19 Hacks to Solve the Biggest Problems in Your Life

Helping my personal training clients with weight loss is the easy part! How do you get out of a submerged car? Where is the best sound in a movie theater? How do you stop a runny nose….with your finger? How do you instantly stop someone from towing your truck? These are the real questions in life….and Keith Bradford’s book “Life Hacks” gives the answers to these life problems and more! Test them and see for yourself!

1. Use leftover coffee from the morning to make coffee ice cubes (which will cool down your coffee without diluting it).

2. When making hard-boiled eggs, throw one teaspoon of baking soda into the water. The shell will come off without a problem once the egg is cooked.

3. Any citrus fruit like an orange, clementine, or grapefruit becomes easier to peel when you gently press and roll it on the table before peeling.

4. Take pictures of friends holding items you’ve lent them with your phone, so you remember down the road who borrowed what.

5. If your car is about to get towed, get in it. Tow trucks are forced to stop to avoid kidnapping charges.

6. If you’re with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, you can now text the police (911) in case of emergency.

7. If you ever get trapped underwater in your car, use your car seat’s headrest to break the window.

8. If you ever get kidnapped, and they tie your hands together and put tape over your mouth, lick the tape. It will eventually fall off, and you’ll be able to yell for help.

9. When you call 911, the first thing you should always say is your location. They immediately send police when they have an address.

10. When you get a call from a telemarketer, don’t say anything and press “9” on your phone. This will automatically add your number to their “don’t call” list.

11. For the best sound in a movie theater, sit two-thirds of the way back and as close to the middle as possible. This is where audio engineers sit when they mix sound for movies.

12. When you feel like you’re about to yawn, touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue to prevent it.

13. Clogged drain? Unclog it with 1 cup of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of white vinegar.

14. The most effective cough syrup that exists is honey.

15. Believe it or not, rubbing a walnut on damaged wooden furniture can cover up a lot of dings and scratches.

16. Place a rubber band over any stripped screw to easily unscrew it.

17. Nothing kills weeds and keeps them dead for longer than white vinegar straight from the bottle.

18. Placing an envelope in the fridge for an hour will unseal it. Good tip to know if you forget to include something in a package.

19. Runny or stuffy nose? Push your tongue against the top of your mouth and push a finger between your eyebrows. Hold it for about twenty seconds. Your nose should clear.

Photo Credit:
Splendidtable .org - Can honey stop your cough?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
19 Hacks to Solve the Biggest Problems in Your Life
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

My Clients (and Friends) Share the Lifestyle Changes that Positively Affected Their Life the Most Over the Last Year

Recently I asked my personal training clients and friends "Which lifestyle changes in the last year positively affected your life the most?" and here are their answers (they may give you an idea for a change you can make today)!!!

* Diet! I have made this change recently, but I can already read my body so much better based on what I eat. - R.K.

* Adopting a more plant-based diet as well as (trying to) reducing alcohol consumption! The second one is more of a work in progress...lol - A.S.

* Two things coming to mind: Weight training twice a week and cutting out any sweetener/flavor syrups from coffee drinks! - J.K.

* I have definitely become more veggie-centric in my life, as opposed to my former cheese-centric existence. That, tracking my meals without becoming obsessed about every little thing I'm doing, and generally looking at my overall health and fitness goals in the macro, not the micro have affected me most positively. I know I have a long way to go and have had some setbacks, but I also know I am on the right path and that has made all the difference! - C.M.

* Beyond Sausages. - W.W.

* Starting each morning with light workout. Stopped purchasing and eating breads and pasta during the week. - D.P.

* Removing negative people. - S.R.

* Seriously, hitting the gym, even if only 30 minutes a day. I don't look drastically different, but feel much better! - B.L.

* Cut out (simple) carbs, down 30lbs. - A.H.

* Starting out each day fresh and putting yesterday behind you! - A.R.

* Sleep. - A.Z.

* Doing more things for myself. - K.H.

* I’ll give you two. I started calling my mom nearly daily after my dad passed. Also, it sounds bad for someone my age, but I cut time spent playing video games, which led to less time on devices, which led to being more engaged with my family. - G.S.

* Eliminating caffeine, gluten, dairy & soy for almost 6 months now. Total Game Changer! - S.M.

