How I rocked the Calgary Wine Festival Solo

Being a self proclaimed pro at sippin on vino. Obviously I couldn’t pass up the Calgary wine festival. Wine, wine and more wine. Sounds like heaven if you ask me. The picture I had in my mind was quaint tables set up from spectacular vineyards, all for my sampling pleasure. Well that mental picture wasn’t wrong, it was completely right. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the masses of people, the line ups, the craziness of it all. Oh right, I am back in Calgary, the big busy ass city. A large stretch from the small tranquil(unless there is a festival, which is every other weekend in Spain) island of Mallorca, Spain, where I just moved back from. It was a bit daunting, and I am not into waiting in lines, so I mainly bee-lined for the tables with little to no lineups, unless I scoped something I HAD to try.

Trust me, if it wasn’t as crowded as it was, I would have HAD to have tried everything. Although, in that case, I most likely would have had to have been carried out of there in the end.

I had plans to go with my friends, but then due to a flu wreaking some havoc, everyone pulled out.

With my golden ticket to wine heaven in hand staring me in the eyes like a lost puppy wanting me to take it home – I just couldn’t deny it. How in the heck could I let something like this go to waste?!

Well, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. Having traveled the globe for the better of the last 10 years, and mainly solo(I mean I crossed the African continent alone), attending a wine fest alone was no freaken problem. Table for 1 please!

I wasn’t actually alone though. I was in my own awesome company. Which just so happens to be some of my fave company on this planet might I add. It was ‘me time‘ at its finest. Some of the best parties of my life have been alone.

So Cinderella called her chariot(Yellow cabs actually),and set off to attend her ball.

So how did I rock it exactly you may be wondering? 

Well, I walked right in with my head held high as if I had every intention of attending it alone from the get go, and smiled with the brightest smile I could find in my pocket.

The best way to rock any situation in life, is to just act freaken natural. Of course some self talk doesn’t hurt. ‘Your awesome Petrena, you got this, just go in there and keep on being  your awesome self.’ It was that damn easy.

The wine festival was set up pretty fantastic, and was very inviting when you entered.

Just follow the red carpet….


What the?! A table full of empty wine glasses? That is not on!
 Here, please allow me help you remedy this situation and fill one of those bad boys up! Being alone also gave me time to mingle with the event staff.

Off I went, wine glass in hand, gracefully into the event.

 

Woah, hello everybody!

I went straight up to one of the first tables I seen that didn’t have a massive line up to get the fresh grape juice flowing into my sad empty glass.  

It’s amazing how a small splash of wine makes a wine glass look so much more appealing. She was a quarter full now!

Funny enough, I kept zoning into the Spanish vineyards…. Call me bias, but Spain is my other home… So clearly I was going to see what lovely vino’s they had on offer from my other home turf.

It’s great when you make friends with the people working the table, because then you can just stand there and keep the samples coming, while making new friends. 

After an hour of this, I was already starting to feel a little tipsy. Who brought the lush out?

I knew I didn’t want to lose my classy composure, so I made sure to guzzle some water in between the samples.

Even though I was rocking this party for 1, when I unexpectedly got the message from my friend that she was kicking that flu bugs ass and coming anyway – I was super stoked! Being such a packed and busy event, it took work to do it alone, so it just made sense to enjoy it with some friends if I had the chance. 

The crowds seem far less overwhelming when you have company. Mind you I remember that time I was in Rio de Janeiro for New Years, lost all my friends, and was rocking it all alone in the middle of 2.5 million people on Copa Cabana beach. Talk about over whelming!

Ahhhh, good friends and good wine. I love life.

I can honestly say I did a very poor job of taking notes of what my favorites were at the wine festival. It was far too busy for that nonsense. At an event of this capacity it was just better for me to team up with my friends and drink as much wine as we could! Ok, well not exactly, I mean once again, I am classy. Lest we forget. That didn’t stop me from enjoying fairly copious amounts though.

The whole event was 3 hours. Funny how the 3 hours flies by! Literally, as soon as the 3 hours is up, they shut her down before the blink of an eye. Well faster then they opened up, that’s for darn sure. Understandably though, as if they didn’t, people would linger, and they wouldn’t be able to prepare for the next session.

To sum it all up, if you ever find yourself in a predicament to attend a wine fest solo, you just friggen go!

Put your best foot forward, act like you planned it that way, sip your little wine lovin’ heart out, all while secretly hoping that your friends will suddenly show up,but knowing you will still have fun if they don’t.

 

Living Dreams in Santa Maria

There is nothing like a Mallorcan adventure. More so,  just a nice afternoon excursion out of Palma. It’s always good to get out of the city when you can, there is just way too many things to experience on this wondrous island. The winter weather has been so incredibly awesome, it just asking to be basked in.

