Friday, April 29, 2011

One part of the 90's that should just die.

Me:  I just don't get it - any of it...

Mick:  Remember how cell phone plans were in the 90's? 

Me: (gasp!)

Mick: Don't bother with a plan.  just get one of those pay-as-you-go cards. 

I'm happy to have this phone, but it seems to cause me more grief than if I didn't have one at all. 
  • It texts, but I usually give up on a text after 2 minutes of trying to compose one. Remember hitting a key 3 times to get to the "f"... but if you missed, you'd have to go through the 3-d-e again to get to "f"? not on this phone - you get to go through all the variations of "e" with all the accents. 
  • changing the language from spanish to english has helped... but I still go through the menu wondering what half of it means.
  • The text alerts are silent, but I can't get the ringer silenced.  I want the opposite! 
  • the phone rang in class - but the texts are always a surprise... with no time stamp.
  • it doesn't even take pictures.
This little Nokia flip phone was my mom's old phone, which still has half of her contacts in - so i just quit scrolling through looking for my contacts.  It shouldn't be so difficult, but I have some sort of road-block in my brain that simply does not want to re-learn this old technology. 

I was so happy when I left my last job with the MCMfan - and returned the second iPhone that I was carrying around all the time.  I'm back to carrying 2 phones.  One to enjoy music with & take pictures - and sometimes find myself with a map... the other to take out of my purse, look at blankly, and shove back into the purse without even using just because I get so frustrated with it, and simply shut down.

At least the charge lasts for 4 days.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Estrella Damm!

I don't know much about the history about this beer, or the beginnings of it's name.  But I sure like ordering it.  Not because it's a great beer in particular - I actually know nothing about beer... I don't even like beer.

Just ask for it by name.  Estrella, Damm!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Secret

The secret to making an amazing Mojito is the simple syrup...  No, no no - you don't just add sugar to the blender - make a mint-infused simple syrup using turbinado sugar.  See?  Cheers!

... wait - I already had 2 glasses of wine - tomorrow's my first day of school... ok fine...

What? it's 23:50?  Joder!  I have to get home and sleep.  I have to be out of the house by 8:15 am.

You can take the lush out of Los Angeles, but you can't take the... wait, what? 

Tomorrow will be a long day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Looking for a New Soundtrack.

I'm *really* in Europe...and I need a new soundtrack for my iPod to accompany my journey.

My classes start tomorrow, and in prep - I took a walk to school and back just to be sure I knew how to get there without getting lost.  Returning home, I zig-zagged my route just to acquaint myself with the 'hood.  That's when I looked up one of the streets and it sunk in:  I'm really in Europe... there is absolutely no street in Los Angeles that even looks remotely like any of this.  And I think I'm accepting it for what it is.

Before my mother moved to Spain, I gave her a couple of books.  Not so much as gifts, but as valuable tools to use.  The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron was given to me when I was going through a long, deep dark funk - and it helped me emerge from my cocoon. In return, I bought about a dozen copies of this book and passed it on to people I thought it could help.  Mom's copy hasn't been cracked open.  I don't blame her - it took me 2 years until I finally started working through mine... and I never got beyond chapter 8. (my copy is long missing as I loaned it to a friend, and it never made its way back to me, and I've been wishing I had it for over a year now)

The second book, also by Julia Cameron is one I was completely unfamiliar with - and maybe I didn't even give it to her at all - it just looks like something I'd have given her, considering the huge changes in her life at the time.  It's called Transitions.  I pulled this virgin copy off the bookshelf last week, and until last night, it sat on my bedside table ready to be ignored some more.

