Saturday, May 16, 2009
In celebration of my friend Meg’s 30th birthday I met her and two of her friends in Barcelona for a long weekend last Saturday. It was too short of a visit. This is now my third visit to Spain, visiting very different places for different purposes each time and I absolutely loved it. Even though I can only count (thank you Sesame Street!), say thank you, and tell people I don’t speak Spanish in Spanish, it still feels very welcoming.
This is the first time basically since we lived apart last year that I have travelled sans family, something I used to do every month for work when we lived in the U.S. However, I don’t think I’ve fully recovered from that long separation because when I called home the day before I was set to fly back I started crying on the phone telling H how much I missed them even though I’d only been gone two days. All he kept saying was “Go have fun!”
The girls were great to travel with and the experience was different than it would have been without them. I met Meg when we were enrolled in the same graduate program in St. Louis. She is very social and we started chatting in class. So I was not surprised that we met people, locals or other tourists, throughout the vacation because of her social nature. Instead of having a structured schedule, we took it moment by moment. When I got back and I was talking to my boss about it, she said that is the great thing about Barcelona, there is so much to see that you can just ramble through the city and see things along the way. I also had a new camera for this trip so I was testing that out.
Oh, the only place we HAD to visit was the U.S. Consulate on Monday. Before arriving in Barcelona, Meg and her friends landed in Madrid which was a change in plans due to weather. While having dinner at an outdoor café, Meg’s purse was stolen so she had nothing for the rest of the trip, no cash, no credit cards, no passport. We had to go and get a temporary passport so she could fly home on Tuesday. Because of the Formula One racing that took place over the weekend in Barcelona, the pickpockets were in full force so she was not alone at the Consulate, in fact we talked for quite a while with a dad from Kansas City. He was there spending time with his son who had spent the last semester studying in Barcelona and was now heading home. As we stood there and chatted, his father told us with a smile that he heard there was a place in Kansas City that could remove the pierced loop in his son’s bottom lip, a new addition since he’d been away from home. I couldn’t help but tell the kid that it looked like he’d been involved in a fishing accident and there was a hook in his bottom lip to prove it. I am now officially old! In spite of the stress of losing everything on the trip we had a lot of laughs along the way.