I am going to have to devote a few Photo Fridays to Spain. I just must! This first one? It's about food and books, naturally.First: This was my very favorite thing! Fried lemon leaves at a street fair in Murcia (where the next day they had a festival and everyone wore traditional Spanish clothing--so cool!): There were amazing little beers in Spain, called canas (with a ~ that my blog won't accept--lame). Here's Becky with her first cana, and the beach where we stayed in Nerja: And, on our balcony in Nerja, Andalucia, I ate Corn Flakes with excellent fresh strawberries. And I read The Exile of Gigi Lane by Adrienne Maria Vrettos (total fun!): The Tostada Andaluz (a Southern Spain breakfast of toasted bread with crushed tomatoes, olive oil and salt) made me swoon, and I fell back in love with jars of Sangria, which Becky and I drank on "The Balcony of Europe" (a lovely plaza over the Mediterranean Sea in Nerja): The Alhambra is a seriously amazing Muslim palace. Oh, and the fried eggplant in Granada? Me gusta: We took a ferry to Tangiers, Morocco (my first step in Africa!) and had this really awesome mint tea. On the right is the door to a mosque in Tangiers, the MEN'S door (women enter through the back). The color green means peace, our guide told us. I told him "I think it'd be more peaceful if women could enter through the front door too." Just saying. In Valencia, Becky and I sat in a the Plaza de la Virgen in the morning and I had cafe con leche (you know it's a favorite). Then I saw an article in the paper about ELLE France doing an issue totally full of "plus" (read: normal) sized women. It made me happy! Plus, Valencia had this amazing market with food that would make Michael Pollan proud! Mushrooms and fruit! Veggies and ham! Also in Valencia, the City of Arts and Science was incredible. We got smoothies there. Plus, I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (FINALLY! SO GOOD!). Oh, and I made Becky dance in the central plaza in Valencia, because it looked like an outdoor ballroom to me! When we got to Barcelona, we were hungry for tapas, and quickly polished off a plate of pimientos (delicious!): The next day we had a tasting menu at Moo (thanks, Phil!). Barcelona has some of the best food in the world. For dessert, honey and flowers! Then a trip to Gaudi's Parque Guell: Later, a rooftop rest (Dave joined us in Barcelona. See La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's cathedral, behind us) and I read For Keeps by Natasha Friend, which was really sweet (read The Compulsive Reader's review): We headed to San Sebastian next, where the Playa de la Concha provided amazing seafood tapas, called pinxtos in Basque country (it all put me in a good mood): And then: Madrid! This place holds such a piece of my heart because I spent a semester abroad here when I was a junior in college. If you have the chance to study abroad, do it! It was hard and fun and lonely and amazing and bittersweet and wonderful and confusing and the best time ever. First, lunch near the Palacio Real and then dessert near my old apartment on Calle de Goya (the same gelato place was still there!): Finally, a pose with el Oso (the symbol of Madrid) and a paella dinner: If you guys got this far, gracias! I know this is probably like looking through a gajillion of your old relative's vacation photos, but I was soooo excited to be on this trip! There'll be more next week, so bear with me. And seriously, Spain? Te amo. Happy Friday!