Until last night. I didn't get far into it, but it now has a crease and a dog-eared page.  Here's the segment that awakened me:
"Resistance solidifies grief.  We can allow our griefs to dissolve through releasing them to the healing rain of tears.  As we weep with loss, our spiritual landscape is made anew.  All change carries gain as well as loss.  As I release situations which have troubled me, I release, too, my identity as troubled.  This shift brings with it intense emotion.  Grief is the natural and healing companion of loss.  Embraced and surrendered to, grief creates transformations. 
 "Today, I do not deny my feelings of loss.  I allow myself to move through them to new growth."
Today, I finally walked through the streets and felt the newness of my journey.  I was alert, awake and ready for change.

No headphones in my ears (headphones = do not disturb) - just the sounds of the still-quiet Easter Monday street scape.  I've also determined that Easter Monday is the day that zombie jesus hangs out eating chocolate with all his peeps

When I returned home (that was a 5km journey) I sat down and contemplated what my new soundtrack sounds like.  I'm hearing accordion.  Something like that song in the Wes Anderson short Hotel Chevalier - the song that is playing when Natalie Portman's character enters the scene. 

Prior to this move, my constant companion has been this album by a friend of mine, American Hotel - by Mike Brown.  I kept driving around Los Angeles, aching yearning for a change.  I just couldn't stop listening to it.  And some of the songs are very lonely and blue.  Sometimes I would just drive around hitting repeat, considering just taking off on a road trip.  (For the record, Let the Whiskey Drive & Out of My Head were 2 of my faves - though I really like just about all the songs on the record).

But those songs were part of the prior-to-my-move funk - when I was reaching my breaking point and ready to leave.  It's a uniquely American album, perfect for a road trip. alone.

I'm not in America anymore.

So what's my new soundtrack?  I've shed my tears - and I'm ready for my new chapter.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Comfort Food: Seeking Noodle-y Soup

This is a new-ish comfort food for me.  Growing up, I was never much of a soup fan.  Never even cared for the Jewish standard, Matzo Ball soup.  But since I started cooking for myself, soup has crept up in the rankings of foods I love.  Especially soup with nice long slender noodles.  Like Ramen. Or Pho.  Yet these noodle-y soups that I am craving are nowhere in my personal repertoire.  Go figure. 

Last week, for Passover I made my first ever Matzo ball soup for our family Seder.
Well-executed - fluffy but not falling apart, round-ish Matzo balls cooking in salted water (to be married with the broth & veggies before serving)

Thanks Deb for the recipe & guidance.  These were great for my first attempt.  Still not a devotee of the MB
Lentil & Sweet Potato soup courtesy of Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc... this was a pretty f*ing amazing soup. I made this with Omgirlie back in L.A.

How awesome was this?  My soup almost looks exactly like the picture in SS@L - Suzanne Goin is my hero.
I make good soup.

I'm good at making a chicken stock & a veggie stock.

But when it comes to the stocks needed for asian soups - pho get it! I'll just go to the experts.

So in my yelp-less searching (thanks for not being here in Spain, yelp), I discovered that there is one (1) pho restaurant in BCN.  According to a couple of reviews I read, they don't have the standard condiments that accompany pho in the restaurants in L.A.  But pho is pho.  And I want some. Hopefully I'll have found my rooster sauce by then (b.y.o.b.?)

First, Pho.  Second. Ramen.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Yes - that's a whole leg of pig.  Two to be exact.  Some restaurants just have the leg right there on the counter, and they slice your Jamon Serrano or Iberico straight off the leg.  

More cured meats and cheeses.  Seeing as today, Saturday, is sandwiched between two holidays - most of the stalls at the Mercat Galvany were closed.  But a few were open.  We were able to get some asparagus, leeks and artichokes.  and some pancetta from this deli stand.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Coke Addiction

No... not that kind.

The Coca-Cola kind. 

I cut sodas out of my diet years ago because they were empty, unnecessary calories. Additionally, they contained High Frutcose Corn Syrup, which is another reason why I stopped eating lots of junk foods (though I do have my moments where I don't fall, but LEAP off the wagon). And don't get me started on artificial sweeteners...

