November 12, 2018
Perfect Sunday in Madrid

Perfect Sunday in Madrid

November 12, 2018
Tommy Hilfiger travel outfit Retiro Park Madrid
It is said that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. The last day of the week happens to be one of the best days to enjoy all that Madrid has to offer. So, how do you spend the perfect Sunday in Madrid? Apart from the obvious and world popular Sunday brunch, here are a few ideas you may find useful when planning your stay. Bonus: most of them are free!
Tommy Hilfiger travel outfit Retiro Park Madrid
These photos were taken in Retiro and around. I was with a group of girlfriends enjoying a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon in the park and then we took a walk to find a place for tea and chat. Once you leave the park, there are plenty of beautiful buildings nearby. It's one of the most beautiful areas in Madrid. So that's my first plan for you.

El Retiro
Retiro park is hands down the best place to see fall foliage in Madrid. The variety of trees all in different shades of red or gold are a feast for the eyes. One of its landmarks is Palacio de Cristal, a glass and wrought-iron construction, which dates from the 19th century. Entrance is free.
Retiro Park autumn leaves fall foliage Madrid
Tommy Hilfiger travel outfit blogger Retiro Park Madrid
Visit Mercado de Motores
The entrance to this railway museum is free and only opens on weekends: Saturdays from 11am to 10pm and Sundays from 11am to 9pm. Apart from seeing trains from different times in history there's a great vintage market and food trucks.
The Flea Market takes place the second weekend of every month. Find the next dates here.

El Rastro
If you are a fan of flea markets you can't miss El Rastro, the largest in Madrid. You can access it from Embajadores station or Puerta de Toledo. It is located in the neighborhood of La Latina and opens every Sunday and every bank holiday. The most popular flea market in Madrid is 400 years old with stands that sell not only everyday objects but also unique items. The origin of the name is nonetheless curious: el rastro means “the trail” and is derived from the tanneries that used to exist there. When the animals were taken from the slaughterhouses to the tanneries, they would leave a trail of blood and that's where the name comes from.
More info here

Templo de Debod
This Egyptian structure looks its best during sunset which right now, after daylight savings time, happens at 6pm. Apart from walking around Parque del Oeste, where the temple is located, you can visit the inside of the temple. On Sundays it's open from 9:30am to 8pm. Entrance is free.
Tommy Hilfiger blogger travel outfit Retiro Park MadridGET THE LOOK
Prado Museum
The most famous museum in Spain and one of the most important in Europe. It's free from Monday to Saturday between 6pm to 8pm, on Sundays and public holidays from 5pm to 7pm.
Visit the official website here

Museo Reina Sofia
This modern art museum is home to Picasso’s iconic Guernica and is free from 1:30pm to 7pm every Sunday.

Casa de Campo
This is Spain's largest green space and dates back to the 16th century. Casa de Campo is where many madrileños spend their Sunday. The park has a large lake, where you can hire a boat or a kayak. There are also plenty of restaurants around the lake. Casa de Campo includes sports facilities, numerous paths for running and cycling, the famous aerial cable car, an amusement park, the zoo Aquarium and the Madrid Arena venue.
Official site

Madrid Río
Walk along the banks of river Manzanares. Ten kilometres of green zone with a few leisure areas which include swings and zip-lines among other things.
madrid retiro prado architecture
Monastery “Las Descalzas Reales”
You can find this monastery close to Callao. This convent occupies the old palace where Carlos I and Isabel of Portugal used to live. You can visit the monastery or just buy delicious pastries from the enclosed nuns who still live there. On Sundays it's open from 10am to 3pm.
More info here

A former slaughterhouse turned cultural center. A complex of pavilions built in 1911 which in 1996 was turned into the "laboratory" for contemporary artistic creation that we know today.
Check out their schedule to see what's going on.
Tommy Hilfiger travel outfit blogger Retiro Park Madrid
madrid retiro prado architecture beautiful building
How do you like to spend your Sundays?

