spain

the views from here | sevilla, part two

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As someone who loves heights, seeing Sevilla from the top of the Giralda and the setas was just the cherry on top. I spent the first few days wandering the streets-- getting lost among the flower boxes and admiring the brightly painted walls. I had no idea that they'd look so beautiful from so high up.

I've always had an affinity for the bird's eye view but I couldn't really explain it until looking back at these photos. When I'm up close and everything is "normal," I look for the small details-- the moments, the glances, the soft breaths.  I think they all represent something bigger, so I fixate on them, trying to solve the puzzle.

But from up above, it's a new view. A fresh start. I have to look at everything as a whole. As a collection of those small moments and glances and soft breaths. As the "something bigger." And the puzzle finally feels complete.

sevilla, part one

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I can't believe I'm home. I can't believe I'm in my own bed. I can't believe I'm BLOGGING.

Please pardon the unintentional two-month hiatus. If you follow along on Instagram, you might know I spent some time in Dublin and Sevilla, and am now living in Portland for the next few months (I'm cherishing a short weekend at home for a wedding).

I don't have much to say about Sevilla, other than that it was beautiful and I'm so fortunate to have been able to visit my sweet friend, Cecilia. I shared more photos and some words over at The Exploress earlier this week.

I'm saying this is "Sevilla, Part One" with the complete intention of adding a "Part Two." As busy as things have become, seeing my photographs and taking the time to share them has become a mini-vacation in itself-- one I hope to get back into the habit of again soon.

I miss this space! If there's anyone still out there, I hope this finds you well.

scenes from barcelona

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barcelona
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I didn't see the Sagrada Familia. I didn't step foot in a single museum. The morning I planned to go to Park Güell, it poured rain.  

I think Barcelona is best when you let it happen to you. You don't make plans but let your friends lead the way. Your first meal is sushi and you find yourself at dim sum the next day. (Don't worry, you get empanadas and churros con chocolate, too.) You forget to tell your first college friend you're coming to town but manage an entire evening with him (and new friends!) anyway. You find a tiny owl for your collection. You don't remember Spanish but can somehow hold entire conversations without English.

You know nothing about the city but find beauty and color everywhere. 

pan con tomate de nuria y cecilia

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I'd like to introduce Barcelona here with a simple yet surprisingly delicious recipe-- because Barcelona was simple yet surprisingly delicious to me.

In the past four times I've been to Europe, I've never once sought out Barcelona. It was a city I knew nothing about yet had no itching to see. This may have been just as well because when I finally found myself in this beautiful, tiny big city, I felt right at home in the same ways I felt about Florence.

I'd heard that the Spanish eat later in the day-- lunch at 3 or 4, dinner at 10. Being the grandma I consider myself, I though I'd be immune to such crazy eating times but found that I quickly adapted not because I was following the local schedule, but because I had no sense of time and followed the day wherever it led me. And with meals that lingered at least an hour minimum, I gladly followed.

I was only in Barcelona for about three days. I now understand my friend Shidume's tears upon coming back to San Francisco and just missing the city. I'd hardly had enough time to unpack my luggage and was already head over heels. 

Pan con Tomate
as made by Nuria and Cecilia

Toast good bread. Slice a tomato in half and rub the open side on the toast, gently squeezing as you do. Drip olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt.  Share with good friends next to an open balcony just after it rains. Add avocado if you miss California.