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From Spain!

November 6, 2011

It hasn’t been so many days but we’ve had many adventures.

First, on Spain. It was a trip to remember, one filled with TIME ALONE WITH MY HUSBAND and Gaudi architecture. (No one’s work should be reduced to a parenthetical, especially not Gaudi’s, but bubbly; insouciant; reverential; inspired by the natural world; art nouveau but in a wholly different way than I expect. Goofy, gorgeous, special. Wow.)

Also, the occasional glass of red wine and lots and lots of lots of garlic and snails and halved artichokes and a dish of fantastic wild mushrooms with spaghetti and bits of bacon, called espagueti, and that is the best word ever, I am sure you will agree. And a trip to La Boqueria, a market so amazing that it deserves a post all its own, but may not get one, so let me just say: piles of spices, orange slices dipped in chocolate; coconut and raspberry juice; stalls with cured ham; stalls with fresh meat; stalls with scary meat like lots of sheeps head and tripe all in a row; stalls with crawling crabs and scary monkfish. Stalls with beautiful produce that all looked magazine-shoot worthy. And stalls with chocolates made to look like hedgehogs, y’all. If you get to Barcelona, get to La Boqueria. And take me with you.

Barcelona is huge in scale in a way that New York is not: sweeping boulevards with doors, that are, I don’t know, feet and feet and feet tall. Very tall doors; I could not reach the top, even if I’d jumped. Lots of fantastic architecture in certain portions of the city, fountains of water with leaping water with light spraying through it. Monuments Parisian in taste and scope. And underfoot, octagonal tiles with sea life etched into them, thanks to Gaudi’s omnipresence.

But then there is the Barri Gotic, a contrasting neighborhood, a tiny wending medieval place with no space or light, the perfect environs to get the plague, or a room with a single bed for not much money. Near there, you can get some enviable octopus with paprika and oil, purple and perfect and warm.

Lots of contrasts, lots of yummy food, lots of time for conversations with Matthew. It was so much fun. It is how we celebrated the fact that in a few weeks, I will be older. Older than almost everyone, except of course for Matthew, who is THREE WHOLE YEARS older than me and has been a model of grace, so why should we be afraid?

And luckily many of my friends have always been a little older, and therefore I’ve seen the darkness creep across their faces when they turn this age and a moment later they come back out into the light, smiling. I’ll have a baby in my belly when I turn 40 in a few weeks and I can think of no better testament to life goes on, bring on the future!!

Here’s to Spain and my beautiful husband, El Navigator, for planning and executing the trip. And here’s to always finding new places and things to appreciate. And here’s to you, last days of my 30’s.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob Phillips permalink
    November 6, 2011 8:13 am

    Meredith,
    A marvelous piece from a marvelous writer. May your next decade be as full of interesting adventures as your first three.
    Love,
    Mom and Dad

  2. Bob Phillips permalink
    November 6, 2011 8:39 am

    Errata sheet,

    Meredith,
    A marvelous piece from a marvelous writer. May your next decade be as full of interesting adventures as your first four.

    Love,

    Mom and Dad

  3. Chrissa permalink
    November 6, 2011 8:56 am

    Gorgeous. I want to go to Spain now. Alone with my husband 🙂

  4. Chrissa permalink
    November 6, 2011 8:56 am

    (Oh no evil smiley emoticon! Please avert your eyes!)

  5. Alana permalink
    November 6, 2011 11:33 am

    Sounds perfect!

  6. Karen permalink
    November 6, 2011 12:21 pm

    Yeah, me too, Chrissa! We should all get to celebrate our ?0th birthday that way.

    But seriously Meredith- come on in, water’s fine. My birthday of that magnitude was 3 wks after Mia was born. I left the house for 30 mins, had my underarms waxed, and had a bagel with lox and cream cheese. Not exactly Barcelona, but it felt pretty good.

    Good for you for enjoying it so thoroughly! Well played.

  7. Michelle permalink
    November 6, 2011 12:37 pm

    It is thrilling to hear about your Spanish adventures. Forty and up is great. Happy and who-the-hell-cares. I often wish I’d gotten here earlier, and I would never, NEVER go back. Come join us, you’ll love it!

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