I even started drinking my alcohol without mixers in order to avoid HFCS/artificial sweeteners.

Mexican Coke is an exception. 
  • Uses real sugar. 
  • Not as easy to find
  • Comes in a glass bottle
  • It tastes better
It's an occasional treat and not a part of my daily routine. 

Coke sold in Spain is also made with sugar - as opposed to the HFCS. 

Aaaaah - coke is delicious... hello empty calories.

Good Friday & Eugene Atget

At the urging of my friend Jane, during a skype conversation that took place at 4am (her time), I bundled up to walk the deserted streets of this wet, cold, dreary Good Friday.

One of my favorite photographers is Eugene Atget - who's work I was introduced to by one of my favorite Art History professors, Maria Buszek.  There was an exhibit of Atget's photography at the Getty in Los Angeles years ago, and the beauty, yet haunting loneliness captured by his lens has stuck with me all these years.  I was hoping I could capture some of the empty Barcelona picture windows as he did of Paris.

The view up from Calle Pau Casals to Parc Turo (in La Zona Alta)

An elegant building off Pau Casals - usually packed with pedestrians
La Iglesia Redonda (the round church) just up the street from my mum's... this is one of my "landmarks" to know where I am (la Zona Alta)
Not so easy taking pictures when all you have is an iPhone, and most of the closed stores have roll down shades or metal grates that obscure everything.  But the streets sure were deserted.  Here's a little of what I did get here in La Zona Alta

a Futbol vignette made of chocolate... and the people in the stands are wearing blue & red for Barcelona's team - this was probably created in honor of el Classico - in which the King's Cup went to Real Madrid this past Wednesday.  

 But seeing as it is Easter, there were some chocolate eggs & bunnies to be sold.  These were from a Patisserie called Farga.  There are multiple locations of this store - but this is on Beethoven St.

Oriol Balaguer is another confectionery paradise in the area... there is no shortage of xocolaterias (chocolate stores) in La Zona Alta.  This one is probably the most inventive in terms of the flavors, design, packaging... and their prices reflect it.  I've never seen any place like it... If you remember Boule on La Cienega - that still wouldn't even come close to Oriol Balaguer.

Next trip out, I'll use the hipstamatic lens to get some b&w shots...or antique looking images. It was just too unpleasant and windy to stand around taking digital shots from a phone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How (not) to Capitalize on Insomnia

Last night, or rather this morning at 4:30am I had an epiphany.  Barcelona is a city where the nightlife gets started very late - like after midnight, and keeps going well beyond the 2am closing time in Los Angeles.  So why am I suffering, tossing and turning in bed until 5am and beyond?  If my body wants to be awake, let it.

I decided now would be a great time to start exploring the city at night.

Timing, as they say, is everything.

Here's the glitch:  It's Easter.  Which, unbeknownst to me starts on Thursday in this devoutly Catholic city.  Everything is shut down.  There's nary a soul on the street.  Maybe this only applies to La Zona Alta?  Aside from the fact that the wind is howling, practically uprooting the trees, there is a storm a-brewin, with the rain set to start just after midnight. Tonight might not be the night to start hitting the town.

Therefore if I can't go out, I will try this Hail Mary of an attempt to knock myself out.  Washing down a half of a clonazepam with some red wine (i know, don't mix the two)... but i'm desperate! 

In bed at 10:43 pm (or 22:43). No more late night blogging.  All electronics off.  Must. Get. Sleep.

Some Like It Hot


You know how hard it is to find hot sauce in this town?  It's true, I have a high tolerance for spicy food, but I have yet to flinch when the server has said "cuidado, es muy picante!".  I was practically pouring the Cholula on my (weak excuses for) tacos this afternoon, and you don't know how happy I was to find the Chile de Arbol (just about every recipe from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques uses it - not that I have that book with me).

