Category Archives: Spain

The magical land where I have a vocabulary of a 12-year-old

SPAIN!

Viva Espana!

Viva Espana!

I haven’t been to Spain since I flew away in 2003 after a year-long stint studying abroad. I lived in the south of Spain, drinking red wine mixed with fanta, salsa dancing, and generally gaping at the non-American life around me. I also got pretty tubby because 1) Spanish food is amazing 2) I was boozing face regularly and c) Spanish clothes are stretchy. It was impossible to monitor.

After three weeks in Turkey where we fumbled through Tourist Turkish, we were excited to return to a country where we could be a little more thorough in our interactions with people.  I minored in Spanish in college and Dave speaks a bit of Spanish and Italian so we were ready to communicate! With more than just a few words and gestures. We were ready to be able to ask questions! Read labels in the grocery store! This was completely thrilling.  We didn’t even pretend to learn Catalan as we figured people would figure out we were foreign and revert to Castellano which worked out for the most part. Some menus only in Catalan were tricky but we made it work.

Also, NEIL met us in Barcelona!

chin chin for college friends

chin chin for college friends. Also like, 78% of pictures of Dave have his eyes closed.

I said, "consider me" as a prompt.

I said, “consider me” as a prompt.

Neil is Dave’s bestie from college and they enjoy being dudes together: eating sandwiches, cracking jokes, consulting maps, and bickering about who is a better grown-up. (Neil wins – he’s gainfully employed at the moment… so….). But more on Neil later!

Neil's phone was the only one that worked. DK is watching a cat video.

Neil’s phone was the only one that worked. DK is watching a cat video.

We’ve been so lucky to see friends we knew before we were unemployed bums along the way in our travels. Chris came for 20 crazy hours in South Korea. We stayed with Rob in Burma. We met up with Chi and her friends in Saigon. We stayed with Brock and Josh in Japan. And I write this from my sister of another mister’s kitchen so there we go!

We stayed in a really nice (and girlie! it was so feminine and fun!) apartment in a residential neighborhood about a 20 minute walk from the center of town. The owner was an artist and her creations were CRAZY. I loved them. I loved her! She was so cool!

We had a great time walking around Barcelona. We were there for six days which was a tiiiiny bit much. We also just really enjoyed being in an apartment! Doing laundry! Sitting on a couch! The novelty of living “real life” was amazing. We were so happy to sit in this apartment and pretend we were normal people. But we did our fair share of going out into the world too! Barcelona isn’t exactly the road less traveled so here are a few highlights.

We went to La Boqueria, an amazing market where I drank my weight in fresh juice to counteract all the meat, cheese and bread we bought for picnic lunches.

We visited many of the Gaudi sights:

Sagrada Familia Cathedral

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

v modern inside

v modern inside

The columns are supposed to look like trees in a forest -- Gaudi invented a new type of column!

The columns are supposed to look like trees in a forest — Gaudi invented a new type of column!

Jebus

Jebus

I don't go to church much these days (what with their anti-lady, anti-gay stance) but I can probably say the Nicene Creed backwards.

I don’t go to church much these days (what with their anti-lady, anti-gay stance) but I can probably say the Nicene Creed backwards.

Casa Milla

Looks wavy!

Looks wavy!

Casa Batllo

Also wavy?

Also wavy?

Skull-like balconies

Skull-like balconies

Guell Park

Center building

Center building

NOVEL -- someone else to take your picture! Thanks, Neil!

NOVEL — someone else to take your picture! Thanks, Neil!

He even designed the lampposts and the sidewalks in certain parts:

SAM_1964

SAM_2004

We wandered around taking photographs of awesome graffiti and street art:

SAM_1781

WHITNEY!

WHITNEY!

SAM_2006

We ate our faces off:

Kat and a sandwich

Kat and a sandwich

Neil and a pastry

Neil and a pastry

 

Dave before he inhaled his pastry

Dave before he inhaled his pastry

Tapas

Anchovies

Anchovies

Squid

Squid

More squid

More squid

Patatas Bravas (the national potato dish of Spain)

Patatas Bravas (the national potato dish of Spain)

This time about 3 months ago I would have told you I forgot what cheese tasted like. Forgot what potatoes tasted like. If you would have told me while we were knee-deep in Burma that I could eat Spanish food I would look at you like you have five heads.

ALSO THERE WAS WINE.

We drank all the wine and then marveled in its byproducts: blurry photo shoots alongside trucks with my name on them.

#drunkphotoshootsareblurry

#drunkphotoshootsareblurry

And there was much squeeling from me (as well as the boys) because we rode the BEST. FUNICULAR. EVER.

YEAH!!

YEAH!!

I started shortening "funicular railroads" to just "funnies" because I talked about it so much.

I started shortening “funicular railroads” to just “funnies” because I talked about it so much.

NO. SERIOUSLY.

look at this view!

look at this view!

I loved Barcelona. It was really fun. People were really nice and patient with my rusty Spanish. Tourism had not ruined it. But both Dave and I were a little like, “ok! This is really! Neat!…. Is this it?” I wish we had more time in Spain to see more of the country but it was onward to visit HRC friends! Two friends celebrating their engagement were on a European whirlwind and invited us for a few days to drink wine and walk around their favorite spots. How could we say no? Besides, we’d be seeing more of Neil when we abused his hospitality and crashed with him in The Netherlands for two weeks. We have three sets of friends who put us up for 2+ weeks. We have the most attractive, kind friends ever, BTW!