Saturday, September 28, 2013

El Perro Dice, "Guau, Guau!"

My husband is pretty amazing when trying to recall the Spanish he learned in grade school. My favorite of the gems he unearthed for our honeymoon in Spain was, "El perro dice, 'Guau, guau!'" which translates as "The dog says, 'Woof, woof!'" 

That was way better than when Evan mimicked a fake french accent while at dinner with FRENCH people at a FRENCH refugio in FRANCE. I was driven under the table with embarrassment while Evan delighted in my distress.  

Happily, I fell in love with him all over again while driving back to Barcelona in our toy car (a rental we scored for $172) with my head in his lap as he sang along to the country song "Love Without End, Amen", tears rolling down his cheeks as he listened to the lyrics. 

Other highlights? 

The quality of the time we shared in Spain was unlike any other we had experienced together during our relationship. To have a month of time without obligations or responsibilities meant that each day could unfold according to its own logic. It was a revelation. 

We lived in a little stone cottage in the tiny village of Santa María de Buil, around halfway along the southwestern slope of the Pyrenees. We rented it for $650 from a lovely English couple-- both mountaineers, the wife is a dance choreographer and the husband works as a graphic designer, but was writing a book on baking bread. The house was a cross between a wooden ship and a mountain hut, chock full of bulk organic flours and earl grey teas that we were given free reign to enjoy. 

We picked rosemary from outside the front door, baked fresh bread and dipped it in olive oil. Walked through medieval towns perched on scenic hilltops. We looked at the stars through the window over our bed at night. We read. We drank wine from local vineyards.

We also went canyoneering and learned that the wet canyons of Spain require a different approach than those of the arid Southwest. 

Serendipitously, we ended up dropping Barranco Aigueta de Barbaruens with a guide and his clients-- a step up from our adventures with a Spanish language canyoneering book we'd bought in Barcelona upon arrival. Evan and the guide geeked out together about rope systems and, because of the guide's knowledge of the canyon, we took a much more fun and aggressive approach to the waterfalls and waterslides than we would have on our own.

We went on a two day jaunt through the Pyrenees as well, beginning in Parque Nacional Ordesa y Monte Perdido. Hiking hut to hut is a game changer when you've been earning your dollars hoofing it with everything on your back for so long. Nutella crepes at Refuge Bayssellance amidst stunning alpine scenery? Yes, and yes again.

We were lucky enough to see dear ones who are not usually so near on either end of our time in Aragon. Hovey and Abby rolled out the red carpet and we soaked up the cosmopolitan riches of Barcelona as well as their fabulous company-- ferris wheel rides overlooking the water, booze and a 360 degree view on the Hotel Raval's rooftop terrace, dinner at La Perla de Oro.

Una luna de miel inolvidable. Gracias, España.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We Got Married. For Real.

(click on the pic for more photos et all)


I didn't grow up expecting to get married, so I think there was a part of me that arrived at the moment having never truly pictured myself there. 


It's safe to say I have never felt such sustained and unadulterated joy before in my life.


I was surprised to loose all sense of the larger event and to only be able to focus on what was immediately in front of me. An overwhelming amount of stimuli meant letting go of an awareness of what was happening around me in order to be fully present with the person or people I was with. 


I treasure the unexpected gift of my Nanna's strong presence and loving support throughout this transition in my life. Ironically (since my grandmother passed away a handful of years ago), I have never felt closer to her than I did during the months leading up to our wedding. 


It was humbling to have our friends and relations rally together on our behalf-- showing up for, setting up, and taking down our entire wedding. We didn't even realize the scope of their efforts until after the whole thing was a wrap. Thousands of light bulbs later, we owe the Freeds our firstborn child. 


I had no idea Rose's blessing was waiting for me in the wings. I am so grateful that she caught, held and cleansed me as I embarked on this new adventure.


I would never have anticipated the myriad ways the universe communicated to us that something noteworthy was afoot. 


For that and so many other things, I feel truly blessed.