Santa Maria was the destination on the dice. A beauty of a little town on the interior of the island. No massive plans really, just take a nice walk around, find a beauty of a spot to enjoy some lunch, and sip on some fine wine.

Previously I have been to Santa Maria, but only by car. This time around, we were taking the train. You would be amazed at the awesome little metro system here on the island. I sure the heck was. I had been planning on taking the metro for years here on the island – just for something different, but always ended up driving everywhere. Knowing we had the intention of indulging in some vino, driving was not the mode of transport for us classy ladies.

The trains actually come much more frequent than expected.

We grabbed our tickets, and it was GO time!

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Aaaalll aboard. Next stop, Santa Maria.

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Ok, not the classiest looking train stop.

The rest is damn classy though. You just hang tight…..

It’s such a nice and quaint little town – epic little place to enjoy a stroll.

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This little gas station was too cute not to photograph.

Let’s not forget that it was also during the hours of siesta. So it was extra quiet in the streets. There is no messing around when it comes to siesta time in these necks of the worldwide woods.

Suddenly along our path, we came across an establishment called ‘Livingdreams‘.

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With a name like that, I was intrigued and drawn right in. It has such a crisp modern chic and naturally minimal appeal to it.

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So we grabbed a table in the front and preceded to get on the vino and olive wagon. The service was given with all smiles, and super welcoming personalities. I was diggin it -that’s for darn sure.

A little while into the day dreaming, nature was calling. That vino was going right through me. So I had to search out the ladies room. I didn’t expected to be astonished. Little did I know, I was absolutely about to be living a dream. A kick ass one that you are happy to not wake up from for as long as you possibly can.

I was pleasantly surprised just walking through the lux establishment, absolutely thinking, ‘well hello, this is enchanting now isn’t it?!’

IMG_5815 IMG_5817 IMG_5819 Very appealing on the eyes.

However, upon entering the courtyard to which I was directed in order to find the ladies room, my eyes widened with sheer delight.

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Hiding in the back was a classy courtyard ambiance. The next big thing in my head was, ‘We are moving! right freaken now!’

Wait though on second thought, it’s best I visit the ladies room….. Gotta stick the with program.

After that business was taken care of, it was straight back to Kassandra to say my thoughts outloud ‘We are moving, right freaken now! You will see why.Let’s go’

It was incredible. Right up our freaken alley. We ran around loving the secret garden, taking photos like mad.

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I had no problem imagining all the people I want to shared the little gem with(obviously this means you lucky duck).

Before that could happen, we needed to get back to business, sipping our vino and grab a little lunch.

IMG_5866 IMG_5889It was all ridiculously good.The wine, the food, the ambiance.  I can’t wait to go back for round two.

Yes you could definitely say,

I found my secret garden, with the fountain of Vino!! 

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The best part about having no plans or expectations, is that it always turns out better then you could have expected, as you didn’t have any – and more often then not,  you always end up getting completely blown away by pure epicness.

The Ultimate Sunday Funday On The Island Of Mallorca

Sunday funday! One of my favorite days of the week. Its the day I just do whatever I darn well please. Hence why its called Sunday funday. So how does one go about enjoying a Sunday in Mallorca? Well a good start would be to find yourself a quaint little cafe and get your engines going. Coffee, and Europe just go together. I cant imagine one without the other.


So yes, after a good caffeine injection, the next course of action would be to get your blood pumping. I love the feeling of happy endorphin’s surging through my body.

I indulged my ears in the acoustic sounds of Rodrigo y Gabriela. A brother sister duo whom are absolutely incredible at making music. This day was the perfect day for them. Music adds to any experience. It plays a massive roll in my life. The first thing I do in the morning is turn on my tunes to get the day going. I have various music for various moments. If I am writing and need my creative juices to flow(and possibly raise my IQ), its all about the Classical.

I cranked my tunes, grabbed my sweet ass Canadian made bicycle and hit the open road of bike riding adventure.


Bringing my bike with me from Canada, was the best idea ever! I must thank my friends(and mom) for influencing that decision. It’s so freaken awesome having a piece of home with me, and trust me, my bike is loving the Mallorcan experience as much as I am. Leaving its little Canadian tire tracks all over the show.

So as Sunday funday was in full force, I embarked on a little 30km cycle from Palma onwards towards an area called Arenal. With the wind blowing in my hair, music tantalizing my ears, and scenery to write home about(or write to my blog about), I was winning! You can not help but love life when you are here and enjoying this rock star bike riding.

It may be December, but the sun is still shining as brightly as ever. The weather is oddly nice….. So you mine as well make the most of it. Am I right?!

