Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I have returned from Spain and it was a joyous trip. I did keep a journal during the trip although some entries are more exciting than others. I'll just go through them day by day.

On the plane on the way there I was far too excited to get any sleeping done. Plus our flight from Chicago left at 4pm meaning we landed in Madrid at what would have been about midnight Chicago time. That's right around my bedtime and then we had a two hour layover and an hour flight to Barcelona. Trying to sleep at all on the plane is usually a bust for me anyway as I tend to get airsick. But thankfully four plane rides and back and forth across the ocean were accomplished without hurling. YAY ME!

First days in Barcelona were great. It is such a large bustling metropolis albeit we were staying in the area that would be the Michigan Ave of the city so it would be hard not to feel like it was bustling.

We did a lot of window shopping and studied the old city architecture. There are these lovely thin brick roads everywhere. Barely wide enough for two persons to walk abreast and people will come careening down them on their little scooters. I've never seen so many scooters in my life.

My first day dealing with jet lag was a little rough. After staying up for nearly 20 hours we arrived at 11am Barcelona time and at that point you just have to make a go of staying awake all day so you can get back on schedule that evening. I was more moody than a teenage girl according to Peter.

We walked down La Rambla which according to wikipedia is a tree lined pedestrian mall. It was very similar to the French Quarter in New Orleans. Lots of touristy stands selling fridge magnets that say Barcelona and have flamenco dancing ladies on them. My favorite shops were the sidewalk pet shops. Literally newspaper stands with aquariums, terrariums, and cages filled with rodents, birds, and fish. There was a very large open air market with meats and produce of all kinds. If you need a skinned sheep's head with eyes intact look no further.

Peter and I were crawled on by vermin in the Placa de Catalunya, which is the large square in the center of downtown Barcelona. We bought some bird seed; fed the pigeons, and it was easily the best two euros I spent the whole trip.

We also visited the Barcelona Cathedral but I don't seem to have any of those photos. When they arrive I'll post some. It was a magnificent structure completed throughout the 13th to 15th centuries. I was forced to cover my bare shoulders which I knew was something the Catholics frown upon but I've never been required to do it before entering a church. There was a very well dressed man at the door turning inappropriately dressed men and women away. He didn't speak he would just look you up and down and shake his head and wag his finger at you. It was a very effective if not considerate way of communicating his meaning.

I'll share more about a street musician and Park Guell later this week.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Today I take off with my husband and his family to SPAIN! This will be my first time in Europe and I will be keeping a journal to share all of my experience via blog form once I return. Also there should be some photos for you all to gander at as well. Ta ta for now faithful readers.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lions, and Tigers, and RATS...Oh MY!

The other day I noticed that a loaf of bread that had been quietly resting on the window sill in our kitchen had been gnawed on. the bag was chewed through and there were little bread crumbs all around. "A goddamn mouse!" I instantly thought and told Peter we would need some mouse traps for which to kill the vermin. Peter and I went to Walgreens and purchased your standard wooden spring mouse traps and some peanut butter. In my experience with mice (which is not abundant) they respond to peanut butter better than cheese.

We set up the traps and waited. No takers for a whole twenty four hours. Last evening I came home from work and Peter with a serious look said "I have bad news...it's a RAT!" He had seen it tear across the kitchen floor heading for our hot water closet. That son of a bitch is living in OUR hot water closet. Peter did some research and found out it's not a good idea to try to catch a rat in a mouse trap. They are too big and in many cases just get injured and craw back in your walls to die. Dead things in your walls are bad in case you don't already know this.

So we set about to make a homemade rat trap (also something Peter found on the internet) out of a bucket a broom and plastic soda bottle. You cut the ends of the soda bottle and run it through to about the middle of the broom. Then you place the broom over the bucket with the soda bottle in the middle. You smear peanut butter on the bottle and fill the bucket with water. Then you build the asshole a little ramp. So he can climb to the top of the bucket but not quite reach the peanut butter and as his greedy eyes will not allow him to deny himself he will continue to try and attain the peanut butter until he falls in the bucket of water. HA HA! Brilliant! Problem is that rats can swim for a long time. We have not caught him yet but when we do I have decided that I will just put a heavy pot lid over him and he will drown. I hate rats!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dressing up

So Sunday Peter and I went to see Pirates! Band of Misfits and because we own pirate hats we dressed up a bit. We didn't go full Blackbeard or anything but the response was nice. Children especially were excited to see us in our hats. The screenplay was written by Gideon Defoe and it was an adaptation of multiple pirate books that he has written and Peter and I have read so it was a very enjoyable movie for us.

Also on the subject of people responding, last night at work I had a sweet older couple ask me if I dance on Fridays at the Empty Bottle. They recognized me and said Peter and I are the most fun to watch. They don't dance themselves unfortunately but now that I have met them I may have to drag them out on the floor next time we go. Other than that life has been the usual. I am working on a couple new love city signs for some friends. I thought in the spirit of Chicago I would make a love city #2 and a love city #3. As you wander around the city you can see many BEST SUB #7 and Burrito Taco Palace #4. It's quite amusing as I never see the originals maybe because their signage is not quite so unusual. This way my friends can hang their love city signs in their apartments and people will ask where is the original love city?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

With a Sickness

So yesterday I was bed ridden. Today I'm better but still not well enough to go to work (thank goodness for Cary). For the first time in my life I have gotten the flu. You know how everyone always talks about how they get achy and all their joints hurt when they have the flu. That has never happened to me until yesterday. My body felt almost as bad as when I was hit by a car. With all this new technology I was able to diagnose myself via the internet and find out all the proper treatments. Hopefully I will be better by tomorrow and can write a more interesting post but for now, dear readers, this is the best I can muster.