Barcelona

It was wonderful to come back to Barcelona after seven years.  We really enjoyed the city the last time we were here, but this time we did it even better.  We had our good friends from San Francisco, Pam and Josh, visiting us and together we explored cute neighborhoods and fully embraced la hora de vermut.

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Cutest hat shop

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Funchal

After a few amazing days in Porto Moniz we drove back across Madeira toward Funchal.  Along the way, we took a detour to Pico do Arieiro, one of the highest peaks on the island.  The drive turned out to be pretty perilous and a lot longer than expected.  By the time we got to the top, we were in danger of missing our rental car return time, so we had about 10 minutes to take some photos and admire the view.  It was still worth it!

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Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov looks like a town straight out of a fairy tale.  We spent three days relaxing there with my parents and uncle.  Ian went to Český Krumlov back in 2002 during record-setting rain and flooding, so he enjoyed seeing what the town looked like in the sunshine.

We explored the castle, climbed the bell tower, and visited the castle bears (!):

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Blue Fox Budapest Bar Review

The Blue Fox is a hotel bar. I point this out because hotels are places where all kinds of people go. Including the kinds of people who would order a Cosmopolitan, or a Midori Sour. Which is all to say that from the get-go, hotel bars are a little bit hamstrung by the need to pander to a broad range of clientele used to sucking down syrupy abominations.

Does the Blue Fox succeed in rising above in the face of this adversity? Read on to find out.

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Berlin Cocktails: Lost in Grub Street

Lost in Grub Street is a weird bar with a weird name in Berlin’s business district. It was literally empty when we got there at 8PM on a Saturday; the bartender had to follow us in (he was sitting outside). He blamed “weekends in the summer,” which to me seem like good times to be in the bar business, but maybe things are different in Berlin (?)

The theme of the bar is “big bowls and short drinks.” Being as how there are only two of us, we skipped the punch bowls.

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Bonus points for the double-wide cocktail napkin to accommodate the palate cleansing water.

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