On the way back I found a prime spot on the beach for me and my bike, where I was enjoying some epic ‘me time’, that I love so much – did some grounding, topped up on my vitamin D, and just took in my amazing surroundings.

  As you can see my bike loved the beach as much as I did.

Well all that exercise does tend to build an appetite! For nothing less then awesome company and awesome food! Being a day of Mallorcan adventures, it was best to keep things local. So a Spanish restaurant and Spanish Tapa’s it was! We picked a very typical place, called La Plaza – and ordered a small array of tapa’s. No big deal, just a few of my fave’s.


Calamari, local cheese & ham, and some pepper padron’s.

Everything was spot on! Yes it is possible to have mediocre tapa’s, but this was not the case here.

Let’s not forget the Spanish Vino. They weren’t shy on the classy pour either. Pretty much heaving handing it every time. Just when you think its not possible to fit half a bottle of wine in a glass – they prove you otherwise. Talk about getting your money’s worth.


Good laughs, food and vino. Things were going superbly.

It doesn’t stop there. On any given Sunday evening in Mallorca, one of the best places to end up is at one of my fave watering holes. Agua Bar. Sunday and Friday they hold an open mic night, where loads of very talented musicians come out and jam. I love music!! I love Agua bar, jam sessions and I love the awesome people there.

At Agua bar, they have everything covered. They put their clients needs first.

You clearly can’t enjoy good music if you have to pee! I myself would rather be shaken my booty to good tunes, not squirming to hold my bladder together.yoi wouldn’t think it’s safe to leave your drink unattended, and yes in any other place I would not recommend it. Agua bar however is a different story. It’s local, and awesome, an no one ever tampers with your drink. They totally respect the sign. Possibly the best invention ever, in one of the best bars ever.

So there you have it. Mallorca on a Sunday. As does every darn day of the week here – Sunday kicks ass!

So what’s your plans this Sunday?? Because I suggest some Mallorcan adventures for the books if you ask me.

Palma Indulginces at the San Juan Gastromarket

Gastromarkets. These concepts are a rave around the globe at the moment, popping up all over the show. For darn good reason too. Here in Palma de Mallorca, it is just the same. The art of food is a massive focal point for foodies – gastronomy is the craze. Enjoying a meal however, does always begin with your eyes. Although if it’s to be an incredible culinary art, as in a cut above the rest, something to write home about – it will bring something to the table that heighten’s almost all of your senses. That is a much more difficult feat. Yet is an astounding experience. I do very much appreciate gastronomy culinary art.

S’Escorxador is where San Juan, the newest and hottest gastromarket is located in Palma. Having opened in June, it has taken off very well. Since I returned to Palma, I had so many people telling me it is a must try; So I did just that. I went and tried it.

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Considering it was raining, what better a day to choose to engage in an affair such as this. Sitting inside an exquisite establishment, sipping on fine wine, and indulging in an exceptional culinary experience. Yup pretty perfect if you ask me.

Okay, well actually, on that note – as a child when it would rain(or even hail) outside, I took it as the perfect opportunity to slap on the ol’ swimsuit, and head outside to have the time of my life in mother nature’s glorious shower. For hours my little heart would be content in it. Not gonna lie, even as an adult, I still like to play in the rain. Although I haven’t donned my swim apparel in quite some time for the occasion. Although the thought has crossed my mind. I mean, ‘why the heck not?!’ It’s refreshing, natural and fun. For a trip down memory lane, so little Petrena can live on inside of me. You catch my drift.

Second to that though, sipping on fine wine, and tantalizing my taste buds in a gastromarket – would be the next most ideal choice. One in which my sophisticated classy lady side happens to love.

S’Escorxador itself dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, and was the cities original central slaughterhouse. The re-vamp of the building has completely modernized it. I have a massive appreciation for history being restored and turned into something exceptional. Urbanization at it’s finest.

Upon arriving to S’Escorxador I immediately was drawn straight to the cinema posters. Dang, I love going to movies. They even played movies in English at this theater. Not that I mind watching Spanish movies, but to see a movie in my own language, is always enjoyable. Sooooo yah, 6pm movie after an afternoon gastromarket session, was exactly what my list of things to do entailed on this particular rainy day.

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When I walked into San Juan I was instantly impressed.

IMG_4211                           I was digging the decor. Bright, crisp, clean, airy, and inviting. The lighting fixtures are very eye catching as well. It was undeniable, I was in for a fabulous experience. Seeing as how it is a gastromarket, and they have 17 gourmet food stalls there – you best be prepared to sample a few of the various delectable’s that are on offer.

First thing is first though. Get the vino flowin! Very important. Step freaken 1.

