Barcelona part three – Olympic Park and beyond

Found this in my drafts. Oops.

I guess I got busy yet again and never got around to posting. Typical me. These are so old now it’s laughable. 2016.

Still…I want a record of my travels so I’ll add to the heap – outdated as it is!

One of our last days in Barcelona was spent wandering around a very awesome albeit seemingly abandoned Olympic Park…

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Teenage Dali Dreams

In 1997, it was basically a requirement if you identified as an alternative or artsy teenager (we were lovingly or perhaps not-so-lovingly referred to as freaks in my school) to have a Dali poster adorning at least one wall in your bedroom. It was my personal mission to cover every square inch of my walls with either clippings from art magazines of Dali paintings or Trent Reznor’s face. How else would people know I was angsty and awesome?

Actually, everything I owned was covered in some taped together collage of teenage expression.

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I remember my introduction to Dali’s work. Fourteen years old, sat in a random field in the middle of a breezy summer night under the Tennessee stars. I’m sure my parents thought I was at a sleepover watching Jared Leto be moody in My-So-Called-Life.

I wasn’t.

Flashlight in hand, thumbing through a giant coffee table sized book of Dali paintings. Absorbed in the colours, it was just me and the sea of grass bending rhythmically against the wind. Dark Side of the Moon softly echoing from the speakers of Big John’s truck parked a few meters away. One of those ‘it’s so good to be alive’ moments.

I remember thinking that this Dali guy really gets it. He sees it all. He includes it all. All of the things that matter. What a genius.
One of those extremely rare instances as a teenager where you actually feel understood. And you understand.

Dreaming big at that point in my life included a fantasy involving living in California one day. I’d be an actress or an artist or something bright and bohemian. You are full of so much magic and pain and possibility at 14. I’d resigned myself to the very real possibility that I’d probably never see a Dali painting in person.

But that was ok. I’m from a small town and my expectations were always reasonable and carefully managed.

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I never ever in a million years dreamt that I’d regularly have the opportunity to see and experience the things I have done. Living in Europe. A stone’s throw from all of the great works.

It’s mind-blowing and I’m still not 100% sure how everything aligned and got me here and onto this path. And the fact that it’s still so limitless. There is still so much available to me I’ve yet to explore. Damn, it’s intense.

Every gallery, every beautiful old red brick building I pass…it’s not lost on me for a second.
I’m thankful even when it’s shit and rainy and I’m tired and the London air smells like trash and burning.
This place is horrible and fantastic and I’m goddamn lucky.
At least I’ve had the choice. I have had the opportunity and that’s everything.

Blah blah blah. Nostalgia. I’m waxing now. I’ll stop.

Right, so Dali. I was heading somewhere with this I promise.

I had the honour and privilege to visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain last year. I never got around to posting the photos because well, honestly it’s been a challenging year and I’ve been focusing on other things and not focusing etc.

Alas, I want to get these up because it was a breathtaking experience and it’s just time move on with more recent photography so here we are…

What an absolute dream to visit this place, truly. It was cathartic and heartbreaking and confusing and exhilarating to see all of these works in person. I hope you enjoy.

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Barcelona part two – Montjuïc Cactus Park

In Barcelona there is a magical little succulent garden packed with every spiny cactus imaginable. Pure bliss for someone as obsessed with photographing plants as I am…

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Version 2

The things that were eaten in Spain

Food in Spain is amazing in general but Barcelona was pretty next level…

The best burger I’ve had in my entire life at http://www.granjapetitbo.com/

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Another delicious burger at http://anaucogourmet.es/

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Root Vegetable crisps + honey & sesame seeds at http://www.negrocarbongrill.com/

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Tempura fried veggies, craft beer and rare steak at http://biercab.com/

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Dreamy pina coladas and guacamole at https://www.facebook.com/Pachucobcn/

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Followed by another on on the beach…

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Followed by mojitos…

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daiquiris…

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Then an exquisite dinner of tapas at http://www.betlem.es/

Steak tartare

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Octopus, artichoke & pea

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Crab ravioli

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Roasted Octopus

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Apparently all I eat is Octopus so I decided to order a whole one roasted in paprika in Figueres.
It was the best thing I ate on the whole trip (next to that legendary burger because it was EPIC)!!

It’s a shame I don’t have anything for scale. Let’s say bigger than a rabbit smaller than a cat. I ate the whole thing. Obvs.

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One last Spain post for my foodies…

I just wanted to share some of the food I DEVOURED in Spain for those of you who live to eat…

I promise I’ll be quick!

A simple lunch…

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Followed by a decadent dinner…

Tomato and goat cheese salad

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Beef carpaccio with sheep’s-milk cheese

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Tuna carpaccio with pink peppercorn and dill

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Filet mignon with foie

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Vanilla bean panna cotta with black currants…

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Me pre-FACESTUFF

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Me in action!