Still on my list of pantry staples that I'm wishing I had?  Sriracha (aka rooster sauce, for the logo), and crushed red pepper flakes... If it's not raining tomorrow, I'll use this as an excuse to go and discover a new area of town.  And If I get myself a map, I can start marking down the culinary hot spots.

There is no lack of Jamon in this city... there are pig's legs hanging around all over town (i'll get you some pictures tomorrow).  As for finding a steady dependable selection of herbs, greens, fruits and all those things i love - good luck.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

La Zona Alta

Just like any city, Barcelona is broken down into various regions, or neighborhoods, if you will.  La Zona Alta translates into the High Zone (as in elevation).  Looking at a map of the city, it's kind of on the Upper West Side - geographically speaking.  But demographically speaking, it's definitely Upper East Side - old money, old fashioned, nice & clean with some very high end stores.  

This is where my family has lived for decades, and when my mother moved here 10 years ago, she found a place within walking distance of everyone in the family, and all of the friends of the family.  They literally all live within a five block radius of one another.  

But to me, this area is not too exciting.  That's why I'm always heading south and east - down to the Barri Gothic, or El Born - where my friend Mick lives.  

Yet there is something that I have noticed within La Zona Alta that I found rather curious:  there are so many stores selling baby clothes.  My mum needed to get a gift for her friend who just had a baby - she asked one lady on the street if "Petit Oh!" was on this next block, or the block after.  The lady didn't know of that store - but named a different store on that block.  We found the right store, made the purchase, and moved on noting how there were two stores selling cute-baby-clothes so close to one another.

The next day on my own,  I saw this store:

Gladys goose!
What stole my attention was not just the one, but the two (2nd not pictured) goose-shaped lamps perched atop the display cases in yet another shop selling cute-baby-clothes (CBC from now on).  My friends back home all know about my goose lamp that I left behind.  It was something so absurdly whimsical that I loved... I digress.

This is now the 3rd CBC store in the area, and then I really started noticing a trend.  Just down the street is a chain called le Petit Bateau, another chain called Tartine et Chocolat, and 2 doors down from T&C is another CBC store.  WTF?

You know what I have yet to see in this area?  Any of those fancy-shmancy pet stores you see all over Los Angeles - like Pour la Pooch on Beverly, or Chateau Marmutt on 3rd, or that big one that just opened about a year ago downtown.  

Yes, I know there are dozens of CBC stores in Los Angeles - but I've never seen so many in such a concentrated area.  It really got me thinking - is this the norm?  And why are so many people in Los Angeles adopting dogs rather than starting families?  

As I was discussing this all with Mick earlier today (he lived in L.A. for 10 years until 2 years ago), he pointed out that Los Angeles is a very "ME" oriented city: "oh, look at ME hiking up Runyon Canyon with my dog"... and dogs are (relatively) easy to deal with. 

But starting a family? That requires commitment, and most people in L.A. are commitment-phobes.  Myself included.  

A part of me wants to run away in terror if I see another CBC store here in the Zona Alta because it's making me feel very self-conscious.  However I moved here because I wanted needed a change.    Maybe this is one of the parts of me that needs a change?  

Or maybe it was just a sign that I can find Gladys Goose for sale here in Barcelona...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

i like my asparagus green, thanks.

just a few things i really miss from home... (other than my friends/family)
  • listening to KCRW from any room in my apartment (ok - my last place really had only one room... but taking my computer around from room to room is not practical.
  • American Honey (by wild turkey).
  • really great cocktails in general... i could use an old fashioned after tonight.
  • the lightly/unscented body lotions that I had... the ones here conflict with my perfume.
  • my favorite Bath & Bodyworks liquid hand soap.
  • Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products.
  • fresh market greens! they've never heard of kale, they don't bring pea shoots to the market though they're in season now... seriously, the produce is just totally sucking in general.  i don't get how everyone says there's such great food here... not a fan.  and what is the big deal about white asparagus?  they make it out like it's a delicacy.  i like my asparagus green, thanks.
  • being able to get anything i need from some 24 hr market somewhere nearby.
  • researching things online and actually finding answers.
  • mexican food
  • my electric kettle (though i can get one here - but haven't yet)
  • yogi tea - green antioxidant (i don't care about antioxidant - it was just my favorite flavor)
  • forget all the tapas - give me tacos al carbon! taco zone? mariela's?  BFTE
  • being able to Yelp! about stuff.

