Sister Slave & Task Master

15 07 2014

When I was at Newark Airport I received a call from my sister.

“Make sure you check out the bathrooms at the airport!”

Not the typical demand one would normally get from their sister while on their way for a visit.  Well, the true reason for my visit to Geneva this time was to help my sister, and her two cats, move from Geneva, Switzerland to Houston, Texas.

Now, somehow we didn’t take any photos of our day (or the craziness that led up to that day) but take a few minutes to think about this.

Imagine this:

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Moosh

And This:

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Oliver

Being stuffed into carriers, taken from their home of 2 years, bundled into a cab with 6 suitcases (one freaked out Mom and one calm and composed Aunt), and surviving 20 hours of International travel.  It’s enough to make a regular person a little crazy, much less two cats who have no idea what the hell is going on.  Plus, they don’t understand when you tell them to ‘plug your nose and blow’ to pop their ears!

Now let’s back up a few days.  After Nicki and I enjoyed pastries and pastas, bottles of champagne and pretty much eating and drinking everything that was left in their apartment we had to get down to the serious business of getting her and her 2 cats packed up and ready to travel.

I kept telling people that I was going to be a Cat Companion (what a sweet gig right?), well it turns out I was really there to be a Sister Slave and also Task Master.  I watched my sister pack and unpack and repack her suitcases, move things from one side of the room to the other, from one room to the other, and keep adding things to her list, but never crossing them off.  Pretty soon I had to put my foot down.  STOP.  You need to start crossing things off this list.  What’s next?  What do we have to do today?  We can’t keep putting that off until tomorrow, we’re running out of tomorrows!

Luckily, the apartment was being packed up by professional movers, so we didn’t have to deal with the 150+ boxes that ended up being packed up and sent off the balcony to the waiting moving truck on the street.  But because we had to be in the apartment while the movers were there, we ended up being cooped up in a single room with the cats so they couldn’t escape.  It wasn’t too bad when I hung out with the cats in the master bedroom, reading and lazing away the day.  But when we moved to an empty shell of a room, sitting on an air mattress next to a portable litter box….well, things started to become a little more real (and kind of depressing).

And then came the ‘Cat Chores’ and this is where the Sister Slave comes into play.  I didn’t realize that when I showed up it meant that I had to do all of the crappy jobs.  I had to clean and disinfect the litter locker, clean out the litter box (daily), chase the cats around the apartment spraying them with dry shampoo and anti-allergen cream.  ‘Make sure you massage it in everywhere Traci – especially their butt’ - what?? I didn’t sign up for this.

And then there was the silent screaming…  We had to take both cats to the vet a couple days before we flew out and although just 2 blocks away from the house, Moosh (the grey tabby) was so terrified he started shaking and silent screaming (panting) and Oliver (the orange tabby) wouldn’t stop meowing.  Needless to say, the vet prescribed some Xanax to calm their nerves – supposed to last 8 hours a dose.  Supposed to. 

Travel Day FINALLY arrives:

4:00AM: Wake Up Time

6:00AM: Corral the cats and force Xanax pills down their throats and then watch Moosh foam at the mouth and drool all over the floor, before stuffing them both in their carriers.  (Here’s hoping the foaming stops before TSA has to look at him).

6:15AM: Cab arrives and the driver looks concerned as he looks at us –  two people, two cats, two lap top bags and six suitcases – and then looks at his wagon.

7:00AM: We’ve managed to wrangle our suitcases onto 2 carts and each have a cat.  And then Nicki puts Moosh’s carrier on the top of her cart……and he falls off.  Whoops

8:00AM: We’re in the gate waiting to board the flight and Oliver sits quietly in his carrier.  The drugs have calmed Moosh enough that he isn’t terrified out of his mind and actually knows what is happening and so he’s turning in circles, meowing and trying to claw his way out – yep this is much better than a silent cat.

9:30AM: We are finally on the plane.  Cat carriers under the seat and settled in for a 9 hour flight to Newark.  And the drugs seem to be wearing off of Oliver and he starts meowing, and meowing and meowing.  And if you know orange cats you know how vocal they can be – good thing we brought a pillow case to muffle the sound.

10AM – 12PM EST/6PM (Geneva Time):  Cats are meowing.  The drugs wore off within the first hour of the flight.  There’s attempts to claw and chew out of the carriers.  Nicki keeps prodding me and telling me I have to watch the cats.  I keep telling her that they need to learn how to self-soothe.  And there are multiple times I’m asked to check and see if they peed, smell their butts, soothe them and take them to the lavatory to let them stretch their legs.

