Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our New Friends

Linnea [Sweden], Lucia [Iceland], and Hjalti [Iceland]

Linnea [Sweden] + Jessica [Brentwood]

Hjalti [Iceland]

Geraldine [Venezuela]

Geraldine [Venezuela]

Linnea [Sweden], Geraldine [Venezuela], and Jessica [Brentwood]

Linnea [Sweden], Geraldine [Venezuela], and Jessica [Brentwood]

Linnea [Sweden] + Geraldine [Venezuela]

Geraldine [Venezuela] + Jessica [Brentwood]

Partying with our new friends on Vegan Pizza Day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Goodbye, January

Hello, all!

This is likely the last post of what has been an incredible month. Thanks to everyone that sent birthday wishes to me. And happy birthday to everyone that was born in January! (We're pretty great.)

It was a morning filled with anticipation. Jessica would not admit to being nervous, but it was as obvious as vegan pizza is delicious. (It's vegan pizza day today, by the way! If you've never had one, do yourself a favor...) After only two hours of sleep I awoke to some breakfast being prepared by the lovely gorilla gal. On our way to our destination there were denials of nervousness and eager chit chat. Then we arrived...

She handled it like a warrior. Aside from a few silly faces she really didn't squirm very much or make any noise.

...and of course this only made me itch for a new one. Possibly in March.

Anyhow, happy weekend to all of you. Talk to you in February.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Antoni Gaudi

It is impossible to experience Barcelona without experiencing the works, or inspired works of Antoni Gaudi. Every creation we have encountered of his thus far has blown both Dalton and I away. His buildings are unlike anything I've seen before, especially in the Unites States, where architecture seems to be built to pay tribute to the creativity and progress of the human race. Instead, Gaudi pays tribute to the creativity of all of the natural world. 

Casa Batllo

La Sagrada Familia

Parc Guell
 If you've ever seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona, this is where Cristina takes photos of the Spanish children. Naturally, we had to take some photos of ourselves there :)

Miss you all!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Evening Time

Hello again, everyone.

I'm thinking, "Goodness, it's only a quarter 'til 2pm at home." I figured I'd be over the time difference, but I suppose that I was thinking of it in such a technical manner. Sure, my body's over it. I've been sleeping in and staying up late. Eating on a schedule far, far different from the one that I followed at home (sometimes no schedule at all... my body loves me for that). There's just something in one's "heart" that constantly pulls them toward everyone that they love. I guess that's the thing that is constantly reminding me that I am used to the time being 9 hours earlier than it really is.

Well, I do miss you all. I sent out a few London post cards right when we arrived in Spain (I know... How silly of me. There just wasn't enough time in London.), and we picked up some Barcelona cards yesterday that we'll be sending out next week. This trip has really illuminated the importance of loved ones... and reminding them as often as you can of their status in your life. When we set down in London I was a bit nervous since the friend that I was expecting to have there was unable to be. Unable to hold my hand through one of the biggest experiences of my life. It turned out to be quite a lucky thing. However, on New Year's Eve we found someone that I would have considered an acquaintance - but the fact that we hung out with him on foreign soil... on a major holiday no less... catapulted the relationship onto a different plane. It is quite amazing to think of it now...

...and then Barcelona. I can't speak for Jessica, but I was absolutely intoxicated with the idea of this city. I knew that I had not studied the language enough before leaving. My excuses are worthless now, and I really wish that I had made more of an effort in the months leading up to the trip. So we landed and we knew no one. We were so fortunate that every sign in the airport had an illustration and an English translation. It would have taken us hours to get out of there otherwise. So we're plopped into the middle of this city with an infantine understanding of the language and zero contacts. The first week was nerve-racking. Then we made a few (fantastic) friends, explored a little bit, learned the life-saving phrases, and wouldn't you know it - we're becoming more and more like locals every day. Relationships are really what make life worthwhile. They can come out of nowhere and change your life. I cannot be more grateful for all of you that had a hand in making this trip possible... making my every day possible by being around. Just being yourself and being gracious enough to spend time with me when we get the chance.

So, this is me telling you all that we are doing so well here. I'm having the most fantastic trip and feel that I will return with more love in my heart for all of you (and for everyone that we meet here and have to leave behind...) For anyone that hasn't explored enough of the world - do it. It is inconceivable how much you will learn about life's possibilities and about what you are capable of (and this is an easy trip!).

I love you all and I'm sending out some love for Jessica as well.

Thanks for checking in.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our Ticket to Chocolate

El Museu Xocolata! Yes. A museum of chocolate... merely blocks from our apartment. Good gravy, what a magical thing. Jessica had been eagerly awaiting the day that we'd actually wake up at an appropriate hour to go to this miraculous place...

...but then I slept in. We went anyways. It was fabulous. Only a few euros to get in and we were given our "Tiquets" which were bars of chocolate (of course) and were granted access to this magical labyrinth of sweetness.

Chocolate sculptures, chocolate history, and chocolate culture - by the time we left Jessica was absolutely dying to make some. We saw a few videos about the process of making artwork with chocolate, which I would absolutely be into if it could pay my rent. I can't imagine that I'd stay too healthy... but whatever. Worth it.

Here are some photos!

Ben Hur - made of chocolate! - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

"Las Infantes" - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

It just reminded me of Jessica... - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

Romans! - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

Don Quixote - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

UP! - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

Futbol - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

"This entire figure is carved from chocolate." - Museu Xocolata, Barcelona ES

After we charged our chocolate batteries we undertook a pretty intense walk all the way up to La Sagrada Familia. Gaudi's church was something that we'd definitely had our gazes set on throughout 2010. Now that it was finally within walking distance we knew that we'd better make the initial trek early on so we'd be comfortable returning again and again.

As I sat drawing the façade I came to the conclusion that I could sit for DAYS and get to know this building. I guess it's intriguing because it's not built like the buildings in the USA... with efficiency and structural integrity in mind. This building ebbs and flows as if it had made its way from the sea, found a spot that it liked, and is simply holding its ground in an ever-changing neighborhood......... an ever-changing country.

...then we went to a beer store. Woo! (Jessica took more photos of the church... I drew it a little bit. I'll post some drawings later.)

Here are some more photos!

(I cannot smile on command...) La Sagrada Familia - Barcelona ES

Grácia - Barcelona ES

Grácia - Barcelona ES

Casa Batlló - Barcelona ES

Casa Batlló - Barcelona ES

Casa Batlló - Barcelona ES

Beer Store!!! - Barcelona ES

And now we are sitting on the couch enjoying some FCB Futbol! Hope to hear from everyone. Thanks for checking in. Love you guys.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Barcelona: Un Passeig Al Port

Hello everyone! I've finally decided to put up a post! Here are some photos I took walking from our apartment in the Born district to the Barceloneta neighborhood and harbor.

Thanks for checking in! I hope you are all having a wonderful winter!