Thursday, September 25, 2014

Holy Mackrel

Having just returned from a  Mediterranean cruise (that my fabulous mother took me on) I have to say, I highly recommend it.  Now, my documented account of my travels will not do the experience justice, but it will be my account.

First up in my journal of my journey...Barcelona!  Unfortunately, to get to Barcelona, I had to get on a plane...for 9 1/2 hours.  I had seriously hoped to get some snooze time in so that I'd be all bright eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to see the sites.  I had an eye mask.  I had ear plugs. I had an Ambien.  I had free wine, beer and cocktails available to me.  No dice.  I did not sleep a wink.  Oh, but the good news was that about half way across the Atlantic, we ran into a thunderstorm that kept me entertained:

Only thing missing was the Twilight Zone gremlin on the wing of the plane.

But FINALLY, we get to Barcelona!  I get the first stamp in my passport (I've been to Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas...I'm not a total back woods hick, but none of those places stamps your passport)

We hop our shuttle and are delivered to our hotel:

Mom is there seated on the left with our many, many pieces of luggage.
Oh, and fun fact: "Catedral" in Barcelona is like "Peachtree" in Atlanta.  EVERYTHING has "Catedral" in its name.  Asking where the "Hotel Barcelona Catedral" is located is about as effective as asking someone (in a language that is not their native tongue) "Where's that place where your can rent a room?"  Not their fault that they can't answer you....because there's the Barcelona Hotel Catedral, the Catedral Barcelona Hotel, the Hotel Catedral Barcelona, the Barcelona Hotel on Catedral....
Or within a reasonable proximity (in our shuttle driver's opinion) to our hotel.  We were about 5 city blocks away when he kicked us off the shuttle and pointed in the general direction of the hotel.  All of our luggage was on wheels, so it was manageable...but we were dragging it along cobblestones, so it wasn't effortless.  I was pretty sweaty and gnarly when I got to our desitnation.
The hotel was lovely and the staff was WAY early for check-in, but they stowed our bags for us and we headed out into the city...half a block later and:  

Ahhhhh, Sangria.  It was lovely and refreshing.  We took a minute to relax and strategize our next move:

Mother/Daughter Spanish selfie.  The Barcelona humdity (and resultant sweat) was not kind to my hair
And decided to try for the Picasso museum.  We had our tour book, and an app on my iPhone...we can do this...we're only a few blocks away.
Of course, by this time, neither of us has slept in approx. 30 hours.  We were easily distracted by all of the lovliness around us, but we weren't in a hurry.  We were following the street signs that matched the street names on our map.  Then we came to this:

What this indicated to ME was that you could go either route and get to the Picasso museum.  NOT THE CASE.  That, or we were more punch-drunk than I thought.  We passed this sign three times without seeing the Picasso museum....we were just going 'round in circles.  I still couldn't tell you how we got away from the gravitational pull of this corner that kept trying to draw us back in...we just started making turns into alleys at random until we noticed a line of people waiting outside a gothic palace-y looking place.  Pfft, whaddya know?  The Picasso museum.

Taken while waiting in line to get in the museum.  In my head I'm singing "He sees angels in the architechture...spinning in infinity, he says, "Amen! Hallelujah!" If you'll be my bodyguard....

Inside the courtyard of the museum.  It was gorgeous.
Apparently, the Picasso museum is sort of four palaces kind of hooked together.  The building itself was worth the visit.  And I really enjoyed most of the art displayed there.
Now, I'm getting ready to say something that's probably going to be very unpopular.  Before I do that, I want to say that I always thought I was a big ole Picasso fan.  One of my favorite works of all time is his Guernica.  I am not turned off by the somewhat weirdness of his Cubism or some of his other surreal works. (Guernica is not in the Barcelona museum...I'm just saying I've always loved it...I mean, doesn't it just SCREAM how awful the Nazi bombing of this villiage was?)

A story I always loved about this's said that once the Gestapo were in Picasso's apartment searching it & saw a photograph of Guernica and asked Picasso, "Did you do this?" and he (allegedly) replied, "No, you did."
That being said...I never realized that Picasso's art took a freaking sharp left turn into crazy-town....apparently in the year of 1903

What the actual Hell, Pablo?  I mean, seriously?  One minute, I'm strolling past The Portrait of Aunt Pepe, then I'm admiring the painting of his sister, Lola...then I turn into a room with THIS.  What the crap was WRONG with him?  This isn't art....this is a doodle that a junior high school perverted little pimple faced douche canoe would draw in study hall just to be vulgar.  I'm sure someone's gonna try to convince me that there's some sort of sublime artistic value in this...but sorry...this Alabama girl ain't buyin' that.  Pablo Picasso may have been some kind of revolutionary artist most of the time...but that crap also tells me he had some pretty sick shit swimmin around in that genius brain of his as well.  Sorry about that little side track.
Apart from the drawing of a FISH (A Mackrel, apparently...since that's the title of this "work") performing sex acts on a woman badly in need of some personal grooming, I enjoyed the visit to the museum.  (That room should have had some "Only 18 and over" sign on it or something.  My friend Meg had her daughter in Barcelona last month....I'm glad I wasn't trying to explain that hot mess to MY pre-schooler).

ANYWAY...we finished our couple/three hours in the museum and then made our way back to our hotel (only one or two wrong turns on the way back).  By then, we had a room, were able to freshen up and go out to dinner.  We ended up in a little tapas resturant right by the Barcelona Catedral.  

Selfie in front of the Barcelona Cathedral.  The contacts have come out...the hair...I'm not even sure what the heck is going on with that side cowlick thing...and of course, I've rubbed all my makeup off.  I am the epitomy of a weary traveler at this point.

It was fabulous!  They served us 4 different tapas, then a monk fish on black rice entree and finally a dessert plate with a sampling of three different desserts.

By this time, we'd been up about 36 hours and were ready to lay our little heads down.  Before we turned in, however, we took a dip into the pool on the rooftop of our hotel.  Here was our view:

I slept 10 straight hours.

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