August 14, 2009 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine, Travels in Spain

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I totally haven’t been keeping up with this thing, and it’s not for lack of continued adventures. The truth is that my job is draining me of all my will to even think, so the blog has been a victim of that. I’ve got some busy weeks and months on the horizon though, so I better get caught up before I fall so far behind that it becomes a lost cause.

In the last month we’ve had a couple of fun adventures. One included us heading out on a determined search to find a place to go wake boarding. There are lots of reservoirs here where apparently, at some point or another, you could rent wake boards and go out on the water. Well, we found out quickly that this was no longer. We headed out to the Pantano de San Juan and learned right away that our only option would be to go kayaking…..but really, how is that a bad option? So we rented our 15 Euro kayak and took to the calm waters of the reservoir. It was so super relaxing, especially when we parked it on a beach of the lake and just laid out in the sun.

A couple of other highlights in the last month included a trip out to a friend’s ranch (which we visited in the past, and I wrote about in an older blog) and also a visit from some friends of my good friend Molly. Her friend Julie, and Julie’s husband, were visiting Madrid from Texas, so we hosted them for an evening and had an fantastic time. Now I just need to work on getting Molly out here!

Our other recent trip was to Valencia – one of the few places in Spain that I had yet to visit. Another reason why we were eager to go is because my friend Heather’s boyfriend, Garen (who is an American), lives out there. We headed out two weekends ago to enjoy the beach and lots of paella.

We were so lucky to have a host there though – Garen knew the best places to take us. The highlight was certainly our trip to the Albufera (a large fresh water preserve right near the mediterranean) and to a little pueblo on the canals in the middle of rice fields. It was stunning – fields of green rice, canals zig zagging through the town and the smell of rice in the air. We parked ourselves at a charming little restaurant right on a canal with an expansive view of the fields – if these people didn’t know how to do paella, then no one would. And it didn’t disappoint. We all enjoyed a massive pan of heavenly paella in the best place in the world to eat it. What a day!

The next day we enjoyed another Valencia specialty – fideua. It’s similar to paella in that it is cooked in a pan with many of the same ingredients – the big difference, though, being the use of these macaroni like noodles (called fideos here) instead of rice. That was every bit as delicious, and the fact that we had a view of the beach didn’t hurt one bit.

Now, as usual, we’re busy planning our next trips – after all, we need something to look forward to! Up next (which we literally just decided today) is a trip to Florence, Italy in two weeks to meet up with my good friend Robin. A few weeks later I will be heading home to the States…..and then a few weeks later, off to Venice for my birthday. I obviously hate to travel 😉