Friday, September 12

Summer 2008 Update

So, since I haven't been in Madrid since mid-July, I figured I didn't have to add any entries either. And hey, it's my damn blog, I'm not gonna write if I'm not feeling it... and I haven't been feeling it. "So where have you been?" you might ask. Well, I've been hanging out with my folks in San Diego, and doing a lot of nothing. That of course is my own decision... I could be kayaking or surfing or cliff jumping but no, I'm not that motivated. It has been quite relaxing though, but two months of relaxing turns into extreme boredom. I've discovered I no longer have friends living in my hometown. Let me run down the list: Elise--living in London, getting her Ph.D. in English, Julie--living in Philadephia, getting her second Masters in Architecture, Stephanie--living in Fort Worth with her serious boyfriend (soon to be fiance I suspect) and her teaching career underway, Brittany--living in Philadephia having just completed her Masters in Sociology. I guess that's what happens when you've got smart friends. They travel around to get their education and then settle down where they've made mature friendships. What's a high school friendship worth nowadays anyway? Everyone makes giant steps in their character development in college, I for one am nothing like who I was in high school, that girl is a stranger to me. So what I'm trying to say is, the only reason I come home anymore is to see my family.

So, now my two month vacation is coming to a close and as you can probably guess, I'm rather glad. I'm ready to get back to work, to return to a life where public transportation is affordable and well-connected, where I can spend the day exploring new neighborhoods on foot and run into friends in the park, grab a cheap meal in Lavapies, bar hop with some buddies in Malasaña, and catch some live blues in a smokey basement bar. You just can't do that in San Diego. So it's a trade off, sun, beach and mom's cooking or a beautiful European capital city with all the fixings.

I'll tell you what I AM gonna miss about being home. Having free and full access to my father's ample magazine subscriptions (not to mention HBO), eating freshly laid eggs every morning, law and order marathons, jacuzzing, mama's cooking, watching in-depth election coverage, hanging out with my sisters and, of course, affordable sushi.

Ya know, in retrospect it wasn't all bad, I think I just stayed too long. I took a few pictures while home so I thought I'd share with you some of the highlights of my vacation (aside from traveling to Vegas and Oregon, I've spent most my days by the pool with a book or just drivin around):

We found this arguably cute English Bulldog in the middle of the street a few blocks from our house. Rachel insisted we bring him home and so we did. This creature spent the day waddling and wheezing through our halls until the next morning we found the owners posting every lamppost in our neighborhood with his picture. His real name is Stewie.

After my first week here, my parents, Chell and I went up to Oregon to meet the family of my sister's fiancé, Tim. They live in the northernmost part of Oregon, right on the Umpqua river and just a 20 minute drive from the ocean. During our stay we stuffed our faces with freshly caught seafood like crab, tuna and oysters. We had an absolute feast every night. Their lovely home is surrounded by blackberry bushes, a delicious treat we would snack on all day in between swimming in the beautiful river and reading our books on the porch. The Umpqua has very pronounced high and low tides, and so during high tide we would dive in the river and swim deep down to the river bottom while during low tide we would ride down the so called river chutes which carried us downstream. It made for the perfect vacation. Fortunately my parents and Tim's parents got along famously. It seems the two lovebirds will wed sometime next summer. It's all very exciting, Tim is a great guy and will make a wonderful addition to our family.

A few days after returning to San Diego, Chell and I drove up to Las Vegas, a five hour trip made enjoyable thanks to Chell's impressive ipod collection and, of course, his own charming company. We made reservations at the Luxor and spent the following two days exploring all the amusing hotels on the strip. We tried going to a club but soon realized it wasn't really our scene... too much cologne and girls with tramp stamps. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time throwing our money around and eating far more than we should have at the world famous Vegas buffet's. By the trips end, Chell had mastered the game of roulette and I had played in two texas hold'em tournaments, obviously not winning either, but having a lot of fun. I don't think we paid for a single drink while we were there since they'll bring out free drinks as long as you're playing their slots or tables. All and all, I recommend you take your friend or lover to Vegas and go wild... you're sure to have a good time!! (just be aware of your cashflow)

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