Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bonds and Waist-Lines that Grow with Travel

This year began with an annual trip with my mom that has become a tradition. I wonder how the concept of a mother-daughter trip came about? When did we take our first trip? Of course I have no memory of the very first trip with just the two of us, but having my mom at hand, she reminded me that it was when I was 18 months old. We went to the US, apparently to maintain our green card status. That was news to me, I had a green card - what? Of course my parents gave up on the concept of living in America and decided that India was a better place for them and me. I am glad they did or I would be an ABCD (abbreviation for American Born Confused Desi) with an American twang (not that there is anything wrong with that).
More recently, most of the trips we take are in Europe as that is easiest for both of us. We meet in the middle, she flies from Bombay and I from New York. We like to go when the hoards of tourists have left. Food is a big motivator for us, trying out different kinds of cuisine and seeking authentic places to eat - we go where the locals go. My mom is a big fan of the Michelin-starred restaurants, so with each trip comes a few grand multiple course experiences that are very memorable. What's great is that we both have the same interests and preferences in travel. She does all the organising and researching that is always spot on. This is great because usually when traveling with my husband or friends that is my role. I guess I know where I get it from, but it is always nice to just show up and know it is going to be great (thank you mom). What I bring to the table (or so I would like to think) is the execution of the holiday once we are there. I talk to the locals to figure out what is the best place to eat, drink and visit. I am quite proficient in maneuvering through a language dictionary, be it English-Spanish or English-Portuguese. We make a good team and I always look forward to my annual 'girl trips'. So far we have been to Spain, Portugal, Austria, Budapest, Hungary and Italy together who knows where we will go next year? Open to suggestions.
Below are few pictures that are focused on food in Spain which is where we were this year. I have also detailed the names of restaurants that were memorable and exceptional.

El Club Allard (Madrid): We had an amazing 7 course meal. The food and service was spectacular.
Mercado San Miguel (Madrid): A cute market that had many stalls with the most scrumptious tapas, we wandered from stall to stall taking many little bites.
Cava Baja (Madrid): This is a street in Madrid right off Plaza Mayor that is packed with tapas spots. Extremely lively with everyone spilling into the streets. Any place you walk into will be fantastic.
Bodega de Santa Cruz Las Columnas (Seville): A corner spot right near the cathedral that had a lot of local flair. The best Patatas Bravas were devoured here.
Hotel parador (Granada): This was the laziest meal we had. Located near the Alhambra, it is the perfect place to spend an afternoon post sight-seeing. The meal started with olives and red wine, Soup and Paella was the bridge to the end of the meal which was  an amazing medley of cakes and ice creams.    


Unknown said...

Your beautiful pictures bring back the memories! There's no better experience than travelling with a lovely, considerate daughter.

arvind said...

Beautiful pictures and very interesting reading as usual. Brought a smile, especially the part where like mother-like daughter reference to party organizing. You are so good at arranging events :) Keep these postings coming.

Alefiyah said...

Thanks mom (unknown) - looking forward to the next one :)

Thanks Arvind ... yes have a lot of pictures and posts to share from this trip :)