* It’s very simple. I decided to be more active. Get up and move. Stand. Walk. Go outside. Stretch. Practice breathing. Continue to be more active than the previous day. I use steps on Fitbit as one form of measurement. - R.L.

* Going to church every week. - J.L.

* Picking what is worth fighting for and what will not matter 5 minutes from now. - J.O.

* Moving home from San Francisco. I now have time to exercise again!! - L.V.

* Moving to VA. That and eliminating dairy. - M.C.

* Working it, everything, from the TOP DOWN. Going after the big things relentlessly, instead of wasting effort on building small step by steps. - R.J.

* Listening to others rather than just hearing...and being more patient (it's automatically increased if you have a toddler at home :-) ). - C.C.

* Letting go of unhealthy/ toxic people in my life. Learning to lower my expectations in a lot of situations so I will not be disappointed as often. - M.D.

* Reading God’s word and praying daily. Brings light into darkness and peace over despair. - B.H.

* The lifestyle change that affected me the most was the consistency of doing workouts and other activities like sleeping at the same time. This helped me in being able to work out efficiently as well as feeling more rested in my life. Overall feel like the most healthy person I can be! - B.C.

* Getting help from others. Eating better (not as much sugar and salt). - S.S.

Photo Credit:
The Independent. Co. com–What are you running towards in 2018?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
My Clients (and Friends) Share the Lifestyle Changes that Positively Affected Their Life the Most Over the Last Year
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

A List of my Personal Training Clients’ Worst Habits from the Last 13 Years (and Why it Affected their Weight Loss and Fitness Efforts)

After nearly 17,500 hours of one-on-one personal training sessions, here is a list of my client’s worst habits that have quietly affected their weight loss and fitness goals. Are you a prisoner of these habits too?

They eat the same amount as their spouses

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your weight loss or fitness success will always depend on how well you understand your body, determine your needs, and set appropriate boundaries. It’s safe to assume that your partner in crime will have a very different combination (and need) from you. It’s as simple as this: You determine how much fuel you need….no one else. If you eat exactly the same amount as your partner, chances are that you may be eating too much or little.

They eat snacks

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Please keep in mind that “snacks” are really filler foods or indulgences that rarely meet your entire nutritional need at a given time (such a tease!). You’re probably seeking food because you’re hungry, and a small meal is most ideal (even if it’s only 100-300 calories). Since you now eat with intent, you want to choose a nutrient balance of vitamins, fiber, protein, fat, and more.

They depend on exercise for weight loss

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Never forget that usually, the one thing you're avoiding to do is probably the one you need to do the most. You can exercise 2 hours per day 7 days per week, but it will still be avoiding the dietary change you probably need to make. Eventually, you should figure out what you can get away with (drinking beer, restaurant dinners, etc.). Right now, though, you should figure out how you should really eat. And if you read Dr. Fuhrman’s book End of Dieting and begin disqualifying the claims, you should consider where those opinions stem from. Are they threatening your current habits? Would you rather believe a theory closer to your wants?

They eat too many simple carbs (and the good carbs at times too)

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Is more than 25% of each of your meals fruit, whole grains, and simple carbs? Ever wonder why vegans and vegetarians struggle with weight loss? It's most likely a result of their fruit sugar, whole grain, and simple carb (delicious Girl Scout cookies, ALL breads, rice, crackers, chips, candy, ice cream, and everything else devilish that you crave) consumption. Anything above 15 grams of fruit sugar per meal will spike your blood sugar levels...not ideal for losing weight and maintaining stable insulin levels (refined sugars have a worse, quicker acting effect). Simple carbs, as well as whole grains, can do the same. Disclaimer: The fiber in the whole grains will offset this effect in smaller amounts. What is the refined and fruit sugar breakdown of your favorite meals? Are there more nutrient dense alternatives than your typical fruit sugar, grain, and simple carb choices that will provide the fiber you need?

They drink more alcohol than their body can handle

Personal Trainer Wisdom: How many calories do you think you consume in a single week from alcohol? If you live in the Midwest, eating and drinking is most likely part of your culture (not your fault :) ). Since alcohol is basically a liquid grain packed with a lot of sugar (of course, there are exceptions), it will also spike your blood sugar levels. If drinking alcohol is part of your diet, what are you willing to exchange in return? In other words…when you order alcohol, what other simple carbs or sugars are you exchanging (i.e., 1 beer instead of 2 scoops of rice)? What low calorie, low sugar alcohol options are you willing to consider to achieve your weight loss goals?

