Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Barcelona on a Bike: Take 2

I decided I may as well blog my recent trip now.
I am way too behind on last year's trip. But I know I really do want to retro-blog it.
So someday.
But I may as well do this now, while it's fresh in my mind.

Last year, I had SUCH an incredible day biking through Barcelona with my dad that when I found out we were going back, there was no way I wasn't going to be two-wheeling my way through the city.
Taxi cabs wave along bikers to go in front of them.
It's like - the weirdest most awesome thing ever.
The bike lanes are fabulous.
And they even have lights specific for the bikes.

You can get to all of the sights in a short amount of time too.
My dad did a little homework, and we found a different bike shop where we were able to rent bikes for even cheaper than last year!
This put us at a different starting location, which meant we explored all new places!
SO FUN.
If you ever go to Barcie, rent a bike. Do it. You won't regret it.

We first headed out to the waterfront.
The Mediterranean Sea.
There is an entire paved path along the front, all the way to the eye catching sail shaped W Hotel.
We decided to ride all the way out there.

We made a quick stop so I could dip my feet in.
And kinda kept our heads down.
NUDIE BEACH ALERT.


At the recommendation of the bike shop guys we rode the whole boardwalk style path the other direction, looking for the Plaza of Champions - built for the 1992 Olympics where every Olympian had a plaque with their name on it.
I'm a huge Olympic fan. I was kind of excited.

Ends up, it wasn't exactly a large landmark and we rode right by it.
I was looking for things like the torch or the stadium - neither of which were nearby.
We figured it out, turned around and found the deserted plaza.
It was still kinda fun.

I also had to get some juice along the way. 
It looked so refreshing. 


Next we decided to head inland.
Where the city buildings would provide a little shade as we rode.
It was SO hot, and SO humid. 
My sunburn paranoia was in full effect.
We headed up towards the Gaudi Cathedral - something we didn't see last time.
Meanwhile, dad and I were drenched in sweat and i was starving for lunch.
As the Gaudi came into view, I told my pops we MUST STOP NOW. 
Hahaha.

So lunch time it was. 
We found a little corner restaurant. 
It served pizza. We also had pizza last year!
It's just easy.
Also, coca light.
And they served us some tuna empanadas as well.
FUN!


Once we were refreshed.
Re-sunscreened, and rested we headed up to Gaudi.
Up to this point, we had navigated the city no problem.
But the crowds around this thing were insane.
We carefully stuck to our bike lane.
However, people seemed to think it was also a walking lane.
We took pics from 3 of the 4 sides, and then got out of  dodge.


After this, we rode back down the middle of the city. Through their "central park."
Same as we did last year.
It was THE BEST again.
It was one of those moments as I was riding into the breeze, the sun was shining, and I was in SPAIN.
On a bike.

The whole path down I was just savoring each incredible moment.
Seriously.
You know those times where you're like "THIS. Remember THIS."
It was that.
It was awesome.




We rode under the arc - but I had my dad take pics with his camera of that. So, just reference last year.

And then my dad decided to really get adventurous and took us through the little tiny streets. We went left, and right, and right and right, and left. I had no idea where we were.
We were the sole cyclists.
Probably because we were riding on bumpy cobblestones.
But it was shady, and cool, and full of locals.


So fun.
After this we dropped off our bikes and headed back to La Rambla until it was time for our bus to take us back to the hotel.
We witnessed two crime situations - one involving undercover cops busting pickpockets, and one involving a man chasing another man out of a store with a baseball bat.
Um...
But still it was great. I love Barcie.

We got more juices. And then slushies.
And sat in a shady spot by the Christopher Columbus statue.
It was another great day in Barcelona.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Uncomfortable. Like, Really.

There are a few things out there right now that are making me feel quite uncomfortable.
I don't usually share my strong opinions on here too often... But, today I'm making an exception.
I feel like I need to share them with you, so I can feel better.
Catharsis, you know?
Tell me you're with me.

Let's start with this.

Gangnam Style is #1 on iTunes.
WHY?!?!
WHYYYYYYY?

Who is paying $1.29 for that?
It's not that awesome.

In fact, its weird, and awkward, and it makes me uncomfortable.
I don't hate the song.
Or the dance.
I love a good dance move.
But, why are millions of people feeling the need to OWN the song?




I held a cat.
To be more accurate, a kitten.
I mean, kittens CAN be kinda cute.
But we all know they turn into cats.
I decided to give this one a chance - his name was Salt-n-Pepa.
His cuter brother was Mr. McMeowy.

The good thing is, once I was holding him I was kinda over it.
Like real fast.
Less than 30 seconds.
Also I was scared he was going to scratch me.
I couldn't get him to unhook his claws from my sweatshirt.
I'm not a fan.

I'm uncomfortable that I held him long enough to get this picture.