12:30PM (EST)/6:30PM (Geneva Time):  We made it off the plane and I made it through Customs.  Nicki and the cats have to be ushered downstairs to be processed back into the country so I leave her with her two cats and suitcase, to go collect our other 4 suitcases before they need to be rechecked into the next flight.

1:00PM/7:00PM:  The last 4 suitcases to come down the chute are ours. I have 5 suitcases stacked on 2 carts and sit down to wait.  And then I get a call from Nicki’s husband – apparently she got released outside of the baggage claim area and can’t come back through.  I’m on my own with two carts and the line up to exit through customs is growing by the second.  Picture me running down the line with one cart, parking it, then running back for the second cart and running it to the back of the line and leaving the first cart on the floor until the line catches up with it.  Trying to figure out how to push these two carts at the same time, I make a friend who offers to push one of my carts.  Low and behold, 1 person + 5 suitcases = Agricultural Check!  I’m about to move these carts over when my sister comes running out from nowhere, waving her hands, ‘that’s my sister, those are my bags!’ - no cats in sight…. Now we both get ushered to the Agricultural check and she says to the officer, ‘Remember me?  Remember me?  These are my bags, this is my sister!’  I looked at him doubtfully and asked, ‘Do you remember her?’  A couple of questions later he tells us to turn around and exit (and we hear grumbling from people behind us about how we managed to talk ourselves out of the X-ray).

1:30PM/7:30PM:  So we’re home free.  We take refuge in a family bathroom and release the cats from their carriers.  Moosh is starving and can barely wait for me to get some food out of my bag.  The drugs have made Oliver mean and he keeps hissing and swatting at Moosh.  Nicki lays out a pee pad and sprinkles cat litter on it, hoping to encourage potty time before our next flight.  No such luck – so she starts spraying this Feliway spray in and around the carriers to prevent territory marking.  All we need to do is go through security one more time, get on another flight and then 4 hours until we arrive in Houston.  No problem.

2:00PM/8:00PM:  Cats out of the carriers and carried through security.  No problem.  Hands swiped and tested since we’re traveling with animals.  No problem.  Oh wait, Nicki has a problem.  The cats and I are released and Nicki has to be patted down and analyzed.  So we set up camp on a bench, I do a little work, the cats get a little napping time in, and then a TSA officer comes up to me and says, ‘your sister wanted me to tell you that she’s tested positive twice for bomb making chemicals, so we have to call in a specialist.  It’s going to take a while.’  Ooookkayyy.   30 minutes later she’s released, and the culprit was most likely the Feliway Spray that she has been spraying everywhere for days.

3:00PM/9PM:  Another dose of Xanax forced down and on our way to board.  BEEEP.  What?  Your seats have been
changed, no animals allowed on that row, so you’re sitting in different rows now.  
Initial moment of panic is easily remedied and the man sitting next to me in the middle seat didn’t take too much convincing to move into an aisle seat.  Too bad the man sitting on the aisle looked at us and said, ‘I’m allergic to cats….’  ‘just kidding!’  Settled with both cats sleeping.  What?  Is this what it feels like not to be traveling with two needy cats (or kids?)  We made it until an hour before the flight ended before the meowing, clawing and biting started up again.

6:00PM CST/1AM:  We arrive in Houston and the humidity in the air is as thick as molasses as we leave the plane.  Yuck.  But this time, all we need to do is make a Family Bathroom pit stop, pick up our bags and we’re out of here!  The end is so close.  Perhaps we lost our focus a little bit.  Got a little cocky.  As I’m texting our terminal info, Nicki puts Oliver’s carrier on top of her rolley carry-on and goes to get carts.  And down goes Oliver.  Another cat dropped by their Mama.

7:30PM CST/2:30AM:  We made it home!!  The cats have been released from their carriers for good after 20 hours of travel. Oliver is still hissing at Moosh, but other than that they don’t seem to be too traumatized from the day’s events.

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Moosh finally getting the space he needs

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Oliver sleeping off the drugs

10PM CST/7AM:  Bed Time.  Finally.  After 27 hours of being awake and dealing with (and dropping) traumatized, meowing cats, feeling for wet pee pads, being covered in fur, tested (and stopped) for bomb chemicals, the day is finally over.  One Sister and Two Cats have been moved 5200+ miles.

