7 Tips for Travelling With Kids

Traveling is a good thing. Almost everyone loves traveling. It is one of the things that awaken the soul as people got introduced to new places, culture, and society. Travels add flavour to our memories.

There is so much to consider when you are traveling with your kids. More than the destinations that you are traveling to your kids are more important. And particularly, if you and your kids are planning for Tour of Iceland, certain important things need to be considered. There is no doubt in the beauty of Iceland and the fun and excitement the island nation can give to you and your kids but the unpredictable weather is the one thing that can concern the well-being of your kids if you are planning for a tour of Iceland with your kids.

Let us look at some of the important tips that you should keep in mind when travelling with your kids.

Briefing the kids about the travel plans

It is important to tell your kids about the travelling you desire to take up with them. Tell them exactly where you are going. Have a little session of learning about the new place that you and your kids are heading to. Fetch some facts about the place, the country, the people and also the schedule of their plans.

Ensure to pack all the necessary things: Double check all the packing as kids cannot be trusted fully when they pack for travelling. You should make sure that kids do not pack base on their passion but on the need and necessity. Teach them how to fold clothes in a travel-friendly manner and also explain them the best ways to pack for voyaging.

Child monitoring gadgets or equipment

In this advanced world, things are made very simple with modern gadgets. One such is the child monitoring gadget or equipment. This gadget helps you to keep track of your kids and their movements. It is very helpful in all crowded place such as airport, market, and place of huge tourist attractions.

Health check-up

You should have your kids a proper health check-up before venturing out for any tour. This will help you in maintaining the good health of your kids and also avoid sudden immediate ailments.

Briefing the kids about Dos and Don’ts

It is the responsibility of the parents to tell the kids all the Dos and Don’ts before and from the time you step out of the house for the tour till the time you reach back home after finishing the tour. Tell them what they can eat and what they cannot, how to behave and reaction towards any strangers.

Choose the shortest routes for the tour

This is very helpful to keep your kids active and passionate about the tour. A long route for the tour can cause your kids to become dull and loss all the excitement. Make sure that you choose the route with no or minimum time of layover.

A constant reminder to behave on the entire trip

Kids love to run around and play. There is no issue if they are in the new place, they just follow their heart. You should constantly remind your kids to behave properly. Only when they are constantly reminded they will follow you.

Kids and Hotels

Some hotels are family friendly. That is, they have a pool, maybe an arcade, a playground, things for kids to enjoy. Others may not be as kid friendly, but all hotels have other guests who expect your kids to behave themselves during their stay.

If you have a child who is involved in travel sports like hockey, basketball or soccer, you know you spend a lot of time in hotels. There are games, there are tournaments and likely the whole team (if not multiple teams) are all housed at the same hotel. That makes for a lot of kids. It’s great because you get to hang out with the other parents, the kids get to hang out with their friends and teammates, but there should be limits placed on what the kids can do in and around the hotel.

For instance, no other guest appreciates a gang of kids running down hallways hollering at the top of their lungs. If you don’t let your kids run around like that at home, why are they doing it at a hotel? Another thing that ticks off other guests is that the quiet times aren’t upheld. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you can act out at all times of the day or night.

Being in a hotel is a freedom, parents can go to the restaurant or bar while the kids go in the pool, but this too is tricky as kids should always be supervised around water, no matter their age. Even if parents take turns on pool duty, it’s better than no supervision at all. Ideally, the kids should behave properly in the pool area which means no running, no diving into shallow water and observing the pool rules. Same goes for the gym or fitness center if the hotel has one. This is for all guests to use, and if your child has a legitimate reason to be there, supervised then that’s great, but having a bunch of kids hanging out in the gym annoying other guests is a no no.

For the most part, kids and hotels are a great mix, and families are observant of the rules, the kids are polite and quiet and all is well, it’s when they area allowed to run amok that the problems arise. No one wants to be the one getting kicked out of a hotel so abide by the rules for fun for all.

