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?

Six Months to LIVE! (my journey from Barcelona to Belize at the End of Time?)

Excuse me for adding yet another blog to this crazy-overloaded-cyberspace, but


They say there are only two real story lines in any novel or movie: “A (wo)man goes on a journey,” or “A stranger comes to town.”

This appears to hold true in my life as well.  I’ve lived and/or traveled on six continents thus far, and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s truism is unfortunately true:

“Wherever You Go, There You Are.”

But this has yet to put a stop to my Wanderlust.

Assuming all goes well, I will be replacing the below stock photo of the Hotel Arts Barcelona with a real one once we check in on Thursday, 6/21/12.

I kinda dig the way the Gehry sculpture looks like a gynormous golden sperm trying to impregnate that poor little pool. (The hotel is part of the Marriott chain, so I presume it’s Mormon?  Keep trying, my golden Peix … those girls always give in eventually.)

In any event, the date I’ve chosen to launch this blog is hardly accidental.  Just in case you’ve somehow managed not to hear all the rumors, the world is predicted to end on December 21, 2012.

That gives us all JUST SIX MONTHS to live.

(To LIVE, if you’re smart.)

I don’t actually believe in all those Doomsday scenarios (okay, I did stock up on about a hundred pounds of dried produce in Y2K …).  But 12/21/12 really will FEEL like the End-of-the-World for me  …

It’s my 45th birthday.

So in order to mitigate my mid-life crisis, I’ve decided to treat the next six months as though they really ARE my last.

And for me that means, TRAVEL.

I’m not sure why I’m starting out in Spain (except for that it’s one of the European countries I’ve somehow managed to miss), but I’m thinking about ending the year in Belize … all that Mayan stuff, you know?

Besides, I kinda like alliteration: Barcelona to Belize just sounds good … and just where else am I supposed to go, Barcelona to Birmingham?  (Never been there either … who knows?)

If I don’t manage an End-of-the-World ceremony with the Mayans, maybe I’ll somehow find a way to party with Jane Fonda on 12/21/12? 

After all, it will be HER 75th birthday … sort of puts my Cougar initiation party plans to shame.

On a more serious note, I hope you will join me on my blogging adventure.  Apart from travels, I’ll be writing about Purpose, Writing, Spiritual Stuff, Health and whatever else feels good.  (Please visit the “About” page for more details.)


Today’s question:

What would YOU do if you actually believed these were YOUR last six months?  Would you travel?  If so, where?