Now that I have spent the better part of this Summer writing about two weeks I spent in Europe in May, I think it’s time to close the chapter and move on to bigger and better – or just different – things.
The trip was spectacular. The trip was indulgent. Chris, Emma and I reconvene, periodically, to reminisce. A couple of non-food/drink related vacation gems include but are not limited to:
The search for the world’s largest mortadella.
Three years prior, Chris and I wandered into a restaurant one afternoon in Barcelona. We wanted some oysters and cava and this looked like a good spot. We had been sitting there for about fifteen or so minutes before I excused myself to use the restroom. Upon my return I found Chris in a fit of hysterical laughter, beet red, and unable to form words through his tears of elation. He finally mustered up the syllables to instruct me to take a good look around the room. It took about ten seconds for my eyeballs to settle on the source of his mania. I promptly burst out into my own hysterical fit and may have fallen out of my chair.
I don’t know how we could have missed it. Right by the front door, resting on top of its very own easel, with a jaunty green bow tie around it, was the world’s largest mortadella. It took quite a while for us to regain our composure. Hell, It's a good thing I had just relieved myself... We still take enormous joy in recounting that afternoon. Cava? Oysters? I don’t recall if they even happened. Everything else around us evaporated after the realization of the massive log of meat before us.
We were hell bent on finding that restaurant this go ‘round. At one point I sensed it. Then Chris took off running. Emma and I chased after him in exhilaration. We found the spot, but that restaurant no longer occupied the space. The mortadella was nowhere to be seen.
Thank goodness I was able to get this picture three years ago…
The stakeout of Dirty White Dreadlock Boy.
On that first trip Chris and I also found a café that we were both quite fond of. There is a photo of me in that café, sitting in front of a wall of bottles of wine that exists on my Facebook page, I think. We found ourselves there again on this recent visit, and sat in the same spot to have a latte. While there I wanted to recreate the photo from three years earlier.
Something the three of us had noticed in Barcelona, that seemed to be some horrific new trend, was dirty white boy dreads. Now listen, I went to Antioch college and I’m not a pantywaist about such things, but that was college! And that was like 1993! Grunge, remember?
So while we were enjoying our coffee and becoming irritated with my vanity regarding getting that darn picture just right, Chris spotted him. The dirtiest white boy with the kookiest white boy dreads. His hair was cut short on top with his tremendously long dreads only in the back. Kind of like a dirty white boy dread mullet. It was astounding.
But we only got a glimpse as he ducked into the little market across the street. We were so excited to get another peek that both Emma and I set up our cameras while Chris was our eagle eye. We were now on a stakeout.
It seemed like forever. I mean, what in the world could he have been doing in that place for so long? A dozen other people went in and came out before him. We thought maybe he was onto us and ducked out the back door. But then, suddenly, there he was, in all his dirty white boy dreaded glory. Our shutters were flashing away.
We were very happy.
The return to the tiny, little bar with the coolest staff, ever.
On our trip a few years back we did a lot of museums. Chris loves museums and is considerably knowledgeable of all things historic. Museums are not as much my thing. So after a few days of museum-ing, I decided to let Chris have a go at the architectural museum solo while I ducked into a dark, little bar to have a glass of wine and do some writing. By the time Chris came back to get me I was speaking Spanish like a pro and had befriended the staff and customers alike. I had also gotten a lot of important writing done.
Well, we stumbled onto that very same bar almost by accident on this journey. And as if on cue, Chris announced he wanted to go re-visit the architecture museum as Emma & I decided to duck into the bar for a glass of wine. It was exactly the same. It was empty, save for a couple of people - clearly regulars who lived close by - the place was empty. The guys working there were fun, friendly and playful. Our bartender posed for pictures with us, danced around, and even carried on with a glass of beer on his head.
Well and so...
For our last evening we met back up with Dad and Dale. Remember them? They were staying at a hotel by the water and were very likely really enjoying their respite from us kids. We all enjoyed a glass of cava on the roof of their hotel as the sun went down before heading out to find some dinner. They seem rested. We were exhausted. We walked around for a while until we settled on a little tapas spot with outdoor seating in a bustling courtyard with street performers and the like. We had cava. We had ham. We shared and compared our respective Barcelona stories with each other. We were already wistful.
Here's our album cover. If we had an album. Or a band, for that matter.
It was a truly wonderful adventure and a memorable vacation. The three of us rode to the airport together. Emma and I, on separate flights, returned to our City of Angels and Chris went on to Madrid for a friend's wedding. And more ham.