How to Select Guest Friendly Hotels

One of the most important decisions that one has to make as they go for a holiday is where they want to stay after each exploration. Finding a friendly hotel to stay in while on holiday is therefore necessary.

As you hunt for hotels online, it is advisable that you take your time and that you do not select the first option that you come across. There are some factors that you should consider so as to ensure that you settle for the best hotel:

  • Reviews: visit the site to check the experiences and ratings that other people have left behind. This is one of the best ways in which you can find out what kind of hotel you are looking into.
  • Take a look at the website: by looking at the website, you will have an idea of the hotel in very many ways. Usually, there should be pictures and it’s up to you to decide whether the facilities are up to your standards.
  • Location: the hotel should not be situated in such a way that makes it hard to connect to other areas like the city. This takes care of the commuting issue that may arise, especially if located in areas that don’t have any public transportation.
  • Compare: it is important to compare hotels in the area of interest. This ensures that you get the best facilities for accommodation at the same rate. Take your time choosing a hotel.
  • Offers: before booking a room, take time to check for discounts on offer. Some hotels offer last minute or early bird discounts.

Some of the best characteristics of a good and the guest friendly hotel include:

  1. Cleanliness: a good hotel should be clean and tidy. This should be a place where you can easily relax and enjoy a good sleep before anything else. A hotel need not be a five star to be clean and tidy.
  2. Wi-Fi: in this day and age, a reliable internet connection is very important. You should be able to stay in touch with the world, regardless of where you are. The Wi-Fi connection needs to be available and accessible regardless of where you are within a hotel.
  3. The bathroom space: a good hotel should have adequate bathroom space. This will allow guests to feel at home and relaxed. It should be spacious enough to set up a few things that you need to use often.

It is important to take time as you select a hotel. It is always a good idea to make a booking well ahead of time. One of the things that can help you determine how good a hotel is by making make a call. Usually, the staff on the other side can help you make a determination. When they are warm and friendly and ready to answer any questions that you have, it could be an indication of what to expect when you finally do get to the hotel.

It is also important to ask about the policies of the hotel. Do they allow pets? Do they allow kids? You need to assess your own special needs and the people or things you want to travel with so as to know whether they are allowed where you are going or not.

Looking For Hotels in Brenham? Read This First

Anytime you and your family travel, you’re always trying your best to find the spots that make the trip fun & enjoyable for everyone, and this certainly includes finding the right place to stay. If you’re in, or near, the east Texas area & need a place to stay that’s near a number of major cities, you’d be doing yourself a favor by checking out the hotels in Brenham.

Even if you’re not completely familiar with the name, you’re actually more aware of Brenham, Texas than you think. It is the world headquarters of Blue Bell Ice Cream., arguably the official ice cream of Texas. The major metropolitan cities of Houston and Austin are a short drive away, with Highway 290 acting as the road that connects all three cities. Brenham also touts a tremendous proximity to award-winning Texas wine makers & is seen as the epicenter of the bluebonnet region of Central Texas.

If a hotel in Brenham is the plan of action, be sure to keep these bits of information in mind:

Check Out the City Website – Brenham has a great.org website dedicated to informing citizens and visitors alike about all that happens in town. Moreover, the city has links to its own tourism website so that visitors can get information on where to stay, and play, while in Brenham. While you explore the city website, you’ll also learn a little about the civic beauty & quaint nature of this east Texas gem. Their parks and recreation info is top-notch.

Chamber & Visitors Board – Brenham also happens to have one of the best tourism websites in the state, with a major overhaul for user-friendliness in just the last few months. Information on the hotels & motels in the area is available, but the site also highlights all of the other traditional and non-traditional modes of lodging that can be found in Brenham or elsewhere in Washington County, TX (the county in which Brenham is located).