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We grabbed a bottle of red called Damana 5 to get us going. Why on earth did we start with red?! Beats the heck out of me.  Alright, alright, it was me who ordered it… I was eager to get the party started. So we did things backwards. First red, then rose, and onward. We were enjoying ourselves regardless of the wine sequence, and that is all that matters.

IMG_4112                      With Vino in hand, you can see Belle was ready to check out the various stalls. Let’s do this! 

In accompaniment to the vino, we did do our utmost to sample various dishes. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed how social it was sitting there. Different locals would come and sit beside us and would end up having a little chat. Socializing with different people absolutely adds to the experience. Bringing people together, one gastro experience at a time. Hmmm, new slogan perhaps?

Wendy was right in there being a gem and starting us off with some ceviche.

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After which we had, Pad Thai, and some Mallorquin Ham and Cheese platters.

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Onward and upward to some of my favorite things, Aperol Spritz’s and Oysters.

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Oh heck yes. Now we were talking. Nothing like slurping an Oyster down the hatch, and then cleansing the palette with an Aperol Spritz(made with Cava of course). Oysters and bubbly just go hand in hand. Well in my case, hand to my mouth.

IMG_4193 IMG_4195 Wait she looks a bit unsure.

We even had a suck at some Percebe(otherwise known as goose barnicle).

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As you can see the girls were absolutely loving them!

Wendy actually does love them though, I think she just got squirted in the eye.

Not my fave if you ask me, tastes a bit too much like a combination of rock and strong fishy sea water. Oh well, tis the way sometimes, I will always give things a try at least once though.

Space had become quite limited in our stomachs at this point. It was a must to go out with a bang though. Rarely do I eat red meat, but when its local, and a fine cut, not to mention, so tender it melts in your mouth like butter. Well, then its a different story.

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It was ridiculously good. Save the best for freaken last – as they say.

After it was all said and done, we did still in fact take in our movie. The flic of choice was Desert Dancer – and it was nothing less then amazing. For myself it was one of the most emotionally moving movies I have ever seen. I loved it. Giver a go if your into an emotionally touching film. Its a fantastic little theater as well, with very friendly and happy attendants waiting to welcome you.

Well what can I say, San Juan did not disappoint.

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We went, we indulged, we laughed, we socialized, and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance. A gastronomic experience not to be missed.

When in Rome, attending your first honeymoon. 

So your friends just so happen to be in Rome on the last leg of their honeymoon, which also happens to be on the same continent that you are on. You missed their wedding by one week in Canada as you were due to fly back to Spain.  So what do you do?!

Well you buy a ticket and haul ass to Rome to make sure you don’t miss their honeymoon. I would think it’s only proper friend etiquette to congratulate the beautiful couple in person. Not only that but I also get another check off the old bucket list, my first honeymoon. Wait! Two checks off my bucket list. It was also my first time visiting Rome.  Let’s also bare in mind that they had already been touring Italy for almost three weeks. Not to point out the obvious, but they do have the rest of their lives to romance the heck outta each other. It was not honeymoon crashing so to say. They were very excited to have me visit. A couple clicks on the computer later, and I was en route to Rome. It was that easy. Boom. 

As they were staying in the area of Testaccio I wanted to make sure I was nearby – and I booked my hotel across the river in the trendy area of Trastevere. I was so pleased that it was an easy reach from the airport, literally just a 27 painless minutes train ride away. Which is pretty darn good. I have been in many other countries where it is not nearly that easy.

 Having arrived a bit before check in, I ended up indulging in the most delicious Frappe of my life.

IMG_3748Smooth, creamy and darn delicious. Hello Rome! Your already charming me. 

I checked in, got ahold of my newlywed friends, and it was go time. Let the Rome honeymoon adventures ensue. First thing was first, we all needed some grub. Some delicious Italian grub that is. When in Rome.

Pretty much every restaurant in Rome happens to be a Pizzeria, which means pizza and pasta. Everywhere you look, it’s another Pizzeria. Well I could already see I was in for Carb overload. Mind you, I already knew this trip was about celebrating, endless laughter, sightseeing, food and fine wine.  It was all on. Options are fantastic, but too many can be daunting. Once we debated for a bit, we finally settled on a Pizzeria amongst all the Pizzeria’s. 

   
  

 I had to start with a Caprice salad, not only is it one of my all time favorites, but, as I am sure you and I both know, Italians make Mozzarella like none other. 

  I enjoyed every morsel. I also happen to love rocket! I could eat it every darn day. So that was pleasant surprise addition. After wards, it was onto the next best thing. Pasta! I rarely eat pasta. Yet, when in Rome, there is no ifs, ands or butts about it. 

