That Time I Went to Spain: Park Guell

Park Guell is another attraction by Antonin Gaudi. When searching for things to do, this one came highly recommended. There are two sections, one that you can see for free, and then an inner park that we paid 7,50€ to access. I think it was originally meant to be a housing development for the rich Catalonians but it was ultimately unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, we went there on a cold, rainy day and spent a fair amount of time tucked away from the elements. It rained almost as soon as we stepped out of the cab and after waiting around so long and dodging puddles we decided to leave. I’m sure the place is beautiful if only we could have toured it as much as we would have wanted.

Inside the Park there is a restaurant and we spent a majority of our time sitting and eating. I have honestly never been on a vacation where food was the central focus of the trip. But this time, no matter where we ended up, we also ended up sitting and eating for hour.

The food and the company made this trip pretty spectacular.


That Time I Went To Spain: La Sagrada Familia

When I did the research on the things to do in Spain two places came up quite frequently in the “must see”. And both were by this guy named Gaudí. First there was La Sagrada Familia and then there was Park Güell (pronounced Way).

I’ll be the first to admit that I had never heard of Gaudí until after I booked my trip. I’m not big on art or architecture or any of that. However, I’m here to say that La Sagrada Familia is definitely a must see! The intricacies and the stories and the amazing detail was mind blowing! Honestly, I expected to go there and see some sculptures, take a few pics and move on with life. But wow! We did the Passion Facade Tower where you go up and get a great view of Barcelona. This, however, was my least favorite part of the tour simply because the cathedral itself was just spectacular. There was so much to see. I was literally taken in by it as I listened to the audio guide.

So the Nativity Facade is the portion of the Basilica that Gaudí actually completed himself before he died .

Some of the intricate details of the Nativity Facade, which depicts Jesus’ birth

The Passion Facade was completed by other artists and it depicted the death of Jesus.

The Passion Facade which depicted Jesus’s Death
Cause we is AKAs and it was our AKAversary.

If you are ever in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia is must see! A true work of art.

That Time I Went to Spain: Overview

Sooooo, another post a day May is upon me. Honestly, I have barely written anything since May of last year. Thinking of my head space back then, when I literally just up and left the shambles of my life for three weeks to spend time in Canada with my sister. And what a difference a year makes! Now here I am, happier, healthier, employed and feeling the manifestations of the things that I prayed so hard for during some pretty low moments.

But, that is hardly what this post is about!

For my birthday this year (which is March 1st in case anyone wants to send gifts next year) I went to Barcelona, Spain. I bought these tickets on a whim by searching and finding something relatively nearby (Europe instead of Africa or Asia) and this beauty dropped into my lap. The dates were perfect since they allowed me to spend the actual day of my birthday out of the country. These tickets were beautifully priced from Ft. Lauderdale at about $388.00 on Norwegian Airlines, before I added a few upgrades like checked bags and my vegan meals each way.

I had never planned on traveling to Spain before, the first time I ever really took any interest in the country was after I bought my tickets. After that I spent weeks researching things to do in the area, vegan and vegetarian places to eat, how to get around, etc. Listen! Spain is pretty lit!

We stayed in a cute little AirBnB in a really artsy district (Carrer de Pere IV) that was in such close proximity to so many little food places. Every other step there seemed to be some tapas restaurant and some street art. I am hardly a foodie, but boy did I eat a ton. The best thing about these restaurants was that there were SO many vegetarian friendly options on the menu that I was never limited to just a pasta or a salad.

On the first day, after getting lost coming from the airport using the metro, we walked about a mile and a half with suitcases, in the freezing rain to find our place. We were tired after nearly 24 hours of travel and cranky cause of the cold rain and pretty miserable. However, we did find a restaurant where we had Cava (which is the sparkling wine from Spain) Sangria and I had a vegetarian paella. I must say, I love Spanish food, Spanish wine and the vibes of Catalonia was amazing. We sat there eating and drinking and catching up for about three hours.

There was also some pretty dope street art. On nearly every corner in that little district there was some form of street art colorfully sprayed onto doors and walls. There were even local stores who had their logos done in street art form. I thought it was amazing how such an unconventional form of art was not only embraced but encouraged.

That was pretty much the vibe of that trip. Sit, eat, drink, talk and be merry! A VERY special shoutout to Tris, Becca and Eric for tagging along to make this trip very special.

Since I have 29 more days to post, I will be talking about Spain a few more times.

Holy Crap, is that a Mosquito?

Coming from sub tropical countries, I am NO stranger to mosquitoes. Even mosquitoes that carry various exotic sounding diseases like Chikungunya (I had to Google the spelling). But let me tell y’all about these big ass birds they have out here in Wild Rose country!

These mosquitoes are LARGE! They are so big you can pick them up on camera. I took a picture last week when I went farming and sure enough you could see this giant ass mosquito who found the little strip of belly skin to feast on. They are also hella aggressive, like these buggers legit have you wanting to square up. Like Shiela and her six homies who are swarming around my head are about to get these hands.