It’s important to note that using the internet as a tool for finding a hotel in Brenham outside of the official city & tourism sites works very well. You just have to know what to look for. Here are some tips:

Read Carefully – A search engine query about amenities, hotels, and Brenham yields quite a number of results. You’ll find that the designation of ‘hotel’ can sometimes be a little misleading. For example, the Ant Street Inn located off Commerce Street in Brenham will show up on a general hotel search but is labeled as a bed and breakfast on the city’s tourism site.

Something A Little Different – Even though you’re looking for hotels, keep in mind that your general internet search may not lead you to some of the beautiful examples of lodging that Brenham has to offer, which is a real shame. B&Bs like Wakefield Farms & the Southern Rose Ranch & vacation rentals like the historic Holle House are some of the highlights.

Hotels in Brenham are not hard to find. With a little research, you’re sure to find the right place for your and your family. Just be sure to leave room to think a bit outside the box & be willing to explore more of what Brenham has to offer in terms of lodging.

Where to Stay in Santorini – The Best Towns & Hotels

Spectacular Santorini shines like a glamorous jewel in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Completing the set of Cyclades islands, Santorini itself is set on the site of a submerged volcano and is home to the famously breathtaking caldera which gives the island its distinct shape. Life on the island itself is pure luxury; secluded villas with infinity pools, private Cliffside suites and honeymoon hideaways create an upscale vibe infused with a divine decadence.

The island has a distinct culture and a depth of history, and the local settlements are made up of villages, each of which vary in architecture and development and have their own unique charm. The romance of Santorini shines through with the sublime nature of its sunsets; as the sun sinks it illuminates the ocean and lights up the caldera, a spectacle which draws thousands of visitors daily.

Santorini is a luxury destination: some of the places to stay in Santorini are fantastically opulent and cater to a glitterati of chic visitors from across the globe. Whatever the budget, traveler who come to Santorini’s shores will enjoy the evenings watching in awe as the sky changes colour and bask in extravagance of the Greek holiday haven. Days on the island are filled with delicious dining and the chance to recline on your own private terrace among the jigsaw of quintessentially Greek white block buildings, as the sun washes over you and you indulge in the delights of life on Santorini.

Spend balmy evenings in buzzing Fira, the biggest town on the island and the lively heart of Santorini. With its abundance of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, Fira is where you should stay on Santorini if you want to party until the early hours and then spend your days exploring the island, and browsing the many shops in the town in the shadow of the beautiful volcano in the distance.

Fira is the perfect place to base yourself in order to explore all that Santorini has to offer. All of the bus routes that traverse the island begin and end in the town meaning that you can travel all over the island. If you don’t fancy catching the bus then it is simple to rent a scooter or even your own car and travel at your own pace. Hotels in Fira town are more expensive than neighboring villages but there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.

Close to Fira, quiet and placid Imerovigli is the dream spot for honeymooners. The village is one of the most expensive places to stay on the island, but with breathtaking views of the caldera lagoon and romantic luxury love nest hideaways, it offers a perfect slice of secluded Santorini.

The charming town doesn’t have a beach but does have awesome 4 and 5-star hotels to choose from, many offering beautifully designed private suites, some of which are built into the cliff and have views of the volcano. From Imerovigli it is easy to travel to nearby towns; a lot of hotels offer a free shuttle bus, although local busses also connect to busy Fira.

Kamari is considerably cheaper than villages with views of the Caldera, but what it lacks in famous views it makes up for in its beautiful beach. If you are visiting Santorini with children then staying in Kamari is a great choice of location. The family friendly village boasts an expanse of sandy beach dotted with little local bars and restaurants, supermarkets and shops, meaning long days spent playing on the shoreline and evenings enjoying delicious meals with your family.

This is the place to stay in Santorini if your budget is a little tight, and the best priced hotel rooms are usually found outside of the peak summer season. With most of the accommodation in easy walking distance to the beach, there is no need to take a bus or taxi to reach the water as in other towns on the island.