They don’t develop an eating routine

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I’m sure you can imagine that a life on the edge of a cliff could be destined for trouble with a big enough wind. That’s exactly what’s happening when you don’t develop a healthy eating routine as a foundation. While most of us would like to think we shouldn’t have to think about food constantly, I have bad news: We’re human…and this is what we need to survive. Lucky for you, a solid, consistent routine with the right system in place will help you operate on autopilot (which means that you don’t have to consciously obsess over food). If you choose to do otherwise, any big event or binge will certainly send you into the weight gain abyss.

They believe that injury prevention begins inside the gym

Personal Trainer Wisdom: No matter what any personal trainer tells you, the greatest indicator of your success isn't what you do inside the gym-it's what you repeat daily. Your body is an amazing adaptive system that loves to learn quickly. Although you don't realize it, you've been training your body to handle a vast variety of movements and postures in auto-pilot over a lifetime (after all, your body doesn't have 10 minutes to fully assess your movement as you sit in a chair every time). How wonderful! Now you can think about the million other things you need to do instead!

While this ability is a great strength, it most likely has led to the weakness, discomfort, pain, or injury that you have experienced. Your body wants to work efficiently, and it also can be easily convinced. If you always drive your knee forward while lunging to pick an object off the ground, your body will most likely (automatically) guide you the same way the next time you do it without thinking (even though the movement overuses your quads and imposes additional force and stress onto your knees). Call it the "Fight or Flight System." It wants to learn quickly so that it can react quickly (when demand is placed on it).

"Fair enough, Michael...I appreciate your lecture. Can we just workout now?" Well, maybe. I could simply throw you into a circus act of a fitness program (a crazy Cross Fit, ballet, Cirque de Soliel, bodybuilding, marathon extravaganza), but do you really know your body well enough, though, to confidently say that it can handle this demand on the body? Have you ever studied the way you move? Have you identified all of your imbalances and weaknesses? Most likely, your answer is no. If you are like my 20-year-old self, you probably haven't stopped and listened to your body. Instead, you jumped into the hottest new program that Joey the Trainer (not real) is selling and ended up hurt 1-3 months later.

Nothing against Joey, but you don't need a personal trainer to achieve a lifetime of injury and imbalance. You can simply choose a new workout on Men's Health, Youtube, or anywhere and blindly attempt it. If you truly want to minimize ALL pain and tightness and achieve peak fitness, now is the time to NOT take a haphazard approach. It is the time to rewire your system. Understand you so that you can efficiently and effectively adapt ANY program to fit your needs. Look at the way you sit, stand, run, walk, sleep, etc. Become a human scientist and identify your tendency to move out of a neutral position. Your observations might shed the true narrative on your physical self and what you need to change.

Photo Credit:
Matt Armendariz (2015) and Whats Gaby Cooking .com–Are granola bars really healthy?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
A List of my Personal Training Clients’ Worst Habits from the Last 13 Years (and Why it Affected their Weight Loss and Fitness Efforts)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

6 Breakfast Items at Starbucks that Will Lead to Weight Gain

Not surprisingly, most of my personal training clients are incredibly busy and must resort to whatever’s most available for breakfast. Unfortunately, many of the breakfast choices at Starbucks may reverse their (and your) weight loss efforts. Stay away from these choices if you’re trying to tighten not stretch the waistline of your pants.

Chicken Sausage & Bacon Biscuit

Calories 450, Fat (g) 22, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 26, Sodium 1160 (mg)

Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar & Egg Sandwich

Calories 490, Fat (g) 27, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 21, Sodium 910 (mg)

Sausage, Cheddar & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Calories 500, Fat (g) 28, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 15, Sodium 920 (mg)

Seared Steak, Egg & Tomatillo Wrap

Calories 410, Fat (g) 18, Fiber (g) 2, Protein 21, Sodium 780 (mg)

Slow-Roasted Ham, Swiss & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Calories 450, Fat (g) 22, Fiber (g) 1, Protein 24, Sodium 790 (mg)

Spicy Chorizo, Monterey Jack & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Calories 500, Fat (g) 30, Fiber (g) 3, Protein 26, Sodium 860 (mg)

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I think we see a glowing trend among these Starbucks breakfast items: high amount of calories, fat, and sodium; adequate amount of protein; and very little fiber. Perhaps we’re being unfair to Starbucks….especially in comparison to other fast food competitors (i.e. the 1000 calorie options at McDonalds). There are always worse options, right?