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Grilled calamari for another yummy lunch…

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A little scampi party…

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Tasty tapas…

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That is all! I hope you salivated at least a little!

Next up: LONG overdue Nashville Trip posts!!!

Christmas in Spain…

Hi Friends. Sorry it takes me forever and ever to post lately.
I’m a busy little worker bee in hustle-y bustle-y ole Londontown. You must forgive me!

Needless to say, spending Christmas in Spain was exceptionally cool (as you have probably surmised from my last few posts).

I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons (because I’m not a religious lady) but to be honest, I LOVE the aesthetic of Christmas.

Big fat glittery Christmas trees and shiny foil wrapping paper get me all swoony inside.

Eggnog, chocolate truffles, and roasted meat? Yes please.

To get to do, see, and experience all of these things in fancy pants Spain with my beautiful and FUN Spanish family was simply the best.

There was so much food. So many presents. It was quite simply the loveliest and merriest of Christmases I could imagine ever having.

I present it to you with limited comment!

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The boys worked hard to prepare Christmas dinner…

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They even served everyone!

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My paleo plate!

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The wine began to flow and so did the laughter!

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And then the machetes?

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And of course…dishes were tackled…

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Snuggles were had…

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Feliz Navidad!!!!! xx

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My Spanish Animal Friends…

I made a few friends in Spain…the furry four legged variety.

And of course, because I am me, I took their photos…

Farm cats…

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Scaredy cats…

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“Jimmy”!!!

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Look at his big fat grumpy head! xxxooo

This dog that looks like yoda…

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My niece-kitties “Six” and “Seven”…

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Snuggle time!

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Super schnozzle close-up…

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And last but not least, my Father-In-Law’s adorable beagle mix “Benny”

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If this goofball doesn’t bring immediate joy into your heart then something is clearly broken inside of your soul.

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Benny shows off his serious dog model good looks…

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Benny loves his uncle!

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Hooray for Spanish furballs! Til we meet again!

Next up…Christmas in Spain xx

At the Olive Farm…

Alcalá la Real is full of olive farms. My Sister-in-Law Veronica, has just inherited her family’s olive farm and is running it with her sister. It has been passed down over many generations and is a spectacularly beautiful place to get to explore. As far as the eye can see, just rows and rows of beautiful twisty olive trees disappearing over the hills…

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I wandered around the farm and tried to capture as much of the magic as I could…

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It is very easy to get lost in an olive grove, just FYI for next time you go exploring on an olive farm…

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I stumbled across faerie ring after faerie ring and had thoughts of my younger days with Melissa and Audrey flood back to me like it was yesterday…

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And all of these beautiful olives…

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Much to my utter GLEE we were able to bring back 5 liters of Veronica’s deliciously rich and wonderful olive oil. I am very happy to report that we have been eating olive oil on everything and the day we run out I might have to fly back to get more!

Next up…The animals of Spain xx

Road Trip to Granada…

We woke up bright and early one morning and hit the road to Granada…

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The Alhambra!!!

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I really don’t have words for how grand and beautiful the Alhambra is…simply stunning.

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Next up…Christmas in Spain xx

A December Stroll Around Alcalá la Real

Yippee! I have more Spain photos for your viewing pleasure!

There was so much to photograph yet I left feeling like I should have taken more.

Shall we begin?

Our first day in Alcalá la Real we simply could not sit still and took a nice brisk hike up the hillside…

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Quite the view!

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The clouds rolled in to create a nice moody light…

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My gorgeous Sister-in-Law Veronica standing underneath her street sign…

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The Magi…

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My darling Brother-in-Law Andy, experiencing his first deep thoughts of the day…

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Next up…Our road trip to Granada xx

Sunrise Hike in Alcalá la Real, Spain

I’m currently enjoying a fabulously relaxing holiday in Spain with my gorgeous husband and beautiful Sister and Brother-in-law.

Every day has been full of treats, big sleeps, and lots of photography!

I decided I wanted to wake up before the sunrise on December 21st and hike up the hillside to watch the sun break through the fog and hopefully bring with it a new age and happier days for the world.

My husband helped me navigate through the dark and find the best boulders to stand on the get these glorious shots.

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The sky went through so many colors and the clouds created an amazing collection of patterns all within the span of 20 minutes or so…

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All the tiny things come to life in the early morning light…

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La Mota sits high above Alcalá…

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The fog lingers…

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Then the blue sky pushes through…

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We feel lucky to be alive and refreshed to be in such a special part of the world together!

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I hope you are having a wonderful holiday wherever you are. xx