 
I was all over it, and so was Tyler. Madison tucked into a fine looking pizza. Thin crust is the way to go! In Italy, that is just how they do it. I ordered a mushroom fettuccini myself. Cooked to its perfect ‘Al dente’ perfection, with taste and texture that explodes with freshness and flavor. Winning!! We all know in Italy they have endless courses of food. Granted, meal times are also an event, that takes place over a period of hours. The salad and pasta hit the spot though! 

After filling up on all that Italian goodness, it was time to see some sights. Rome is full of incredible sights, and epic history.   

  It was seriously scorching hot out. The three of us little Northern blooded Canadians were melting like crayons in the sun. Freaken heck it was hot. Hot, hot, hot. That pretty much sums it up. But we trooped on. Luckily, there is some darn good shopping in Rome, with sales everywhere, and shops that include air conditioning…. Trust me, I was not using the air con as an excuse to shop. Well not completely. 

Don’t judge me, you would do it too, that air con would have sucked you right in.

 We seen some stunning sights over the course of a couple hours, but I didn’t want to re-take Tyler and Madison to all the places they had already seen, as I had an extra day there on my own once they left. So I knew I would be on solo Petrena adventures that day, and taking myself all over the place. So after an afternoon of taking it all in, we headed back to that trendy area of Travastere to hit up happy hour. And happy it was, as the drinks flowed, so did the personality, and also the laughter.    

 It was nothing less then a kickass night. The next morning however, I felt as though I got kicked in the ass. The day was off to a slow start, as you can imagine we were all feeling a bit tender. It did happen to be our last day together, and that meant it was a must to go check out more sights, and we have big plans to do a full on Italian dinner event in the evening. Obviously working up an appetite was clearly a must. One of the coolest things in Rome is the fact that they have water fountains everywhere – with clean drinking water that you can either hydrate yourself or even splash yourself to cool down from the hot summer sun.  I absolutely love that! Water for all. No one in Rome goes thirsty. The water is quite tastey too. 

Although the slushies we sipped on later were also quite refreshing. Refreshing, but a bit too sweet, and I kept getting freaken brain freeze!       I think I set a world record for how many times in a row a person can get brain freeze off one small slush.

Hightlight of the day: Getting personalized aprons. When Rome, and you see a apron shop – you get one! Simple pleasures. I absolutely love cooking, which would be why one of my other jobs is chefing. Now we will be the coolest hosts at any dinner party. No big deal. They also make great gifts.

The day had gotten away with us, and it was approaching dinner time very quickly. So we headed back to the apartment with Prosecco in hand(did I mention we were in Rome?!), in preparation for our dinner that was sure to be very memorable. Not before we had a photo shoot with our new aprons! As any classy ladies with with brand spanken new personalized aprons would do.      Da Oio a Casa Mia, was the name of the dining establishment chosen.  Madison had her eye on the place, so it was where we chose to dine. Table 38. That was us.  We most certainly did make an event out of this dinner experience. Starting of course with water and wine. Who am I kidding….. Primarily wine.  We tried every course, in proper Italian fashion. From beginning with bread, shaved meats, and mozzarella.
After which moved onto more perfectly delectable  Al dente Pasta. 

     
Honesty the pasta in Italy. That’s all I have to say. 

Already feeling pretty stuffed, yet we had no choice but to troop on. Our main courses consisted of Lamb, Veal, and Italian meatballs with vegetables.   

Umm, where are the stretchy pants when you need them?? We took our sweet ass time though. Sipped on our vino, had great chat, loved life, and then after it all, somehow squished in dessert. 

  
An amazing end to my first honeymoon. Well I suppose it was all of our first honeymoon. 

The next morning we caught up for a last Coffee and Croissant together on Italian soil before they hit the skies. The fact that I was even there with them was surreal from begining to end for all of us. 

Once they left, ‘me time‘ adventures ensued. For hours! It was necessary, I needed the exercise by that point. But seeing as how I only had the day, I took in as many sights as I darn well could.   

       

  

  

  Yah I may have done this a few times.  Making me nothing less then a sightseeing pro. And I walked the whole way! Boom.

Let’s not forget….. The Vegan gelato.. Being more of a vegetarian then a meat eater, it rocked my world!   Rome is amazing. It’s incredibly rich and preserved history exudes a massive energy. And after missing Tyler and Madison’s wedding, it made Rome even more special to spend time with them there and congratulate them in person. 

When in Rome: Attend your first honeymoon, take in the rich history, shop, eat fabulous food, drink incredible vino, and just be awesome. There is no other way. 

 

Spontaneously, I woke up back in Spain.

