Simply Read, Rifle, CO
photo by Tobin Sanson

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Vacation Remembered

I've been home from Spain for two weeks now. I'm not sure why I haven't written this blog post yet. It might be because of the mountain of stress I immediately felt upon returning to work. It's like all of the stress I shed in Spain was just sitting on my desk, waiting for me. Budget cuts and the fallout of that have caused immense speculation and worry over who will lose their jobs, and what we will and will not be able to purchase for next year. The unknown is stressful.

Or, this post may have taken me so long to write because, well. . . I've been down since returning from Spain. I know that I should appreciate that I had the opportunity to travel and climb in one of my favorite places in the world. I know that I'm lucky, and fortunate, and all of that. But the truth is, leaving vacation and returning to the "real world" is a bit of a shock to the system.

But as I type this, I know that the real reason I haven't written this post yet is because I'm still processing the trip. I haven't quite been ready to let it go. To release it into the world. I've been selfishly keeping it all to myself.

As I sit here, watching it snow on the day that was going to be my first day back in the canyon. I've decided it's time to let it go and remember my trip fondly.

I hope this picture essay will do. I've stolen many of these photos from Andrew Bisharat!

Denver International Airport security line

Denver to Atlanta, Atlanta to Barcelona

Keith Ladzinski, probably playing chess!

Oh course the TV at my seat didn't work. Lucky for me I brought a headphone splitter. Unlucky for Andrew who had to tolerate me learning into his space all the way to Barcelona to watch movies.

Barcelona Airport, off the plane at last

Here's Keith hoping we get a car big enough to fit all of our gear. This is just his stuff!

After our overnight flight we headed strait to Barcelona to see the sights.
Cafe con Leche, yum

La Segrada Familia by Gaudi

We headed down to the harbor for lunch and a quick photo shoot.

We found this stair case in an ally. It was just a stair case, there was nothing at the top.

Grocery stores are not open on Sundays in Spain.
It took us two days to finally get some food, but at least we were not disappointed.

Terredets, one of my favorite crags in the world!
I spent 10 days at this crag several years ago and was thrilled to return.

Andrew and Clay standing at the base of Terredets.
The amount of rock in this region of Spain is unbelievable.

Terredets is like a giant ocean wave, getting steeper and steeper
 as you move toward the right until it eventually curls over.

It's also covered in tufas!!
This is the only picture Andrew or I had of anyone climbing, which I find interesting.
We say we're going on a climbing trip, but come back with pictures of everything but!

Elly doing her internship with Keith.

Here's Oliana, the hardest crag in the world. We spent many days at this crag trying the warm-ups!
I never got sick of this view.

Headed to dinner after a great day of climbing.
Keith, Elly, Chris, and Christian in the back of the Mercedes van!

Dinner with our friend in Spain.
This place had the most amazing fried potatoes.
They were soaking in some sort of oil and absolutely delicious. Chris ordered a ton!

This picture, more than any other, shows our rest days in Spain.
Drinking coffee, reading a book, and combating the winter paleness.

The trip wasn't just for climbing. We had some photo shoots to do as well.
Here's Andrew checking out the monastery above Sant Lloranc de Montgai.

Driving, driving, driving. We did a lot of driving each day to get to the climbs.
I loved cruising through these Spanish villages.
With tons of open land all around, the people still tend to live on top of each other.

There were lots of road bikers on the road.
 It made me wish I'd brought my bike.

Clay and Rosie, our friends from the states that have been in Spain for nearly a year.
It was great to climb with these two!

It's cheaper to buy wine than water in Spain.
Which works for me!

Dinner with Clay and Rosie in a random village at a restaurant named Cal Jesus.

While we were there the weather was in the 80s and the flowers were blooming.
 Spring in Spain is lovely.

We stayed at Chris and Daila's house during our trip.
They were wonderful to us. Here's the sign that greeted us daily. 

 While Chris and Daila were away I made friend with their cat, Calissa.
I love cats and was happy to have a buddy.

The village we stayed in is called Sant Lloranc de Montgai.
 It's situated on a reservoir and has climbing on the cliffs you see to the left.

Chris and Andrew talking about home repairs.

Chris and Daila's pool.
A morning chat about the plans for the day.

Chris getting the pool ready for summer.
He began filling the pool while we were there although I had to leave before it was ready to go.

Keith shooting pictures of Chris getting cleaning the pool.

One of the strongest, friendliest, and most beautiful female climbers in the world.

Toward the end of the trip I insisted on a shopping day.
 I couldn't return to the states without trinket and gift for all of my friends and students.
We found this church in the town of Balaguer.

This photo was taken as a group of older men got up from breakfast at 9:30am.
Apparently drinking wine, beer, and whiskey with breakfast is common practice in Spain.
We saw this quite often.
The gang preparing for a BBQ!
Colette, Emily, Sam, myself, and Keith

Joey Kinder. Very Hungry.

Sam and Emily at dinner on my last night in Spain.
I think he's mad because Emily kissed him and Andrew got a picture of it!

Last night in Spain!

The walk home from dinner.
This picture got a bit out of order. This is the reservoir in that we walked past many times on the way to the internet. Andrew took this photo after I left.

Back on the plane, all too soon.
Barcelona to NYC, NYC to Denver

Sunset over JFK airport.
Observed during my 6.5 hour layover there.

Spain and back again. That felt good to relive.