Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Janet Returns From Her Blog-Cation!

A series of incidents have prevented us from posting on our pupplog.

First, in a failed effort to sync her fitbit to her iPad and upgrade her iPhone, tech savey Janet lost ALL the photos on her iPhone.  When she explained this to Phil, he said.."no, no..remember, I removed all the photos for 2015".  He didn't understand it was every single photo.  This was devastating!  Second, Janet has been in varying degrees of cold/flu almost since they arrived home from Spain.

However, today marks four full weeks without an update on our rich and diverse lives, so we decided it was about time!

One of the first things Janet did after they arrived home was to make some chicken stock and in turn, make the stock into homemade Wor Won Ton Soup.  The stock was easy - a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that was done in Janet's fancy pants slow cooker.  The stock was super.

The won tons, not so much.  Janet is very familiar with Gyoza, which are Japanese dumplings.  Gyoza skins are fairly thick, so easy to fold.  Won Ton skins are much thinner, thus more difficult.

End result, after hours of work and using every bad word she knows, the Won Ton Soup was only marginally better than a restaurant version.
This falls into the "not bloody likely again department".  Phil told Janet his client, who is house hunting and currently staying in a motel with a kitchenette makes his own Won Ton Soup from scratch - including making the dough!  He uses a bottle to roll out the dough!
We also had some painting done, which was super for me as I was able to bond one on one with my favourite painter.
She loved the way I touched her leg with my paw.
And, we had some doggie play dates.  Now that I am 11 years old, I am less likely to frolic and more likely to be crafty and scheming.

First Miss Bean from next door came to stay overnight.  I spent three weeks with Miss Bean while Janet and Phil skipped town went to Spain.  Amber brought over Bean's bed and guess what - it's way better than mine!
She tried to pal up with me.
I allowed Bean to share in our Friday Night Peter Edamame party.
See the home made chicken broth on the stove top?

When it was nighty night time, I forced her to sleep on my sub-standard lumpy bed whilst I sawed logs and counted dog cookies on hers.

Unfortunately, I made a tactical error and got off Bean's bed briefly in the middle of the night.  She reclaimed it in a heart beat, which only strengthens my argument as to why Mr. and Mrs. Tightwad can't buy me a new one!!

Next up was Lola!  She was only here for the day and we engaged with each other from opposite ends of the Manor.
Lola is super cute and super little.

Phil made me look silly with this We Three Kings of Orient costume.
We had snow....lots of it in just one day!
Only in Victoria, would riding a sleigh down a small slope be considered huge fun!  Janet says she remembers tobogganing on the "huge" hill in front of Lacombe Home in Midnapore.  Lacombe Home was built in 1910 and was originally a refuge for orphans, the aged and the poor, which sounds like it might border on a prison camp.  Janet thinks it was a Catholic school when she was a child and it was run by Nuns wearing their full habit.  For some odd reason, it was fun to hit huge bumps, careening down the hill and crashing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Time To Go North!

Janet and Phil bid a sad farewell to their biking village, Montecorto.  They loved the quiet, laid back and non touristy aspect of this great spot.

Look!  Phil didn't actually turn the heat on under the Spanish electric kettle!
The kitchen of their villa.
Bye bye, Villa!
Bye, bye Village Centre Fountain!
Bye, bye Churro cart that comes every Saturday??
This was a piece of news and obviously had left after Janet and Phil arrived the previous Saturday.  Janet resisted the urge to try the really crispy, greasy deliciousness!
Enroute to Cordoba, they stopped at an old Roman Theatre.
These men were shaking the Olive trees to release the ripened olives into the net below.

They stopped in the town of Osuna to have lunch.  Yes, it's true that Janet's phone has internet access and it's also true she couldn't be bothered to look anything up.  Worst. Lunch. Ever.  You know you are in serious trouble when two minutes after you order, two people are rummaging through two different freezers to find the goods to make your lunch. 
There aren't enough words in Janet's bad language vocabulary to describe this effing french fry extravaganza!  It's ll the same colour!

The above really bad lunch, was however, a major learning curve for Janet.  There wasn't any toilet paper in the "Servicios".  We are not talking about a toilet paper holder that was empty as there wasn't even a holder.  There was simply no toilet paper to be had.  Happened the next day as well at a different restaurant.  End result:  Never leave your hotel without some!

They left after barely eating Bad Lunch One and Janet plugged her brain in.  Right across the square, was Trip Advisor #4 restaurant where lunch was fabulous!
This particular days choices of tapas.

Janet says they had two nights in Cordoba.  They spent some time at an ancient Mosque - Mezquita.  It also has a Christian church built with in.  Very beautiful.
Spaniards obvioulsy love to dine in the sun.

They then drove from Cordoba to Toledo, which was a bit more of a car ride that Janet had bargained for.  They stopped in a random town, La Carolina and ate at a random bar that turned out to have delicious food.
Migas....who knew such incredible food existed!

Flamenquin....ham, pepper and cheese rolled inside thin pork and deep fried.  Yummy!

