

Port, as you may know is a kind of sweet, fortified wine from Portugal. Much like how alcohol snobs will tell you that you can only call a sparkling white wine “champagne” if it came from the Champagne region of France – and the same for whiskey from Bourbon County, Kentucky – a fortified wine can only be “port” if it was produced in the Douro Valley in Portugal.
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Wild Tales – Relatos Salvajes

May 23, 2015 By: erik Category: Reviews, Spanish 78 views

Relatos Salvajes TitleAlmost fortnight ago, my friend, @bnanno and her husband, recommended a movie to me. I know very little of Argentine cinema, but it was sold to me as “a series of situations in which every step the character takes makes some sense at the time, but that spirals into catastrophe”. Personally, I adore fiction, books or movies, in which the protagonist slowly goes mad. I first realized this whilst reading, as a school assignment, Doris Lessing’s To Room Nineteen, the plot of which I have since forgotten. But movies like The Others, Moon, and 1408 are similarly interesting, and the only kind of “horror” movie I can stand.
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Cave Children

May 18, 2015 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel 65 views

Cave ParkAfter we finished our champagne pumpkin risotto on Sunday, the cloudy sky opened up and it was looking like we’d have a nice sunny afternoon, so we decided to return to the Cueva del Valle park, about a fifteen minute drive from home. Just like last time, we were struck by how good it feels to have the kids out running around in the nature and the dirt. Caves were explored, many, many pebbles got thrown, and some of us even petted a slug. Stick around to see some photos…
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Ibiza – Party Island of the Med

May 17, 2015 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel 114 views

Ibiza and Formentera August and September 2011Lately, I have had different groups of friends talking to me about Ibiza. A married couple with a 5 year old girl that choose Ibiza every year for their holidays, a woman from our salsa group that went there for her bachelorette party and other women that have gone there twice for their holidays, and I have grown interested in the little island.

Ibiza has tourism as its main economical activity, and from November to March there is not much activity. From April to October is when all the tourism happens with good weather in general, even though there can be storms which can leave a couple of inches of water running down the streets.
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Boating In The Bay – A Daunting Tale of a Family Marooned

May 11, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Photos, Spain, Travel 148 views

Boating Sunday - SantoñaI’ve lived here by the beautiful estuary, delta, tidal basin and beach that is the triangle of Colindres, Santoña and Laredo for a full decade. Two features dominate the landscape: the long wispy finger of a sandy peninsula that makes up Laredo’s world-class Playa Salvé, and Mount Buciero, the rocky mountain that protects all three from the brutal waves of the Cantabrian sea. In the ten years I have been here in this fishing village, I have never once been on a boat. All of that changed yesterday.
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Growing Crystals

May 07, 2015 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Timelapse, Videos 103 views

Crystal GardenMy parents are currently visiting us. One of the gifts that they brought for six-year-old Nora was a little crystal garden. It came in a little box, containing a plastic tray, some colored paper, four packets of clear liquid, and some instructions. Nora and her grandmother followed the instructions and placed the paper in the grooves of the plastic, and then Nora and I poured the packets of “water” into the grooves to irrigate the garden, and we watched as capillary action sucked the water all the way up to the top of the little paper trees and mountain. By then it was about time for Nora to head to school, but the packet said that in the two hours she’d be gone, crystals should begin to grow.
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State of the Offspring Address – April 2015

April 30, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 83 views

Ian in SusinosWith her sixth year firmly under her belt, Nora has had a good start to her seventh. Meanwhile, her adoring and adorable little brother finished his second solar lap in style. Ian continues to babble in increasingly coherent ways. Sometimes when he’s bored, he’ll test out different sounds, like a child learning to speak. He’s already got some good solid English phonemes, like when I say “bridge”, he repeats “-idge”, which is a sound that’s tough for native Spanish speakers learning English.
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