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MP goes to Europe

a travel blog by vita


Hello Everyone! We have started a Blog and plan on blogging it up to keep you updated about our travels and the current location of our fearsome Sasha. We hope to be emailing and blogging about every week or so.

We look forward to seeing some of you and sharing our adventures and photos.
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Wisconsin

Madison, United States


We are just finishing up our visit in Wisconsin. Jeremy has been windsurfing with Granddad Roman and Sasha has been wandering around Madison. Last night we went out with Kira, Scott, Teresa, Brent, Mila and John. All old friends of Vita's. We ate at a Brazilian barbeque and I am fearful about the physiologic consequences!

We will be leaving for Barcelona on 7/22 with a quick detour beforehand to Chicago to see Nandani, Sachen and Gayatri.

Sasha has been teething again and we have been trying to get her to sleep enough by feeding her ibuprofen and tylenol. Jeez! I don't know how many teeth a little girl needs! She's not wrestling down wildabeast on the Taiga after all.

More Later!

permalink written by  vita on July 19, 2009 from Madison, United States
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chicago

Barcelona, Spain


Our brief stay in Chicago was awesome! We met little baby Gayatry - a 7 week old daughter of our friends Nandini and Sachin. We relaxed, took walks to the park, and ate amazing south-indian food. All in all - totally spoiled!

permalink written by  vita on July 22, 2009 from Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain




permalink written by  vita on July 24, 2009 from Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain


The trip to Barcelona went amazingly well. Minimal crying from Sasha, some traffic in Barcelona, but other than that it was pretty easy. Our apartment in the city is amazing. First of all I was just pleasantly surprised that it existed at all - after all I made a reservation over the internet with no Deposit and no way to check that this is a real thing. But somebody was there to meet us on time, the place is big, comfortable, aircondintioned and only a 10 minute walk to La Ramblas, the main street. And even closer to their "Central Park", couldn't be more perfect for Sasha.

permalink written by  vita on July 25, 2009 from Barcelona, Spain
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eating out

Barcelona, Spain


Thanks to the jetleg, Sasha has been getting to bed around midnight, so we've gotten to experience some of the night time city. The number of people out and about is just amazing. The sangria is great, people watching is fun, and there is quite an abundance of outdoor cafes.

permalink written by  vita on July 25, 2009 from Barcelona, Spain
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Sunday

Barcelona, Spain


Today we went to a park designed by the architect Guadi. His work predominates Barcelona. He was the driving force of modernista architecture. The park was interesting. On the way home I stopped and toured the Sangrada Familiar. A huge chapel built and conceived by Guadi. This thing has been in the process of being built for over 1 century. It is truly fantastic. Sasha and Vita wnet home for a nap and she gets to go sans bebe tomorrow. I will be going to a musical performance at a local park with the wild monkey know as sasha! Only 3 days left in Barcelona, it is hard to imagine something more amazing, but I have an open mind!

Jeremy

permalink written by  vita on July 26, 2009 from Barcelona, Spain
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Seville

Sevilla, Spain


We arrived in Seville after a zoo in the airport. We took a local flight and the airport was mobbed. Sasha and everyone slept poorly last night do to teathing and we were all in a terrible mood. THis trip has done little to improve my Spanish and I am pretty sure that the lady in front of us was asking if we had ear plugs. Sasha is now asleep after we walked down to the main square and had some Sangria. We stopped to see if we could get some take out at the cafe down our street and we were informed that they opened in 10 minutes at 8:30 Pm. I feel very American or very much the father of a little girl!

The pictures are from another Gaudi building. This was a bourgiousie apartment building overlooking downtown Barcelona

permalink written by  vita on July 30, 2009 from Sevilla, Spain
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Seville

Sevilla, Spain


We are now on our day #3 in Seville. It is a gorgeous town, the whole downtown is a pedestrian zone, so it's wonderful to just walk around and check out local shops and cafes. I took a great 2 hour walking tour of the town yesterday, so my head is full of random statistics and history. The architecture here is amazing - the city was first Roman, then moorish, then catholic. So it's an amazing mix of Roman columns, gorgeous blue and white tiles, and gold covered crosses. They are trying to build a metro here, but having a very hard time because they keep unearthing ancient sites. So the metro has been projecte to be completed in 1982, and there is still only one line.

