Monday, June 30


The Madrid section of the trip has come to an end. There have been many beautiful moments and in each home I have felt like in my own. We've spent a few days with my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law and lots of swimming pool time to combat the outrageous heat we've had these days.

I will be forever grateful to my mother-in-law for giving me some of the few real vacation moments I have during the entire year. To be able to sit and read for four or five hours without interruption is a luxury that I don't enjoy very often in daily life. Naím adores his "yaya" and with her he is able to forget about mommmy for a while. It's important to remember that mommy is the only stable element in these days of lots of people, lots of traveling, and five different beds in one week.

Aside from family time, it has also been friends' time. Friends that have been there for over 15 years and will continue to be there forever, regardless of the physical distance. Those kind of friends that you can count with the fingers of one hand.

We had our moments of african traditions...

New friends...

Jazz concerts in the town's square, while storks watched from above...

And of course, soccer, lots of soccer. Oddly enough, Naím loves soccer, and I say oddly because neither his dad or myself ever play (but of course we're starting to). I don't usually care much about soccer, but whenever there are international competitions like these days with the European Cup, I fill up with a wave of patriotic love and watch enthusiastically how our 11 guys chase the black and white ball around the field. And hey, we won the championship, which hadn't happened in 44 years!!! With Spain's love for partying, you have no idea what kinds of celebrations this event brought about. Spain is different, truly!

Tomorrow we will be on our way to Galicia. My father didn't have the patience to wait for our arrival, so he is coming to pick us up and drive us back home. So, it will be a six hour road trip. I hope the weather keeps up, though you never know in Galicia.

Friday, June 27

Mortadelo & Filemón

They finally had a name, after two months of living with us. Mortadelo & Filemón, two of the most famous Spanish comic book heroes. They kind of had a resemblance. One was tall and skinny. The other short and chubby.

Two days before my trip, we asked Abe, the other co-owner of the goats, to take them with him, since David was also going to be away for a few days. We had plans to share them throughout the summer, a couple weeks here, a couple weeks there. They are fantastic lawn mowers and since grass in Alaska grows very very fast int he summer, they were eating a lot and we were happy.

Abe took them to his cabin up river, a few miles away from the nearest town. He had built them a fenced shed and they were happy. That is, until a bear ate them up a couple of days ago.

That's life in Alaska for you, you look the other way and here comes a bear to eat up your goats. Sad... they were so tremendously cute...

Wednesday, June 25


I would´ve never imagined it, but when landing in Europe I realized that my body had grown unaccostumed to the heat. It is a strange sensation to readapt myself to walk around with a half naked body, sweating, and being thankful of every air conditioning opportunity.

The first part of my trip has been Barcelona. Two great days spent in the warmest 24 square meters of the entire city. And the warmth was not just because of the heat, even though there was a lot of it in the little apartment, but because of my lovely sister Chío. The visit was really short and I can´t wait to meet up with her again in Galicia, even if it will just be for a couple of days again. She has performed her auntie duties beautifully, even though she doesn´t get to practice much because we live so far away.

We didn´t see too much of the city, but we took a couple of short trips that were absolutely fantastic. On Monday we went to the beach to a small village called l´Hospitalet de l´Infant and also visited the beautiful town of Roc de Sant Gaietá. It was too bad I didn´t take my camera with meto share some of the beautiful images I now keep in my head, so I´m borrowing one from the Internet for the fist time. Tapas and San Juan´s night fireworks. An indescribable pleasure.

For the sake of balancing out the beach with some mountains, the next day we visited Montserrat. This is the mountain that honors the fifth of my names, and yes, I have five names just as if I was of royal blood, but that´s another story. Beautiful, truly amazing. The sun was not out, which was great because it was very hot anyway. Naím had a great time running around, chasing birds and butterflies, and resting on top of his aunt´s shoulders. And his mom was grateful to be walking around in the wilderness without having to worry about bears or moose popping out of every corner. What a restful pleasure.

Once back in Barcelona, we visited the famous Parc Güell, which I had never seen before. It was almost empty, so it was wonderful to be able to walk around without the hordes of tourists that usually fill the place. I love Gaudí and his eccentric
architectural imagination.

As a linguistic detail, I will mention that these days Naím has learned a new word: firecracker. I doubt he will ever forget it

Thank you sister, for your hospitality and for being so truly yourself as you always are. I love you.

Wednesday, June 18

Running away

Eighteen. I´ve counted them. Eighteen mosquitoes just on the very top of my friend´s hood. And that´s only on the right side of her head. I don´t want to think how many more were landing all over her body... and mine.

The invasion has started a couple of days ago. And it´s just starting. They say that within three weeks it will be at its peak. I don´t even want to think about it.

SO I´ve decided to flee the scene and with my terrified son, take off for a few weeks and go sunbathe far away from the mosquitoes. I´m leaving for my galician beaches, where mosquitoes come out discreetly in the evening. I´m going to enjoy my family, friends, sun, and of course some good seafood and great Albariño wine.

So here I go again, from here to there...