A little history to the beginning of my journey… My husband, Jason, is the drummer of the band Hogjaw, they have a booking agency in Europe and toured all over Europe from April 1 2012 through May 6 2012. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take three weeks out of everyday life to meet up with them in Spain.
My mother in law took me to the airport, no that is not her in the photo above – I will get to the picture shortly, at the ungodly hour of five a.m on April 23rd. I have taken her to the airport many a time on her business trips and she is the only person, I know of, awake at that hour so she was nice enough to make the trek for me.
I flew from Phoenix to Atlanta, GA where I was to meet up with Shirley, photographed above. Shirley is currently dating the guitar player, Craig, of Hogjaw. She met Craig at a show the guys were playing in North Carolina on Halloween and she’s been smitten since then (that’s a whole other story I will not be getting into today). When she found out I was going to Europe to meet up with them, she thought it would be fun to join me. I was planning on going by myself but thought, OK, it’s always best to have a travel companion and we can share the expenses so we made our plans. I met up with her in Atlanta and we had the same flight to Barcelona. Surprisingly, I slept pretty well most of the way over so I felt OK when we arrived. Pictured above is Shirley, in front of our rental car – it was a Volkswagen Polo equipped with manual transmission (YES…I love me some stick shift!!) and of course a GPS system. We left the airport parking lot, only had to circle around two times to get out of there and we were on our way!
We drove and drove and drove, as per the GPS instructions Shirley had typed in, and ended up in some tiny little town with one way streets galore. “Shirley, I don’t think this is where we are supposed to be. The GPS is telling us we have arrived at our destination but the hotel we were booked to stay at is no where to be found.” I got us out of that mess – surprisingly without wrecking the car, pulled over and typed in the coordinates to the hotel myself. Sure enough, we were about twenty minutes away from the where we were supposed to be. Good thing we weren’t on a timeline! We weren’t meeting up with the guys until the twenty-fifth.
On the way to the hotel from our first adventure in getting lost with a GPS we were able to enjoy a beautiful drive up the coast along winding roads…very small winding roads with big commercial vehicles coming at us from the other direction and tons of bicyclists along the way. We stopped for a minute to take some pictures:
Ahhh! What a sight – so quiet and so colorful! We only stayed for about ten minutes but it was a nice break from the stupid GPS and from the scary winding roads with big trucks and crazy bicyclists.
Wen we got to the hotel we parked the car in the parking garage..that was a treat..not really! The entrance was small and the driveway to get down into the garage was so steep I couldn’t see the driveway, the parking spaces were so tiny so it was a good thing we had a small car! If ever you rent a car in Europe, do not..I repeat..do not get anything bigger than a Volkswagen Polo – if you think you will be able to maneuver an “American sized” vehicle over there you are delusional!
After checking in, we went to the room, unpacked our things and tried to figure out how to turn the lights on. Yes, I said we tried to figure out how to turn the lights on. Just as I was about to call reception, one of us (I can’t remember who) figured out that there is a little slot by the front door where you are to insert the room key and then you have the use of electricity! Of course we immediately got online and updated out Facebook statuses. Below is a photo of the view from our room in Barcelona.
All settled, we went out to check out the neighborhood and find something to eat. There was nothing special about this neighborhood and we ended up eating a “bikini” at a local eatery. There was also nothing special about this meal, it was basically a grilled ham and cheese. What was amazing though is they served it with olives – simple green olives but amazingly delicious!
Back to the hotel for a good nights rest!