Surprisingly, though, these choices are deceptively more dangerous than you think. Each sandwich is just a little “more and above” than what’s recommended for a healthy lifestyle (not just weight loss). If your healthy goal is only 350-450 calories and 20-25 grams of protein per meal, maybe you’re not doing too bad. What happens when you add 50 extra calories, twice the amount of sodium, and 12-24 grams of extra fat per meal (instead of 3-6 grams of fat), though? You might not realize that this subtle flexibility could be the reason why you’ve gained 1 lb of weight per year….for the last 20 years.

As the book Compound Effect explains, 50 extra calories and 12 extra grams of fat becomes troublesome when the pattern continues for every meal (not just breakfast) over the course of time. Consequently, you really won’t have any wiggle room for those days that you really indulge (like holidays and special occasions).

While I understand the need to grab something quick in the morning, don’t fool yourself into thinking that the amount of calories and protein make up the total equation. Ultimately, your health (and weight) depend on a balance of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, phytonutrients, and more. Do your homework and choose the best items ahead of time instead of choosing when in a rush.

Photo Credit:
Yelp .com: Do you have as much weight loss wiggle room as you believe choosing this breakfast option at Starbucks?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with nutrition facts from Starbucks . com.
6 Breakfast Items at Starbucks that Will Lead to Weight Gain
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

The Detailed Itinerary You NEED for a Journey to Lisbon, Porto, and Madrid (and the Best Restaurants in Each)

Recently, Sammy, Preston, and I had set out for a European adventure to explore earthquake ruins, port, and Spanish tapas. We started in historic Lisbon, Portugal and headed North to Porto before finishing in the Spanish metropolis, Madrid. Here is the quick itinerary of interesting places to stay, historic things to do, and an expansive list of restaurants to indulge in.

General Itinerary

25-26: Fly to Lisbon from Chicago
26: Lisbon
27: Lisbon
28: Lisbon
29: Lisbon
30: Train from Lisbon to Porto
1: Porto
2: Porto
3: Fly to Madrid from Porto
4: Madrid
5: Madrid
6: Madrid
7: Fly to Chicago from Madrid

Sprint International Call Settings

Iphone 7

Go to settings, click on cellular, click cellular data option, click roaming (turn voice and data on), International CDMA should be off. We’ll receive a welcome message when we arrive.

Samsung Note 8

Go to settings, click on connections, click on mobile networks, click data roaming, turn off all domestic roaming (voice, text, and data), turn on all international roaming (voice, text, and data). We’ll receive a welcome message when we arrive.

Money Overseas

Charles Schwab Brokerage Checking Account

Transfer cash for free ATM withdrawls and no transaction fees.

Credit Cards

Bring the Chase Sapphire, Mileage Plus Explorer, Chase Business Ink, and Delta Skymiles Gold Amex for no transaction fees. Call to see which exchange rate is lower (Most base it on the Wall Street Journal).

 Preston is excited for his first flight overseas....and so is the guy sitting behind him.

Preston is excited for his first flight overseas....and so is the guy sitting behind him.


25-26th: Fly to Lisbon from Chicago

United Flight UA972 from Chicago to Brussels
Total cost: 60k miles per person plus taxes and fees
Seats: 34E, 34G (Priority boarding with a child, check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 6:00 pm (04/25) ORD (8 hr 5 mn with bassinet)
Arrival: 9:05 am (04/26) BRU

TAP Portugal Flight TP647 from Brussels to Lisbon
Seats: 16B,16A (Priority boarding with a child , check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 11:30 am (04/26) BRU (2 hr 50 mn)
Arrival: 1:20 pm (04/26) LIS

30th: Train to Porto from Lisbon (Unconfirmed seats)

