Solstice Synchronicity in Barcelona (and why I called my husband a Dickhead yesterday …)

So I called my husband a Dickhead yesterday.

And I’m only sort of sorry …

It all started when I ordered a cocktail at the beautiful Hotel Arts, Barcelona.  As promised, here’s a live photo of Gehry’s “fish” right behind the bar area:

Barcelon Peix sculpture by Gehry

Anyway, even though I had flown biz class on the super ordentlich Lufthansa, I had been traveling for close to 24 hours by the time I met Hubby in Barcelona.  I felt grungy and more than a tad sleep deprived — I’m sure you know how it is.

So we ordered drinks.

happy hour at Hotel Arts Barcelona

I usually stick to white wine because I’m no good with the hard stuff.  But since we were on vacation I felt adventurous and ordered a Champagne cocktail.  The server recommended an “Olimpic” (yes, that’s how they spell it here; we’re very close to the 1992 Olympic Village).

The drink tasted like one of those horrible things you might slug back at a fraternity party — those ones with shots of EVERYTHING mixed in.  I couldn’t detect any Champagne.

I tried to stop myself, but just couldn’t keep my high maintenance voice to myself … I tried to return the drink.

The Spanish waiter looked at me like I had just asked him to cut off his left testicle.  “But you ordered it.”

Hubby quickly tried to intervene, offering to drink it himself.   (And even though I didn’t exactly appreciate his simple solution, this is not when I called him a Dickhead …)

I was not giving up.   I needed to show the waiter I was right: “But she told me this was a Champagne cocktail …”

They ended up exchanging my drink, but I spent the rest of the night feeling like an Ugly American for having insisted on getting my way.

Why can’t I just leave my argumentative side at home?  The one who always has to be right.

Wherever You Go, There You Are.

Yes, we’re finally in Barcelona and have spent our time running around the city like every other loco touristo in Peak Travel Period (I’d forgotten what Europe is like in summer!) trying to squeeze the “top 100” sights of the city into two days.

Not only are Ugly Americans everywhere, but Ugly Germans and Ugly Bulgarians too.  (Nothing against any of these nationalities, but wherever you find a large number of tourists, you hear lots of complaining.)


I think we managed to fit in most of the tourist sites.  Here’s a view of the city from Park Guell:

Barcelona view from Park Guell

And a view of the longest ever construction project by Barcelona’s darling, Antoni Gaudi:

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

It’s due for completion in 2026, eighty years after it’s Gaudi’s death.  (BTW, there is no relation between “Gaudi” and the term “gaudy” despite the architect’s penchant for outlandish flourishes.)

But back to our story.  Did I mention we were up all night the first night due to super loud party music being piped into our room?  The next day, I had a mini-melt down when hubby wouldn’t let me carry a handbag to town due to all the pick pocket horror stories.

Do you know how insecure a woman feels without her purse?  Even though Hubby carries a Murse (man-purse) and offered to carry my stuff, it’s about giving up control.

And trust.

I didn’t want to lose control, and I didn’t trust Hubby either.  But you cannot travel anywhere without losing control, and without trusting others.

Fortunately, the Barcelonians helped loosen up my Control Freak nature considerably by serving us SUPER SIZED SANGRIA everywhere we went:

Sangria - SUPER SIZE!

And we soon got used to dining on Tapas at midnight and staying up until the wee hours.

It was a good thing, too, because funnily enough given the Premise of the Blog … making the most of the time between the SUMMER SOLSTICE and the WINTER SOLSTICE, 2012 … we learned that Barcelonians celebrate the Solstice on June 23 every year by staying up all night and lighting fireworks on the beach.

Another sleepless night.

And probably one of the best nights I’ve ever had …

So WHY did I call my husband a DICKHEAD, you ask?

"Dickhead" -- My husband really did agreed to pose for this!

Traveling together can be difficult …

Doesn’t he kind of deserve it for agreeing to pose for this photo?


I’m exhausted, but very, very happy ….

Kate collapses on a chaise at the Hotel Arts, Barcelona

See you soon in San Sebastian!

Question:  When were YOU last exhausted, yet energized and excited too?

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