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The Perfect Spring Getaway

The Perfect Spring Getaway

     

     This year has been marked with a few “false springs.” As the latest internet meme would say, “you may think it’s April, but it’s really the 105th of January!” But it looks as though spring is finally here for good and it’s time to plan the perfect spring getaway. So what would that look like? Would it be a full week or just a long weekend? With Memorial Day coming, it’s tempting to work around that part of May. But, when booking, you might want to consider finding a part of May that isn’t quite as frenzied. Where can your travels take you? Here are a few locations you might not have considered as ideal destinations.

Madrid, Spain

     For a longer trip how about Madrid? The weather in the spring is perfection. Of course you want sunshine and warmth on your getaway, but you don’t want too much too soon. The summer months will arrive soon enough. In Madrid, you’ll be treated to the low 70s with plenty of sunshine but very little humidity. That's hard to beat.

     Madrid is a large but safe city with tons of culture and touristy things to do. It has a comprehensive metro that is easy to navigate as well as plenty of opportunities to sightsee on foot. When the weather is nice, as it is in the spring, the citizens of Madrid love to eat outside and fill the streets with laughter, music and dance. They live life to the fullest. They go out late and they stay out late. Dinner is usually around 10:00 p.m. or later.

     Speaking of eating, what getaway would be complete without amazing food? Spanish food is definitely amazing. It’s heavy on meat, cheese, and bread – universally adored staples. It’s best eaten in small tasting portions, or “tapas,” that used to be served free at a bar with a drink order. They are still ubiquitous, but no longer free. Besides the huge variety of tapas to choose from, there are some Spanish classics that you have to try. Tortilla Española (a potato omelet,) paella (rice with seafood,) croquetas (fried breadcrumbs with mashed potatoes, cheese, and meat,) gazpacho (cold vegetable soup,) and patatas bravas (spicy potatoes,) are not to be missed. You’ll need to stay at least a week to savor all of them!

     The most life-altering delicacy you’ll taste in Spain, however, has to be the jamon Iberico, or Iberian ham. This succulent ham is rich, buttery, tangy, and smooth all at the same time. It is a Spanish staple and considered the best ham in the world by many. It doesn’t need to be eaten with anything to be enjoyed, but put atop crusty bread with a slice of manchego cheese, and you’re on the fast train to heaven. You can find it all over Madrid.

     Once you’ve made the decision to take a trip to Madrid, all that is left is the enjoyment. Take it all in, just like a Spaniard.

Sorrento, Italy

     There’s no question that the Amalfi coast is stunning any time of the year, but in the spring, there is an added advantage to going there. Not only is the weather perfect (as opposed to the summer when it can get quite hot,) but the tourist season isn’t in full swing.

     During high season, the crowds that descend upon Sorrento make it difficult to see and do anything without fighting through seas of people and waiting in mind-numbing lines. In the spring, you can explore the city and its surrounding villages, in relative peace. The prices are lower as well, as low as 40% off the high season prices. That reason alone is enough to say “yes” to Sorrento this spring.

     The food of Italy deserves all the accolades it gets, and while Americans think of “typical” Italian food as pasta, pizza and their various toppings, in Italy, different regions have different specialty dishes that make them unique. Of course Italians eat pasta and pizza, but their regional dishes are the heart and soul of their food.

     In Sorrento, food is love, it is family, it is friendship, and it is comfort. Some of the dishes to try while visiting there are stewed buffalo and potatoes, fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta and buffalo mozzarella, and of course, gelato. You really can’t go wrong anywhere, and while you’re there, you might as well try the pasta and pizza too. You will NOT be disappointed.

     Sorrento is a coastal paradise and a food lover’s dream. Don’t take it off the short list. Instead, seize the day and make a decision to experience it.