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November 5, 2018
What to do in Madrid in November 2018

What to do in Madrid in November 2018

November 5, 2018
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn pumpkin display exhibit Madrid
This long weekend has been full of great moments: Halloween recipes (I always post those on InstaStories so follow me if you want to stay tuned), romantic lunch with my husband, meeting blogger friends... I wish I could stop time and stay like this forever.

My favorite things about fall are the changing colors of leaves, warm drinks, pumpkins and coziness. Those ingredients are present in my autumnal plans. So if you are anything like me, you are going to love this post. Today I want to share with you new places I've discovered in Madrid that you can't miss this fall.
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn pumpkin display exhibit Madrid
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn pumpkin display exhibit Madrid
While living in the US, I discovered pumpkin patches, now that I'm back in Spain it's one of those things I miss a lot. I really hope someone comes up with the idea and starts organizing pumpkin fests here too.

The closest thing I've found is this pumpkin display in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Madrid. It's a beautiful arrangement of all sorts of pumpkins that is worth seeing. The exhibit is going to be there till the pumpkins start going bad so you still have some time to stop by.

The whole Botanic Gardens are a joy to behold this season. The beautiful flowers you could see in the summer are not there anymore but fall foliage is equally stunning. There was this particular tree with yellow leaves that with a small wind blow the leaves started falling as if it was snowing, it was magical.
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn Madrid
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn Madrid
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn Madrid
Royal Botanic Gardens fall autumn Madrid
kodak film frame madrid
There's a really cute shop and cafeteria in the Botanic Gardens where you can have tea and eat seasonal dishes like this pumpkin soup. It's pricey but the quality is great so definitely worth it. If it's warm enough you can sit outside and enjoy the gardens while sipping coffee.
Royal Botanic Gardens coffee shop Madrid
coffee shop royal botanic gardens MadridAnother discovery I made this weekend was the new restaurant Casa Galleta. It belongs to the same group as El Canadiense and El Perro la Galleta. It has a similar style as those too but a different concept. This is what we call in Spanish: casa de comidas. It's a traditional restaurant with rustic country decor. Casa Galleta is a casa de comidas with a twist. All that is traditional is the decor, the menu is quite modern. My husband and I chose this place because we are big fans of the other two and it did not disappoint. In fact, we liked it so much that we've booked a table for a meal with friends we have in a couple of weeks. Apart from the food, we loved the ambiance, we felt as cozy as at home. Husband and I shared the eggplant battered in biscuit with Pomodoro sauce and Parmesan cheese and the stuffed mushrooms filled with zucchini, truffle cheese, tomato tartar and pesto. Then I had grilled squid risotto and my husband ordered the burger. Finally, we shared the cheesecake. There wasn't a single thing we didn't like. 
Oh, and like in their other restaurants, dogs are allowed!

Restaurant info:
Casa Galleta
Calle Castelló, 12 (great location, just a few minutes away from Retiro Park)
Phone: +34 610 181 711
restaurant casa galleta retiro madrid
restaurant casa galleta retiro madrid
restaurant casa galleta retiro madrid
restaurant casa galleta retiro madrid
restaurant casa galleta retiro madrid
restaurant casa galleta retiro madrid

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madrid november activities events
October 29, 2018
Halloween in Madrid

Halloween in Madrid

October 29, 2018
Halloween plaza mayor catrina mexico Madrid spain
How to celebrate Halloween in Madrid or maybe I should say Día de los Muertos? You see, up until a few years ago Halloween was just a foreign festivity for us. Traditionally, the 1st of November is the Day of the Dead (Día de los Difuntos) and that's what we celebrate in Spain but nowadays Halloween is everywhere... As an ESL teacher I have to teach my students about it, but I'm not fond of it. I don't like zombies, graveyards or anything of the sort. However, there are some interesting activities going on in Madrid that I want to tell you about.
Halloween mexico catrina plaza mayor Madrid spain
Halloween mexico spain plaza mayor catrina Madrid
Today's post is about Halloween related events all around Madrid but first of all I want to tell you about the two different traditions.

