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Saturday, December 20, 2014


Stealthy Madrid Starbucks where Calle Reina runs into Calle Marques de Valdeiglesias
It was toward the end of a three-week European trek, when I awoke early one morning in Madrid longing for a grande Starbucks breve latte with an extra shot.  Yes, I had been feasting on wonderful Euro coffees all along,  but my true roots were calling.  I am an unabashed coffee aficionado, who happens to enjoy Starbucks style blends as well. I needed my Starbucks fix.

At the time, I was staying at the late great Hotel Ada Palace where Gran Via runs into Calle de Alcala and I decided to walk out into the pre-dawn city in search of needed exercise and eventually a nice cup of coffee—somewhere.

My first steps out of the hotel to the left (north) into the narrow Calle Marques de Valdeiglesias that would eventually lead me uptown toward the Palace Hotel and beyond.

Little did I know just within a few feet more I’d run into a Starbucks located at the intersection of two Madrid alleys.  What were the odds, I asked myself?

I laughed at my good fortune and thanked the coffee gods.   I had my Starbucks fix and I was good to go for another week of Euro coffee.
Later, I learned that the Starbucks isn’t listed on any of the maps of Madrid.  You just have to be lucky.

Calle Reina and Calle Marques de Valdeiglesias

Madrid, Spain

Friday, December 19, 2014


TIS THE SEASON--Beer aficionados know one dependable way to kickstart any slow arriving holiday spirit is to attend Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s 3rd Annual Victory at Sea Day, Sunday, December 21.

Details include the unwrapping of specialty versions of Ballast Point’s amazing brew: Victory at Sea, plus lots of other fun stuff planned for the day.

--Sunday, December 21 at all four BP tasting room locations
Tickets for sale at the door: $25, includes a limited edition Victory at Sea goblet and a wristband for five 4oz specialty Victory at Sea pours. Goblets are limited. Individual tasters of Victory at Sea varieties for sale
--Limited edition Victory at Sea 2014 hoodies for sale
Special Victory at Sea menus at Miramar and Little Italy.

Gift Idea:
Camo T-shirt from Ballast Point shops, $20