As per usual Petrena style, I made the spontaneous decision to return to Spain for a bit. My other home. Palma de Mallorca, Spain. It seems I just can’t stay away for that long, it drags me back. Well, in all honesty it doesn’t take much dragging. Hello Palma!!

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Holy man, first of all, the mid summer heat nearly did me in. My Arctic blood always has an interesting go at acclimatizing to the heat. Trust me, I am not in my most attractive state when I am sweating my ass off….  It’s a great way to detox your body. At least that is what I keep telling myself in order to power through. It’s a small price to pay though to be back in the one of the most epic places on this planet. Although summer is ridiculously busy on the island, and there are loads and loads of tourists – so I still prefer the winter here, however, I love it any and all times of year. It’s just undeniably amazing.

I also decided to bring my sweet ass Canadian made Lochside bicycle on the journey with me. I have traveled with quite an array of interesting things, from a massage table, to hoola hoops, and onward. This was my first time with a bicycle though. So packing it was also an interesting little feat.

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Yet with some bubble wrap, tape, and some help from my awesome friends after a few glasses of vino, she was pulled together quite well. I even used a piece of rope to make a handle(which ironically was very handy). She made it though! Intact(well just a couple bumps and scrapes) and equally as excited for the Mallorca experience.

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We were greeted by one of my best friends, and a fab wine and cheese spread. Let me just say, I am beyond happy I brought my bike, we just rock these bike paths together. She really is just such a smooth ride. It helps that the island is built for cycling, and there are loads of bike paths all over the place. I knew I wouldn’t regret bringing her along. My piece of home that I get to share with my other home.

Coming home Palma always also means one thing(among many). Catching up with my awesome friends. With time away, the excitement to catch up is always building.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence also creates in-between adventures, which in turn creates loads to talk about. Never a dull freaken moment. Between catch ups, cycling, and visiting my favorite restaurants, with Vintage(pictured below) in the trendy area of Santa Catalina being one of my all time favorites, I have been kept very busy.

IMG_3724I even had a quick trip up to Northern Spain, where I was able to have another reunion.IMG_3398 IMG_3396

And while I was there, a visit Santiago De Compostela.

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A place full of mucho history, it’s a beautiful area.

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There is a well known pilgrimage called the Comino de Santiago, which takes about a month to complete. I have wanted to do it for years, more so for the fact that I want to say I have completed a month tour by foot. Santiago De Compostela is where the pilgrimage ends.  So you see loads of happy people with their backpacks, exuding satisfaction at what they have just completed. Being there and seeing that reinforced inside me that I want to do the walk. And I will indeed.

I also checked out the little town of Poio. It is a small place with nothing too major to see. However it is still rich in history, and I fell in love with it’s little old town. It came out of nowhere. We went from a quiet lunch and streets of not much.

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To jam packed little old town streets. In the matter of a turn of a corner.

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I loved the atmosphere it had. Until it started raining. And then I was soaked. I love playing in the rain, I will dance in it, put on my swimsuit and love life in it. I just wasn’t equipped with the proper footing for it at that moment. However it was a memorable area.

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Oh Spain. I absolutely adore you. Your just so darn fantastic. Not a bad place to wake up to – if I do say so myself.

My Top 3 British Columbia Winery’s:)

Wine Tours. Glorious wine tours. One of the best past times of my life. I have had the privilege of doing wine tours all over the globe. This time around, I had the pleasure of doing wine touring in my own spectacular Country. It’s often we forget what we have in our own back yard – and this was the perfect opportunity to remind myself of the incredible things we have right here in Canada. Not to mention the incredible vineyards Canada boast’s.

Trust me, seeing as how I was road tripping like a solo rock star, it was only fitting that I wine tasted like a solo rock star.  I took full advantage of being in wine Country while in beautiful British Columbia. Wine is an art, and here in BC wine Country, they take their art seriously. There were so many too choose from, I couldn’t get them all in, but made a massively good effort – if I do say so myself. I was blown away at the beauty of pretty much all of the vineyards I visited. I mean this is British Columbia, it’s over flowing with endless beauty. I also really appreciated the fact that all the winery’s I visited are family run – it definitely adds to their charm.

The wine touring I partook in was between Kamloop’s, Salmon Arm, and Vernon. That being said, as much as I would love to write about every winery I visited, I can’t. That would be very long, and I have so much to tell about at the moment – that I have to narrow it down and tell you about my favorites. So here are my top 3 wineries of this trip.

Monte Creek Ranch just a 10 minute drive outside Kamloops. An area rich in history – the family whom began Monte Creek Ranch, wanted to maintain and cultivate the land. Livestock share the ranch with grape vines and wild stock. They have two IMG_1464vineyards, Lion’s Head Vineyard, and Monte Creek Ranch Vineyard(where the tasting room is located). Everything they grow on the farm and vineyard is organic and chemical free. Just the way I like to live my life. Not to mention, every person working there, was very knowledgeable about about the ranch, and happily shared as much information about it as I could take in. Customer service at it’s finest.