I'm uncomfortable how much I like this stupid video.
I really, really, really didn't want to.
But the repeat of Julia Child rapping "ready to roll. ready to roll"
I couldn't help but stifle a laugh.
And that turned into a full on giggle, turned chuckle.
So good.
This is autotune done right, folks.

    


I'm uncomfortable that my sister got to see the famous Josh Hutcherson (Peeta from Hunger Games) in SF the other day, while I was behind a desk at work.
BOO.
And by uncomfortable, I mean jealous.
But I did help her tag team the super sleuthing.
Pic on the left was what he tweeted 2 hours before she saw him.
I sent it to her to confirm his outfit was the same.
IT WAS HIM.
Pic on the right was the one she got while hiding out across the street lurking him.

Lastly, I used to be uncomfortable admitting I was a Katykat. AKA a Katy Perry Fan.
I am going to admit I might, just MIGHT, be a Nicki Minaj fan.
Does her fan club have a fun name? If it does, that might seal the deal.



Tell me.
Am I alone in all of these uncomfortable ways?


Friday, September 21, 2012

Hot August (Days &) Nights

Let's recap.

Katygirl & Cammiegirl came to visit.
There were plenty of summery adventures to be had.
And then my sis and I lived the high life in the desert.
My blog turned 2, and to celebrate I hosted a mug swap that went BSC.
I celebrated my birthday for hella dayzzzz.
And then I went to Europe for 2 weeks.

Summers are usually great, but more specifically, August was pretty amaze.

Here's a quick look back....







Linking up with Jeannett.

 life rearranged

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Most Expensive Cheesecake Ever.

I have had Pam's Cheesecake a few times now.
Once in Kansas. Which is where this cheesecake hails from.
Authentic.

Once again when Jessica PinterTested. It was CRAZY good too.
The fudge striped cookies, sugar, and butter created a caramelized crust.
SO. GOOD.

So the other night, when I got this text from Marge - I had almost NO reservations about wanting to make it!
Word is the underground name for this cheesecake is the "Twenty Dollar Cheesecake" - due to the sheer amount of cream cheese blocks it requires.



But it's so, so, so worth every penny.
So Marge arrived. Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Cookies, and Whipped Cream in hand.
And we got to baking.

Marge made the crust while I whipped the cream cheese into oblivion.
Thank-you-pretty-pink-mixer.

I wasn't planning a blog post about this cheesecake, so I didn't take any pictures of the process.
But right after the cheesecake in the oven, MOD (master of disaster) was about to strike, at epic level proportions. 

First off. This happened.
Unrelated to cheesecake.



And it remains like that several days later.
I don't have the energy, or height to deal with it.


Secondly, I should have reviewed Jessica's Pintertest post:



Welp. Lesson learned. Because the cheesecake decided to party in my oven.



It still turned out beautifully.
100% devoured at church on Sunday AM.



And let's get to the MOST EXPENSIVE CHEESECAKE EVER part....

Monday night, I threw a sheet of Sweet Potato Fries in my oven.
10 minutes later I went to flip them...
I open my oven, and smoke comes BLASTING OUT.
And the whole bottom of the oven erupts into FLAMES.

Like. FIERY FLAMES.
ORANGE.
FLAMES.

Like, as in FIRE.

UM....
I shut the door.
And run opening doors, windows, and grabbing my cell phone....debating between 9-1-1 and my dad.
(Dad won).

And eventually the flames went out. And smoke steamed out the top for a while...



And then when I went to inspect the situation...this happened.


The handle came off.
And some side metal bar part.


So, I'm thinking, I might need a new oven?
Or at least some ridiculous repair.
This is one expensive cheesecake.

So for now, me and my microwave are BFF's.
Hopefully she doesn't burst into flames anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pintertest Kitchen: Travel Sized Edition


Here is my one problem with traveling.
Liquids.
UGH.
Right?
TSA does not like them.
So, into the suitcase they go.
Praying they dont explode.
Like that one time an entire can of spray sunscreen was dispensed on my sleeping bag on a flight to Mississippi for a Katrina service trip.
Sunscreen leaves stains in case you were wondering.
Smells nice, but it leaves a big splotch.

I have only recently discovered how to tame my curly mane.
Straight hair and I have been doing our thing for years. 
Some years better than others. But I have it down.
Mostly because I couldn't get the curly hair to work for me.
It needs product.
Specifically, Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave In Conditioner.
It's a first world MIRACLE!
For my cruise, I planned to mostly straighten my hair.
But I can do my hair curly in less than 30 seconds. So I like having my Leave In Conditioner with me as an option.
But that squirty bottle has caused me problems in the past. 
Having a slimey toothbrush is not awesome.

Cue Pinterest.


Boom.
Saran wrapped.
I kept the little piece of saran wrap with me the whole time, and we made it to Europe & home again.
In one slightly deflated, yet unexploded piece.


It's MERRRRICLE!
Linking up with Jessica!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ya'll Ready for This?

