Sometimes it is the little things that make you feel good. We were heading out yesterday to do some grocery shopping when our friend Xavi called and asked if we wanted to meet up for lunch. Of course! We agreed to meet at Restaurant Can Lloses, Sant Pere De Ribes. It is a lovely family owned restaurant that has been around for years. Authentic Catalan cooking. Not a tourist place.
I did not take any photos (except of the wine) inside but here is one from their website. Gorgeous isn’t it?!
These are the photos I took of the outside.
Xavi has always shared special restaurants and places that we would have never had found on our own. There are a couple of dishes that are in season in Catalonia right now. Calçots which is a type of scallion or green onion. These are grilled and you eat them by pulling the outer skin off, dipping it in Calçot sauce (which is fabulous with bread also) and then lowering the whole thing into your mouth and biting on it as you slowly pull out, leaving the soft interior to eat. A bib is provided as you don’t want to drip the sauce down your shirt while you are tipping back your head to eat them. The grilling makes them quite mild and thus they are not a pungent onion taste.
The other item in season right now is artichokes (alcachofas). We love artichokes! When we lived in Monterey, California we were just down the road from the Artichoke Capital of the World, Castroville. We usually steam them. Here they grill them whole. So yummy!
We shared a few other dishes and also dessert. Xavi chose (as he always does) a fabulous bottle of red.
It was a wonderful 2+ hour lunch with a great friend.
Later that afternoon our doorbell rung. There was our friend Alex bringing us our converter that he had repaired. You may remember the story of it breaking back in January. We now have a new one but we decided to get the other one repaired as it was just a wire that needed to be soldered. We took it to the office here in the winery as they have an electrician that they use. Well, not sure exactly what happened but the electrician never got to it so Hanna asked Alex if he would repair it for us. We had no idea. Thus our surprise and delight when he arrived yesterday afternoon with it. Like I said…sometimes it is the little things.
And now something random. We have had our car for almost a year now and it is due to be inspected for the annual registration. We’ve taken the car in for a service at the place we bought it after 7000 km, 5000 miles, and thought it was time. We had a couple of warranty issues as well. The owner, Pedro, could not understand why we would think we needed a service, wait till 10,000 km! Okay, when in Spain. So now we are at 11,000 km and knew that it was time for it to be changed, and to be checked before the annual inspection. Well, at least that is what we think. Bob asked our friend Kim if he could recommend a mechanic. Kim immediately thought that the car must have broken down…why else would we need a mechanic. Bob assured him that it was just a service. Kim not only recommended a mechanic in Canyelles but he also called them to let them know we would be making an appointment. How nice is that?! Kim then offered us one of their cars to drive while ours was being serviced. Bob told him that wasn’t necessary as it was just an oil change and shouldn’t take long.
We went by there yesterday to make an appointment and they asked Bob if something was wrong with the car. No, just want to get the oil changed. It is almost as if this isn’t done here. When we discussed it with Xavi yesterday he certainly gave us that impression. Geez, in America it is drilled into your head that every 3,000 miles (newer cars may be more) that you need to change the oil. Not here!
The appointment was for 9 a.m. this morning and we figured we would drop it off and while it was being worked on we would walk up to the fabulous bakery in town and have breakfast. When we dropped it off Bob asked when it would be ready and they said, “Mañana.” What?! We explained that we only have the one car and after a bit of discussion they said it would be done today. No time (just like America!). They would call us when it is ready (just like America). Okay, so slight change of plans. Instead of hanging out in Canyelles we would walk home after breakfast. It is only about 3.6 kilometers (2.2 miles) so no biggie. We went to Cafeteria Fleca Bertran and had a yummy pastry and coffee before starting home.
It wasn’t a bad walk (even the uphill bit) and it gave us a chance to really see things that we would normally miss while driving. Bob even provided a geology lesson as we walked along.
Heart shaped leaves are always a favorite. ♥♥♥
The only obstacle on the walk was this huge slow moving convoy that made us stop in our tracks as we waited for them to cross. I wonder what made them cross to the other side of the road. Sure hope the guy in front knows where he is going.
Home. A beautiful morning for a walk.
The service on the car was done about 4:30 p.m. and Kim drove Bob down to pick it up.
We have great friends! We appreciate them more than they know.
Sometimes it is the little things…