Mar 31, 2010

Jet Lag

So, you´d think with all there is to see here, that I´d never have time to blog. But there´s a free computer right beside the 24 hour buffet, and we´ve been awake for hours. I hope it´s cause we napped so much yesterday, but it´s likely because my internal clock is screwed up. Anyway, been up since 4am Barcelona time, and showered and having breakfast and it´s not even 7. But hey, when in Barcelona. We´re heading out this morning to see the streets without the throngs of people, and get some pics as the sun comes up. I know you´re all anxious for pics, but this computer doesn´t have a hard drive, it´s just a networked monitor. So not sure when we´ll be able to post.

Plan today is Gaudi and all his weirdness. And figuring out how to use our credit cards, which up till now aren´t working. No big deal if it´s cash everywhere, just irritating. Gonna attempt the subway, and the grocery store. We´ve noticed a blatant lack of weight issues here. They don´t eat big meals, which means us ´healthy´ Canucks are starving all the time. Tiny meals all day is great an all, but don´t you serve steak and potatoes?

´How did you lose so much weightWent to Europe.

Also, this keyboard is funky. Here´s some of the letters and characters on it...no idea what they are or do...

¡ ¿ ñ ç º ¬ ª

It´s also quite dim in here, the suns isn´t up, and they have little light...so I look like an idiot with my nose to the keyboard trying to show you the stuff.

Just discovered another thing, funny....hit the spell check...it highlighted every word. I aparantly don´t speak Spanish and neither does Blogger. = )

¡Hola!

We have arrived!!!

Long long long flights. 9.5 hours from Calgary to Frankfurt. Might I say that Frankfurt is a humungo airport. HUGE....and we had about 1/2 hour to get from one end to the other to get on our connecting flight to Barcelona. We made it, hot and sweaty...but wow, that´s a big airport...and all in GERMAN! (shocking)

Flight to Barcelona was un eventful, turbulent, and we tried to sleep. Seems that if you cross over water, you miss out on night. We have missed out on a whole night somewhere along the way, and are starting to feel it. Jet Lag pills or no jet lag pills....dude I´m tired.

Got here and did the first thing we said we wouldn´t, get lost and look like dumb tourists. But we finally found the bus. Then get us to Plaça de Catalunya. A main bus station in Barcelona. Crazy amounts of people, speaking all kinds of languages I don´t know. Loaded with backpacks and a blank look...we set out to find our hotel....and a bathroom. Hotel Continental Palacete. Walked past it twice, asked direction of a very nice non english speaking lady, and we found it. Nerves a little shot, tempers a little tight...but finally here.

Have you ever taken Pepto Bismol for an upset stomach, but it didn´t do the job and you puked up the pink....that´s about the look of our room. I´ve never seen so much pink in such a small space. The rest is lovely, if a little over done with the gold, and the naked statues, and the flowers...but still, it´s Europe.

Nap time. Had to set our alarm so we wouldn´t hit a full 8 hours. It´s not bed time, it´s noon...we just think we´ve been up all night. We have. Have you ever tried to sleep on a plane, when your body thinks it´s 6pm. Didn´t happen.

Nap, shower and out for a first look. No pics yet, wanted to check it out and see what we´re in for. So many people, so many languages, so many looks and outfits and hair styles. It´s crazy, and fun...and we´re already having a blast.

Couple hours of walking down Las Ramblas. A huge walking street with all kinds of shops and markets people, and living statues. Those are pretty fun and we´ll take pics tomorrow. Give them a tip and they´ll come to life. Down to the port and then back on a side road....only to be taken in the day time. Amazing.

Stopped for a bite, learned a lesson about assuming...we won´t do that again. Good thing our hotel has a free 24hr buffet, no need to spend a lot on food.

So we´re back for a bit, to rest our feet....try not to fall asleep so we can get adjusted to the time, and maybe head out to see the night life. We´ve read that the REAL Barcelona doesn´t start until after 9pm.

Can´t believe we´re here. I´ve always found flying to be a little disorienting. Get on at home, and a few hours later you´re in a completely different place....this time the other side of the world.

GSIL, can´t believe how much I wish you were here, you would be beside yourself with the picture opps. Will try and do it justice.

Ciao

Mar 29, 2010

3....2.....1!!

Okay, so you got a break from my bragging over the weekend. Busy with kids, and packing and errands. But...I didn't have time to blog today, and now I need to put the stuff in the backpack, otherwise...I can't leave. Well, I can...but I won't have any stuff.

So, I won't preview Rome for you, you'll just have see the real thing when I post pictures.

Here is my last will and testament.

To my GSIL I leave my hair straightener.

To BB - awesomeness to be posted at a later time - I leave my sewing machine, as a back up.

To my brother, I leave the deep memories of happiness and fulfillment that I provided his childhood and youth. You're welcome for being such an amazing example of fun.

To Candi, I leave the satisfied feeling of knowing that I brought out the ability to play that piano so well, okay fine, and maybe you're natural talent.

To M, you can have my teeth, I'm sure they're useful for something.