Success!  Just one more 4 hour flight back to Seattle for me and we’ll call that Sister Favour Complete!

 

 





Just Another Day in the Neighbourhood

11 07 2014

It is crazy how things can become familiar so quickly.

A few months ago I hadn’t done any International travel in almost 10 years, and now four months later I’m jetting back off to Geneva, Switzerland.

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Newark Airport with NYC in the background

The all day/all night flights can’t faze me anymore and after leaving Seattle in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday and arriving in Geneva early Sunday morning, I arrived bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  Although I napped my way through a 6 hour flight to Newark, during my 8 hour flight to Geneva I’m not so sure there was a lot of sleeping done – more of a haze I think.  Well my haze must have been exactly what I needed because I was raring to go with a walk along Lac Leman, morning cappuccinos and pastries and a sunny afternoon into sunset into late night of eating and drinking champagne on the balcony.

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Quiet Sunday morning streets on Rue de Rive

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Sunday Sister Moment

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My first trip to Geneva I felt like I was in another world.  I dreamt of french phrases and so day and night I was swimming in a world that I couldn’t quite understand.  I struggled to keep my eyes open at night and I woke up at 3AM almost every morning.  It was a slight understatement that I wasn’t adjusting to the time change very well.

I don’t know if it’s because the streets, the restaurants, the apartment were all familiar to me now, but it felt like I was just in another neighborhood at home.  Crazily enough I didn’t experience any jet lag and could truly enjoy the day to its fullest – and stayed up way later than I would normally have at home (possibly because my sister and I discovered ‘Orange is the New Black’…).  The french didn’t phase me as much as before and most of the time I didn’t even really hear it around me – or at least take notice of it.  And all of that french dreaming from last time did me well and hammered those french phrases into my head so that when it was time to order ‘un boîte de huit macarons’ - it was right there at the tip of my tongue.

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Laduree Macarons

We allowed ourselves one full day of Geneva Sightseeing before we had to get down to work.  So we packed in a train ride along the Lac Leman lakefront, a trolley ride through Old Town Geneva, and a boat ride along the Lake to see Geneva from another perspective.

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Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) waterfront

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L’horloge Fleurie

As we rode through Old Townmy favourite part of Geneva, I came to realize that the last time I visited I did a fantastic job of sightseeing!  And also reminded myself how much I love old towns and window shutters.

 

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Our boat ride was a little breezy, but so great to be out on the water.  The asian tourists didn’t seem to have the same feeling as we did – they spent the first half of the boat ride taking selfies and the second half they all fell asleep!  Ok, well I can’t really complain about them taking selfies…..


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But to fall asleep??!!!  They missed out on a great hour (seriously it was only an hour and they couldn’t stay awake) on the water.

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Thanks for a great day of sightseeing Geneva!  If only you had had Jet d’Eau standing proud – it’s a good thing I took so many photos last time.

 

 





Just a little more pool time please

13 06 2014

There’s only so much sitting around the pool and soaking up the sun you can do……but I have to admit, I could have done just a little more.

We spent a long weekend in San Diego to celebrate our two year anniversary and it was fantastic!  We’ve done road trips and quick trips to Arizona and San Francisco this year, but it has been a really long time since we took a trip with the sole purpose of not doing anything.  We didn’t get a rental car because we didn’t want to feel forced to use it.  So that meant wandering from pool to hot tub, to room for a nap, to an onsite restaurant for dinner and back again.  Three days of heavenly, lazy bliss.

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There were plenty of water sports to partake in if we wanted to.  But, the pool seemed way too inviting.  And there was a fitness center, and I even brought my running shoes.  But did those shoes take one step outside of the room?  Actually, did they take one step out of the suitcase?  With mixed emotions, I say ‘no’!

It wasn’t until our last day when we had checked out of our room already and were looking to kill a little time, did we finally explore the resort other than the direct paths between the pools, restaurants and our bungalow.  And we found a tropical jungle.  There’s something very prehistoric feeling about some of this foliage.

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I Miss You Vancouver!

12 05 2014

When you catch it from its good side, it’s hard not to fall in love with Vancouver, and really hard not to reminisce on the great times you’ve had there and think about all the summer patio moments you’re going to miss.  But again, you have it catch it from its good side.  The previous times we’ve visited this year it’s been grey, rainy and made you want to get home and curl up under the blankets (even if those blankets are 3 hours away).  But Vancouver when it’s sunny?

