Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

All good things must come to an end. Ben and I left Europe at probably the right time. We were still having fun, were kind of sad to go, but anxious to come home. It's a funny thing though once you know you're going home...you want to be home right away, which of course never happens. We arrived at the Barcelona airport to find a 3 hour delay...sweet. Then we were asked about 50 times if we had accepted any packages to take home, which apparently people have done before and they turned out to be bombs. As we waited and waited and waited for our plane I kept eyeing people in the terminal, to see if any of them were likely suspects to bring a package home. All in all it was a little unnerving. Eight hours after boarding we arrived in New York to find out our connection, that American Airlines was sure we were going to make, had already departed. So we accepted our new tickets on a later Delta flight. Off to our new terminal I got on a train when the door immediately shut behind me with Ben on the other side. We were able to make it 6 weeks in Europe without losing each other and 10 minutes back in the states..bam...separated with no cell phones. Now needless to say this doesn't sound like a dire situation, but if anyone has ever been to the JFK airport, they might know how confusing the place is and how much fun it is to try and find someone. 30 minutes later and 1 hour from takeoff we were reunited...now both at our breaking points. We had to be cut in front of the ticket line, cut in front of security, secretly screened (wanded, bags checked) and the race to the terminal was on--watch out people with walkers. We sprinted to our terminal (as advised by the Delta checkers) to arrive and find out?.....our plane wasn't even boarding. Delay...delay...get on plane, sit for over an hour...6 hours later...home!!!
So we finally made it back. And as fun as it was to be in a new adventure, the comforts of home sure are great. I missed little things, such as drinking fountains and ice water, and the big things too...family and friends. I didn't miss my cell phone or celebrity gossip, but I guess it's a trade off. Now it's back to the real world. O-well..it's nice to be home.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Last Stop

It's fun when you don't have any expectations about a place and it completely blows your mind. Ben and I didn't have any real knowledge about Barcelona, other than some personal recommendations from people who had visited. However, even with those recommendations, we still weren't prepared for how much fun we were going to have...that is once we got out of the scary hostel...aka the bar. The architeture around the city is nothing I have ever imagined. Mostly designed by Antoni Gaudi in the early 1900s, the buildings around the city (and Park Guell) are something out of Grimm's fairytales. They radiant brillant colors and are so unconventional, it's amazing they were even conceptualized (Pictures don't do it justice, but I'll try anyways). Our new Ben also gave us great tips on the best tapas place in Barcelona...yumm...and we spent our remaining days walking around the city, visiting the Picasso museum, seeing where the 1992 Olympics were held, and experiencing the intensity of what it feels like to stand next to two of the biggest bulls I have ever seen...big. We're sad to go, but excited to get home...probably the perfect time to leave.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hurray for Ships! Off the Boat.

Our week in Tuscany ended very peacefully. We had a wonderful week enjoying Tuscan wine, beautiful countryside and a relaxing environment. On Friday we headed south on the train to catch a ferry over to Barcelona. One of the chapters of a book Ben and I read on this trip was entitled ¨Hurray for Ships!,¨which became our motto as we headed to our ferry with anticipation and excitement. Once onboard our motto quickly changed to Öff the Boat¨. It took 20 long hours, watching young Italian kids (our nemises sp?) on this trip frolick around behaving as terrible as they did in Cinque Terra and sleeping in between rows of seats on a concrete floor, well kind of sleeping...¨off the boat¨¨. The good thing about the boat was we met a nice boy named Ben who lives in Mass. but is a tour guide in Barcelona...like it was meant to be. He took us to our hostel and gave us lots of great tips. Yeah for Ben! This is the first hostel that Ben and I have stayed at and it´s hilarious. 20 person dorm bunkbeds...I don´t need to go into detail. Let´s just say that Ben and I have nicknamed everyone in our dorm and we are the old folks and Ben´s first words this morning were Ï hate this place¨. I almost spit my cereal out laughing so hard. Apparently we have crossed the age barrier for youth hostels.
Barcelona is wonderful though, warm, sunny with lots to see and a laid back atmosphere. The perfect place to end our trip. We´re getting close to the end...very excited to come home, but said that it´s almost over. See you all soon!