I can't believe it's already August. This summer is just flying by, but I have to tell you I've been enjoying every second of it. We've been biking, swimming, hanging out by the pool, barbecuing in our terrace, and yes, we've been eating a lot of awesome food.
Three new vegan restaurants opened up on the same week over the summer, so we've been on a vegan culinary tour of the city every weekend.
One of the highlights of our summer thus far however has been a mini road trip we took to one of my favorite spots in Madrid. A beautiful reservoir where you can go for the day, swim, have a picnic, take your dogs, and we did it all! It's the famous Pantano de San Juan (San Juan Reservoir) in the Alberche river, and quite frankly the closest thing we have to a beach since Madrid is smack in the center of Spain with the closest beach a minimum of about 3 or 4 hours away in every direction.
Have I ever told you that I grew up practically in the water? I spent my entire childhood going to beaches and rivers almost every single weekend. I love the ocean and waves are just the most marvelous things around (don't get me started on that beautiful ocean sound), but rivers are a thing of beauty.
When I was a kid my mom and I would go to the exact spot where the ocean and the river waters collided in a little town called Boca de Uchire in Venezuela. The word "boca" meaning mouth, as in the mouth of the river. We would take this inflatable raft or boogie boards and paddle up river until we reached the ocean and then let the waves take us all the way back. We could do this literally for hours and hours.
One day I'll tell you more about this magical place since it had so much to do with who I am today, but in the meantime here are some pictures I found in one of my mom's old scrapbooks.
The river I grew up swimming in.
My friends and our infamous raft. That's me on the right.
The river eventually led you right into the ocean on this side. Heaven!
Fast forward to this summer, and last summer when we discovered the river in Madrid, and I'm such a happy giddy little girl. I love it there, and the dogs are obsessed, especially Vega who loves being in the water as you'll see in the video.
We always take a delicious picnic and it's just so special to get out to nature even if it's just for a day. My favorite kind of soul food.
Of course we're taking you along for the ride and showing you a bit of what we took for lunch in our very first Vlog!
Other delicious picnic goodies we usually take are salads, especially the heartier ones like grain salads, pasta salads, potato salad and bean salads which don't get as damaged by the heat in the summer. We love taking tons of fruit, a little guacamole once in a while, sandwiches and wraps are always included, and I love making a big pitcher of iced tea with lemon. Sometimes, like today, we just make it really simple.