During the week I commute on BART several days a week. On the other days I drive to work crossing over that dreaded Bay Bridge. A couple times a month while driving to work I have begun noticing an It’s-It Ice Cream truck which looks something like this:
Now on the days I drive I actually look for it. Why? It reminds me of my grandmother. She loved that ice cream sandwich. They were always in her freezer and connection is a good one. She has been gone for several years now, but her memory lives on in It’s-It ice cream and a string of pearls from Majorca (Mallorca).
She never actually went to Majorca. But she did buy them in Spain when she came to visit my family with my grandfather. It was a trip I missed out on and have always regretted. Whenever I pull those pearls out I think about her and I think about that trip.
When I graduated from high school I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend college. My parents and my sister headed to Spain where my father had an assignment out of Madrid. I had the opportunity to work at the American Embassy in Madrid (a total blast) and made several extended trips to Spain to live with my family. We used the opportunity to visit many parts of Spain (and Portugal as well as the classic 10 countries in 12 day road trip) and I have very fond memories of those experiences.
But like the trip my family made with my grandparents, there were also spots in Spain that I missed. One was Bilbao which Mr. Misadventures and I are planning to get to very soon and the other was Majorca. Part of the Balearics (along with smaller Menorca), this island is a gorgeous Spanish island on the Mediterranean side known for beautiful beaches, great cuisine and those gorgeous pearls.
Like other Mediterranean spots the ocean is a beautiful turquoise that you just want to sink into and never come out of. You’ll find great beach resorts to forget your cares, but there are also spots in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains that run down the west of Majorca (a spot that a lot of cyclists enjoy) that will capture your heart. Although I would probably like to spend time in the Es Raigeur area, which is a lot flatter (you know how I am about exercise).
The oceans bring seafood and there are tons of restaurants serving very fresh fish and crustaceans and lively markets where you can pick up your own for picnicking and barbequing. There are also six Michelin-starred restaurants serving not only seafood, but also traditional foods such as roast sucking pig (lechona asada), the local sausage sobresada (named after the town) and ensaimadas de Mallorca, which are spiral-shaped pastries dusted in sugar – yum!
The island has almond tree farms and wineries that you can visit and sample. All within short distances of the beautiful beaches that serve as an excellent home base.
I want to visit this island, stay on the beach (low season!) and experience all of the above and I want to do it wearing the string of pearls that my grandmother bought from the island and toast her with an ice cream sandwich. She really embraced her life in her later years and tried to be as happy as she could no matter what life brought her way. I try to do the same. Somehow a visit Majorca feels like a way of celebrating that.
How about you? Is there a place – one that you have never visited – that you feel a connection to?