Day 26:Year 26 (2013)

Finally a sunny day. Wahoo. Mild, but still brisk. Today we decided to explore the city via a Fat Tire Bike Tour. We have done a few of these over the years and it is always a great way to see things with a guide.

The city is starting to pick up with Easter break traffic. Tons of kids, both young and college age are roaming throughout. Wheelies are abundant. One thing we are starting to notice is the homeless population is becoming much more pronounced. Young homeless, not the older versions we see in LA and San Francisco. I am always struck by the fact that the majority of homeless have a dog hanging with them. Protection or companionship or both?

Our friend Kip Meyer - who works and travels to Barcelona often - provided us with several recommendations and today we dove into Escriba. As you may expect by now - it is a Pastisseria! Every city needs one of these! Plus, we needed fuel for our ride - right?

Eggs and Sheep go together like Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Eggs and Sheep go together like Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Barcelona Day Two - Fat Tire Tour

The Escriba experience was short and brief, but planted a seed for another visit. Our ride today was going to be hosted by Paula from Chile (dual citizenship with Spain, living in Barcelona). We think her other job must be a stand up comedian. She was hilarious. We met in a square that featured a group of senior women, protesting their pensions. [first picture]. Paula - told us the things that Catalonian’s do best are “celebrate holidays” and “protest everything”.

Our tour was about 16 people. A mixture of people from Chicago, Texas, Colorado, Sweden and Australia. The Australian couple was with their kids (say 6 and 9), who were determined to keep up with the adults. Maneuvering through the traffic and meeting the traffic lights was a constant challenge to keep the single file unity of our group together.

Paula did a great job, “asplaining” things and kept us all glued together as we traversed the city. She had arranged for us to meet at a local restaurant - half way on the tour - that served a traditional lunch just for us. That made for a special bonding moment as a community. So much so, that everyone was settling in for their 2nd cocktail. And it was time to move on!

We are definitely getting cruiser bikes for our Napa place.
We are definitely getting cruiser bikes for our Napa place.
Twenty Sixth Year Reflections

Year 26 saw all of the kids (now young adults) doing their thing. Spencer was going strong in his post-high school program and building up medals in the Special Olympics. He continued to participate in the Northern California Summer Games held in Davis, CA - @ the UC Davis campus. And, every year - right on cue it was 103 - 106 degrees for their events. “Yeah, but its dry heat”.

Olivia was taking on social chairman and event planning roles at her sorority at UW. Thoughts of Michigan State were coming back into view - only toga parties were the rage at the time - thanks to Animal House. Seattle and her Washington friends were really jelling and it was fun to see her in her element.

Emma had fallen in love with her Italian art history class and made a decision to pursue Art History over nursing/biology track. Something about Organic Chemistry that can set a person straight! She spent her winter semester in Florence, with side trips to museums and art galleries in Rome, Paris, London, Vienna and several neighboring cities. She was beginning to realize her affinity for art and painting developed in her high school years.

Deb and I were reading Dan Brown novels to keep pace! Deb went over to join up with Emma in Paris, Florence and Venice. Can’t keep a traveler from finding a way to travel!

2013 was an interesting year work wise for me. I was working with a great team at Aha Radio (a part of Harman) and we were building out the early phases of the connected car. We had launched the first ever interactive audio ad in the car with Quiznos. It used the exact location of the car timed with an audio promotion based on the direction you were heading - that guided you to the nearest Quiznos. Always a great feeling to launch something that has never been done before. Sadly, we were about 5 years too early. That is just now becoming a wider reality as more connected cars enter the market.

Barcelona Day Two - Post 4hr Fat Tired

After fours and likely 15 miles or so, we needed to find some expresso and discovered a musician in the square who was captivating everyone. It was a perfect time to chill out and take a break. So we took on some minor alley way site seeing and just enjoyed the moment (below).

He went by the name Costy. He played for a few hours. It was the perfect downtime.