To CC, my sweet girl, you can fight with GSIL over the hair straightener. It's worth it...it starts with Ch....and ends with i. I know!!

And the rest of you, you may divide among you all my treasures and personal possession. Take what has affected your life the deepest...or what you can pawn for cash.

It's has been a good life.

Ciao!!

Mar 26, 2010

4 Days


You think you're getting tired of this count down, but you're really not. Deep breath, we'll make it through together.

Okay, back to me.


After a couple days in Marseilles, we continue our fun filled journey of France and make a stop in Nice. (pronounced neice, again, you're welcome)

We've read that this is where we should notice a temperature change. Barcelona and Marseilles will be in the high teens for temp. But in Nice and onward we should see mid 20 weather. We knew this wouldn't be a beach vacation, and likely not result in any amazing tans, but who could turn down enough travel points to take you to Europe?!!?! Not me...


The city of Nice is located on the French Riviera in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur (huh?) Blessed by a sunny, temperate climate, Nice attracts visitors from around the world (like me). Among its many attractions are its beautiful beaches (oh ya) lovely seaside promenade, (bring them on) interesting museums (meh) famous landmarks (better) and other tourist attractions. (I'll let you know)


I don't think you're fully appreciating the wealth of knowledge I am providing....

Mar 25, 2010

5 Days~

Okay, I'm starting to get excited. I've been holding off I think. Lots to do before I can go anywhere. But it's now Thursday. The one big project I HAD to finish at work, is done. I still have a list to complete, but nothing crazy like.

So today I'm realizing that I'll be in Europe this time next week. In Spain to be exact. That's crazy dude.

On to the next lesson...we will move on to France. From Barcelona we are taking the EuroRail to Marseille.

Marseille is the oldest city in France, and currently its second most populous, behind Paris. It forms the third largest metropolitan area. Located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. Marseille is France's largest commercial port. (you're welcome)



Now...just a small side note. In my quest for an 'excited' picture...this came up. I have no comments, and feel the need to shake my head a little...


Mar 24, 2010

6 Days

Yes, that's right loyal readers...all 2 of you...I was serious when I said I'd count down the days.

On this installment of...rub it in that I'm going to Europe next week...I'd like to introduce to you Flamenco Dancing. Brought to my attention by the lovely Jody.

A little history...

Flamenco is a style of music and dance which is considered part of the culture of Spain, although it is actually native to only one region: Andalusia.

Andalusian, Gypsy, Sephardic, Morrish and byzantine influences have been detected in flamenco, often claimed to have coalesced around the time of the Reconquista in the 15th century. The original of the term are unclear, the word Flamenco itself was not recorded until the 18th century.

Flamenco is the music of the Andalusian gypsies and played in their social community. Andalusian people who grew up around gypsies were also accepted as "flamencos" (Wikipedia...I don't know this stuff)



This is Flamenco Dancing...sorry, you have to follow the link. Why won't "paste" work?!?!?!

But THIS!!....I'm going to find this show. Oh wait, I'm not going to Greece.

Mar 23, 2010

~ 7 Days ~


Yes, I am going to count down every day, consider it a blessing...not torture.


So...some history for you.

This is Mr. Gaudi. He's the creator of everything wierd artistic in Barcelona. Which is the first stop on our adventure. He had quite the eye for strange, and made strange in a big way. We will be seeing the big and the strange.

Here is a preview.

Mar 22, 2010

~ Single ~

Ha ha....you thought that meant something else....hee hee

Single digits...we are now in SINGLE DIGITS for the count down to Europe.

We've been doing lots of research on our destinations...their culture, language, sites and people. As beautiful and ancient and mysterious as it all is...is seems that stealing is the biggest thing to watch for. Pickpocket Professionals. The advice given...be direct. Which means if someone is stalling, causing a scene or giving your their baby (what?!) then you are to be direct, in your language or theirs..."Go Away!". They're not interested in the loud overbearing Canadian. They want the easy prey of the confused, loaded down with luggage tourist who doesn't have a clue where they're going. I'm very excited for this permission to be rude. How many times have you had someone near you, talking to you, selling you something and you try to be polite....but really you want to look at them..."GO AWAY!".

I'll be practising from now on, try not to run into me between now and next tuesday.

So the baby scam? Gypsy lady comes up to you and tries to hand you her baby. You automatic response is to take the baby. After all...its a BABY, you're not going to drop the baby. And as you take said gorgeous exotic baby, she reaches into your bag. Lovely. Nice lesson in manners. So our solution, if we're presented with a baby....

1. Take the baby and run, sell it on the black market.

2. Take the baby and play the "throw them in the air as high as possible until they get that fun fun fun...SCARED look on their face".

3. Take the baby and give her your bag, she wants it anyways...she doesn't know that it's full of toilet paper...and hey, now you have a souvenir from Italy.

4. Take the baby, shake it up a little, hand it back. If it's not crying, it's eaten recently.

So again, if you see me in the next week...don't give me your baby....it may not turn out well.

Mar 17, 2010

~ Somedays...you just wanna be... ~

Mar 10, 2010

~ Check ~



Hello,

My name is Tiffany...and I make lists.

