Tag Archives: Travel

USA, Texas, Round Rock – Star Coffee

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While it has been open for a while, this is my first visit to Star Coffee, I have seen it several times while in downtown Round Rock, but decided to try it this morning as I was in need of free Wi-Fi (and breakfast). Star Coffee is located at 201 E. Main Street in Round Rock, TX. They have an extensive menu including breakfast, lunch and dinner – all served all day. They also have a large array of drinks – coffee, expresso, smoothies, etc.

As you may notice in the photo above, the building is an historical landmark. When I moved here in 1975, this building housed the local Farmer’s Co-Op. I used to go in there to buy ‘chicken scratch’ to feed the birds in my back yard. Over the years the location has hosted several businesses. I hope that Star Coffee is here to stay.

I went in this morning and had an omelette that was pretty good. Maybe not the best I ever had, but certainly a good omelette. The coffee was descent too. As they say on their website:

Before Star Coffee Texas opened in 2009, we had a vision to be the place where locals and visitors wanted to come to get an amazing cup coffee and some great food! We know that quality trumps everything, especially when it comes to creating a place where everyone wants to be. By 20015, our café was relocated to the building we are in now in order to provide our customers with a quaint atmosphere, supurb coffee, baked goods and of course the great food menu people have come to know and love.

 

At Star Coffee Texas, our mission is to serve our customers with the finest coffee beans, and beverages as well as a wonderfully diverse menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner and baked goods to satisfy every craving at any time of the day. Our aim is to become “the” local cafe that people love and want to come back to time and time agin due to our great customer service, wonderful coffee beverages, and menu items created with all the love and care that our amazing customers deserve.

The setting is simple, but comfortable. The staff has been courteous and helpful. All-in-all it is a place I intend to come back to. An added service is that they take Apple Pay so I could buy breakfast using my Apple Watch.


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Spain, Barcelona – La Boqueria Market

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – After completing our shopping we continued on down La Rambla to the La Boqueria Market (Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, España). In this open air market you can find all sorts of food.

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Not only can you buy fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, there are also places to buy prepared food and drinks.

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We enjoyed strolling though the crowded market looking at what the many stalls had to offer. It was an interesting place to visit. Certainly far different than we are used to in Central Texas.


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Spain, Barcelona – chök the chocolate kitchen

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2016 cruise – Day 3 – After visiting Late Pau Claris, we came back to La Rambla for a little shopping. We had read about the cafe “chök the chocolate kitchen” that specializes in chocolate and specialty donuts. The shop we visited is located at c/ del Carme, 3 t: +34 933 042 360 and was just off of La Rambla.

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This turned out to be another wonderful bakery!

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We chose a couple of their donuts as a ‘second breakfast’ to sustain us for the rest of our day in Barcelona.

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As you can see from the photo above, these were not your everyday donuts. These bakeries were wonderful places to visit, but I am glad that they are so far away. Having them close at hand would be too much of a temptation.


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Spain, Barcelona – Laie Pau Claris Bookstore

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – While on our travels, my wife and I like to visit local bookstores. On our third day in Barcelona we had breakfast in our hotel then headed to the bookstore Laie Pau Claris (Carrer de Pau Claris, 85, 08010 Barcelona, Spain).

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Not only was it a nice bookstore, it also had a very nice cafe where we had a cup of hot chocolate.

You can follow Laie on Twitter


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Spain, Barcelona – El Arte del helado

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – After our wonderful dinner at the Restaurant La Rambla, we headed on up the La Ramba towards our hotel. Along the way we came across the El Arte del helado. They had a wide selection and we each got a gelato to top off our evening.

There seemed to gelato or bakeries in every block. This wrapped up our second day in Barcelona. I finished the day with 16,176 steps according to my Apple Watch.


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Spain, Barcelona – Restaurant La Rambla

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – While we were walking up La Rambla, we came across the Restaurant La Rambla. This really wasn’t too far up the La Rambla from the port. The actual restaurant was quite small as can be seen above, but it, like many of the restaurants along the La Rambla, have an outdoor dining room.

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While it looks pretty deserted in the photo above, it did not take long before there was a crowd.

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One of the things that I tried to do at each of our stops was to try a local beer. In this case it was Estrella Damm again. It was a good beer. We had a great sampler tray for dinner. All of it was interesting and tasty.

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We had a great sampler tray for dinner. All of it was interesting and tasty.We really enjoyed this restaurant and we would certainly visit it again if in Barcelona.


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Spain, Barcelona – La Rambla

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – After leaving the Aquarium, we walked up the La Rambla. The La Rambla is a wide, tree-lined street with a center pedestrian mall that runs a little under a mile from the port north into the city.

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Along La Rambla can be found many restaurants and popular stores. This is a very popular, and often crowded, place to stroll the city and take in the sights and sounds. We were there many times during our short stay in Barcelona and found the La Rambla a great place to absorb the feel of the city.


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Spain, Barcelona – Aquarium Barcelona

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The afternoon of the second day of our trip we walked down to the Aquarium Barcelona in the Port Vell harbor. We have visited a few aquariums in our travels (Seattle, Chicago, Corpus Christi) over the years.

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We had seen it listed before our trip, but it was actually recommended as a place to see by the driver we had from the airport.

It was one of the best we have visited. In particular we liked the ‘tunnel’ shown above where you could walk through the midst of their large (118 feet in diameter, 980,000 gallon) tank.

This won’t be on everyone’s list of sites to see when visiting Barcelona, but if you like aquariums, you will enjoy it.


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Spain, Barcelona -Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

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The first thing we did on the second day of our trip while in Barcelona was to visit the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. The Basilica was designed by Spaniard Antoni Gaudi and has been under construction since 1882. Completion of the immense structure is not expected until 2026. My wife first visited in 2009 and could see many changes since then.

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The exterior of the church is covered in intricate carvings that tell many different stories. The church was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI on November 7, 2010.

The interior follow the themes set outside. The columns are shaped like trees with ‘branches’ at the top to support the ceiling.

We toured through the Basilica, then ascended one of the towers. There was a good view of the city. The trip up was easy in an elevator, but down was via about 400 steps. Afterwards we went through the museum under the Basilica, which was well worth the time.

Whether or not you are Catholic, you will find the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia worth your  visit. There is a fee  (15-29 Euros) to tour the Basilica.

 

Spain, Barcelona -Enrique Tomas Smoked Ham Bar

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2016 cruise – The last thing we did on the first day of our trip in Barcelona was find a place to have dinner. We came upon an Enrique Tomas Smoked Ham Bar that was very near our hotel. We were not at all familiar with it then, but investigating it as I prepared to write this article, I found that it is a popular and large chain throughout Spain.

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Sadly, I did not get a picture of the restaurant, but it was similar to the one above.

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We started out with an appetizer tray of cheeses. I tried a local (and very good beer) Estrella Damm.  This was an excellent start to our dinner.

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Our main course was a very tasty Tapas. Needless to say after our long day of travel, we ate every bite!

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There were also displays of various kinds of meats available. Several legs of meat were out and you could pick one to select your purchase from. A very different kind of store to American eyes, but one I would go back to in a heart beat.

If you are in Spain, or elsewhere, and you see one of these shops, I encourage you to give it a try. The food was excellent. I finished up the day with 8,192 steps according to my Apple Watch.


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