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All about Traveling


Barcelona

My list of accomplishments this year will read in this order: Went to Barcelona. Yelled at a stranger who totally deserved it. Escaped New York City.

It’s been about a month since my trip to Barcelona, which is absolutely going to be my most favorite memory of the year, just ahead of that night in Brooklyn I ate a pig’s tail and SML ran into a wall. I only spent two nights in the city before heading north through France, and I really should have pushed to stay another night, or at the very least had my own pitcher of Sangria.

This picture was taken from Güell Park overlooking the city and in the very far distance you can see the Mediterranean Sea. My heart skips a little when I look at this picture because the evening I took this picture, I had walked the entire distance from the seashore to the top of this hill. Something is wrong with me.


LOVE

Philadelphia is a mere two-hour bus ride from New York City, so I booked tickets for this last weekend and spent a morning creating an itinerary. That itinerary included stops to the Betsy Ross Home, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall...it was a lot like a school field trip except that I ended the night in a pub filled with bobble heads.

I should really say that my night started with bobble heads, because later that night I took SML to a restaurant I had read good things about and only had two dollar signs, indicating the price aligned with a poor-man’s budget. Because it was Valentine’s Day Weekend the menu was prixe fixe and included things like Oysters, undercooked meat and the most delicious Gnocchi I have ever tasted for fifty-five dollars.

SML spent the evening dining on bread and turning purple while I tried my first ever oyster. I happen to like seafood so the meal wasn’t exactly wasted, but I did feel the need to run out and buy a wardrobe of stretchy pants to accommodate the extra food.


Smile! Act Happy!

SML and I spent the Holiday in Utah this year, as we do on most years, and split up our time between families. If you were like me, trying to travel through John F. Kennedy after the snowstorm, take yourself out right now for a beverage infused with Bourbon. I’m not exactly sure how many times I cursed, out loud at least, but it took great restraint not to hurl a string of obscenities at just about anyone who came near me. Especially skinny blond men. They antagonize me.

This picture was taken of my family on Christmas Eve, just after dinner and while my mother was screaming at the kids to, “SMILE!” and “ACT HAPPY!” I think that caused the adults to laugh and the kids to be even more defiant.

Now. I’m not going to say I miss Utah. But I miss my family.


State House

I took this picture of the Rhode Island State Capitol on Saturday as SML and I were returning to the train station. We spent the afternoon in Providence, having lunch at a wonderful hipster establishment that served beer for less than eight dollars. It was something that both SML and I commented on, “Four dollar beers! DON’T BOTHER WITH THE WATER.”

Providence is unbelievably quiet and peaceful compared to Boston. Just last night someone was stabbed and killed just two blocks from my apartment. When I find a place nice, quiet, and far away from Allston I immediately insist that we move there and send a taxi for the cat.

SML was considering living in Providence, I think, and so I started sugar coating it suggesting that Providence was perfect because we’d only be an hour away from Boston, “An hour train ride! That’s all!” SML launched into a story about his school mate living in Connecticut two hours from New York City and two hours from Boston, who thinks that a short two-hour ride between cities is perfect. “It doesn’t sound perfect, it sounds like purgatory!”


Grave Yard

I took my first trip on the Massachusetts commuter line this afternoon to Salem, an eighteen-mile trip that boasted industrial scenery as well as a quaint town called Scottswamp. I brought out my horse laugh when I saw the name of that town because SML will call any sweaty place on his body the “swamp.” SML did not laugh like a horse when he saw the sign, but I’m guessing it was only because there were other people on the train.

I took this picture in one of the oldest graveyards in America, a small plot of land tucked into the near center of the city. It’s fascinating to me that these stones are still standing, clean even from vandalism. That may be because I’ve been living in Allston for the last year with a postal box telling me “u watch ur ass.”

Modern tombstones aren’t nearly as scary as these, which makes me wonder if it’s possible to get something like this made up for myself. It would have to look antique with water spots and a faded inscription, with maybe a skull near the top with angel wings. Maybe I shouldn’t post this here, I don’t want to go into Costco and see that someone has stolen my idea.