Train 125
Total cost: $130 (1st Class, choose seats at checkin, child on lap), arrive 1-2 hours to book train time and seat
Depart: 12:09 pm Lisboa Oriente (flexible time)
Arrival: 2:44 pm Porto Campanha

3rd: Fly to Madrid from Porto

Ryanair Flight 5423 from Porto to Madrid
Seats: 2F, 2E (Already checked in month early)
Total cost: $217.94 (Priority with 2 cabin bags per person, child on lap)
Depart: 3:35 pm OPO
Arrival: 5:50 pm MAD

7th: Fly to Chicago from Madrid

Lufthansa Flight LH1113 from Madrid to Frankfurt
Seats: 20A/20B (Priority boarding with a child, check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 12:55 pm (05/07) MAD (2 hr 30 mn)
Arrival: 3:25 pm (05/07) FRA

Lufthansa Flight LH432 from Frankfurt to Chicago
Seats: 34G/34F (Priority boarding with a child, check stroller with car seat at the gate)
Depart: 5:15 pm (05/07) FRA (9 hr 5 mn with bassinet)
Arrival: 7:20 pm (05/07) ORD

 View of Lisbon at sunset

View of Lisbon at sunset


26-30th: Lisbon

Listing: Comfortable, versatile best quarter with Fadoflats
Travessa João de Deus 8 (2nd floor right)
Lisbon, Lisbon 1200 Portugal
+351 91 985 8312
Check-in: 4:00 pm
Check-out: 11:00 am
-Directions: A taxi from the airport should take you to the flat in about 30 minutes and cost you around 15-20 euros (please tell the taxi driver flat is in Chiado quarter, very close to Cervejaria Trindade - Trindade Brewery). In alternative you can take the subway and drop out at Baixa-Chiado station. It will take you about an hour and cost you 2 euro per person.Third alternative is hiring our private transfer service (for you only): a 7 seats van will be waiting for you at the airport for the price of 30 euros to be paid directly to the driver. In any case I would appreciate if you could text me or call me after picking up the bags and passing passport control at the airport.
Notes: Great 2 bedroom, vintage space that once was a palace before the 18th century earthquake. Great location and size for our needs. Plenty of nearby restaurants and more. The Alfama neighborhood to the East is another option (more historic and quaint).

30th-3rd: Porto

Listing: Caldeireiros Home Two - feel at home with Fadoflats
Rua dos Caldeireiros, 4050-250 Porto, Portugal
+351 91 714 1223
Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-out: 11:00 am
Directions: Walk to the flat from the Sao Bento train station 2 blocks away.
Notes: Great modern space with the perfect location. Truly a wonderful host.

3rd-7th: Madrid

Listing: Pta. del Sol- Pza. Sta Ana, Madrid with Miriam
Calle Núñez de Arce 10 2b, 28012 Madrid, Madrid, Spain
+34 699 915 788
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 11:00 am
-Taxi: You will find taxi stands ouside all the airport terminals. Always use the official taxi services and do not take offers from drivers inside the terminal. Trip duration up to 30 minutes depending on traffic. -Bus: The yellow airport express bus runs 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. You can take the bus from terminals T1, T2 and T4 and the ticket costs 5 euros. The journey takes aproximatelly 40 minutes and the bus makes only 3 stops along the way, the corner of O’Donnell and Doctor Esquerdo, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha train station (from 6:00 am until 23;30 pm).
-Metro: You can take metro line 8 from all the terminals of the airport and head to Nuevos Ministerios station at the center of Madrid. From there you can hop to another metro line until your end destination. The journey until the Nuevos Ministerios station is 15 minutes and the metro operates daily from 6:00 am to 2:00 am. Tickets can cost up to 5 euros depending on your end destination.
Notes: A very central location but we don’t recommend staying here unless it’s cheap and you don’t mind a Super 8 hotel experience.