How Hotels in Paxos Island Are Different From Regular Hotels

Visiting the Paxos Island for the first time will undoubtedly offer you the lifetime experience of going on a memorable vacation with your family. Well, there is not one reason behind this statement but there are lots of things which make this island a heaven for the peace lovers. Anyhow, before discussing the reasons that will make your holiday an unforgettable period of your life, or make the Paxos island different from others, let us talk about the Paxos Island.

Where is Paxos Island? As you know that the country of Greece is known for its beautiful islands, and surprisingly Paxos is one of them. Although the island is the smallest among all the islands located in the Greece, despite this it is visited by the huge crowd of visitors across the world, especially who are in search of some tranquil and romantic location for their holidays. The island is located in the arms of Ionian or Heptanese island and is at the distance of nine miles from the Corfu, which is its nearest city. The Greek mainland is located at the distance of ten miles from the Paxos. To reach the Paxos, you will have to hire a boat from the Corfu, because the island doesn’t have its own airport, and the only airport to reach there is located at Corful only.

But, surprisingly, the absence of an airport could not stop the nature and peace lovers from coming there. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the absence of an airport has proved to be a boon for the Paxos as it has kept it unspoiled from any type of pollution that would have taken place due to the arrival of aircraft. The island is mainly covered with the olive groves, which is also is the main source of income for the natives, apart from fishing and small commercial activities.

The eastern coast of the island has pebbles, whereas the western coast has only rocks and limestone cliffs.

Hotels in Paxos Island: If you are concerned about your staying facilities at the island, then you should not think much about it. Because, like other developed cities, Paxos is also blessed with all those facilities and amenities that you have been finding in other cities, and therefore finding hotels in Paxos island is not an exception to it. However, these hotels are different from the regular hotels that you have been staying while visiting to someplace during the holidays.

The hotels of Greece are similar to your personal home, that offer you the facility to enjoy the same freedom that you have been enjoying at your home. As a general practice when you stay in some hotel you have to book your room before reaching there, although for staying in these hotels you need to book them prior to your arrival. But, here you will not have to follow the restrictions of living in a single or double room or eating the food provided by the hotel. On the contrary here you will large rooms with king size beds, a living room with sofa set and other furniture, facility of cooking your own food in the kitchen. One more thing which differs the hotels of Paxos from other hotels in the presence of balcony, swimming pool and terrace, which is not offered by the regular hotels.

All these three facilities offer you the privilege of viewing the iconic view of an island and the surrounding area from the balcony and terrace, whereas separate swimming pool offers you the facility of enjoying the swimming according to your mood. Whereas, when you stay in some hotel you will not find a balcony or terrace to view the surrounding areas, and swimming is also allowed during the specific hours of the day.

What activities you can enjoy at the Island: Although the island of Paxos is small as compared to other islands, still it has everything to offer the visitors coming there. Here you can enjoy the pleasure of playing different types of water sports, sailing to nearby towns, walk on the beaches, enjoy the mesmerizing view of fireflies in the evening, learn about the lifestyle of the natives, culture of Greece, and of course a romantic and peaceful vacation.

Out of Africa: Native Foods

Northern Africa is comprised of several countries, namely Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya and Egypt. Clearly its foods have been influenced over the centuries by the ancient Phoenicians (a Semitic civilization now modern-day Tunisia) who introduced sausages and wheat, and Berber nomads who adapted the semolina from wheat, creating couscous which has become a main staple. Fast forward a few centuries, and you have the Arabs bringing a variety of savory spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and saffron. From the New World, chilies, tomatoes and potatoes appeared, with lamb as a primary meat. (For you old movie buffs, Casablanca is Morocco’s chief port and the location where Humphrey Bogart’s character owned a bar.) These very foreign and strange-sounding foods make up a majority of dishes and regional cuisine:

Chermoula: a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt, used as a marinade and relish;

