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July 24th, 2013

Hairpin Turns and Elevation Drop-offs

Here’s a little followup to my motorcycle trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

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May 24th, 2013

I recently crashed my motorcycle

First of all, I’m ok. I ended up with a broken collarbone and bad knee laceration. I’m on week three and feeling a lot better now. I wrote about the experience on the Hear Me Rev site, you can read the full article here: What is it like to crash your motorcycle?

June 22nd, 2012

Barcelona, Day 14

(Friday, May 25th)

Steve and I went over to Montjuïc to the Joan Miro museum. The work was really fun and playful, but as Steve pointed out very repetitious (with the stars and line drawings).

Afterwards we walked around the park a little and had lunch at Font del Gat. It was a low-key day and we didn’t do a lot. Later that night we packed, played more captions and ate pizza on the roof of the apartment. We saw a bit of a sunset.

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The next morning I was up early enough to see an amazing sunrise. Then we were off to a sorely missed bed and sweet doggies!

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¡Ya está!

June 22nd, 2012

Barcelona, Day 13

(Thursday, May 24th)

We set out with Brian, Amy and Keli and started at Granja Vieder (milk bar) for thick chocolatey drinks. They were indeed very thick and very chocolatey! This particular place is the oldest in Barcelona, since 1870. I expected it to feel old, but it didn’t. It must have been refurbished in the 50′s.

Brian split off and the rest of us went to the Promenade for lunch at Agua. The food was good, but the odd thing is that they charged for each piece of bread we ate. Weird right?

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Then we walked along on the beach and wound our way back towards the Metro stop. We had some ice cream on the way and it was a nice, leisurely, beautiful day.

When we got back to the apartment we napped (I was getting really used to the siesta style of living) and played captions.

Then most of us went to the second fancy dinner, this one at Alkimia. The food was fantastic – and beautiful – the wait staff was super friendly and funny. Amy was flirting with our waiter, so I wanted to take his picture (along with his two female helpers) and so she asked him in Spanish. He thought we meant the entire staff, so he took me back in the kitchen to photograph them too! What fun :) (Menu and food)

On to day 14, last day

June 22nd, 2012

Barcelona, Day 12

(Wednesday, May 23rd)

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Several of us went to Casa Batlló, another amazing piece of work by Antoni Goudi. His attention to detail is remarkable. I’m not saying that all architects aren’t artists, but he just takes it to a whole new level.

Then we walked around La Boqueria, Barcelona’s giant food market. We marveled at the glorious food stands, snacked and ate delicious lunch. This market is unbelievable, Orion said he’d like to live there!

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That night just about all of us went out for Catalan pizza. The pizzas themselves are a little small, so we ordered many of them and all shared. Most of them were pretty good, some too salty.

On to day 13

June 21st, 2012

Barcelona, Day 11

(Tuesday, May 22nd)

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We began the day with Sagrada Familia. OMG, what an amazing building — the most beautiful I’ve ever been in. It was so cool to see a building of that magnitude in the making. Construction started in the 1880′s and Goudi estimated 300 years to complete it. With modern technology they are now due to finish in 2026. I want to go back in 20 years when it will (hopefully) be complete.

The inside was made to feel like trees, and you do feel like you’re standing in a forest. Goudi really paid so much attention to detail, every nook and cranny was clearly well thought out. The upper level on the inside is meant to seat 1,000 choir singers and the acoustics are designed to carry their voices throughout. He also carefully planned the positions of the stained glass windows so the light is not to bright or too dim (only about a third of them are complete). I bet the grand opening is going to be fabulous!

We also went to the Picasso Museum. It was very different from the Dali museum – no pictures allowed. But it was full of great, inspiring artwork. Afterward I went shopping with some of the ladies and bought a really cool bracelet.

During the trip there were two fancy dinners planned, one of them was this night. We ate at Hisop (menu and food) and it was pretty good, but not fantastic. The poor waitresses were not happy with out loud obnoxiousness, I can’t blame them.

On to day 12

June 21st, 2012

Barcelona, Day 10

(Monday, May 21st)

Steve and I woke up late to find most folks gone. So we walked over to La Rambla — the pedestrian-only promenade. Some say it’s the most beautiful street in the world, I’m not sure I agree. Maybe it was in the early 1900′s, but now it’s full of street vendors and annoying tourist. There were a few street performers and it mostly felt like the Barcelona version of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

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At the end of that mile we wondered over to Barri Gotic. That places is just full of photographic buildings! Now THAT is a beautiful place. We saw a really neat jewelry store with some really crazy things in it.

And I don’t remember what we did for dinner. Oh well.

On to day 11

June 21st, 2012

Barcelona, Day 9

(Sunday, May 20th)

Steve, Orion, Rebecca, Chris, Brian and I all went to lunch. Then we headed off to Park Güell. From the top you can see all of Barcelona, it was breathtaking! The park also had some Goudi sculptures sprinkled throughout and he made the two gingerbread houses that stand at the front.

Sagrada Familia is in the center, towering over its surroundings More pictures

It started to rain so we went back to the apartment and napped. It was siesta time anyway, when in Rome (or Barcelona)!

A large group of us went to dinner. The place was packed and had a 50 minute wait so Steve, Allen, Brian and I split from the group to have a quicker dinner nearby. We found a place that sat us immediately and the food was fantastic. The best paella we had during the whole trip!

On to day 10

June 21st, 2012

Barcelona, Day 8

(Saturday, May 19th)

Time to leave the castle. A few people headed home, some people went to France for a couple days and the rest of us headed into Barcelona.

We managed to check out of the castle in good time. Though we had a really tough time figuring out how to get back to the car rental place. Unfortunately we didn’t save the location on the GPS and the address couldn’t be found anywhere. After dropping everyone off at the apartments (four people in one, eleven in the other) Steve and Brian took off and with some effort finally happened upon it.

This was the view from the apartment (you can see the towers of Sagrada Familia in the top left) More pictures

That day we mostly hung out at the apartment and relaxed, winding down from that whirlwind of a week!

In the evening we all went to dinner in Barri Gòtic — the central part of Barcelona. It’s mostly pedestrians but some cars try to squeeze through of course. There are some beautiful and old buildings sprinkled throughout.

Jon’s friend suggested we eat at Bar el Tropezón. It was a small, grungy place which is usually a good sign. We had a ton of great tapas and it was so cheap! Later we went to a bar and some of us went back to the apartments.

To day 9

June 21st, 2012

Girona, Day 7

(Friday, May 18th)

Two groups went on Segway tours in Santa Pau — a functioning medieval town. Brian, Ben and I decided not to do the tours for various reasons. We arrived in town just before lunch to walk around. It was pretty empty, but very neat. There was a castle in the middle with towers scattered around. And the whole town was built on a hill.

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We all had lunch in town at Cal Sastre and it took about two hours. They kept wanting to give us more things! A special dessert with fruit, yogurt and foam. And a local liquor. They did one shitty thing though: they served us crappy wine when we ordered nice wine, and charged us for the good stuff!

Afterward we all hung out at the house and had left overs for dinner.

On to day 8