Tuesday, December 28, 2010
DH and I rode the local bus up to Park Guell today - this is Antoni Gaudi's famous park that was supposed to be an urban development, but turned out to be his mosaic and stonework masterpiece. It's sort of like fairy tale houses in Central Park on drugs. Major colorful kaleidescopic drugs. I don't know how else to explain it.
There's the mosaic serpentine bench ringing the central plaza, with all kinds of colors and designs. Or the undulating retaining walls, all in mosaic. Or the pillars (concrete? stone?) holding up the undulating mosaic ceiling. Or the curved and slanted stone pillars holding up the viaducts. And, of course, the mosaic dragon fountain to greet visitors, as well as the two wobbly-looking guard houses.
I loved it! This is art person heaven! Very artsy, colorful, crazy in an Alice in Wonderland kind of way! Absolutely fabulous!!!!!!!
Photos will follow - eventually!
Monday, December 27, 2010
DH and I decided that after an 8 hour siteseeing day (and over 15,000 steps on my pedometer), we probably didn't need to walk too far for dinner. So after about 45 minutes back in our hotel room, we wandered around our neighborhood, which is 4 blocks or so from the main shopping road in Barcelona. We walked in the opposite direction and looked at menus, in windows, and finally chose a place that sounded as if there were things we'd both enjoy.
Our waiter explained that they had a 40% discount on food items (we weren't sure if this was a special for the holidays, or if they had just opened, or what - our Spanish and the waiter's English didn't allow us to gather much beyond the discount) - so DH and I each ordered a starter, and a main course.
I ordered the grilled vegs, which were lovely but it was a HUGE platter of grilled eggplant, zucchini, two kinds of mushrooms, and artichoke - with some kind of red pepper sauce. Very tasty, but I couldn't finish it. (I did eat about 75% of it) Then, our main courses - my beautiful magret of duck, skinned, with a red wine sauce - and half a poached pear, redolent with spices and a touch of vanilla - and three slices of what tasted like a lemony muffin or cupcake. Really! I have no other way of describing it - lemon cupcake sans icing. I cut the fat off the duck and thoroughly enjoyed it. I ate the pear and told DH it was too good to share with him. And I ate half the cupcake and gave the other half to DH, who ate it for dessert after his Argentinian steak.
It was a wonderful meal, the price was right, and it was just the oddest combination!!!!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
DH and I arrived in Barcelona about 5 PM, after about 18 hours of travelling, including an overnight flight. We're both tired, but we both wanted to walk around the city, enjoy the holiday lights and decorations, and find a light dinner. (We also walked to our hotel from the bus station, and of course were pointed in the wrong direction by someone so had to backtrack - I figure it's all good walking.)
Weather is clear and cold - well, cold for us, about 50 F during the day, 35-ish at night. Not frigid, but definitely brisk. Good walking weather - as long as one has jeans, warm shoes, a jacket, and I think I'll probably wear scarves every day.
We're enjoying the tapas - makes a nice light lunch and/or dinner - little mini sandwiches and salads and pieces of omelet - I even had grilled asparagus with melted brie, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, served on a bit of black truffle sauce. Oh wow was that delicioso!!!!!!!
So - I hope to lose weight with all the walking and the healthy eating. I'll keep track and see what happens when I get back on a scale at home in 2 weeks.
Happy rest of December to all!!!!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I put my "wardrobe on a diet" in my small roll aboard bag. Jacket, sweater, book, laptop go in the backpack. DH had a huge pile of clothes, I offered him the use of my larger roll aboard (which makes it still pretty small). He had to take out two sweaters (who needs 4 sweaters PLUS a sweatshirt for 2 weeks? And I have 2 pair of jeans and 1 pair of leggings - he has 4 pairs of pants!!!) and we were able to fit everything. So we have only carryon luggage for the two of us - YAY!!!!! This will speed things up at Customs, as well as when we arrive.
So - we're off on another adventure, I have the laptop and will probably Spark every day (while DH naps, he loves his naps), and I'll report in.
Have a wonderful rest of the holidays, and I wish everyone lots of love and laughter in 2011!!!!!
Friday, December 24, 2010
I've read several articles about downsizing one's lifestyle, and it usually includes keeping one's clothing to a minimum. And while I've stopped buying as many clothes as usual, and forced myself to think twice before making any purchases, I still continue to purchase clothes, especially for my winter travelling.
So now I'm thinking about packing for two weeks in Spain. And how to keep this minimal.
I'm planning on 2 pairs of jeans and one pair of leggings (which could fit under the jeans if it's really a cold day/night). Maybe 4 or 5 long-sleeved tees that can layer under tops, or that can be used for sleepwear. Four or 5 blouses/shirts. Three sweaters (one is very heavy and doubles as a light jacket). One heavy jacket with a zip-out lining. Hat, mittens, one or two scarves. Two pair of sneakers. (Because the last time I only took one pair of shoes on a trip, I fell in a river and had to keep hiking in wet shoes, LOL.) Socks, undies, toiletries, a book or two. Camera. Light weight laptop.
And I think that's it. I can manage with just that. I probably could manage with less, but I get bored easily, so I need a bit of variety.
Now all I need to do is squeeze that into my rolling carry on bag, and I'll be set.
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