but just for balance - some things i welcome about Barcelona (again, other than friends/family)

  • not having to drive.
  • relatively cheap wine/cava/beer
  • finding my favorite hair care product cheaper here 
  • great art nouveau architecture
  • listening to KCRW traffic reports and being happy i'm not sitting in traffic

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Without a Map...

... But not without a clue.  I'm just wandering the streets, and walking wherever my interest leads me.  Sometimes I pass down a street I've been down before... other times, I turn a corner and find something completely different.  Found: in the Barri Gothic - how's this for a statement against all the CCTV cameras all around us? 
Yet today I needed to use my GPS feature on my iPhone.  The data roaming fees are painfully steep, so I've been keeping it off - only going online when I have a wi-fi (or as they say here "wee-fee") connection.  When seeking out a specific place in the middle of a maze, when it's already a challenge to find the names of the streets anywhere, you kinda need a map.  

I was trying to get to my friend's place, and I knew I was within 5 minutes of his location... but I couldn't tell which way to turn or go... I only had a vague notion, and things looked familiar - yet it all just looks the same after a while 

me: "so I'm in this little plaza, and there's a tapas bar with some tables outside, by some old church looking building - I can't find the name of the street - oh it's Carrer de ____"

Mac: "That can be anywhere - and I don't know the names of all the little random streets... "

Thank you GPS (and the crazy line outside the Museo Picasso for helping to guide me)

the sidewalks have crazy patterns
view from where we sat for tapas
Once we met up, we found some cute little setting to sit and have a couple of tapas, and some vino blanco.  Still not a fan of tapas.  The wine, on the other hand...
The return home had to be on foot - MANDATORY.  Those Papas Patatas Bravas, Calamari, greasy sausages, pan con tomate & 4 glasses of wine needed to be walked off. I did take a break to snap a couple more pics.  (just a note: Papas is Mexican, Patatas is Spanish for potato)
on Paseo de Gracia
Soundtrack:  The Black Keys, Brothers (x2 - it was a long walk home... longer than i thought)    

You know you're on Paseo de Gracia when the sidewalk looks like this

Sunday, April 17, 2011

More stuff to get used to

if the weather is less than 20 degrees, take a sweater... this weather wimp will be cold.

of course i brought coats, but no light weight sweaters.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 8 - at the Mercat Galvany

I never seemed to have so much trouble getting up in the morning as I've been having here in Barcelona.  It's not jet lag - I've been here a week.  It's just that evil beast "insomnia" rearing its ugly head every night.  Of course there are the pills to take to help me sleep (xanax, clonazepam) - but those make it harder for me to get up in the morning.  

It's like entering a church!
So every morning, I miss the Mercat Galvany - which closes at 2pm.  That is the closest thing to a farmers market for me.  but their produce stands are very disappointing.  All the fruit/vegetable stands sell the same things (lettuce, peas, favas, strawberries, oranges, celery, currants...) As opposed to what I'm used to at any of the certified farmers markets around the southern california area... where I know Coleman farms will have all the best greens, and Harry's Berries will have the best strawberries (and jam), and Baldessari farms will have my favorite Mayfair nectarines in about a month or so... I wonder if I'll find any boysenberries when I go back next month?  

However they do have lots of fish, seafood, meats and poultry.  And lots of ham.  everywhere.  Jamon Iberico (pernil, if you're looking for the word in catalan).  