{cue jock jams}

alright.
i've been back.
it's been a week.
looking through my iphone, i have covered a LOT in just one week of being back.
(okay one week and three days, whatevs.)


let's get to it.
speaking of jock jams.
bay area sports are on FIRE.
Giants are in a run for the playoffs.
Nine Eight is our magic number.
No thanks to this game that Betsy, Margaret, Angela & I attended.
It was a beautiful day. And an exciting game, but we lost.



 What I think IS helping the Giants, are the lucky M&M's we may or may not have planted accidentally dropped in centerfield when we were down there for Fellowship Day.
We thought the outfielders may need a little snack.
(they are so never letting us back on the field).
 

We also all wore Toms.
Unplanned.
I'm pretty particular about "Toms Weather".
Giants Day Games: Perfect Toms Weather (not too hot, not too cold, no rain).

 
49ers.
2-0.
Football is serious business.
With only one game a week, each one is muy importante.
I'm excited. Can you tell?


I've been bonding with my pup.
Also, forehead wrinkes.
YIKES.






Including giving her a MUCH needed bath...






See? So much better now.
And when she wants nothing to do with me, little Chloe seems to be a little bit more interested in hanging out.
Just a little though.
She doesn't like to get too close.



A LOT OF THIS...


And probably too much of this...



And lastly...
But most importantly....

Hope4Sudan.

Exciting news - the guys are there!
Like, right now.

Words like satellite phone, backpacking, crossing the border, fish & loaves, dry ground, cargo planes, and refugees etc are what I'm hearing.
We sent them off last Tuesday.
SO. EXCITING.




I don't know a lot, but what I do know is we need to pray.
Not because God can't or wont work without our prayers - because he can and will, but because it is how we can support the team and serve our God.
It keeps us mindful of our fellow believers. The people in the camps. The team that is out there.
Every morning at 7am I'm on "duty".
Thanks to Jess for organizing a 24 hour prayer schedule.
It's not too late to join if you are interested!


No snoozing allowed for this alarm!

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 on 10: September 2012 - Back To Reality

I was off work for the past 17 days.
Today, was the return.
Real life.

I know. I know.
Complaining is bratty after galavanting around Europe for two weeks.
So I'll do my best not to.

I'm running on a serious sleep deficit here.
My body is confused.
My building fire alarms decided to go off for an hour at 11pm the night I got home.
I spent the weekend with all my friends who I missed so much.
Went to bed late. Got up early.

So.
When my body decided to wake up at 4:45 this morning. Um...
I was like WHUT?

This is round two of my coffee.
In my super cute new mug from my friend Cindy who bought it after seeing it on my etsy favs.
The other side says VOTE.
I think it's hilariously awesome.
Also. I when I came home I knew I wouldn't have time to get milk.
So I stole some creamers from the cruise ship and put them in my suitcase.
Brilliant idea. If I do say so myself.


I brought back some fun treats for the coworkers.
Traditional cookies from Burano Island in Venice, Italy.
Also. I packed my pops.
They help me cope.


This was what I came back to.
Rather organized.
Appreciative that my coworkers left my to-do piles in an orderly fashion.
Seriously. Thank you.


So.
Greek yogurt.
It's great and all.
But like, not as fun as Greece.
Sadly, I can't go to Greece every day.
I can have Greek yogurt though.


Marge came and picked me up for lunch.
With the first of my birthday presents.
Going away for my birthday wasn't my fav this year.
What is my fav is that I think I will be getting presents in installments for the next month or so.


We have a lunch tradition.
It's one of my favs.


Last year, in Rome, I bought this little calendar.
I was so excited to go to the Spanish Steps this time - which I missed out on last time.
And I did.
They were beautiful. I wish I could see them at night.
I guess that will have to be next time.
Its time to flip to September...but maybe not just yet.


And this is what I was left with after the first day back.
Not too bad.
Also. This may be time to note it was my work anniversary on Friday.
8 years of spinning circles in this little spot.
EIGHT. YEARS.


Best part of my day.
Happy dog. Happy mail.
She always, ALWAYS likes to put her toys all up in whatever I'm doing.
That ball was placed there so that I would IMMEDIATELY THROW IT. LIKE NOW. I'M WAITING.
She needs a bath.
BAD.
And that dirty face. OUT OF CONTROL.


Ran to Target for a few essentials (MILK. DIET COKE. IMPULSE BUYS.)
And on my way home had my camera in the passenger seat.
I just grabbed it and snapped a few shots.
Didn't even look.
Caught the sun just about to dip behind the hills.


It's real life.
But it ain't too terrible.
Plenty of coffee.
A great job.
Friends that love me.
A dog who is adorable.
And a God who has given me all of that and finishes the day with incredible sunsets.


...that moment where you get to the end of writing a post, and you can't even remember why you would even think to complain...

THAT is why I blog.


Linking up here:

ten on ten button small