Ohhhh…  It’s hard to drag yourself away.

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Lost Lagoon – Stanley Park

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Spring goslings

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Brother & Sister Time!

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Spring Buttercups

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Nesting Trumpeter Swan

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Balancing Turtles

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Lost Lagoon – Stanley Park

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Vancouver Skyline from Lost Lagoon

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Second Beach Views

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Nature’s Art Gallery

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Balancing Rocks





Sisters Reunite!

19 02 2014

After all of my practicing… ‘Je voudrais un boîte de douze macarons,’ I got to Laduree and I froze.  Strawberry marshmallow, salted caramel, rose petal, coconut passionfruit, pistachio, praline, lemon, chocolate coffee…..?  How am I supposed to choose only 12 with all of these flavors? Easy solution I guess….’quinze macarons s’il vous plait’.  I just couldn’t leave without a box of 15 macaroons.  And, they almost all made it home.

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During my time in Geneva, I spent a couple afternoons just wandering the streets and looking at the buildings.  If you’re in a place for too long, everything can start to look normal.  Trams and cable lines, futuristic light bulb-looking light posts, french signs, and hundred year old buildings.  So after 2 weeks I kind of had to tap back into my wide-eyed wonder of seeing Geneva (and Switzerland) for the very first time.

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This hundred year old building was my home for 2.5 weeks.

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My sister and her husband were my hospitable hosts and her cats kept me company at night.  Of course, I had my responsibilities while I was there: lift everything that was too heavy for my sister (a lot of things – I’m much stronger), care for the cats which consisted of entertaining them at 3am when they wanted to play, maneuver my body around theirs at night so as not to disturb their slumber, clean up after them when (not if) they were sick, groom them, clean their litter box…and play paparazzi and take hundreds of photos of them.

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Oliver

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Moosh

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And the most difficult of all tasks….keep my sister company = sit at outdoor patios and drink cappuccinos, eat truffle-topped cheesy delights and Chantilly cream and Nutella-laden desserts.

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Patelos: Cheesy, proscuitto-filled dough, topped with sliced truffle

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Mini beignets topped with powdered sugar and drizzled with warm Nutella and hazelnuts

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Baba: rum-soaked brioche, filled with Chantilly Cream and drizzled with Nutella and hazelnuts

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It was a tough couple weeks but we made it through the longest time we’ve spent together in 7 years.  At the end of the trip we both agreed that we had a better time than we both thought we would, and we were equally surprised that she didn’t make me cry (not even once)!

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The Lee Sisters in Geneva, Switzerland





Sometimes It Just Takes One

12 02 2014

It turns out that I had found the Cathedral in Old Town Geneva after all….I just didn’t know I had found it.  I’m not going to say that I was pacing around in front of the Cathedral last time, but I think that’s what was happening.  Maybe I expected a big sign saying, ‘this is the what you’re looking for – the Cathedral’ or maybe I was just too enamored by where all those narrow cobblestone streets would take me.

Nevertheless, I found Saint Peter’s Cathedral.

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Saint Peter’s Cathedral – Old Town Geneva

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As luck would have it, the organist was practicing, and I was treated to an almost empty cathedral full of the rich sounds of the organ.

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Built between approximately 1150 and 1230, Saint Peter’s Cathedral has Romanesque and Gothic features as well as a neoclassical monumental porch.  The Chapel of the Maccabees adjoins the cathedral and is the first example of flamboyant Gothicism in Geneva.

I almost left before I visited the Chapel of the Maccabees, but once I walked through the curtained doors, I knew I had to stay a while.  The room was full of color, from the light streaming through the artistic stained glass windows and the ornate ceiling and walls.  

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Saint Peter’s Cathedral has had a particular spiritual significance since 1536 when it became a major center of the Reformation under John Calvin.  It is now the most frequently visited building in Geneva.

I saw someone scan a barcode and gain entry into a door on the side and it peaked my curiosity.  What else could I see here?

For 5 francs I was able to walk up the narrow spiral staircases to climb to the North and South towers.  It was a workout and it definitely made me sweat and wheeze a little as I tried to climb the stairs faster than the group behind me.  For some reason I felt the need to gain a little distance so that I could take in the experience by myself.

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There is a passage leading from one tower to the other over the nave and under the structure of the metal steeple that houses the bells.