The purpose of today's excursion was to get the items for Monday night's Matzo Ball soup and I was seeking out chicken backs/necks/wings... or just plain old carcasses... and then the rest of the veggies to make the soup (or Caldo, as they called it)... how do I order 3.5 pounds of chicken carcass? I never realized how handy the unit converter app on my iPhone would come in handy (1.58 kilos)

They keep the heads on their animals... ummm okaaaaay

I asked the friendly butcher lady what that animal next to the chicken carcasses were... after saying the word in spanish (which flew over my head) - she said "buss bunny" in her attempt at english translation. Maybe one of these days I'll try a rabbit stew.  I know that Healthy Family Farms & Jimenez Farms (both at Hollywood) had frozen rabbit for sale at various times throughout the year.  But seeing as it was so exotic - I never got around to making any.  

You know how some recipes say to wash and clean the chicken?  Most chicken sold in the US is already quite clean.  These... not so much.  I  think I'll ask the butcher to lop off the head for me.  picking the feather shafts off will be oh so fun.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter & Chocolate

Mum just sent me to pick up some chocolates to take as a gift - a "thank you" if you will, for a dinner invitation.  Go around the corner past the hairdresser (my mum doesn't even know the name of the streets) - and you can't miss their window display... nope, I didn't.  

VilaPlana - as their bag says, it's a pastisseria ~ xarcuteria ~ business lunch.  Yup, they mix languages on their own bags.
a complete scene out of chocolate!

an easter chicken?

even Hello Kitty!

Day 6 - crossing the street - if you dare.

cross... if you dare.

I'm not sure if this is Catalan or Spanish... oh - it's Catalan - see how similar!

But what it's saying is:  One out of 3 accidental deaths happens to those crossing the street.

I can believe it, from the way the motorists and bikers just whip on by.

To the credit of the department of transportation (or whatever department handles traffic/pedestrian safety) - they've taken several measures:  namely, these ominous statistics as warnings

Another drastic/dramatic (dramastic?) measure has been to paint some of the intersection crossings blood-red.  Some of them are peppered with those little "blisters" in the road, to feel the vibrations under your tires - that you should be slowing down.  Those have been placed after the car has passed through the intersection... so the warning comes after you may have already hit the pedestrian... go figure.

Blood red - in honor of the fallen?

Day 5 - Things to get used to.

I started writing this blog at 23:35 h (11:35pm)

The scale is in kilos.  I'm not sure what 62 kilos is, but my watch is looser on my wrist - so I must be on the right track.

Yesterday's walk from home along the Ave Diagonal, down Paseo de Gracia, through the Barri Gothic, and into El Born was over 6 kilometers.  My feet and legs are still tired.  It was a lot of walking - however long it was.  Today's walk was over 2 km.

While trying on some dresses at El Corte Ingles (the main spanish department store) - I had no idea what size to try.  46 was like a tent. 44 was just oddly shaped. 40 fit, but the cut was all wrong.  38 was the nicest.  

My spanish Castillano is not improving much since everything is written in Catalan on all the billboards. I can't even eavesdrop on conversations!

Not having to drive anywhere is wonderful.


"Mick: When you get out of the subway at Plaza Catalunya, don’t talk to ANYONE! They’re all f*ckin’ thieves. Especially the children. They’re in on it, too. They’re all thieves."

