July 11, 2009 - Posted by Erin in Travels in Spain, Trips to the US

I can’t believe my last blog was in May! I think with all of my travels I have just been so burnt out, that the thought of spending any extra minute blogging has been unbearable.

It’s been an incredibly busy month and a half though. With a day trip to El Olivar, a business (etc) trip to SF, and then another road trip to the Costa Brava. I will reserve this blog for the former two though :).

Not too much to say about El Olivar – Jacob and I headed out there the weekend before I left for SF. It was our usual weekend mini road trip. It’s so nice to have an endless amount of really cool pueblos to check out – all within an hour’s drive. It was a sweet little town where we had a yummy lunch followed by walk to see the large reservoir in the distance. Pictures speak for themselves.

My much bigger trip was of course my trip to SF. I had to head out there for a conference and brought my colleague, Guido with me. The trip was a strange combination of visiting home, working and showing Guido around (who had never been to SF, much less the US). It was great though.

What did we do – we watched a little golf (friend from college playing in a tournament), a Giants game, we drove around the entire city, dinner in the Mission, the Marina, Russian Hill and so on. In and Out, Mexican food, legitimate sandwiches, a couple trips for sushi and a couple more for Vietnamese (got to have my spring rolls), frozen yogurt, and several stops at Stanford shopping mall to get my fill of goodies. Oh yeah, and a drive from SF down highway 1. And Guido insisted on a quick drive by Google (and a photo op).

Especially fun was our stop at Starbucks – one which we had anticipated for quite some time. The elephant in the room – yes, his name is Guido and I have informed him as to why that might make many Americans chuckle (see urban dictionary definition if you are from a generation (eh hemmm, Mom) that has no idea what I am talking about). In Spain, they can’t even pronounce his name, much less spell it. One thing was certain for me though – in the US, his name could be spelled and pronounced (no problem), but a little smile, maybe a laugh, would be involved. Sure enough, when we went to Starbucks, the fellow behind the counter broke into an embarrassed smile when having to write Guido’s name on a cup….oh yes, and he spelled it right. I am fairly certain that Jacob’s sister Macarena might have a similar fate…..

It really was a very good, full trip….despite the fact that I was suffering from a death cold which kept me from having the energy to be active the way I would have wished (particularly the first day of our conference when I came down with the virus – it absolutely wiped me out!).

The trip was capped off by an incredibly long journey back to Spain, involving a stop at Heathrow (the biggest clusterf&#! of airports ever), in which Guido and I managed to get separated from each other for a period of time. But that wasn’t enough, apparently our suitcases got separated as well – from our flight. This was the beginning of a very long stressful week of waiting and wondering whether I would see my bag (and particularly all of my cherished items from SF) again. I’ve said it before, and will say it again – never, NEVER, have a layover at Heathrow. I think there’s probably a 90% you will lose your bag – so if you layover there, you are asking for it!

Before my bag ever made it home, it was time to head of to Northeastern Spain for another road trip…to be covered in my next blog.


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