The other day I stopped to take a picture of this gorgeous sunset and I made the mistake of hopping out of the car to get that perfect shot. BRUUUUUUHHHHHHH! I was not able to stand still! In few seconds they had all smelled fresh blood and had descended on my poor unprotected face and ankles en masse. Then the ambitious ones done even bother to get a piece of bare skin, they just bite you through your clothing. And I don’t know exactly how gusty the wind has to be to deter them, but they must be super mosquitoes, they are out here braving 20 mph wind just to eat you.

I was told that the swarms of mosquitoes get so large that they can blacken the horizon. Chile, please, let me go back to by Turks and Caicos with our small, polite mosquitoes who don’t believe in this gang violence. 

Gonna See a Lady about a Cow

Today was such an amazing day. We went to the McGillicudy Farmhouse to see the calves. They were so adorable! I’ve never touched a live cow before (cause ya know, beef is technically cow). I actually used to be pretty terrified of them, especially the large ones with horns. But take a look at me now! All touching and cuddling and picture taking. Like a boss!

There were three calves, I was told their names but I don’t remember so we’ll call them Winking, Blinking and Nod. Nod (the black one) has a selenium deficiency and as a result he has bowed legs or weakened front legs. I’m not sure. Kayce, their owner, was trying to explain it but I was distracted by how cute they all were.  She also said that they may eventually get eaten. That’s the thing about farms, you eat everything they grow there. I couldn’t do it. When I did eat meat, I preferred that I never met my food when they were still being all adorable. 

The farm was so gorgeous! The apple trees were in bloom and they smelled glorious. They were also swarming with bees, but ya know this has got to be documented.  I’m kinda amazing to me because I’ve never seen an apple tree before, much less seen one in bloom. We don’t grow apple trees in the islands we have mangoes and guinep and whatnot. 

The Cabin by the Lake

I had an amazing day today. I went to a cabin at Capt. Ayre Lake and it was a blast. I went with my sister and nephews and later we were joined by Wendi and Landyn. I couldn’t ask for a more enjoyable day. First we went to the park near the cabin. There was this little merry-go-round in the middle and of course we had to give it a spin. I hadn’t been on a merry-go-round since childhood. Let me tell you how I don’t recommend spinning around when you’ve recently had a few beers! However, I did manage to keep them down (pats self on the back).

This was quite scary

Later, we went to the lake and I didn’t go swimming but I DID get my feet wet, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was something akin to sand on the bottom and
not mud. Listen, It was FREEZING. I’m not even wading out in that water. It literally felt like an ice bath. I dunno, I personally think going into the lake to my ankles meets the requirements of swimming in a fresh body of water. Don’t debate me on this.

Cant. Ayre Lake
See? I went swimming
They are sitting in an area Wendy referred to as “the beach”…
I had another first today, a wiener roast. Now I don’t eat wieners but I did help start the fire. I know how the cave men must have felt when they discovered fire for the first time. It’s exhilarating. I had my first s’more. Well a modified version with chocolate digestives, but same same. It had the same effect.


I have made fire!

Roasting marshmallows for s’mores
It was an amazing day, with amazing people.

Poor burnt weiner.

Provost, Alberta

So my sorrows have taken me to the possibly the smallest town I’ve personally ever been too. Provost has a population of about 2000 people with all the small town charm that comes along with it. There are typically one of everything, one grocery store, one pharmacy, one hospital… 

The picture above is a view of Downtown Provost. Many of the residents of Provost tend to live on farms away from the city center and drive into town to complete business or to go to school. There are two schools in Provost, one is Provost Public School and the other is St. Thomas Aquinas which is a catholic school. They both are all age schools. 

This Chinese restaurant downtown is a bustling one. In the middle of nowhere Canada, the owners of this restaurant some of a few POCs in the area. While the place is not ethnically diverse, I have found its residents so far to possess the stereotypical Canadian “niceness”.

Drive for a few minutes past the city center and there you will begin to encounter farm land. Right now it’s planting season. With canola being the primary crop of choice for the farmers. Right now most of the terrain is flat and bare since the crop is just being planted. 

There are also cows and horses. Dairy cows and what I learned are beef cows (which are pictured) above dot the road ways. I am always told through the long drives to keep my eyes open for wild life such as deer, moose, rabbits and coyotes (which the locals pronounce as coy-otes). 

This is interesting and a vastly different way of life from small island living. I keep looking over the horizon for signs of the ocean, and I am told that Provost is about 2000 miles away from the ocean in each direction.  However, many ponds and lakes dot the landscape. If the weather warms up, I do plan on swimming in a fresh body of water for the first time. When I say swim, I really mean wade out as far as my knees and complain the entire time. I’m an island girl who has lived in countries where the waters are crystal clear with sand at the bottom. I’ve been reluctant to venture into murky waters with mud bottoms. But atleast I don’t have to worry about the various sea creatures that can pose more danger than bass that have been placed in the waters for locals to then fish out later.