When Life Hands You Lemons

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April 2nd 2011
Published: April 2nd 2011
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Picnic LunchPicnic LunchPicnic Lunch

My favorite lunch here so far.
As I wrote yesterday, I lost a day in Casablanca, but gained a day in Barcelona due to air schedules. At home I have a plaque that says " When life hands you lemons, smile politely and throw them away when life isn't looking." I took that to heart today and threw those lemons away. After checking out of the hotel, which was a very nice place and in the best location I could imagine, I took the Metro to Plaza Espana. I had wanted to go to this Spanish village with shops and craftspeople making their wares. I don't remember Dearborn Village that well, but that is what it reminded me of while I was there. Originally it was for an Exposition and has all the different regions of Spain represented. I bought some small glass plates that I hope will make it home safely. On the bag I saw where this place made a lot of the plates for elBulli restaurant. It is a curse to have such good taste. There were so many amazing pieces there, but they were more than just slightly out of my budget. From there I wandered up the hill to the Olympic Stadium

I thought these were kind of neat.
area that I had skipped on Wednesday. It was such a beautiful day that my goal was simply to walk, enjoy being there and soak up the last bits of Barcelona's vibe.

For lunch I went back to La Boquaria and picked up a ham and cheese sandwich, a pineapple boat, some awesome garbanzo beans with bay shrimp in a tomato-paprika kind of dressing. The place was mobbed, so I went down by the port and had a picnic on a bench. It was better than having lunch in a restaurant. Something about going to different stalls to get what I wanted and then eating out in the sun made the lunch a special experience.

Just for fun I took a 35 minute boat tour around the port. It was relaxing and mindless. For a short time a man played the accordion, helping to add to the whole tourist atmosphere. Since I had an hour and a half before my bus to the airport, I strolled up side streets. I did run into some trouble that I hadn't expected today. My thought was to get some cash from the ATM. I had made a mistake in typing my
Olympic StadiumOlympic StadiumOlympic Stadium

From the 1992 Olympics.
PIN, so the man behind me was talking with me. When I did get cash, I was focused on getting it out when he started pointing to the screen with his left hand and talking in Spanish. No problem until I didn't get my card back. I thought the machine had eaten it and he was talking about how the bank was closed and looking sympathetic. Another person came and used it with no problems and suddenly I realized that while he was pointing and distracting me with his left hand, he had grabbed my card with his right hand. I was only 2 blocks from my hotel, so I canceled the card, but still I was shocked how smoothly it had gone down. Luckily it is my travel ATM card and linked solely to my vacation fund with virtually no money in it. I just transfer money as I need it just in case something like this happens. Still, it was a good reminder that I need to be on guard at all times regardless of how friendly people seem.

I'm now in my hotel in Casablanca. The flight was quick and easy and we were given dinner.
Inside StadiumInside StadiumInside Stadium

I figured this was an easy one to guess.
Not a good dinner, but still it was dinner. It was getting dark as we landed, but looking down at the ground I could see it was so flat and green that it could have been Ohio. The only difference from the air is that there are not many trees and no woods here. But, here I am in Africa, yet another place I never imagined I would see in person. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this place. Had to go through passport control, show my passport 2 more times, but then I was free to buy a train ticket and head to the center of Casa. From there it was a taxi ride and here I am in my hotel listening to the honk honk honk of cars. Driving seems to be a full body contact sport here and the horn must be a way of saying hello or something because they are always honking.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


I Took a Port CruiseI Took a Port Cruise
I Took a Port Cruise

Ok, so maybe the 35 minute tour wasn't on this ship.
35 Minute Tour35 Minute Tour
35 Minute Tour

Our boat was a little smaller, but still fared better than the SS Minnow.
Ah, SunAh, Sun
Ah, Sun

And the cable car to Montjuic is going over the water.
Leaving EuropeLeaving Europe
Leaving Europe

Flying out of Barcelona over the Mediterranean.

3rd April 2011

Wow! I had no idea how smooth these thieves can be when you are traveling. I am glad you realized what had happened so quickly and had not money to be taken in the account. What an adventure you are having. I am glad to "be along".
3rd April 2011

Hi B, I am so glad you are having a great time!Of course we knew you would. Everything looks so beautiful, the photos and the food. That ATM incident seems a bit scary of course! The weather looks gorgeous. I am jealous. Have some more fun and be safe. Miss you lots, K
25th April 2011

I love reading these. They are inspiring, and makes me think that we really can do anything that we put out minds too. Look at you B, you are out seeing the world! And by the looks of it, what a friggen beautiful world it is!
25th April 2011

and ps- I can't believe that guy stole your card. I'm glad that you were able to brush it off though and enjoy the rest of your vacation.
25th April 2011

Thanks Shannon. I appreciate that. Some days I do feel we can do anything we put our minds to. The hard part is getting out of our everyday mindset and realize that. It's not always easy. And yes, what a beautiful world it is. I can't wait to see more of it.

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