En España

Amigos, I left home in mid-January and headed West first, to Seattle.  I’ve described that trip as a “whirlwind” to more than one person — for some reason my visits back west are always like that.  I’ve underestimated the loving community I have there, and never manage to see everyone every time.  If I didn’t see you it’s not because I don’t love you!  

Just another note about my Seattle trip before I move on.  I’ve been feeling a need to be “grounded,” or “rooted,” since Brandon and I returned from our travels in late 2010.  I knew at the time that given our transition, finding a place to call “home” wasn’t going to happen for a while, but I’ve been feeling a strong call to settle somewhere.  Just so I have a home base – I still would like to be mobile, though Ms. Dagger Mittens does add a challenge.  Being back in Seattle really made it clear to me that home isn’t as much about a place, but about the people.  

To get to Spain, I traveled for 36 hours and on four planes, including two red-eye flights.  I flew Jet Airways, an Indian airline, and all my memories of flying out to Europe then Indian on the same airline in May 2010 rushed back.   
Maddy and Pedro retrieved me from the Barcelona airport and whisked me, half asleep, back to their apartment.  Dinner and snacks awaited me, including this yumminess!  Jamon from Pedro’s family….
This blog will most likely include many photos of food — I get shy about whipping my camera out in public and taking photos. 

I spent the last week catching up on work.  Given 2.5 weeks in Seattle spent in peacemaking circles with the Center for Ethical Leadership, meetings with six senior centers, more meetings/social gatherings with my whole network of friends and colleagues, I did not get much work done.  So my disciplined side kicked in, since I am not here to explore fo six weeks.  Here’s what I managed to eek in this week.

Tapas – so after having an early dinner (6pm), and work til about 10pm, I wanted to get a beer.  Seriously, it was Friday night.  So we went out for what I’m now calling “second dinner,” since our tapas were really another meals.  I can’t remember the name of all of them, but there little fried fish (pescaditos), fried potatoes with garlic aioli (papas bravas), grilled peppers, chorizo in cider, and fried potato balls smothered in some kind of chipotle aioli (bombas). 


“Snacks” for three people
Yesterday, I took a whole day off and we met up with Ruben and Veronica for breakfast, an excursion to Tibidabo, and then lunch, and later on, dinner and a movie.  A full day with good people!

Tibidabo is the highest point in Barcelona and quite the sight — a church and amusement park, side by side!
We spent an hour or two exploring the church and the grounds.  I’d love to go back and try the airplane ride. 


View from the church


This is the giant bronze statue of Christ on the top of the church. The first one was destroyed by anarchists during the civil war. This one is sturdier.


The gang
I’m back in front of my computer and taking a break to blog.  I hope to blog weekly while I’m here.  A shout out to all my Vermont friends — I’m staying on Carrer de Montpellier.  On the first morning after I arrived, I could see an artist just below this sign.  How romantic!  Except he was standing in a strange location for an artist, so we think he was a spy.  You never know..

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