August 6th, 2013 / posted by paularath

Our first stop was New York City. No, not Manhattan, which was the only part of NYC we had known before. Rather, we went to Jackson Heights in the Borough of Queen´s. It was, in a word, an education. What we learned is that there is far, far more to NYC than Manhattan, and much to see and experience in Queen´s.

We were in Queen´s to visit my beloved niece, Tiare, and her magnificent husband, Mariwan, who are expecting their first child on August 17.  She is being a really good sport about it all, but to anyone who remembers the last weeks of pregnancy, we all know it is far from comfortable, especially in the heat of a NYC summer!

We had a fabulous Indian meal just a few blocks from where they live. The área is renowned for its Indian, Himalayan and Colombian cuisines. Yum!

What was interesting, though, was the scene on the streets. I saw more saris than shorts! And there was shop after shop and after shop of gold wedding jewelry and saris and shalwar kamiz. (Don´t think I spelled that right – they´re the tunics and pants worn by Indian women.)

It was a really nice visit we look forward to stopping back in NYC to see them – and by then there will be a baby!

I do apologize for the lack of potos here. My laptop died just before we left and <i couldn´t decide what type to get so <i didn´t get anew ne. <i thought I could use the computers in the hotel and on the cruise ship….and I can…but I don´t know how to load the photos onto this computer at the Colonia Ramblas, our hotel. All the instructions are in Spanish! I´m going to look for an alternative method of blogging – with photos -in the next day or two.

Our first couple of  days in Barcelona have been packed! This is an amazing city for all the things we love: art, architecture and culture.

By far the best way to see the city (and most cities) is the Spanish versión of the Hop On/Hope Off bus. It really helped us get oriented and organized with mapping out the rest of our stay. We took the Eastern bus route on Sunday (the day we arrived) and the Western route yesterday. We stopped along the way at a craft center and beautiful park.

Today we went to Antonini Gaudi´s La Pedrada. It´s an apartment building the brilliant architect designed and they have turned it into a fabulous museum. You can go up on the room t visit the 30 chimneys (their design was inspired by the motion of smoke as it rises from a chimney) and then the attic and an apartment that has been recreated to give you the exact feeling of what it was like in 1929.

Gaudi is one of the reasons we came to Barcelona and we really look forward to seeing some of his other creations, such as the Familia Sagrada. He has left a clear mark on this city.

And I hope to share some of our photos with you soon! Its more than a Little embarrassing to offer you a travel story with no p´hotos!



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