So Didja Miss Me?
Inspired not a little by my co-author and co-chatter, Robin, who has been known to book a flight the day before leaving, get her visa on the way to the airport, and read the guidebook in the cab on the way to her hotel, I took a little impromptu vacay last week.
And, gente--it was Barcelona--que favoloso! After tossing around Sicily, Panama, and Saint Maarten as possible destinations, I settled on this allegedly delightful city that I had not visited since 1981. At the time, my brother and I wore matching navy-blue jackets, my father had a lot more hair, and my most vivid memory was of the monkey in the botanical garden who pulled my hair. Nasty animal. Also, falling asleep in my plate at dinner, which was invariably a little bit after my bed time.
Let me tell you that Barcelona in February as a grown-up is just a super-duper blast. It helped that it was the cheapest flight to Europe that I've ever purchased in ym life. It helped that it was the last days of those craaaaaaazy winter rebaixes--that's "sales" in Catalan for those of you who aren't fluent in the world's weirdest Romance language--and that I was able to acquire the definitive black boot. It helped that our friend and college classmate, Tom Downey (freelance writer and author of the incredibly compelling non-fiction book The Last Men Out) hooked me up with is his friend in Barcelona, Gonzalo Escuder, filmmaker and philosopher, and an unbelievably gracious guide to the all the dark-wood, vino-drinking, pinchos-eating spots of the city. It also helped that Tom gave me a sneak preview of his upcoming travel piece on barcelona in Conde Nast Traveller magazine, and thanks to him, I ate my weight in anchovies, boquerones, tortillas, codfish tapas, and ensaimadas, and drank my weight in the obscenely divine hot dark goop known as xocolate. If I tell you that the waiter was impressed when I finished all the hot chocolate-cum-mud soup and the whole mountain of whipped cream, I would be selling short his stupefaction.
So I'm fat, poor and happy. Back to work, now--I know you missed me just a ton. Or you would have, if you'd noticed I was gone.