“Keep yourself grounded and view the world through your heart. You will find balance.” – Ketut Liyer (via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love)
Well vacation is over, aka back to reality here in Barcelona (which is admittedly not such a bad reality). Damian and I took a 7am Renfe train from Barcelona Sants down to Alicante a week ago today. We both slept the majority of the ride. Upon our arrival five hours later in Alicante, population roughly 330,000, Damian’s aunt met us outside of the train station to accompany us on the bus back to their home. Damian’s family down there were super nice to let us stay with them for the first night in Alicante, as we had already booked hotels for the remainder of the trip. I soon got to meet the family including Uncle José, Emi, Mica, their little brother (which sadly I’m not sure how to spell his nickname), and the family dog, Rocky. Before you knew it, they were treating us to homemade Milanese Napolitano- it was delicious! Later that day, I went out to the town center and did some shopping with Damian’s aunt while the boys played soccer. We all met up in the evening again for dinner with everyone at 100 Montadito’s near the port area.
“Not knowing what you want to do with your life (or at least not having some ideas about what to do next)… is a way of pretending that now doesn’t matter. Being confused about choices is nothing more than hoping that maybe there is a way to get through life without taking charge.” – Meg Jay
Thankfully, only a week’s time has passed since we last spoke. Patty and Jank returned safely from Italy late Sunday night. It was really fun to get to hear all about their Italian adventures, not to mention see/touch/smell their handmade goodies they had purchased whilst in Cinque Terre and Rome. Last Monday I didn’t have to work in the afternoon so we set out on a day of exploring, tasting, and shopping in Gracia, Raval, and the city center. We had a lazy lunch at Cantina Machito in here close to home in Gracia. Later we stopped in various shops in Raval and got late afternoon beers/ wine at Betty Ford’s (the bar I used to work at). After indulging in a delicious array of Xarcutery back at the apartment, Cass, Jank, and I got ready to go out on the town. We first went to La Oveja Negra off La Rambla, then tried to venture over to Gayxiample (the gay bar area), but got sidetracked by Betty Ford’s and ended up there again!
Well I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s been almost one month since I last blogged. I have no excuses for myself in this regard, unless of course you’d like to hear some- including but not limited to: I have been busy working, preparing for Jank & Patty’s visit, exploring with them, planning birthday celebrations, and recovering from a nasty stomach virus type of thing. That being said, I am happy to be back at it again! Here we go folks.Continue reading “(( my rhythm n’ blues ))”
(Disclaimer: I started writing this blog post about a week ago and am finally finishing it now)… So Mel has officially come and gone – home that is, to Lincoln, Nebraska. I miss her so much already! My mom arrived safely in Barcelona on Sunday, April 13th. Damian, April, and I took the metro and bus to get to the El Prat airport on the outskirts of the city and finally arrived to Terminal 2 almost 45 minutes after she was scheduled to have landed. I was freaking out, sweating, and so worried that she was sitting there waiting for us or even worse, had tried to get a taxi to our apartment. After about 8 minutes of frantically searching the arrivals area for my 5’ 2’’ mama, Damian spotted her as she exited the baggage claim zone. Thankfully, she had been set back about an hour due to customs lines and baggage delays. It was quite a joyous feeling to get to bear hug her and finally welcome her to Barcelona!
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” – Cynthia OccelliContinue reading “March Madness”
It’s been a while since I’ve updated the ole blog—a lot has happened over the last month! Getting a stomach virus marked mid-late January. The week started off well as we went to Cantina Machito with Sara on Sunday night. There Sara and I both ordered the white fish tostadas with avocado, which proved to be delicious though overpriced. Come Monday morning I was starting the workweek with watching Dylan, the adorable American 16-month old in Poble Nou. As those close to me are likely aware, I had always considered myself more of a fan of older kids, rather than younger kids and babies. However, I am quickly realizing that it is often times much more enjoyable to spend an afternoon with a precious, happy baby (or toddler) than it is a 6 – 10 year old child.
That week Dylan and I spent about 6 hours a day together; we went to the nearby parks, walked down to the beach, ran errands, had approximately 100 snacks, and read Bubbles, Bubbles more times than I’d like to recall. All in all we had a lovely week together, and I’m excited to watch him more in the future for when Cynthia takes Spanish courses. Between watching Dylan in the A.M. and Abril and Romina in the afternoon/ evenings that week, I came down with a nasty stomach virus Tuesday night. As much as I wanted to join in on previously planned outings with Cass and Sara, I ended up posting up at Damian’s for several days and just recovering slowly but surely. He was a trooper for seeing me at my worst and not batting an eye.
I am going to attempt to be better at posting something at least weekly on here; I know I have gotten a bit slack with my frequency lately. So a week ago today (Jan 5th) I went to Poble Nou for La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, aka the 3 Kings Day parade. I forget if I’ve said any of this before, but here in Spain Jan 6th is a big nationally celebrated holiday known as Reyes Magos. Kids get presents again just like Christmas, especially given by grandparents. The night before is the Cabalgata or parade and then on the actual holiday, no one works and people get together to eat with their families. I met up with Damian’s family and friends at La Biennal, their local spot on the Rambla of Poble Nou, for coffees beforehand and then we went to stake out our spot on the Rambla to have a good view of the parade. The little kids were all so excited; April, Ona, & Bet were busy throwing confetti at one another as the anticipation built. Anibal, Sergio and I caught as many caramelos as humanly possible while the parade went by. It was a great time! After the festivities died down, we went back to Damian’s for homemade milanesa. Yum!