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I decided to head to the North Tower first and enjoy the panoramic view over Old Town, the harbor and (if they were visible that day) the mountains surrounding Geneva.

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The South Tower has a watch room at the top and I found myself at eye-level with the cathedral bells as they were chiming, along with great views of the water and the Jet d’Eau.  

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I spent almost three hours touring the Cathedral.  And I hear I had thought that I could just pass by and take a few photos and be satisfied.   It’s great to travel with company and share the experience with others, but it was a great opportunity to tour the Cathedral during the off-season, and tour it on my own, and to feel like I had it almost all to myself.





An Afternoon in Chamonix, France

10 02 2014

When I think about Europe, I think about how everything is so close to each other.  I grew up taking an hour and a half ferry ride from Vancouver Island to Vancouver, so I know that ferries can get you places, but they don’t usually get you that far.  My last trip to Europe I took an hour and a half ferry ride and I went from England to France – the close proximity just blows my mind!

One weekend we decided to take a quick afternoon trip.  From Geneva, Switzerland to Chamonix, France – just an hour and a half drive and you go from Lake Geneva to the French Alps.

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On the way I saw signs for Milan and Turin.  It’s a strange feeling to start an afternoon in one country, know that your destination is in a second country, but as soon as you cross the border there are already signs for cities in a third country!

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Chamonix, France felt very French to me – for obvious reasons I guess.  You can tell by the style of the buildings, the conversations around you and the number of restaurants that are trying to tempt you with crepes, fondue and tartiflette (a classic french dish made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions).  I will say this though, we walked into a couple different meat and cheese shops and as we walked through the door I was bombarded by the shops’ smell.  Stereotype or not – it smelled like feet.

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I definitely enjoyed wandering around the snowy village, dodging the skiers and snowboarders while taking photos of my sister and brother in law, who made it look like we should have been in Antarctica with all of their fur.

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I did add a little bit of North American spontaneity to the atmosphere though – a little bit of a snow ball fight, which was more of an ice crystal fight.  My sister said it looked like we were dogs burrowing in the snow drift.  I did manage to make 2 snowballs though – both carefully aimed.

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And lastly, I tried to fit myself into a gondola car.  My idea.  At first I thought no problem, but maybe it was meant for kids or skinny french women to fit into because it was a feat to get both my front and my back through that narrow door.  I made it – and that was after Soup a l’oignon gratinee, des frites and a taste of the tartiflette.  But…..before the Speculos and caramel beurre sale macarons.

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My last impression – the french sure do know how to display their pastries and confections.

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Adios Barcelona

8 02 2014

We tried to take advantage of our last few hours in Barcelona.  We wandered past the Palau de la Musica Catalana to take a few photos of the gorgeous pink building and found ourselves exploring the Mercat de Santa Caterina, the more local marketplace, to pick up some final treats.

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Palau de la Musica Catalana

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Mercat de Santa Caterina

One of the neighborhoods that we hadn’t spent any time in yet was El Born - a stylish shopping, cafe, restaurant and bar neighborhood that has all of the charm of Barcelona without the kitschy touristy feel.  I kept taking photos of these small alleyways and narrow buildings until my sister pointed out that I was really taking photos of people’s houses, their driveways and their colorful laundry air-drying outside their windows….whoops.

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After a peek at the Santa Maria del Mar and a lunch of pintxo tapas, we wandered back to Placa Nova and the Catedral to find that the whole square had been transformed.  The 2014 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique had taken over the square to stage the cars about to race from Barcelona to Monte Carlo – quite a backdrop for the start of the rally!

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Santa Maria del Mar

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After 45 hours in Barcelona exploring amazing architecture, eating delicious seafood and meats and drinking tasty cava, wine, fruit juice and liquid chocolate, it was time to say good bye.

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Barcelona is definitely a place that I would want to come back to visit, but most importantly, I need to go back to taste these tempting meringues – my only regret is that I left without trying one.

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Sights in between Eating

3 02 2014

I’ve become a little obsessed about these BARCINO letters.  I love taking photos of them.  I feel like it represents Barcelona for me.  So that means that I made my sister pose and take funny photos with the letters.  I kept yelling out, ‘go sit in the C’ until she finally relented.  The photo looked so cute, so I tried it too – and I barely fit – my torso is just too long!