Halloween vs First of November
As I said, what we celebrate here is Día de todos los Santos or Día de los Difuntos which takes place the day after Halloween. On this day, we honor those who have passed on. People visit cemeteries and leave flowers on the graves of loved ones. Later in the day families gather and have traditional sweets like huesos de santo (bone-shaped marzipan) and panellets (made from almond and pine nuts).

Those who celebrate Halloween here have kept the scariest side of it. I've seen Halloween in Ireland and California while I was living there and I remember seeing people dressing up in both scary and non-scary costumes whereas in Spain you will see most people dressed up as something dead or horrific. That's probably because we have another festivity to dress up Carnaval (carnival). Trick or treating is not very popular but more and more kids are doing it every year.
Halloween Madrid Spain catrina plaza mayor mexico
Halloween Madrid Spain plaza mayor catrina mexico
How to celebrate Halloween in Madrid
Personally, I'm going to make these delicious chocolate peanut butter bars and watch a movie -but not a horror one- with my husband at home. Now, I know that some of you feel like me about Halloween but others love it so here you will find something for everyone.
  • Earlier this month was the inauguration of Casa de Mexico in Madrid and they are promoting it with a these beautiful sculptures of Catrinas, an icon of the Mexican Día de Muertos, in Plaza Mayor. They will be there until November 4 coinciding with a book fair that's worth visiting too. You can also visit Casa de Mexico -they've done a wonderful job decorating the building- to see the altar and check out their activities for this week. There's a cinema inside that will be showing the emotional Disney movie Coco. Casa de Mexico is in Calle Alberto Aguilera, 20.
  • My favorite healthy restaurant, Elektra offers a Halloween themed girls night out plan: manicure, cocktail and cake for 15€ from 7pm to 10pm on the 31st. Reservations: +34 912 54 59 11.
  • Dinner +  Escape Room with Enigmatium Room. The game starts during the meal where you have to find answers to some questions which will be the clues to leave the room. You have to be quick, you only get 60 minutes.
  • See Madrid in a different way with a ghost tour: La Noche de los Espíritus. Find out about murders, haunted places and paranormal activity in different palaces, manors and streets of the city.
  • If you don't mind leaving the city, Warner Bros Park offers lots of Halloween activities until November 4. Parque de Atracciones will also be hosting multiple Halloween themed events.
  • Día de los Muertos (day of the death) in Palacio de Linares. A housekeeper, a butler and a marquis will guide you in this nocturnal visit to a magnificent 19th century palace. An hour of mystery, secrets and legends told by characters coming from the afterlife. This dramatized visit sounds exciting even to those not fond of Halloween like yours truly. Entrance: 16€. October 31 and November 3.
  • Time Out suggests visiting these abandoned historical buildings which sounds like a great plan.
  • Go on a photography tour. Well, this one is my own suggestion. I took these photos walking around Madrid searching for Halloween decor. Taking my camera and exploring the city is one of my favorite things to do. Madrid has so much to offer for photography lovers! 
Halloween Madrid Spain Casa Mexico
Halloween Casa de Mexico Madrid Spain
Halloween Casa Mexico Madrid Spain

Halloween Casa Mexico Madrid Spain
Halloween Casa Mexico Madrid Spain
Now tell me, how are you celebrating Halloween?


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October 22, 2018
Best Photo Locations in NYC for First-Time Visitors

Best Photo Locations in NYC for First-Time Visitors

October 22, 2018
yellow cab street photography nyc
It's been almost ten years since the first time I visited New York. It was back in 2009 and I spent a few days there before going to my final destination: my au-pair year in San Francisco. The city that never sleeps stole my heart. I especially loved the architecture (and the shopping!). The place is heaven for any photographer. NYC has so many picture perfect spots you will need several memory cards during your stay.