 Exploring the historic Belem area of Lisbon

Exploring the historic Belem area of Lisbon

Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Random Notes

-Use ‘The Fork’ phone app or call to book restaurant reservations
-Restaurants (5-10% tip and bread/olives aren’t free), most restaurants open 12-3 and 7-10
-Most museums free until 2:00 on Sundays
-Taxes after 9 pm cost more
-Lisboa card for attractions (askmelisboa.com)
-Buy 24 hour pass (metrolisboa.pt)
-Book a tour: https://www.withlocals.com/experiences/portugal/lisbon/?adults=2&children=1
-Travel with kids: https://kindertravelguide.com/destination/europe/portugal-with-a-baby-or-toddler-2/lisbon-with-a-baby-or-toddler/

Belem Ruins

-Jerónimos Monastery, Praça do Império (free entry to the church, €10 for the rest of the monastery) -Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos-entry fee €4) -CCB (Belém Cultural Center), Coach Museum (Museu dos Coches) -Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque

Rossio Neighborhood

-Parque Eduardo VII (northwest of Rossio Fountains, down the Ave da Liberdade)
-Confeitaria Nacional near the Praca de Figueiro for pastries
-A Ginjinha – Local sweet liquor spot near Igreja de Sao Domingos
-Rossio Fountains/Park (24 hour cafes nearby)
-Churches: Igreja de Sao Domingos, Praca da Figueira (next to each other)
-Elevador da Gloria: Take you from the Praca dos Restauradores up to the Bairro Alto neighborhood
-Ride the Tram 28 to see the historic parts of the city on a ride. Expect lines.

 Rooftops of the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon

Rooftops of the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon

Chiado Neighborhood

-Elevador de Santa Justa down to Baixa Neighborhood
-Convento do Carmo & Museu Arqueologico
-R Garrett Street: pedestrian street
-2 Michellin Star Restaurant: Bellanto
-Nightlife strip: Tv Carvalho

Baixa Neighborhood

-Nucleo Arquelologico (free underground tunnels)
-R Augusta: Pedestrian street from the Praca de Comercio on the water

Bairro Alto Neighborhood

-Church: Igreja & Museu de Sao Roque
-Elevador de Gloria
-Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
-Restaurant: Lost in Coffee Café (corner of Tv da Agua da Flor and R Sao Pedro de Alcantara)
-Public toilet under Largo Trindade Coehlo
-1800’s Beer Hall on R Nova da Trinidade
-Fado bars on R da Alalara

Alfama Neighborhood

-Tram 28 stop: Near Se (free Gothic Cathedral)
-Restaurants and Fado: Cruzes Credo Café, Clube de Fado (8 pm – 2 am), Memmo Alfama Rooftop Bar, Guitarras de Lisboa – Food and Fado, Senhor Fado (8 pm -2 am), Mesa de Frades (Fado in old small chapel 11 pm)
-Museu do Teatro Romano (free Roman Ruins)
-Igreja de Sao Vicente de Fora (monastery)
-Panteao Nacional (10 am – 6 pm)

 A taste of Lisbon....plenty of seafood and fish!

A taste of Lisbon....plenty of seafood and fish!

Restaurants in Lisbon

-Pasteis de Belem
-Café A Brasileira
-Cervejaria Ramiro
-A Taberna da Rua das Flores
-Bica Do Sapato
-Café Tati
-Merendinha do Arco
-Cantinho Lusitano
-A Baiuca
-Marisqueira Nunes
-Tasquinha do Lagarto
-Beco dos Surradores 5
-Tasco do Vigario
-Varina da Madragoa
-Zé da mouraria
-Bairro do Avillez (went twice)
-Time Out Market (Such a neat food scene on the weekend)
-Cantinho do bem estar
-Solar dos Presuntos
-Palácio Chiado: Renovated palace turned into food court
-Restaurante Carmo
-The Sandeman Chiado (best salmon we’ve ever eaten, try the 40 year Tawny)
-Royale Cafe (best octopus we’ve ever eaten)

 Exploring the rooftops of Porto

Exploring the rooftops of Porto

Things to do in Porto, Portugal

Sightseeing in Porto

-São Bento station
-Use ‘The Fork’ phone app or call to book restaurant reservations
-Take the train or drive to Duoro Valley for wine tastings (2 hour ride)
-Walk over the Ponte de Dom Luís I and take viewing cart (teleférico) over the river to the port warehouses (major port producers have their warehouses in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south side of the River Douro)
-Visit the bar Vinologia for port flights and charcuterie
-Garrafeira AMS (wine shop)
-Sé do Porto (free admission)
-Ribeira Square
-Handy Resources: What to Do in Porto: http://portoportugalguide.com/porto-guide/porto-in-2-days-itinerary.html, https://catavino.net/travel/portugal/porto/
-Clérigos Tower (Igreja E Torre Dos Clérigos)
-Lello bookshop (Livraria Lello): Inspiration for the book store in the Harry Potter movies
-Sao Bentro Train Station
-Porto Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace (Sé Do Porto)
-Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa)
-Igreja de São Francisco
-Villar d’Allen

 Spoiled with shrimp in Porto

Spoiled with shrimp in Porto

 A raw approach to food in Porto.