Day 2 - out on the town & the language overload

Originally written April 10, 2011

Finally, an adventure that had nothing to do with the family.  After wasting most of a beautiful day away inside the apartment, I stepped out into the Barcelona evening to meet up with a friend from Los Angeles who now lives in the El Born neighborhood of BCN.  
The transition here is a difficult one.  And Peter has extended the magnanimous offer of translating the whole backwards lifestyle into American for me. For instance, when I was trying to figure out what type of cell phone plan to go on to - he simply put it this way:  remember the phone plans of the 1990’s? right.  Stick to the pay-as-you-go cards.  
As we traced our path through the labyrinthine streets of the Barri Gothic - passing some old Roman walls that opened onto plazas with outdoor dining patios - I recognized areas I’d been to before.  This is all being done without a map, of course. In my brilliant planning, I’d left all the unnecessary baggage at home - including maps of the city… now I’m trying to negotiate everything by just figuring it all out.  
Speaking of figuring it out… how am I ever gonna master Spanish Castiliano?  When signage everywhere is written in Catalan - which i can decipher because I know French. So I’m understanding the language when written - but in conversation, I’m completely lost.  My family speaks French at home… I’m trying to practice Spanish, but always fall back into French… then when I realize that I’ve just switched languages (again) - I start cursing myself out in English.  Yet out on the street, I’m seeing a complete blend/hybrid of a language that I’ve never learned… I’m so lost I almost shut down!  At least if I was in Greece, I’d know it was all Greek, and have to focus on just one language, right?  Looking on the bright side, at least I can communicate, right?

Things I Miss already

What my spring shopping basket would look like
 I had a shopping ritual... going to the farmers markets.  My favorite two were Santa Monica Wednesday Farmers Market, and the Hollywood Sunday Farmers Market.
Tomas from Lily's Eggs

Miguel from Fair Canyon

I'll miss my favorite farmers so much.  They really cared about what they were growing - I valued their service, and they valued me as a customer.

Danny joined me for my final lunch at the market - at the Farmer's Kitchen.  It was delicious!

Day 1 - Family & such

Originally written April 9, 2011

Nothing screams “welcome home” louder, bolder, better than a bright blue sky, and sunny perfect weather.  That means I was able to wear a light blouse & jeans - and I neither felt a chill with any breeze, nor did i get sweaty under the sun.  Must have been about 78 (that would be somewhere in the 25 range if you’re counting in celsius).  
Being the SoCal girl that I am (read: weather wimp) - my range of acceptable weather is 68-88 degrees… and no humidity.  Apparently, Los Angeles hasn’t been doing all too well since that last photo I posted last week - and was only in the mid-50’s today.  
I had the obligatory rendez-vous with family at a sidewalk cafe called Moroni on the Calle Doctor Fleming. My coffee of choice? The Americano, naturally.  
Connectivity issues have been resolved.
Jet lag is being conquered.
The contents of my suitcases, which had been unceremoniously belched all over my room have been put away neatly.  
I’m ready to hit the town, and start scratching that wanderlust itch that plucked me from my comfort zone of my Los Angeles bubble.  
Photos to come soon! I promise.  At the moment - I’m just trying to get adjusted. 

Reason 514 why I love L.A.

Originally written March 27, 2011

Why I love Los Angeles… Perfect spring days like today.

I still have so much to do to get ready for my trip… But sometimes you just have to slow it down just a bit.

Take a pause.

Soak in the beauty of now. Before the moment is gone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taking the Girl out of Los Angeles

Uprooting… Many have done this before me… Take my parents for instance.   They have each lived in 4 different countries - some of their moves have been by choice. But not all. 
I’ve been lucky.  I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life - and while it does have its drawbacks, I truly love this city.  From its mild and mostly pleasant weather, to the vast array of activities, food/restaurant choices, places to go, things to do… 
And now for something completely different.  Destination:  Barcelona.  Why? I decided to let go.  Let go of my possessions that possessed me (i really loved my Heywood Wakefield dining room set, my kooky quirky goose shaped lamp, my sea foam green Kitchen Aid stand mixer).  They’ve all been placed in good homes to hopefully bring happiness to those who now own them.  This process has been difficult but liberating at the same time.  
I’m free to roam.  Move about the world at my leisure.  Work? I’m resourceful.  I’ll figure something out. Friends? well, there’s Skype, Facebook and the rest - but I’m a social friendly girl - I get into conversations easily… I’ll make new ones.  
Am I scared?  Most definitely.  Excited? Hell yeah!