Another Reason To Stay In Southern Spain

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were driving the other day from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This was their view on the four-lane highway as the day progressed.

(Click the images to make things more clear — Well, at least, the last three images.)

[NOTE: THAT’S NOT FOG; THAT’S SNOW!]

These were my views as the day progressed.

American Man Buns And More

It’s time for another installment of my man bun (and men’s buns) collection. I caught these during our travels around the United States in August and September.

(Click the images for enhanced buns. Go ahead, take a ‘crack’ at it.)

A MANNEQUIN AT NORDSTROM DEPARTMENT STORE, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON.
(JUDY PULLED THE JACKET DOWN AS WE PASSED. I PULLED IT BACK UP.)
CONEY ISLAND, NEW YORK; BALLARD AND DOWNTOWN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON;
 FLIGHT FROM MINNEAPOLIS TO NEW YORK; AIRTRAIN IN KENNEDY AIRPORT.
HE ROLLED OFF THE BOARDWALK AND HEADED HOME LIKE THAT!
I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE ALL LOOKING AT;
I FOUND MY VIEW MUCH MORE INTERESTING.
PLUS, MAN AND WOMAN BUNS… AND BUNS.

Taking The Long Way Home

From bidding a loving farewell to the Dowager Duchess to having the chance to spend special time with family and friends, it’s been a long, emotional, elevating, busy, exhausting and eclectic seven weeks.

Since the 7th of August, we’ve flown from Málaga to New York City to Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota; driven to Pierre and then Sioux Falls, South Dakota to spend time with family; driven back to Minneapolis/Saint Paul to spend time with friends; and flown to Seattle, Washington, for more time with friends and family.

SEATTLE. OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME AWAY FROM HOME AWAY FROM HOME
AWAY FROM HOME AWAY FROM HOME AWAY FROM HOME… MORE OR LESS.
Tomorrow, Friday, we fly from Seattle back to Minneapolis for a quick sleep-over before flying back to New York for two nights, to include one day with The Kid Brother. 
We are fine. We are happy. We are grateful. And, finally, we are physically and mentally exhausted.

We head home to Spain Monday, arriving Tuesday. We will miss [just about] everyone here and we are grateful for [just about] everything. But we look forward to once more sleeping in our own bed, cuddling with Dudo and Musy, being with our ‘home friends,’ and sipping cafe con leche in the Mediterranean sun.
So, expect my reemergence next week with more reading, commenting, and stories (and, of course, photos).

For Times Long Past

Wow, do I ever have a lot of catching up to do. We had a wonderful, too-brief, trip to Sevilla with our friend Judyshannonstreetwhat — click here if you haven’t been keeping up — to visit with some friends and to catch the Three Kings Parade. We had the inspiration to travel computer-less, which had me out of touch with everything.

Tuesday morning, I woke up — in time for the 2-1/2-hour train ride home — with one of my allergy attacks that feels like the flu, in time for the train ride home. (Could I be allergic to something in Sevilla?) So I spent much of Wednesday and Thursday lounging and/or sleeping. And whining. But I’m back with over 400 photos to sort through.

Today’s photos are from the Three Kings Parade (Cabalgata de los Tres Reyes), which occurred the day before “Epiphany” (Three Kings Day). Our friend Miguel met us in front of our hotel for a birds-eye view.

I made a number of new friends during the parade, most under the age of 10. Two girls, Julia and Marta, who had been studying English for a year and were doing exceptionally well. Adorable brothers who just smiled at me… a lot (the first photo). And, Adrian (pronounced ah-dree-AHN), a boy who knows a little English but is shy about using it. We practiced “thank you” and “your welcome” when I caught air-born candies and gave them to him.


(Click any image. You can almost taste the candies.)