New York is an incredible city to explore. There are so many things to see and do that it can be quite daunting when you visit it for the first time. The second time I visited was a year later and I got to experience it much more than the first one as it was known territory. Once again, it took my breath away. Every time you visit the city is different and the word "boring" disappears from your vocabulary while you are there. You can bump into celebrities or walk into a movie set at any moment. New York should be in everybody's bucket list. You simply cannot love it.

So how can you make the most of NYC photography? Let's see some tips together with 25+ photos that will give you serious wanderlust.m&m store nyc
New York is a very popular place for tourists and photographers alike so be prepared to wait at picture perfect locations to get your shot. The most beautiful photos are taken at golden hour or blue hour but if you want to have the place to yourself you are going to have to wake up at the crack of dawn and get there before everybody else.
squirrel central park new york city
architecture nyc water deposit
petrossian nyc architecture
belvedere castle central park nyc
Visit the museums. You can't miss the Guggenheim, the MOMA or the MET.
guggenheim museum new york
architecture building upper east side nyc
Designer fashion shops are spectacular. Walk around 5th Avenue and also go to SoHo. Photography inside is generally forbidden but some of them have impressive facades too.
apple store nyc central park 5th avenue
louis vuitton store 5th avenue nyc
architecture nyc skyline
chrysler building architecture nyc
If you have enough time, visit one of the other boroughs like Harlem. It's so different from Manhattan but equally impressive. I had the chance of attending a Gospel mass in Harlem and it's and experience I will never forget.
harlem borough new york
street photography NYC yellow cab
liberty truck nyc street photography
Get lost in Central Park. It has so many beautiful photo opportunities! There are so many things to photograph there: the people, the Bethesda Fountain or the romantic Bow Bridge! How dreamy it would be to do a photo shoot there with the first rays of light... The Loeb Boathouse is also a beautiful place to photograph and to eat, I had an amazing meal there.
bow bridge central park summer nyc
School bus NYC
Remember John Lennon at the Dakota. This New York landmark was his home until his murder in the archway of the building in 1980.dakota building nyc central park imagine
america flag empire state building nyc
The statue of Atlas carrying the heavens in front of the Rockefeller center is one of the most impressive photos you can get.
Atlas heavens Rockefeller center
new york architecture
Empire State Building
New York peer Lower Manhattan
Photograph touristy spots from a different angle like beautiful Lady Liberty below.
statue liberty nyc
seagull peer nyc black white
New York Stock Exchange wall street
ground zero memorial nyc
The Brooklyn Bridge is a true New York icon, from there you can see all the major New York City Buildings like the Chrysler or the Empire State buildings. Speaking of the Empire State, make panoramas when you are on the top. The views of the city are jaw-dropping.
Brooklyn Bridge nyc
Views Brooklyn Bridge NYC
Capture the most vibrant colors (and eat great pasta!) at Little Italy.
Little Italy Manhattan NYC
architecture nyc black white
Photograph the Flatiron building from all the possible angles. Did you know that its name comes from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron?flatiron building nyc
view empire state building nyc
The iconic hotels. The Plaza, The Palace and the Waldorf Astoria must be in your pics. They are too pricey for most of us but you can always go in and take a peek to see how beautiful they are inside.
Plaza Hotel New York
Unconditional Surrender kiss sculpture NYC
For night time photography go to Times Square. The screen contrasts with the darkness and that equals amazing photos.
times square night nyc
Whether it's day or night, you must stop at Grand Central Terminal. How many movies can you name that have been set there?
Tip: a long exposure is needed inside the station to capture your perfect shot.
grand central terminal station night new york
If you go to Brooklyn you can get a beautiful view of the Washington Bridge from a place called DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Right now this is one of the most popular instagrammable spots in New York City.

When in New York...put on your walking shoes, charge your camera batteries, empty your memory cards and set off on the amazing adventure that is visiting New York City.


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Two Traveling Texans