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They have quite the array of wines, and I love their labeling, just as much as their wine. IMG_1600 The view from the tasting room, is as salivating for the senses as is their wine. With majestic mountains sprawling around you for your viewing pleasure.IMG_1961You can sit and enjoy some incredible vino and canape’s while taking it all in. Before you go, don’t forget to top up on all their farm fresh products, including grass fed beef, all the way to honey.  I am happy to say I enjoyed every wine that I sampled, it was hard to choose just one to purchase, as I could have taken a couple cases, but in the end settled on a bottle of the Rose.

Sunnybrae Vineyards & Winery Nestled at the base of the Bastion Mountain and on the shores of the Shuswap Lake, you will find the radiant and meticulously groomed vineyard of Sunnybrae. The staff were also very welcoming and friendly. Sunnybrae has also received awards for their finely crafted wine’s.

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From the tasting room you have an exquisite view of the lake and Mount Ida.IMG_1877When you step out to the Vineyard, you can not help but be blown away by the picturesque beauty. I had to just stand there and take a hard 10 of basking and taking it all in. When I say it is meticulously groomed, that is no exaggeration. IMG_1957 IMG_1917 IMG_1902

They proudly offer wines made from their Kerner, Ortega, Siegerrebe, Schonburger, and Marchel Foch grapes. Once again, not one of their wines I sampled disappointed. However my palette fell head over heels for the Ortega, and the Siegerrebe, and I ended up having to get a couple bottles of each(they had a sale).  What classy lady can say no to a sale?!

Larch Hills Winery A farm winery located at the Northern end of the Okanagan growing region, not far outside of Salmon Arm. There is a nice little drive up the mountain to reach this little stunner, and also warm welcome awaiting you in the tasting room.

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Larch Hills has some phenomenal wines, and as you can see, have received numerous awards.

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Specializing in cool climate grape growing, they offer wines made from Ortega, Madeleine Angevine, Madeleine Sylvaner, Siegerrebe, and Agria grapes, grown right there on their vineyard. Also Foch, Merlot, and Pinot Noir grapes outsourced from contract vineyards. I ended  up getting a couple bottles of the Lemberger, as they were so kind enough as to give me one as a gift too.  Being ridiculously good, and very limited due to the fact that there were only so many bottles made from what they yielded from the crop, and its popularity was very large – so they were down to their last few cases.  IMG_2005 Now I have more stop that needs to be mentioned. It’s not wine that is produced from what they grow, however it is something even more unique that comes from their crop, that being – Haskap Liqueur.

High Mountain Farm located in Salmon Arm, BC, is the first commercial grower in the North Okanagan of the marvelous haskap berry. Up until this point in my life, I had never even heard of the haskap berry, let alone Haskap Liqueur. However, thank’s to my lovely sister’s recommendation of visiting this particular farm, a whole new world opened up to me. Run by the most lovely family ever, they were more then happy to give me a tour of the 108 year old farm – and teach me everything I needed to know about the wondrous little haskap berry. I learned that not only does the haskap berry contain 3 times more antioxidants then blueberries, there are also various types. Here at the High Mountain Farm they proudly grow, Indigo Yum, Indigo Gem, and Aurora, all grown naturally and pesticide free.

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Let me tell you, these little berries pack a punch of flavor! Axel and Doris were so amazingly hospitable during my visit, I had the best time ever just visiting with them. Not only did I get to sample some of their delicious berries on ice cream, and some refreshing frozen haskaps.

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We also cracked open a bottle of the Haskap Liqueur that is not made on the premises, but is made directly from their lovingly grown haskaps.

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Careful though, haskap’s do stain the fingers. IMG_1707Stopping here was one of the highlights of my trip. Thank you so much High Mountain Farm! Well I can’t wait to go back to BC for round two of my wine tasting adventures. I will happily re-visit any of these places, and can’t wait to check out some new ones. With all my goodies, I was able to share some tasting’s of these fine wines with some other special people along the way of my adventures.

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Happy wine tasting days!

