Kids say the darndest things.....

Tonight, at dinner.

WK: [earnestly] When I was a big girl? I used to move it, move it.* Like a tiger.

PBB & Thisbe: Well, sure. Like a tiger.

*Said as in the song from Madagascar "I like to Move it, move it!"

Today's Project: Halloween Costume. To be revealed soon!

Today's Life Observation: Growing up is hard work.



OK. So one of the big reasons Thisbe has been absent here, is because she was vacationing in Spain with PBB.

But wait, you ask, what of the WK? Well. The WK was also vacationing, but in the Ancestral Home City, with her Mimi & Big Pop.

[Pause while the realization that Thisbe & PBB took a REAL. BIG PERSON. VACATION. Sinks in]


Ok. Thisbe admits, leaving the WK was about as awful as ripping off her own arm. There was much sobbing and whimpering (on Thisbe's part. The WK was totally fine). But after a few hours (days) Thisbe came right around.

What follows is a condensed travel journal, if you will, of our journey to Espana. We had a fabulous time overall and Thisbe returned with many lovely, buttery soft leather goods.

Day 1: We drive, and drive, and drive, and drive to get to the airport. Upon arrival we park in long term parking and make the ridiculous trek to the actual terminal. (Approximate time to get to airport, 6.3 days). Realize once we are in line that the book Thisbe had been saving for the trip? IN THE CAR. Finally we get to the front of the check-in line and are told that Thisbe and PBB CANNOT SIT TOGETHER ON THE 7 HOUR FLIGHT. After all of the effort just to get to the counter, plus the trauma of leaving the WK, combined with the fact that Thisbe is not a great flier, and of course, failure to remember the book, you can imagine how well Thisbe handled this. Much sobbing and rending of garments later, the nice man sitting next to PBB agreed to switch seats, and we settled in for the flight.

Flight itself was fine. In-flight conditions? Bad. Very. Very. Bad. The "in-flight meal" was, by far, the worst airplane food (or for that matter, any food) Thisbe has ever seen/refused to taste. Additionally, the heat in the plane was on, and there was no air circulation, so Thisbe was nearly suffocated. Also. There was an in-flight movie, but PBB's headphones were non-functional, and it was irrelevant because there was no way to actually see the screen. Iberia Airlines? You will be receiving a very nasty letter. So amid these inauspicious circumstances we arrive in Madrid and make our connecting flight (uneventful) to Barcelona.

It is during our attempts to connect to our flight to Barcelona that we first experience what Thisbe likes to call "the Spanish System", as in, there is no system. To wit: On the flight as we arrived at the gate in Madrid, the flight attendant informed us that if we had connecting flights, Iberia personnel would be available as we disembarked to direct us to our next gate. Blithely we get off the plane (relieved to just be off it) and start looking for the personnel. No personnel. In fact, no real gate. We follow the signs/general teeming of people and ultimately arrive in a more populated area of the terminal. We figure out which gate we are supposed to be at, based on the departure board, and thanks to Thisbe's Amazing Race-style skillz, get to the gate indicated. Except there is no one there. Also, the gate is alternately flashing 4 different flights all leaving at the same time. We attempt to ask other airline personnel, they are strikingly unhelpful. We find the Iberia help desk, they assure us that the flight is indeed at that gate, but as of 10 minutes AFTER the scheduled boarding time there are still no personnel at the gate, and only a small number of people.

What we finally discovered (when we boarded 20 minutes later) is that this blase attitude is a hallmark of Spain. The basic standard is that any and every scheduled or regulated event is really just a suggestion. Lines? Also a suggestion. It is sort of a "do what you feel like when you want to" attitude. As you may well imagine, two Type-A attorneys functioned poorly under this system. [WHERE IS THE GATE ATTENDANT????? IS THIS EVEN OUR GATE???? ARE WE EVEN IN SPAIN????? WTF?????].

So, amid these relatively inauspicious circumstances, we arrive in Barcelona and take a (thankfully) uneventful cab ride to our hotel.

Day 2: Barcelona! Barcelona is a fun city. It is not exactly a beautiful city but it is very interesting and has a cool gothic quality in certain areas. When we first arrived we were exhausted and starving, so we went seeking food, and located an adorable coffee shop/patisserie called Mauri around the corner from our hotel. Thisbe loves Mauri. Thisbe would like to crawl into one of their sumptuous display cases and live in there with all of the delicious pastries and sandwiches. After much gesturing and guessing, we procured sandwiches and an iced coffee and all was well with the world, and thus fortified we headed off to our first tourist attraction, Parc Guell.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Parc Guell is an incredible garden complex designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. (get comfortable with his name, you will be seeing it a lot in this mini-travel journal). Originally designed to be a planned community (which, incidentally, would have been an environmentally friendly community), it is situated on a hill with many paths, some very cool arched walkways, and a large open terrace surrounded by a continuous bench, as well as many other incredible architectural features which would require several hours to detail. However, for the purposes of this discussion, one of the key elements to remember is that it is situated on a hill. A very big hill. Indeed, the hill is so big that they actually built escalators into the street to allow people to gain access to the park. And Thisbe, for one, barely made it up to the park with the escalators. And that's after the increased gym time.

But it is worth it. Parc Guell is incredibly beautiful and Thisbe loved all of the Gaudi elements, particularly the use of broken pottery to create a sort of mosaic effect on the benches and many of the buildings. PBB (oddly) and correctly also noted that Parc Guell was the site for the final walk-off in Cycle 7 of ANTM. Thisbe was also particularly fond of the lizard at the fountain in the front of the park. All in all, it was a very pleasant ramble through our first big Barcelona sight.

Later that night we went to a restaurant called Botafumiero for dinner. In addition to being a nice restaurant generally, it turns out that Botafumeiro is sort of a Carmine's type establishment, frequented by many celebrities, whose pictures adorn the walls for patron's amusement. (e.g. Scarlett Johansson) As with many restaurants in Barcelona, there was a heavy emphasis on seafood at Botafumeiro, which we capitalized on by eating king crab and calamari. This dinner also kicked off Thisbe's week of drinking. Spain is known for delicious wine, cava (sparkling wine) and dessert wine. And Thisbe recognized that it was her opportunity, nay, her duty, to sample one drink from each of the aforementioned categories with every dinner. And so she did. And it was good.

Next up on the travelogue: The Picasso Museum & La Rambla. Stay tuned!

Today's Project: Working on the Wk's Halloween costume

Today's Life Observation: My cell phone is possessed by Satan. Really.