This is a selection of Olive oil.  AT A GAS STATION!!!  Unbelievable!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sick In Espana!

At Janet and Phil's biking tour, they have two social evenings where they drive from the small village of MonteCorto to Ronda, a very beautiful, much larger village.  The first evening was Tuesday, but Janet wasn't feeling well, so stayed at home.

Please see below, Phil's photos of the evening.  Whoops!  There aren't any!

Tuesday, during the day, they rode 36KM along a rail bed was never actually finished, but has been refurbished for walking, biking and horseback riding.  This was the flattest part of Spain Janet has seen thus far!
They rode from Olvera to Puerto Seranno and had lunch at the end.  Check out this industrial size box of wine!
On Wednesday, a break day, Janet with her head cold and Phil went to Ronda.  They also visited some caves that were discovered in 1905 by a farmer.  The farmer was looking for fertile bat droppings for fertilizer when he discovered the interior of the cave.  There are more than 5000 drawings inside that are more than 5 times older than the Egyptian Pyramids!  Janet and Phil were dumbstruck at the interior of the cave.  The Pileta Cave is still in the hands of the original farmers' family, who strictly control the number of visitors.  Anything found after 1911 had to be turned over to the Spanish government.

Thursday, Janet still had her head cold so decided to skip the bike ride.  Drew took Phil to a really cool village called Setinel de las Bodegas.  It sounded so cool that Janet made Phil drive them there for dinner.  Many of the buildings in the village are carved out of caves.
They had delicious tapas at this restaurant.
The interior of this bar was a cave.
  Friday she mustered up the strength to go and asked their super guide Drew if they could go somewhere easy.  Drew laughed, which Janet read between the lines as meaning "are you nuts lady, we have been on all the easy rides!"  He did comply, however and they went for a nice, mostly flat ride in the country.  Check out their riding buds!

This guy was so cute, but then again, Janet is a major sucker for donkeys.
Look at the little babies!

Oh my, what a life!

Here are Janet and Drew getting ready to ride back out of the village where they stopped for a break.  You can see the incline behind Drew where they now need to go.  Janet is trying rock hard to whip out her sick card, but Drew isn't buying into it.
Best.  Thing.  Ever. And, everywhere in Spain!
Fresh squeezed orange juice.  Janet doesn't drink that much juice at home, but now seriously doubts it's possible to drink anything but fresh squeezed.
Everyone knows that Janet watches several times, each festive season, the movie "Love Actually" so she buys into the hype that love is actually all around us.  Turns out it is.  Whilst Janet was standing in a square, she was watching a couple, when all of a sudden, the man drops to his knees and pulls a small box out of his pocket.  Janet quickly grabbed her phone and took a couple of photos.  She left it at that and met Phil for lunch, but was berating herself for not having said something to them.  Phil encouraged her to go find them, so she left lunch and turns out the same couple were still in the square.  The man could speak some English and Janet was able to email the photos to them.  They were super excited that someone had caught their special moment in a photograph.
Lest you think Janet has become some kind of hard core biker, this is how most big hills end!  Walking uphill is good exercise, right?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Who Said Anything About Spain?

Just like that, Christmas is over, everyone leaves the house and now I'm staying next door with Miss Bean and her handlers!  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but would it kill a guy to let a puppy girl know what's goin' down?!

Amber says Janet and Phil have gone to Spain....wherever that is.  They must be having a good time because nobody can bother to Facetime with me!

First they stopped in Barcelona.  They did lots of sightseeing.  Janet took an all day cooking class that also included a trip to a huge market.

Here is the cooking school all set up.
They made Creme de Caramel for dessert, Grilled Vegetables with Romanesco Sauce, Tomato Bread, Spanish Omelette, Paella and Prawns.  The instructor was Rosa and Janet said she was excellent.

Janet was in charge of helping with the prawns.
They also went on a Tapas Tour.  The first stop was original "Jamon" shop in Barcelona.  Ham is a super serious business in Spain and there were legs of ham in the shop for in excess of 3000EUR!

This particular ham melted in your mouth!

They also went to a cheese shop that was run by kind of a cranky lady.  Everyone who knows Janet will attest to the fact that she is a rule follower.  She didn't hear the "you can't take any photos" lecture and snapped a photo of this cute sheep label on a box.  She was hugely humiliated.
Unbeknownst to Janet, while she was at Cooking School, Phil went back to the Cheese Shop and apologized (like Janet hadn't done that enough the night previous).  Cheese Lady said it was no big deal.  Good to know, next day!
This was the buffet breakfast at their hotel.  Janet says more than 40 years ago when she and our Aunt T went to Europe, they stayed in Youth Hostels.  This spread would have served as breakfast and, when no one was looking, take away lunch!

Check out these cute "Mommy and Me" toilets!
There are lots of street vendors in Barcelona selling fake luxury goods.  All the goods are spread out on a sheet with ropes attached.

When the Policia arrive, vamoose!
Look!  A puppy dog parking spot.  See, I could have gone!