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We did manage to drag ourselves away from these letters and took time to wander the narrow streets in El Barri Gotic and ooh and awe over some of Antoni Gaudi’s other buildings in the city – Casa Batllo – an artistic legend with a modernist facade that mirrors a calm sea (although when I looked at it it reminded me of dragons and rainbows).

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And what do you know, we found some more time to eat!  Back to La Boqueria for lunch, and this time we weren’t going to leave without saddling up to the bar at the Universal kiosk for the mixed seafood plate and some garlic razor clams.  The seafood was so fresh we were watching the gambas (prawns) move around in the display.

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After another tour around the market to take some photos, I found myself at a charcuterie stand, where I made a new friend that took his time to carve me a tasty treat – every piece was carved with love.  He was a great sport and even posed for pictures with me.

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My Barcelona City Guide told me that you can’t leave Barcelona without trying the Jamon Iberico de Bellota (acorn-fed Iberico ham).  The Iberico pig has become Spain’s modern-day caviar and this specific pig is able to store monounsaturated fats from the acorns it eats in streaks and marbled layers of fat that run through its muscle tissue.  After two years of aging, the flavors are nutty, buttery and earthy.  This specific type of ham liquefies at room temperature, so it literally melts in your mouth.  And yes it did.  Even my meat-disliking sister tried some and enjoyed it.

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In between eating stops we wandered around Barcelona taking random photos of each other – lots of sisterly bonding.  I don’t think her husband would have yelled out, ‘ride the lion!  Go ride the lion!’  - my husband probably would though.  I didn’t get a full mount though, the closest I got was her sitting on his butt.

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After visiting the BARCINO letters one more time and while we were there, taking some photos of the Barcelona Cathedral , we waited patiently for the restaurants to open up for dinner.  Aside from tapas and very touristy restaurants, most places closed after lunch and didn’t open up again for dinner until 8PM.

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Just steps from our hotel we found Pirineus, a small family restaurant that kept us entertained and left us full of Cava and Seafood Paella.  They loved us there and we didn’t leave before we had learned a few new Catalan words, had our palms read, eaten complimentary desserts and had our cheeks kissed a couple times.

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Almost Too Much to Take In

2 02 2014

The jet lag is hitting me.  After an evening of tasty treats, wine, cava and hot chocolate I easily fell into a deep sleep after our first night in Barcelona.  Only to wake up at 4AM wide awake, hours before my alarm was set to go off for our day of exploring.  I tried to lull myself back to sleep, but my body was thinking it was 7PM and I just took a long nap before my real bed time.  I reviewed my spanish phrases, ‘no hablo espanol’. ‘no entiendo’, ‘cuanto cuesta?’, ‘la cuenta por favor’ and ‘Esta es mi hermana’.  I don’t speak spanish, I don’t understand, how much is this?, the bill please, and this is my sister.  Got it.  

Now what to do for another 3 hours.  I tried to fall back asleep but I could hear the Cathedral bells ringing in the distance and I just felt like things were happening in the city and I was missing it!  What does the Cathedral look like as the sun is rising?  What does it look like before La Boqueria opens officially?  These are the secret sights of the city that I really wanted to see, but, I settled for looking through my Barcelona City Guide app while I waited for the sun to rise, the city to start buzzing and most importantly, for my sister to wake up.

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Barcelona Cathedral

We had one thing on our agenda for our sunny day in Barcelona.  La Sagrada Familia, an overwhelmingly large Roman Catholic Church designed by Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.  Construction of La Sagrada Familia started in 1882 and Gaudi became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms.  By 2010, the construction had only reached the midpoint, and currently the completion year is set for 2026 – 144 years of construction.

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It was an amazing experience to see this 132 year old construction project up close and personal.  The amount of detail in the stone carvings made me want to take a photo of every sculpture – everywhere you looked was a work of art.  It took us a long time before we made our way inside.

The sun was shining through the stained glass windows, making the colors pop and twinkle.  The ceiling was so high and the walls and columns intricately designed and you can see Gaudi’s inspiration from nature.

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My sister and I took pictures of everything inside and out.  We compared photos and it is amazing how you can be standing in front of the same thing and have such a different perspective.  I loved the stained glass and she was infatuated with the columns – she kept snapping photos and I would look at them and say, ‘I have no idea what you just took a picture of – I can’t even see the angle to get that shot’.  Over and over again it happened, but that’s what makes it fun to travel with someone with a different perspective on the world.








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