Monday, November 30, 2015

Jet Lag, Work, and Christmas Projects

We arrived home from England on Saturday late afternoon. We went to bed at 10 PM and woke up eleven hours later. I felt exhausted yesterday. But since it is just a few weeks before Christmas, requests for digital art gifts are the highest. I now have fifteen in the queue all at various stages - and they keep coming. Just getting all the requests in order took some doing, and getting some prelim sketches out took the whole day. On top of that, I had to get back to work today. Getting up at 6 AM was dreadful even though I went to bed at ten last night. I'm hoping I can just get through the next few days and shake off whatever jet lag is left. I really dislike traveling and can't understand how someone enjoys this torture. But I'm sure I am in the minority. Routine and doing a lot of nothing are my favorite things - and it wouldn't matter where I lived. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Frozen Cheese and Angel Food Cake

We just returned from a ten day trip to England and Spain visiting with friends. Before we left, we didn't know what to do about the large chunk of petit b'asque and soft brie cheeses we had as well as a half of an angel food cake. They were all too good to toss, so my husband decided to try something different. Rather than simply put them in a Baggie or zip lock bag, he decided to use Saran Wrap and tightly enclose the products and then put them in the freezer. So today when he made brunch, it was time to take the taste test to see what happened. The texture and look felt and seemed like we had just purchased the cheese. When we sliced the hard cheese, it was as usual. And when we tasted it, it was just like new. So, the next time we need to be away for a few days at least we know we can freeze the stuff and it turns out all right. As for the angel food cake? I'll find out after dinner. Until that time my brain is still six hours out of sync and I am dreading having to return to work tomorrow. But the cheese is at least tasty. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

From Heathrow to Dulles

We left last Thursday evening and are now at the airport to go home. As was usual neither one of us slept last night. We arrived in London and soon after journeyed to Spain for a couple of days. I haven't been in this many airports and flights within such a short period of time. We are both eager to get back to the comforts of home. I lost a pair of shoes in Barcelona. Luckily they weren't of any significance. Right now we are hanging around and waiting for the flight to board. I have a feeling both of us will sleep most if the way back. It's weird being out of the country - we missed Thanksgiving for the first time. I still don't know why people like to travel. It must be in their genes. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Christmas Lights in London

From the back seat of a small car it is very hard to take photos. And so it was last evening when we headed to London to see the Christmas lights. Every time I thought I had a decent shot, a bus or taxi would get in the way, or the camera would not focus, or the car would take a lunge. In spite of it all, the trip was fun if nothing else but to see the landmarks and holiday fare combined. The iPhone 6 Plus does take fine photos in low light, but unfortunately I didn't get many of those. I did get a great video of a seatbelt and Big Ben. We are visiting with friends in England for the fourth year in a row. The first time was October, then August, then July, and now November over Thanksgiving. We didn't have turkey or a Macy's day parade, but it was a great holiday all the same. Now the trip is winding down and we head back home tomorrow. It's nice to be here, but it's also nice to be home. I know at least my photos will more than likely be in focus.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Placa de Gaudi in Barcelona

It was probably the strangest "church" we have ever been in, and it is still under construction. I didn't read anything about it, and usually don't. We were traveling with friends to Barcelona and this was a place the earnest travelers wanted to see and we were along for the ride. It's called Placa de Gaudi and it looked very gawdy. I don't know if one word has anything to do with the other, but it reminded me of a movie called Baron Munchausen - we walked out of it it was so strange. We waited in line for quite some time to buy a ticket, and wandered about the church for awhile and were amazed at how busy it was. I was eager to leave it, and see the more natural beauty of the country. At least I can say I was there, but that's about it. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Old Barcelona

This is the first year we have not been home at Thanksgiving time. So I did not have to worry about making a turkey and planning for guests. This year we decided to visit our English friends, and all meet our French friends in Spain. I probably would not have ever gone to Spain otherwise. Yesterday we walked though the old section of Barcelona - this is the favorite spot for my husband as he loves the crowd and the action, and the markets, and the walk. The day before we meandered through the modern section of town, and then took the train to the Mediterranean Sea. The best part of any of it is that I don't need to think about how to get from point a to point b, because there are seasoned travelers in this group that really want to see and do specific things. We just tag along. By the end of the day, we went for a late lunch at the top of a department store complex. So we saw the view of the city at dusk. It's hard to believe there were Olympic Games played here a while back. The city must have been congested! But even this time of year it seemed very crowded. Now we are back in London for a few days. I need a vacation! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mediterranean Sea

My dad was in Northern Africa during WWII on a ship in the Mediterranean. This is the first time I have seen the Mediterranean Sea seventy years later. A lot has changed since then! We are in Barcelona visiting our English friends son and were joined by our French friends.  Yesterday we took a stroll along the sea, saw some parrots flapping, palm trees, and surfers. It reminded me a lot of Florida along the gulf shores where I grew up. The sun was misleading as it actually felt like thirty degrees. But it was a very pleasant day taking in the sights in a place I would not have imagined visiting even last year. My husband and I prefer the company over the sights and pretty much tag along wherever everyone else wants to go. This way I really don't have to think about anything. And I really like it that way! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Raco de la Vila Restaurant in Barcelona

We usually have dinner at 6 PM. But people in Europe tend to eat a lot later - more like 8-8:30 or later. Last evening we met up with the son and girlfriend of our English friends, who happen to live in Barcelona, where we are visiting for a couple of days. Our French friends are also in town, so we are a party of eight! The best way to get to where we were going was to take the metro, and thank goodness other people like to take the lead on getting us from one place to another. So we made our way to Raco de la Vila and filled ourselves up with tapas and dinner. We decided on paella after gorging on bread, artichokes, mushrooms, salad, onions, and an assortment of other things. It was relatively busy for a Sunday evening. Before we left on this trip we watched a show about the city and its' food and the first thing we saw was a pig leg (I think) in the entryway which is sliced very thin. The tiles on the walls and decor were interesting and the company was even more so. We could hardly waddle out of the place after ice cream and coffee and after dinner drinks. No wonder I can't sleep at night since we came here - I have such horrible palpitations and can only guess it is from all this food and drink. We will be leaving shortly for another one of these adventures. Every time I think I will behave and eat less it never happens. I am hoping for a decent nights sleep but am afraid it won't happen until we get back home. Until then I will try to enjoy the ride, in spite of the after affects.