So my vacation began three short weeks ago. At the time, three weeks of vacation sounded luxurious and impossibly long. Now, sitting here on the other side of those three weeks, it sounds like a tiny drop in the bucket of time. Less than a month, a tiny speck of time compared to a Redwood tree or the idea of God! Nothing at all really. But still, it was a very good three weeks, so I’m going to tell you about it.
So, onwards to vacation talk.
Week 1- London portion
Vacation began when my friend Heidi arrived on Saturday May 22 after a long, smelly flight from Chicago. The man sitting next to her on the flight was, she tells me, a total fart machine. After she had dropped off her stuff and taken a shower to remove the remembered stink Jeremy and I took her through the cemetary and out for sandwiches at Frog on the Green. Then it was onto the 63 bus and off to the Tate Modern. We wandered thought until she got museum stumble and the had dinner at the Hope and Anchor. It was delicious even if they did run out of the Rhubarb Prosecco JUST as we got there. Luckily they still had regular Prosecco so all was not lost.
The rest of the week was spent doing all sorts of London Tourist stuff. We went to Kew Gardens and met the beekeeper there who Heidi had emailed before leaving Chicago. She gave us both a behind the scenes tour and gave us free honey. Then we wandered around the gardens, saw butterflies, did the massively scary treetop walk and laid under dogwood trees. Heidi went to the Tower of London while I waited for her on a bench near the Thames and read a book. We saw the totally amazing quilt exhibit at the V&A. We both bought a new pair of shoes. See these? I own them and love them a lot. In fact, they are on my feet right this very second. And yes, they are lined in bright orange velvet. Don’t hate.
We went to the Horniman Museum and saw all the taxidermied animals, plus an exhibit about Myths and Monsters that featured animatronic creatures including, but not limited to, unicorns, dragons, and a yeti! Then we lounged in the gardens there for a bit.
We went to the Gowlett and the Lord Nelson and had pints. We did not go to the Chelsea Flower show because that stupid thing sold out. We did have lots and lots of fun.
And then we moved onto the second part of the week.
Week 1 – Barcelona portion
A taxi collected all three of us from the Villa at like 4:30 in the stupid morning. It had already collected Harvey so we headed straight to Gatwick where Heidi almost missed the flight because security objected to her sewing scissors. She made it though, with only seconds to spare.
We got to Barcelona and dropped all our crap off at the flat we were staying in and then went out for lunch with our friends Dave and Jane. After lunch we met up with the final member of our party, Matt, collected tickets and wrist bands and I applied more sunscreen. SPF 50, jerks, I don’t mess around.
That night we saw The XX, Circulatory System, Superchunk, and Pavement play. Heidi, Jeremy, Matt and I got home around 3:30. Harvey stayed out until the trains started running at about 6. He did this two nights in a row. Harvey was the winner for the weekend.
The next day we saw Thee Oh Sees play in Parc Joan Miro, and then returned to the flat via the Gothic area before getting some paella and returning to the festival to see the likes of New Pornographers, Spoon, Wilco, and The Pixies, plus other stuff I can’t remember right now. Oh The Books, they were good!
On the last day, I was personally feeling very tired and almost musiced out. I saw some of Jeffrey Lewis’s set, some of CocoRosie, some of Grizzly Bear, some of a bunch of stuff, but ALL of Matt & Kim (who were super fun) before heading back for an early (ish) night. Heidi and I walked back to the flat even though the trains were still running, just to soak up the last bits of Barcelona. We sat on some benches by the beach and talked for a while and stared at the moon hanging over the mediterranean like it was on a string. Then we went back to the flat and she packed and I tried on my new lavender New Pornographers t-shirt and then went to bed.
In the morning she had to leave before I even woke up. The rest of us all roused by 11 and checked out of the flat. We watched a brass band in the square nearby. They played traditional (I assume) catalan music while old people danced in a circle around them. Then we went to lunch before Matt headed to the train station to go to France for his actual non-indie rock related holiday. Jeremy, Harvey and I went back to Parc Joan Miro to see The King Kahn & BBQ show. It got really crowded so I sat on a grassy bit and read until Dave joined me. We talked about all we had seen before being joined by Jane, Harvey and Jeremy plus a couple other friends who were still around.
And then it was time to go to the airport to fly back to London before flying back to America. More on that later though, as that all really belongs in Week 2.