Couscous: popular in many countries (including the U.S.) as a rice and potato substitute, made from steamed and dried durum wheat;

B’stilla: also known as pastilla, is Moroccan in origin, dating back to the eighth century; generally a sweet and sour pigeon pie, or made with chicken or quail. onions and spices like saffron and coriander, almonds and beaten eggs, wrapped up in thin warqa pastry that becomes crispy when cooked; (a main course and dessert all-in-one)

Tajine: a famous Berber dish, named for the pot in which it is cooked; your basic slow-cooked stew with meat, veggies, spices and dried fruit;

Shakshouka: a Tunisian dish, sometimes called chakchouka, also enjoyed in Israel and believed to have originated with Maghrebi Jews; served at any meal, containing chopped onions, chili peppers, tomatoes and cumin, until it has formed a thick sauce,topped with poached eggs;

Ful Medame: the national dish of Egypt and a popular street food in Cairo and Giza,containing cooked fava beans, then served with vegetable oil and cumin, garlic, onions, peppers and hard boiled eggs, dating back to Egypt in the fourth century;

L’hamd Marakad: the pickled lemon, an essential ingredient in Moroccan cooking, one the main ingredients in salads and plates of vegetables or flavored chicken dishes; fermented with lemon juice and salt for a month;

M’hanncha: sometimes known as the ‘Moroccan snake’ cake, (mercifully not made with actual snake) It derives its name from filo dough filled with a sweet almond paste, rolled and flavored with orange water and cinnamon, then cooked;

Harira: a soup always eaten during the Holy Month of Ramadan, when a fast is broken at sunset, usually a snack or appetizer;

Matbucha: another small dish, native to Israel, Syria and North Africa, your basic cooked tomatoes and peppers, spiced up and served with bread and olives; surprisingly, tomatoes did not arrive until the early nineteenth century, brought by the British Consul in Aleppo;

Mhadjeb: also called mahjouba, is a staple of Algerian cooking and a common street food, sometimes called Algerian crepes, filled with a paste of tomatoes and chopped cooked vegetables; if you utter “take me to the Casbah” you are likely to encounter these crepes, and who knows what else, so it’s best not to kid around;

Mechoui: the traditional North African meat, a whole lamb roasted on a spit or in a pit, served with flatbreads, dips, and yogurt;

Mrouzia: a dish traditionally served during the Eid al-Adha festival in Morocco. a very specific type of tajine made with lamb;

Authentic Northern African restaurants are pretty scarce, especially outside of major cities, but well worth the adventure should you be lucky enough to find one. Expanding our knowledge of different cuisines may be out of our comfort level but certainly worth a try. So if you have the opportunity, take advantage. And if you are an avid multi-cultural cook, you can order many African food products online.

Most Despised American Foods

This list is a compilation of surveys, online searches,and food store sales across the U.S. of what Americans despise, to put it bluntly, and not necessarily that of the author, although she does agree with several of the entries:

Brussels sprouts – the number one despised food in America, mushy, smelly (can you spell “feet”?) and revolting; one wonders why it appears so often on restaurant menus and as a major vegetable during the holidays; (this author’s absolutely most despised food, she can’t even look at them in the produce section)

Garlic – for many, the odor is just too much, and raw, it gives them a stomach ache; frequently abused by using too much, although most Italians cannot grasp the concept of “too much garlic”;

Cheese Fondue – dairy and white wine abuse, gloppy, stringy, and too much trouble (why not just opt for a wonderfully gooey grilled cheese sandwich instead, and drink the wine that is usually part of the ingredients);

Tofu – bland, strange texture, and usually associated only with vegetarians;

Celery – too much work, all that chewing, useless filler, plus very pungent to the nose; what’s the point? ruins a perfectly good chicken salad;

Oysters – slimy and gross, eaten in their raw state makes many people shudder; even baked or in stew, their strange texture is not a winner;