I am an 'out of sight, out of mind' person. If I'm not looking at it, I'm not thinking about it. My desk is usually pile high. The guys I work with don't like it....get over your issues. This is how I operate.

I also get great pleasure out of checking items off my list. I will add an item to my list, that wasn't on previously, even if I've already accomplished it, just so I can check it off. Some call that OCD, I call it productive.

So, as you can imagine, with the big trip upcoming, there is a list. In fact, on my Blackberry there are multiple lists, always on the go, always changing.

Current Lists

Costco

Groceries - cause general groceries are different than Costco groceries, to me.

House - this is isn't a list of houses, but rather items still needed for the house. What house? Ha ha, that's another post.

Tiffany - okay, that isn't a list. That's a note, I keep it cause it makes me happy.

To Be Read - I think that's fairly self explanitory

To Do - now you'd think that this is redundant with the other lists...it's not.

Work-outs - this is my sad sad attempt to start keeping track of my work outs. Why? Cause I

like lists. And also cause GSIL and I are supposed to be challenging each other. Mostly, we threw the idea out there, and haven't talked about it since.

Europe - this, of course, is the most recent and exciting list. There are items that need to be purchased on the list now. Backpacks can be checked off, did that last weekend. Need travel pillows and blankets. Did you know they charge for that on airlines now? Cheapo's. Actually maybe that's good, cause I don't really like the idea of using someone's blanket, and especially lice ridden pillow. So, thanks anyway, but I'll buy my own.

Do you ever sit at the movie theatre, lean your head back on the seat...and wonder if you're gonna get lice? Well, you will now. I think of it every time. They can't possibly sanitize those seats often, certainly not after every show. They can't get the sticky crap off the floor, why would they steam clean my chair. How many people and their yuckiness have sat in that seat, put their head back....blah blah gag blah.

Same with airplanes. At least at the movie theatre the lice can hop out and head for a snack some where else. In an air tight airplane, there's no where to go...except my scalp. And I'm here to tell ya...this girl has a lot of hair. It's deceiving. You think I don't, cause I spend a good solid amount of my morning straightening it out and removing the extra body and wavyness. But I've got lots...and a big head....so there is a lot of surface area for something to feast off my blood. This is getting gross. So anyway, public seating, I don't like it.

Back to the Europe list. After we've purchased the needed items...this will turn into a 'to be packed' list.

Now, we're backpacking in Europe. So I have to carry everything of mine. Which means that there will not be excess outfits and accessories. This happens sometimes. I don't really know what will be needed, or the standard, or what I'll feel like, so I just pack it all. It's heavy...and sometimes expensive...cause they weigh those suckers at the airport now. Cheapo's.

Very soon this list will divide like an alien re-growing a head. One list will be the stuff to pack, and the next list will be what needs to be done before leaving. And not a 'what needs to be done at work' list...that list stays at work. This is the 'what needs to be done in real life' list.

AND THEN....when that stuff is all done....the Europe list will turn into a 'to blog about list'. I had a list like this when we went to Charlotte and Phoenix. Witty funny stuff that happens, or is said...mostly by me...cause I'm witty and funny and possibly insane.

One last list which I will keep here...in fact, I'm gonna add it to my side bar...the "In a perfect world, before my trip I would...." list. Cast your gaze to the right, you see it...with all the diva-esk stuff that would make this trip even more supremo! All realistic, accomplishable...and said with absolute seriousness...ish.

Mar 9, 2010

~ Genius SIL ~

Do you have one? A Genius Sister in Law?

I do...

She's cute
She's fun
She's smrt....SMRT!
She is an amazing mom
She is an even amazinger wife, cause let's face it....I know that guy...he's not all sunshine and roses.
She takes pictures like I do, in my dreams.
She is an example of what she believes
She practises what she preaches
(Preaches, that made me think of peaches, and they're yummy)

She is pretty pretty pretty....

Have you seen her talent? She's oozing it.

She made me, or tracked down on the internet where to steal a HTML code, for my count down to Europe. I'm not cruising there, I'm flying, but that's okay....I'll forgive her.

She's ready to scratch my eyes out very happy for me, and my upcoming trip.


I promise to take many pictures....like thousands of them....and blog...and facebook as my adventure takes place.


I'll photoshop her into the pictures after...does that help? No....oh.


Miss BJ...you are a sister and a friend to me. I love you like a pig loves mud.


Wanna meet my GSIL?



Mar 5, 2010

~ Busted ~



You got me....I didn't think I could out smart you with the airport codes.
So ya, Europe.

Starting in Barcelona Spain and spending two weeks wandering, seeing, tasting, travelling, touring, speaking....getting lost, not understanding anything, eating weird stuff, trying to navigate, riding fast trains, walking, skipping, hopefully not hitch hiking.
Working our way up through Monacco and France...maybe jump up to Switzerland, haven't decided yet. Then over into Italy.

Did I mention we leave in 25 days....and that the flights were free.

Well, we are...and they were.

Stay tuned.

Mar 4, 2010

~ Hint ~

YYC
FRA

FRA
BCN

ROM
FRA

FRA
YYC