[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
home again, home again
so,i actually made it back from spain. despite the best efforts of every employee of every airline that flies into, or out of, spain.
the spanish apparently have adopted the festival seating approach to air travel. you remember festival seating, don't you? oh, come on...i'm not that much older than you. or maybe i am. anyway, festival seating...there's a concert in a venue with about 500 seats. so, the promoters sell 3000 tickets and then it's first come, first serve. so, everyone camps out for a day or two, and then there's a stampede, and then chaos followed by wailing and gnashing of teeth.
yeah. it's like that.
other notes from spain:
- they like the jamon in espana. i mean, seriously, they really like the ham.
i stood in front of a menu one afternoon at lunch pondering the following choices:
- iberian ham sandwich
- serrano ham sandwich
- york ham sandwich
i could go on. really. there is just a tremendous amount of ham going on in spain. i didn't even know there were that many kinds of ham in existence, really. i felt so...sheltered. i visited a grocery store -- whenever i travel, i always like to visit a grocery store and a drug store...i find the coolest stuff there -- and there was, seriously, an entire ham aisle. i was so stunned that i totally forgot to take a photo. rats.
- if you rent a car and the bottom falls off of it, use one of the blue emergency phones along the highway. they are surprisingly responsive when you call. and they only seem slightly disbelieving when you tell them you really, honestly, did not do anything...the bottom just fell off the car. really.
- if you are a chick and you go to spain without a peasant skirt and a pair of espadrilles, you're cruising for a sound mocking.
- if you are a dude and you go to spain, plan to walk with your hands behind your back.
- if you're driving along and you see the famous windmills of la mancha, and you think, "oh, that looks really easy to get to, i'll just hop off the highway, run over there and take a few photos, then get right back on the highway and be on my way,"...you are wrong, my friend. so, so wrong.
- it's really really windy on the plains of la mancha...this is good to know in case you're wearing a really light floaty skirt and a thong. we shall speak no more of this.
- the sangria, and the wine, and the gazpacho, and the olives, and the paella [and the fideua -- definitely the fideua], and the ham...it's all as good as you imagine it will be. all of it.
madrid is a city of the night. the sun didn't seem to set until ten o'clock most nights, and the city's streets were packed with tourists and locals, all just beginning their adventures as the sky turned a seemingly impossible blue. most nights i didn't go back to my hotel until two or three in the morning...and the streets were crowded on my way. it's easy to lose your sense of time there, what with the beautiful and plentiful light and the streets thronged with people. you can't imagine that the park -- or the restaurant, or the sidewalk -- is filled with people at midnight. but it is. people playing guitar. people talking. people strolling. people skateboarding.
i managed to see quite a bit of the country during my visit. i fell in love with the light on the golden fields along the highway stretching toward the great walls of avila. i drove past fields of sunflowers, hillsides covered with olive trees, and pastures filled with glistening black bulls. i walked the streets of cordoba, absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of la mezquita. i let the name "salamanca" trip off my tongue repeatedly, so intrigued by the sound of it that i felt compelled to go see it for myself...and found it to be a lush and intricately beautiful city. i climbed the narrow stairs of its cathedral and looked out across the terra cotta rooftops and thought i could stay there forever.
or at least until i could finally make a flight home.
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