Now that we've been back a while, I can admit to being completely nostalgic for a few things from our previous life, right? Here goes, in no particular order:
Carrer de Lleo, Our Street
I always loved walking home, seeing all the same people going about the same business on our block. It's just not the same kind of community in a car-culture. I wonder if the neighbors miss me as much as I miss them?
Never Knowing What You're Going to Get
When we first arrived in Spain, I was longing for familiar foods like burritos, but I quickly became a fan of trying dishes I previously never considered food items, such as Rabo de Toro (Bull's Tail):
Weekdays Between 6pm and 9pm
This is when the neighbors come out on the plazas to have a beer or a chat or a kiddie game of street ball. The whole world slows down, lets the day go and actually enjoys time outside with friends. It's a beautiful thing.
Totally Un-P.C. and Sometimes Just Wrong
I once wrote about how the Spanish can seem offensive when viewed through an uber-politically correct American lens, but sometimes their awkward humor is just down right funny. I loved seeing odd uses of the American language, such as the following name for a clothing store. Do you think Granny realizes what she's posing under?
Clearly, if you read this blog, you know we are devout Barsa fans. Watching every game at BJ's 100 Club with all of these crazy fans was definitely the highlight of every week. We still stream the games live from our laptops, but jumping up and down by one's lonesome just ain't the same.
Is there anything on earth more tasty-looking? I don't think so.
For my birthday is this weekend and I'm making myself a big pot of paella to help cure my Spanish-homesickness. The Sunday Paella tradition lives on...!!!
Note: This list does NOT include any of our dear friends we miss terribly. Come visit!
First stop in San Francisco: El Metate for tomatillo sauce, black beans and enchiladas. Mexican food never did taste so good!
Next stop: our lovely storage closet:
How in the world did we go from carrying everything we need in these two backpacks to an entire room full of junk?!
Ted couldn't find the charger to his beard trimmer in all that mess, so he went around like this goofball for a while:
But the real question we're asking ourselves is, did we ever leave? Everything here seems just as we left it, minus a few new babies and talking toddlers. A year goes by so fast! Did we just dream up that Catalan adventure?
After two weeks of trecking across Portugal and Spain, we finally arrived in Santiago de Compostela. We hiked over 200 kilometers and somehow escaped blisters, sickness, dog bites and all other major dramas.
The best part of the trip were evenings spent chatting with and cooking dinner with people from all over the world. I highly recommend the Camino Portuguese to anyone who likes walking, meditating, eating good food and making new interesting international friends.
To celebrate our re-entry into our adopted country, Espana, we´re taking a pause from all the walking to enjoy the beautiful town of Tui in the region of Galicia. We´ve heard the food here, especially the seafood, is outstanding, some of the best in Spain.
This morning we crossed the river Minho which separates Portugal and Spain and it was a bit sad to leave that lovely country. The people of Portugal were exceedingly friendly and helpful. Once, we were invited into a family´s home to spend the night after a long day of walking. The family fed is three meals and treated us like honored guests. It was an unforgettable experience of generosity and warmth.
More later (like everything in Spain, the library is taking itś siesta now. I must gooooooo!)
Ted and I (and the littlest peregrino with a passport) have begun the Camino de Santiago, Portuguese route and are loving Portugal and it´s overwhelmingly kind and generous people. We started hiking on Saturday from Porto and hope to be in Santiago de Compostela, Espana by St. James Day, the 25th of July.
We´re taking it very slowly, walking about 15 kilometers per day through corn fields and vineyards, through bucolic little towns and over many ancient roman bridges. It´s proving to be the time we needed to reflect on our year in Barcelona and look forward to the excitement and challenges we´ll face during parenthood.