Monday, August 29, 2011

ready? set? go.

wake up at 5:30 am.
check our bags.
go through security.
9 hour flight from madrid to atlanta.
customs.
2 hour layover.
4 hour flight from atlanta to salt lake city.
5 hour layover (our current location).
re-check our bags.
re-go through security.
4 hour flight from salt lake city to new york city.
arrive in new york city at 5:30 am.

wish us luck!
(we're really gonna need it :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

what the!

husband's physics conference has
been in full swing for a week now
(coming to a close this afternoon. yay!), 
meaning he has been in meetings
& presentations & such for large
portions of time every day (dinner meetings
until midnight! what the!). while he's
 been rocking the international
science scene & rubbing shoulders 
with all the bigwigs, i've been 
having an amazing time exploring &
wandering the ins & outs of this
intricate city. yesterday, however,
husband was able to escape early
enough to grant us some time to
go &, well, have a bit of fun.


like seeing a sign in the metro saying
"tu necesitas hablar ingles!",
 or, in other words,
"you need to speak english!"
what the!


or visiting that haven of 20th century art,
the reina sofia,
the place where masterpieces such as
"guernica" and others by pablo 
picasso, salvador dali, jose gutierrez
 solana, & so, SO many others call home.
i wish we had had more time there. a
favorite of both of us (& one of the
few places throughout the entire museum
we were actually allowed to take pictures)
was this life-size metronome that had
a holographic eye on the end of its 
ticker (pendulum?) that would open
when it swung to one side & close when
it swung to the other.



this piece is by the american artist man ray, entitled
"object to be destroyed," or as it was later renamed, 
"indestructible object." the artist replaced the original 
eye of the piece with a photograph of the eye of his
  lover lee miller, who had left him earlier that year...
 what the! talk about drama, right??
(it's all actually quite interesting & intense.
read more about "indestructible object" here
& lee miller, who, i found out, is pretty dang
cool herself, here).

after the reina sofia we headed over to
grab some donuts at that perennial
american favorite dunkin' donuts, & well... 
we were pretty excited about our donuts.




except wait a minute! all the signs that SHOULD
have said "dunkin' donuts" actually said
"dunkin' coffee."


what the! same color scheme, same products,
same brand label, & everything! turns out
the word "donut" is copyrighted to some
other bakery in spain! we had no idea!
who would have thought, right?? &
this, folks, is where we reach the moral
of the story, namely...
you learn something new every day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

okay, i'm sorry, but...

this picture had us cracking up for ten minutes straight.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

& waaaaaaaalked!

you know the primary song "pioneer children sang as they walked" & you repeat for a while "& walked, & walked, & walked & walked"? sometimes when we're rejecting the expenses of taxis, metros, buses, & trains in favor of walking (for free!) around madrid, well, i start to sing that song in my head. because we've been doing a LOT of walking around here.


we saw this while walking.


& this painting was encountered while walking.


map checking happened while walking.


this happened while walking. spot us in there?


the crystal palace we came across while walking!
 which, if you look close enough, looks suspiciously
 like the beginnings of a halfpipe in there...


thanks for doing that, husband. i know, because
you told me, you thought such a pose would get 
you carted away by la policia.}


and map checking happened while walking.


in the underground metro while walking.
well...we didn't walk once we actually
 got on the metro.


some serious neck cocking happened while walking. 


& map checking happened while walking.


helado happened while walking.

& yep, you've guessed it....


this happened while walking.

thanks a lot to husband for assuming the responsibility,
nay, the privilege, of navigating whenever we go exploring...
if it weren't for you, we would have found
ourselves, i'm sure, completely lost in a foreign country, 
we would have lost all access to any sort of technological
 device, including computers, & i would have never been
able to write another post in this little blog ever! again! 
and if that were to happen, well...
i can't even begin to fathom the consequences.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

p.s.

try this!
it's a quiz testing how well you can
guess the 100 most common words in
the english language...all in five minutes.
...you might find it's harder than it looks! 
simply press start & then start
typing in words there on the left side.
good luck...or...as we locals say...
buena suerte!

funny things about spain: presented in a question & answer format.

oh man. spain has some funny, funny things.

Q: do the people of segovia want you
to climb out onto their aqueduct?


A: no. as you can see, the people of segovia
 really, REALLY don't want you to climb
out onto their aqueduct. 

Q: does spain have lots of little fountains
where you can wash your hands, take
a drink if you've brave, or rinse off
your feet?


A: yes, yes it does.

Q: does spain have, on the occasion,
really funny brand names in their
little corner mercados?




A: foxy? bimbo? bonka? i'm thinkin'
YES, they DO.

Q: did you & your husband walk into
said corner mercado & begin using
this red delight, cracking up & thinking
 it was just a really, REALLY huge arm basket?


A:.....yes. i'm afraid to say we carried
that huge thing around for an 
embarrassing &, what will remain on this
blog as unspecified, amount of time. that
sucker was huge & heavy!

Q: did you two later figure out the REAL 
way to cart that thing around after passing
other locals of the corner mercado?


A: yeah. i guess you could say we figured it out.
who knew that thing had wheels on the bottom?

Q: are some of the streets in toledo so tiny
& cute that you can stand in the middle &
 ALMOST touch each side with your fingertips?


A: this one is definitely true. ain't no car 
fitting down that lane!

Q: are there street performers all over spain?


human statue.


guitar.


sweaty dancers.

A: yep. funny & entertaining until they want your money!

Q: are the rumors true? are churros & hot chocolate
really considered breakfast in spain?


A: you know it! for as little as 2 euro, you yourself
can head on over to madrid to buy yourself
 a plate of hot churros & a cup of
 hot chocolate so thick you can eat it up
with a spoon! hot chocolate + churro +
a good book + the morning sun? 
we're definitely getting used to this.

great things happening in segovia.

we headed out to segovia a few days ago
& WOW. just blown away by all the
amazing things they got going on over there.

you got the roman aqueduct that was built
in the first century (as in, THE FIRST CENTURY)
that your fellow spaniards used all the way up until
the late 1800s, & it's STILL standing strong
today in the center of the city:







it is very tall.

you got this cool house--that was indeed that:
someone's house--decorated along one entire
side with diamond-shaped little points. fancy
& intimidating all at the same time.



you got this cathedral that looks almost
byzantine or islamic due to its dome-shaped
tops, intricate spires, & sand-colored...color.





you also got a disneyland-like castle built
somewhere around the twelfth century. over
the years it's been things like a fortress, a prison,
a military academy, a palace, & the setting for
such favorites as "the sleeping beauty," "the
sword in the stone," "tangled," & the like.





complete with a moat! drawbridge! & everything!




don't ever change,
segovia. we like you
just the way you are.

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