EARLIER IN THE DAY… AT PLAZA DE ESPAÑA.
AN APACHE IN FRONT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SEVILLA (AT LEFT).
(NEAR WHERE THE PARADE STARTED.)
LIKE GOING BACK IN TIME… EXCEPT FOR THE SNEAKERS.
MARTA (RIGHT): “I HAVE A PET RABBIT.”
JULIA (LEFT): “I LIKE TO EAT RABBIT.”
A MATCHED SET.
TWO CROWNED TWIZYS LED THE WAY.
JUDY WAS SO EXCITED TO RECEIVE AN OFFICIAL CARAMELO (CANDY) BAG.
MY PAL ADRIAN WHO CHASED VERY AGGRESSIVELY AFTER THE CANDY.
HIS MOTHER HAD TO CONSTANTLY PULL HIM FROM BETWEEN THE FLOATS… AND HORSES.
BLACK-FACE, WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO SIGNIFY THE MOORS.
IT’S ALSO SUPPOSEDLY NOT OFFENSIVE, BUT I HAVE MY DOUBTS.
THE SKY WAS FILLED WITH FLYING CARAMELOS.
COLORFUL…
MIGUEL DISPLAYING HIS SIMULTANEOUS CATCHES.
JUDY (RIGHT) HAD HER MOUTH FILLED WITH CANDY AND MADE ME
PROMISE TO CROP HER OUT OF THE PIC…
BUT, IF I CROPPED HER OUT,
YOU WOULD MISS SEEING MIGUEL’S WHISTLE…
AND IT’S A VERY NICE WHISTLE.
REY #1:  MELCHOR
FORT APACHE?
THE PIRATES OF BETHLEHEM?
NICE UNIFORMS.
IMAGINE THE BOTTOMS OF OUR SHOES.
OK… MAYBE IT WASN’T JUST A BIBLICAL THEME.
LOS CAMELLOS (CAMELS) PLODDING THROUGH THE CARMELOS (CANDIES).
REY #2:  GASPAR
I CAUGHT THIS FOAM RUBBER TOY CITY BUS (FROM THE BUS FLOAT).
I GAVE IT TO ADRIAN AND HE SQUEALED, “YOUR WELCOME!!!”
BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS.
IF ONLY IT WERE FILLED WITH CANDY.
SEVILLA HAS 2 FÚTBOL TEAMS. HERE’S CARLOS MARCHENA FROM “REAL BÉTIS.”
HE SAT BACK-TO-BACK WITH A PLAYER FROM “FÚTBOL CLUB SEVILLA.”
MADRID, WHICH I THINK ONLY USES BLACK-FACE FOR BALTASAR,
RECENTLY RECEIVED A FORMAL PETITION TO STOP THE PRACTICE.
REY #3:  BALTASAR
MORE MESS.
BALTASAR WAS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED BY THE STREET CLEANERS.
INCREDIBLE CLEAN-UP.
AFTER THE PARADE PASSED US BY, I TRIED TO GET ACROSS TOWN TO VISIT A FRIEND.
I CUT THROUGH THE OLD TOWN AND GOT STUCK.  I HAD TO WATCH THE ENTIRE PARADE
ALL OVER AGAIN.  HERE’S BALTASAR… THIS TIME WITH LIGHTS.

And I leave you with the voice of Minnesota’s own, Erin Schwab, San Geraldo’s god-daughter — a singer, actress, radio personality, teacher, and all-round exceptional human being.

Erin Schwab at Hells Kitchen

We are leaving Minneapolis in the morning (Saturday).  We were supposed to leave this morning (Friday) but earlier in the week we found out that Erin Schwab was performing tonight at Hell’s Kitchen. We couldn’t possibly leave without seeing and hearing her one more time.

A TENDER MOMENT.  SHE’S GOT IT ALL.

The last time we saw Erin perform live was way too long ago (nearly 10 years) but, if anything, she’s gotten better.  The crowd tonight was international.  The performance was out of this world.  So, this is just a quick post to tell you that Erin alone is worth a trip to The Twin Cities (that’s Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota).

LOOK CLOSELY AT WHAT HANGS FROM THE CHANDELIER. 
THEY TAKE THE THEME SERIOUSLY.

To top it off, we had an amazing meal at Hell’s Kitchen (where they — justifiably — claim to have “damn good food”). 

ERIN, CAUGHT AFTER THE SHOW.