Spicing things up!! Let’s cook shall we? :)

So here we were, just past hump day, onto a nice little Thursday evening, seeking some sort of evening activity, and it’s always fantastic to participate in an activity where you can learn some new skills, while also mingling in some new social circles. And last but not least, drink wine. Oh wait, did I just say wine?!  Mmmmm, yes, it does always add a nice little something to any evening event.  Well unless I am on route to Yoga, in that case I will stick to the veggie juice:)  Seeing as how I can hear Asia calling my name lately, and I have not yet had the pleasure of exploring any of Asia to date.  This little Asian cooking workshop, sounded right up my alley! It is an Asian cooking class that is put on weekly.  The women whom runs it, Nathalie, spent a lot of time living in Asia, and studying the various styles and ingredients of their cooking.  There were a few things on the Menu to prepare, Fresh Curry Paste, Indian Kashmiri Chicken, Malaysian Chicken Curry with potatoes(with homemade Malaysian Curry Powder), and Chang Mai Chicken Red Curry with Egg Noodles.

She had a fabulous little set up, with the kitchen and dining area, and there were about 10 of us participating. 2014-11-20 001 003

As it was a group activity, we all had little stations set up to participate in the food preparation. With my friend Huggy here being exceptionally eager to get choppin:)

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It started off as us at our stations, then it turned into the whole lot of us taking turns helping out in the Kitchen.

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Once we had everything simmering away,2014-11-20 001 007 we looked at the clocks, and it was none other then ‘Vino O’clock!’ The beauty of it is, not only is it delicious, but it also doubles as ‘personality’ in a bottle.  In which once everyone taps into it, all the people really start to open up and chat with each other even more:)

2014-11-20 001 013 Moments after this snap was taken, personality literally started oozing out of us!! It was unstoppable.

2014-11-20 001 004Unfortunately due to prior obligations of mine, I was not able to stay for the dinner part, at the lovely little table she had set up.  She was kind enough to pack some of the food to go for me though.  It was such a wonderful little evening, and seeing as how I don’t feel like a fully qualified Asian Chef just yet, I will sure to be signing on for a couple more workshops with Nathalie.

And really though, this experience just awakened and intensified my inner travel bug to start gnawing at my insides so I will give in, pack my backpack, and jet set over to Asia.  Yup, once that travel bug wakes up, there is only one way to chill him the freak out:) Who am I to complain?! Nothing like a new adventure on the horizon.

A wine affair:)

I love wine.  That is a fact.  But really I think wine loves me too.. It’s just one of those things. We were meant to be together:)

So of course when I hear of a little wine tasting event, I am right in there! The more enticing fact was that is was wine made right here in Mallorca.  No matter where I am in the world I like to drink locally:)

The event was held at a place called ‘The Galley Club’, right here in Palma de Mallorca.  The Galley Club offers cookery courses normally, and this was just a s2014-10-29 003 004pecial little event they had put on.

The feature estate where this lovely wine was made, is called ‘Es Verger Esporles’.  It was not a big event, and there were only 3 types of red wine on offer, paired with some Tapa’s.

My top choice, was the Els Rojals,

2014-10-29 003 005 Which was a variety of Mantonegro, Cabernet Sauvingnon, and Merlot.  This choice was followed by a close second, which was the Pinot Noir.

My third choice was the Ses Marjades, which was a variety of Mantonegro, i Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon.

2014-10-29 003 006 All in all the 3 wines were each very enjoyable. And would absolutely drink any of them again. Twist my rubber arm!! Only if you must:)

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Ahhhh, yes… My pallet was extremely happy.  A nice quant little event, with fab company, and very excellent quality locally produced wine.

 

 

Sometimes it ok to Wine a little

Ok, so being in Europe, you can’t help but enjoy the fine wine it has to offer.  Well let’s actually narrow that down, being in Palma de Mallorca, you cant help but to also partake in the delicious goodness of the fine wine on offer.  What better spot to choose, to tickle your palette then the lovely little establishment, that is named for this fine art of wine sampling, named none other then ‘Wineing’.

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The concept behind the excellence, is you go in and get a card, similar to a bank card, the only difference is with this one you can only withdraw wine.  I don’t see a problem with that!! More cards should be stocked with the good stuff:)

There is a nice large selection of wines, to provide ample hours of entertainment,  all nicely on display in their glass cases.  You can have just a sample, or a glass that is ‘half full’, or if your feeling thirsty, just get a full one!! Why the heck not.

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Yup, I think we got it down pat!

But lets not forget, there is a term that goes ‘Wine and Dine’… They do also offer a fine array of ‘Tapa’s’,  which are small portion’s of typical Spanish dishes, and there are quite an array of dishes, to choose from.  We opted for some Garlic Shrimps, Sliced Iberica Ham, a Cheese Plate, and last but not least, Dates and Bacon(one of the best tapa’s ever).  The food here is excellent, and so was the friendly service.  Ahhh, ‘Wineing’, it keeps you warm on a cool winters evening, wakes up your senses, and also gives you nothing less then a memorable experience, and if your not careful on the red, it will also give your mouth a nice dark red hue!  Good Times:)