It was an Addam’s Family Halloween this year! I was invited to a themed-party and upon hearing there was yet to be an Uncle Fester rsvp, I replied saying I’d give it a go. I’ll tell you this: A bald cap is a tough endeavor. I had no choice but to get a haircut following the party due to the spirit gum sticky-shit that holds the baldness in place. What hell. I’m sure it’ll be easier next time if I ever go for the cue ball look again, but this first time was no joy ride. I wrapped my self in bubble wrap to buld up a bit as well. I’m pleased to report that the party was a a bash and my costume is well received. Until next year… happy haunting.
The Granada expedition requires two entries because it was just such a brilliant morning.
After the arduous ascent that I was not entirely prepared for in the early morning hours, I reached the Alhambra gates at 8:40am to find that there was quite a queue already started since the 8:30 opening. Weary with nothing better to do I joined this queue to practice that ever precious virtue, patience. The queue moved slow. Very slow. At 9am I had moved probably a mere 20 paces closer to admission when an announcement come over the P.A. first in Espanol and then English, “The tickets for the Palacio Nueva have sold out for the day. However, you may still purchase admission to the gardens.” There was a collective deflative “umph” from the queued crowd and some people instantly packed it in and headed out. I was rather exhausted and the prospect of walking back to town was not as attractive as simply hunkering down for a bit in a sort of standing repose.
The queue crawled on, and I had pulled out my sketch pad and was putting more time towards an El Greco from El Prado when I was approached by an middle-aged woman along with a her younger colleague. After over-coming the routine language barrier, I came to understand that these two women had an extra ticket to the very recently sold-out palace! They explained that they had booked their admissions 5 months prior, and the third person in their party could not be present. Wow.
Turns out, these two fabulous ladies were in Granada for the weekend to lecture at the local university as they were both doctorates of Philosophy. I made friends with them quickly needless to say, and I ended up spending an entire tour of the castle with these angels. It was a truly amazing stroke of fortune… like Athena herself intervened. That is how patience and I received entrance to one of the most epic displays of geometric pattern-design I will ever witness.
Sleep when you die!
This morning I awoke and left an hour before dawn in order to hike up a steep foothill that overlooks the majestic Alhambra Castle here in Granada. It was still dark as I scooted across the ancient and empty cobblestone streets to the trail that was to lead my way. After coming across the largest snake I’ve ever seen outside of a cage the prior afternoon on the same hill I was excited but cautious as I snuck through the lonesome, dark woods.
Once out of the woods new cautions came into consideration as the trail at times was either overgrown, really steep upon the rocky slope, or lead up to make-shift shelters that I preferred not to know who was sleeping inside them. The Native American came to the forefront within me. Senses all firing.
The aim of life is self-development.
To realize one’s nature perfectly—
that is what each of us is here for.
– Oscar Wilde
I was promised loads of sunshine! Well, I didn’t get much of that. I did get some great early morning snaps of a few brilliant buildings that Barcelona holds dear: La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà. These three buildings were erected by one of the great visionaries in Spanish history: Antoni Gaudí. I stayed right across from the Mariana metro stop in northwest Barcelona so these three were in walking distance as I set out on this gloomy weekday morning to see the city in a much less bustling mood.
No one I talked to in Spain knew who Dr. Seuss was…
but I had to continuously make the comparison: the architectural equivalent of Dr. Seuss has to be Gaudí!
I flew from San Francisco to Dublin yesterday, and I cannot for the life of me sleep on a plane. Maybe I need better medications in my life.
Before I took the time to calculate how many hours I had been up I was in the pub drinking a Guinness to commemorate the arrival. Needless to say I had no problem catching z’s last night.
This morning I was up at dawn and after sneaking down from my hostel top-bunk I hit the fresh dawn air and headed towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral to snap some photos. Dublin oddly enough reminds me a great deal of Portland for various reasons. There’s pubs everywhere. There’s a lot of bikes coming and going. The city is cut in half by a river. These are obvious.
Less obvious is that there really aren’t spectacular sights to see. You know, as in touristy things to do. Hell, when a brewery (in this case Guinness) is at the top of the list you know there isn’t a whole lot going on. This is actually a nice thing for me because then the culture takes precedence as a main attraction. Simply listening to people’s accents and conversation becomes a great thing to experience. Also, I walked around all morning and saw only ONE dog being walked! That was an amazing realization. I walked probably 5 miles in all and there was no dogs anywhere… let alone dogs on leashes and people talking bullshit about them. Huge win for Dublin!
A strange and horrible number of rocknroll greats are leaving us. Who will take up the reigns and continue the story? Put down your phone and learn to play guitar already, damn it.
Along with a good friend I found myself in Mexico yesterday. We hauled is dune-buggy for some fun in the sand, sun, and mountains. The first morning I awoke near dawn and was greeted by the sea out back of our little beach bungalow.
I was blown away by the sleepy town on the Sea of Cortez. I’ve never been to a place quite as under developed as San Felipe and it was a paradise of sorts. Visiting a place like that really makes you realize how simple life can be and how complicated we can quickly make it. The Dos Equis went down one after another like water and the street tacos from our main man downtown filled our bellies three times a day. Talk about a simple paradise. I want more.
My greatest pen pal and the only biological grandparent I will know in this lifetime has left. As I’ve said before: death will always be hardest for those left behind. It is a sad time for the family, but I personally would rather take on sorrow than feel sympathy in the shadow of such a dear loved one’s suffering.
Grandma leaves behind a legacy of generosity. I would not be what I am today without her assistance and friendship. And for this I am honoured to move forward with the remembrance of what it means to be loved.