A raw approach to food in Porto.

Restaurants in Porto

-Confeitaria Serrana
-Cantinho do Avillez
-Michelin-starred Pedro Lemos restaurant
-Centro Português de Fotografia (free)
-Torre de Clérigos (admission 3 euros)
-Porta’O Lado
-Brasão Cervejaria
-Fonte dos Leoes for a francesinha, a Portuguese sandwich filled with cured ham
-Café Guarany
-Café Majestic
-Vila Nova de Gaia
-Flor dos Congregados
-Rei dos Galos de Amarante
-Adega Quim
-Casa Aleixo
-Tasca da Piedade (Adega Rio Douro)
-Casa Nanda
-Adega Vila Meã
-Taberna do Largo
-Taberna Santo António
-Maus Hábitos
-Guindalense Futebol Clube
-O Buraco
-Cantina 32
-Café Candelabro
-Casa de Ló
-Bar Tolo
-Bite Me
-Boa Nova
-Vinum restaurant at Graham’s port lodge: Gorgeous rooftop
-Ode Porto Winehouse
-Pedro Limos
-Casa da Horta
-O Comercial
-Bufete Fase
-O Paparico
-Grelhador da Boavista
-Pateo das Flores (loved the francesinha and tuna poke cones)

 Gorgeous cathedral in Madrid

Gorgeous cathedral in Madrid

 Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Things to do in Madrid, Spain

Random Notes

-Many dine out at 9 pm or later
-Handy Resources: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/madrid-food-tour/, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/21/travel/what-to-do-36-hours-in-madrid-spain.html, https://www.eater.com/maps/best-madrid-restaurants-38

Sightseeing in Madrid

-Plaza España
-Gran Via (shopping)
-Palacio Real
-Plaza Oriente
-Barrio de la Latina
-El Rastro (Spain’s largest flea market, Sunday)
-Puerta del Sol (popular plaza)
-Chocolateria San Gines
-Plaza Mayor
-Mercado San Miguel
-Watch a flamenco show at Cardamomo
-Retiro Park (huge park)
-Palacio Cristal
-Reina Sofia
-Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
-El Prado (world famous art museum)
-El Bernabeu Stadium
- Las Salesas (shopping)

 Our food tasting tour of historic bars and restaurants in Madrid.

Our food tasting tour of historic bars and restaurants in Madrid.

Restaurants in Madrid

-Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán
-Duquesita Pastelería (century-old pastry shop)
-La Venencia (sherry bar)
-Bar Cock
-Pum Pum Café
-Círculo de Bellas Artes (drink with a panoramic view)
-Amazónico (an opulent jungle-inspired space)
-Chocolatería San Ginés (since 1894, a mug of hot chocolate and six churros)
-El Imparcial
-San Mamés
-Lakasa Restaurant
-Sala de Despiece
-Quesería Cultivo
-Bread at Panic
-Tortilla de Patatas at Casa Dani
-Coffee at Toma Café
-1862 Dry Bar
-Bodega de la Ardosa
-Vermouth at Ángel Sierra
-El Cisne Azul
-La Tasquería
-La Tasquita de Enfrente
-Casa Salvador
-Del Diego Cocktail Bar
-Tapas at La Catapa
-Takos al Pastor
-Pastries at La Mallorquina
-Sherry at La Venencia
-Chuka Ramen Bar
-Cocktails at Salmon Guru
-Casa Revuelta
-Corral de la Morería Restaurant
-La Sanabresa
-Yoka Loka
-La Copita Asturiana
-Bar El Boqueron
-Cocido Madrileño at Cruz Blanca Vallecas

 Our personal tour guide

Our personal tour guide