Mayonnaise – gloppy, fatty, tasteless and just all-around disgusting (try Miracle Whip instead, which mayo lovers find disgusting);

Mushrooms – your basic fungus or toadstool, and too bland;

Licorice – makes your tongue black, tastes terrible and who needs it; (author also dislikes this one, but liked it as a child, so go figure)

Cilantro – a ramped up version of parsley, celebrity chef Ina Garten despises it; “How bad can that be?” (apparently pretty bad)

Turnips and Parsnips – mushy, tastes terrible no matter what you do to them; (author has to agree with these two)

Blue Cheese – pungent, moldy and seriously sharp, ruins any respectable salad;

Liver – just plain gross in every way, even smothered in grilled onions can’t help;

Anchovies – disgusting little hairy, salty fish; destroys a good pizza; (author wholehearted concurs)

Broccoli – former president George H.W. Bush made his extreme dislike of this vegetable famous; smelly when cooked, boring when raw, no amount of cheese sauce or ranch dressing helps;

Lima Beans – mushy, tasteless and always overcooked;

Sushi – raw fish – say no more;

So what tops your hit parade of most despised foods? Everyone has several. Some people have a lot. Many of us adored certain foods the first time we tried them regardless of our age. Other times, it took several exposures or preparations to win us over. But for most of us, we are fortunate to have the ability to pick and choose. What’s in your fridge?

Indonesian’s ‘Unknown’ Cuisines

Who has ever tried Indonesia’s cuisines? Maybe some of you have ever heard or tasted Rendang, Nasi Goreng, and Satay. Yes, of course, those are Indonesian’s cuisines that some years ago became popular foods in the world. As the CNN articles in 2015 about 50 delicious foods in the world, those three cuisines were chosen in it. However, the Indonesian’s cuisines are not only those three, there are some cuisines which is recommended for you to taste. Some cuisines which will provide here is not totally ‘unknown’ or ‘new’ in Indonesia, but it means that some cuisines here are not widely known by people outside Indonesia. Hopefully, it will give you a new information related to Indonesian’s cuisines. So, what are they?

The first one is Soto. Soto is a cuisine which uses chicken or cow’s meat as the main ingredient and it mixed with the sauce which is made from various kind of spices. The characteristic of this food is on the sauce’s color, yellow. Soto is like a soup which contains meat, potato chips, fried onion, and noddle. In addition, it always served with a plate of rice and krupuk.

The second is Rawon. Basically, it is almost same with Soto. However, Rawon has always used cow’s meat rather than chicken’s meat. The other characteristic is on the sauce which is black colored. The black color sauce is taken from kluwak, one of the spices which are the main ingredient of Rawon. As like Soto, Rawon is always served with a plate of rice and krupuk.

The third is Bakso or it is well-known as a meatball. Actually, the meatball is not the original cuisine from Indonesia, but also it originally from China. However, Indonesian people have modified it and make it different from the original ones. In Indonesia, Bakso or meatball is not only served a meat which is formed like a ball but also it served by other items, such as tofu, siomay, noodle, fried siomay and mixed it in a bowl with meat stock.

The next is Lalapan or in some places, it is called as Pecel Lele or Penyetan. This cuisine is related to Sambal or spicy sauce. Sambal is made from chili, onion, tomato, salt, and terasi (fermented shrimp). Sambel or spicy sauce is always served with various kind of side dishes, such as fried catfish, fried chicken, fried mushroom, fried tofu and tempeh, and so on. In addition, it served with some vegetables like cucumber, tomato, basil, and lettuce. As an Indonesian cuisine, of course, it is also served with a plate of rice.

Next is Gado-Gado. Have you ever heard that? Maybe it is odd for you. This cuisine is well known as Javanese Salad. Basically, this cuisine is almost same with salad in some countries. However, this cuisine is differenced with the common salad, it has special characteristics. This cuisine contains lettuce, cucumber, tomato, cabbage, string beans, boiled egg, boiled potato, fried Tempe, fried tofu, lontong (rice steamed in banana leaf), emping (melinjo chips) and mixed with the special thing, peanuts sauce (dressing). It is so tasty and of course so healthy.