So far it has been unbearably hot. I was glad to learn that they are in the middle of a heat wave, and today should be better, but I'll believe it when I see it. I think the heat explains the city's schedule - everything shuts down between 2 and 6, and no self respecting restaurant even opens till 8 pm - which is Spanish 8, more like 8:30 - 9. After 9 pm the city comes to life, and by 10 the streets are full and most of the tables in the outdoor cafes are taken. What really amazed us is that our neighborhood playground, empty most of the day, finally gets packed with happy children.

Unfortunately for us by 10 we are all exhausted and there is no way we can stay out with Sasha. So because all the interesting things here, such as outdoor concerts and Flamenco performances start so late here, we have really started to feel the strain of traveling with the baby. While it's easy to take turns going on a tour or to a museum, or occasionally have Sasha run around through a fortress while we are sightseeing, it is really no fun to go out at night by yourself. So no Flamenco for us - but we've gotten Twinkle Twinkle little star down!




permalink written by  vita on August 1, 2009 from Sevilla, Spain
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Cordoba

Cordoba, Colombia


Jeremy and I took turns visiting Cordoba. I just got back yesterday - had a wonderful time. Took a high speed train, AVE, which was just amazing. First of all it looks sleek from the outside. Inside it's ridiculously spacious and comfortable. They show movies and give you headphones. There is a cafe. The ride is very smooth, you can barely feel you are moving. And it can go up to 180 mi/hr! It really was state of the art.

Cordoba itself is a gorgeous little town where through architecture you can really see history. As everything in this region of Spain, it was first Roman, then Muslim. In 10th and 11th century Cordoba apparently was the center of the cultural world in Europe - 3 times the size of Paris, it was a place where Christians, Muslims, and jews actually coexisted in piece and where art and science was valued. There is still one of the oldest Sinagouges in Spain the Jewish quarters.

permalink written by  vita on August 5, 2009 from Cordoba, Colombia
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Northern Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain


We are now in Green Spain - the North West portion of the country, where the climate is somewhat similar to our Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot of the time here, so everything is Green, hence the name. The capital, and the biggest attraction, is Santiago de Compostela - it's a final destination of a 500 km piligrimage to honor St James.

We are staying in a tiny little town about an hour away, on the Atlantic Coast, just a block away from the main beach and a board walk. It's just gorgeous. It's been sweater weather here, which is such a welcome relief. The wind didn't stop us from hanging out on the beach - Sasha loved all the shells, and I loved that she didn't try to eat them. She must get enough Calcium, as well she should with all the cheese she eats. At first she ignored the water, but soon she got curious. She has never seen the waves before, so she thought it was a game and didn't hesitate just to walk straight in. Shoes and pants and all. She got mad when I wouldn't let her sit in the water, but all in all, she loved it. Afterwards she kept licking her hands with surprise, probably tasting the salt.

Yesterday my mom flew in from Denver, and it's been such a treat to have her. Sasha just loves her, and she is more than happy to hang out with her, take her for walks, and let Jeremy and I go out. It's been an amazing treat. J and I had tapas and wine on a deck overlooking the ocean last night. It was very romantic - would have been even more so if the music was not cheesy American 90s and we weren't eating Octopus. But I am not complaining, it was our first night out without the baby in almost a month, so no Octopus can ruin it!

The language barrier is a bit more of an issue here - since it's so rural not too many people speak English. In fact right now we are at a cafe, and Jeremy is drinking a non-alcoholic beer. He asked for dark, she named it, he said ok, and there you have it. 0% alcohol. Hee hee hee.

I'll upload some pictures soon, so stay tuned...

permalink written by  vita on August 7, 2009 from Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Vita, Jeremy and Sashas' travels through Spain, Portugal and Turkey!

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