And the last is Pecel. This cuisine is also widespread in Indonesia. As like Gado-Gado, it is also called as Javanese Salad. So, what are the differences between those two? Pecel is always served with rice, not lontong. The various vegetables used in Pecel is not as many as Gado-Gado. It is limited on cabbage, string beans, cucumber, water spinach, and bean sprouts. There is no boiled potato, boiled egg on Pecel. Pecel is also enjoyed with rempeyek (thin chip made of flour) rather than emping. And of course, the peanuts sauce is different. Pecel’s peanut sauce is spicier than Gado-Gado. Try it by yourselves to find out what is the differences between these two cuisines. They have the same name but have the difference tastes.

Lastly, some cuisines which have been listed above are the Indonesians’ cuisines which have been widespread in Indonesia. It means that you can find it everywhere if you visit Indonesia. Moreover, those cuisines are popular in Indonesia, but not for the world as like Rendang, Nasi Goreng, or Satay. Hopefully, it will give you new information about the ‘unknown’ Indonesians’ cuisines which is recommended to taste. Try it and you will love it.

Tapas: A Spanish Food Adventure

A tapa is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine and translates to a small portion of any kind of food, similar to Chinese dim sum. It may be cold or hot. In the early days of tapas, a slice of cheese or ham was served with your drink and placed over the mouth of the glass (saved on washing plates). They were basically designed to tide one over until the traditional way of eating dinner very late in the evening, when most Americans are already sleeping. It may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are fried baby squid). In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire sophisticated cuisine.

Legend has it that Castilian King Alfonso the Tenth (circa late 13th century) had once been stricken with a serious illness which only allowed him to consume small portions of food with small amounts of wine. (Perhaps he just got too hungry between lunch and dinner.) The U.S. has adopted this cuisine through tapas restaurants, wine bars and some micro breweries, as opposed to Spain, where it’s usually served up in simple tapas bars. Popular dishes include many traditional Spanish delicacies that are worth trying (be very brave, now):

Albóndigas – your basic meatballs

Aceitunas – assorted olives (no meal is complete without them)

Bacalao – salt cod, breaded and fried or stewed in tomato sauce

Boquerones – anchovies, marinated or deep fried

Berenjenas – eggplant/ (aubergine) can be raw or cooked

Cazón en Adobo – fried marinated dogfish (a type of fish, not dog)

Caracoles – snails,usually baked with spices (similar to French escargot)

Calamares – fried squid rings

Chipirones – a bit different, small squid cooked on a griddle

Chorizo – a popular spicy sausage

Gambas al Ajillo – fresh prawns in sizzling olive oil with garlic and peppers

Gazpacho – a cold tomato-based chopped vegetable soup

Jamón Serrano/Iberico – Spain’s favorite ham (similar to Italian prosciutto)

Melón con jamon Serrano – melon and ham

Morcilla – black pudding (blood sausage)

Paella – a national dish

Pisto – stew of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini

Pulpo – your basic octopus

Queso con membrillo – cheese with a sweet quince sauce

Salchichón – any spicy sausage or salami

Tapa de sardinas en tomate – sardines with a tomato sauce

Tortilla – omelette with potato and onion (not like the Mexican tortilla)

Sorry, no mac and cheese

If you are confused or overwhelmed, ask the server for assistance. One of the great advantages is that someone at your table is likely to enjoy a dish that maybe no one else does, so it won’t go to waste.

For many, tapas is an acquired taste. For others, simply not their cup of tea. But it’s definitely worth a try with a few good friends (who are culinary “good sports”). It just might lead to a new cuisine for the adventurous diner, so check it out. You can do it.