Monthly Archives: July 2011

Audios, España. Hello, America!

My last post from Spain.

This is the kind of moment where a normal person would get all fancy and poetic and say some sort of emotional farewell about how it’s bittersweet to be leaving, how part of their heart will always be in Spain… blah, blah, blah.

I’m not that kind of gal.

Nope, my fond farewell sounds a little more like this, “Hasta la vista, baby… I’m going home! And God Bless America!”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved my time in Spain. I really, truly have. But I’m so ready to get back to the States.

My wonderful, blessed, familiar, Walmart-shopping, sweet tea-drinking, cowboy boot-wearing, beef for dinner-eating, red white and blue, English-speaking country. Amen.

So, so ready. You have no idea.

I’ve been going crazy this past week, chomping at the bit for this moment. The moment where my apartment is clean (ok, well that hasn’t happened quite yet), where my bags are all packed (y’all have got to be out of your precious minds if you think that’s already happened! Anybody who knows me knows I’m still packing two minutes before I’m out the door), where I’m on that plane and headed home (and obviously that hasn’t happened yet either).

So basically I’m still waiting for “that moment.” But in my head, I’m so there.

 

And switching gears now for a sec… gotta take care of business, you know.

I know I haven’t posted Camino photos yet. I’m sorry. I’m ashamed. I’m a bad blogger. Forgive me.

I’ve been busy preparing for “that moment.”

Unfortunately, photos won’t be up for several more days.

I think I have something on the schedule for tomorrow. Hmm… I can’t seem to remember what it was. I think it might take me all day… what could it be?

How about spending 24 hours on a plane/in an airport? That part I am not excited about, but I’ll take it if it gets me home.

And then right away I’m heading up to one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. THE LAKE. (I just want y’all to know that normally, I’m totally against typing words in all caps. It makes me feel like a 13-year-old girl. I’m not ok with that. But the lake is a big deal. It warrants all caps.)

I’m going to spend a few days at the lake with my wonderful, wonderful family who I haven’t seen in two months. No internet. No kskristy. Sorry about ya. I’ll be focusing all of my efforts on wakeboarding, kneeboarding, skiiing and eating. I love y’all, but that’s just the way it’s gotta be.

Girl’s gotta live it up, ya know?

Anyway, then I’m driving nine hours back to Kansas. And then I’m going to die. For two or three days at least. I’m willing myself to hold off the jet lag until then. No jet lag allowed at the lake. There’s time for that later. That’s the pep talk I’m going to give myself. What? You think I should be named Motivational Speaker of the Year? Why, thank you, I accept. I always knew that speech would touch people someday…

Sorry. Back on track.

But for real. I’m going to be tiiiiiiiiired. (This also makes me feel like a 13-year-old girl. But again, it was necessary for proper emphasis. Or maybe I’m already a little too tired…)

I’ll post the Camino photos sometime during the week that I’m home.

Until then, here’s one to tide you over.

Dreamy, ain’t it?

I can’t wait to share more with you.

But right now, it’s a quarter after midnight in Spain and I have a million things to do before heading out to the airport in just a few hours.

Catch ya later in the States. Much love for now,

kskristy

España miscellany – road signs

If this isn’t a typical tourist thing to do, then I don’t know what is…

I’ve succumbed to taking pictures of Spanish road signs.

Maybe succumbed isn’t the right word. I’m not completely ashamed. The signs are kind of amusing. I just feel like I might as well put a sign on my back saying, “I don’t belong here!” whenever I snap a shot of something so ordinary.

But in the end, the photographer in me always wins out.

Take this sign for example.

I’ve seen numerous signs like this along all the highways in Spain, but never stopped to take a picture of one.

I always just scoff at them.

Tractors and horse-drawn carriages, huh? In Spain? You’ve got to be kidding me. We ain’t in Kansas anymore. Do Spaniards even know what a tractor is? And who would drive a horse-drawn carriage down a major highway? Are there Amish people here?

Now I have to say that in Málaga my scoffing is perfectly legitimate. Málaga is one big cement and concrete jungle. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve seen a patch of nice green grass around here.

But up north in Galicia, where I walked the Camino de Santiago, now that’s a different story. Not only were there tractors in Galicia, there were dairy cows and corn fields and the whole shebang. It felt a little like home. But that’s a story for another day.

I’m just glad the signs finally started making some sense.

But here’s one I don’t think I’ll ever understand.

This was at a beach in a little coastal town in northern Spain called Combarro.

Interesting beach policies in Combarro.

You are welcome to take your daily shower at the beach. But you must never play tennis (all other sports are permitted) and you cannot bring your… goat?

Your guess is as good as mine on that one.

I saw this and immediately thought of The Supremes.

“Stop! In the name of love…”

It’s actually just meant to prevent unauthorized persons from entering whatever was behind it, which didn’t look like anything top-secret enough to warrant such an intense sign, but whatever.

The Spanish are dramatic people.

Case in point.

I believe this sign is trying to tell me that there is a high suicide rate among automobiles in Spain.

So hide your Fords and hide your Hondas ‘cuz dey all gon’ down tha drink up in here.

I’m sorry. That was bad.

But for real. What else could this sign be saying? Don’t drive your car into the ocean?

I’m pretty sure that’s rule #1 in driver’s ed. It was in Kansas anyway. Because we have so much water, you know. It’s a real danger to beginning drivers.

Anyway, your guess is as good as mine on this one too.

And now I’m off to go ponder the deeper meanings of life.

Much love,

kskristy

España day 27 – the beach!

I just watched a cruise ship sail off into the Mediterranean from my balcony. (Hello misplaced modifier.)

That really has nothing to with this post. I just had to tell ya. So you could share in my excitement. In order to really feel it though, you should probably squeal with excitement and clap your hands a couple times. Got it? Good. I would hate for you to miss out on the full experience.

Not that I would ever do that.

Ok… moving on.

Does anybody else hear crickets chirping? Hello? Hellllloooo?

Sorry.

But, speaking of the Mediterranean, I had the chance to swim in it about two weeks ago. A couple friends and I went to a nearby town called Nerja and spent a glorious day at the beach.

It was my first time at the beach. Any beach. Ever.

I’ve been to San Francisco and saw the Pacific, but never touched the water. And I visited the Gulf of Mexico once, but it was right after Hurricane Katrina and there wasn’t really a beach left.

So by my processes of elimination and rationalization, the coast of the Mediterranean at Nerja was the first beach I’ve ever been to.

In my mind, I had such a glamorous view of what the beach would be like. White sand stretching on for miles and miles. Palm trees waving free and easy in the breeze. Super Guapos surfing and showing off for the girls. (For the definition of a super guapo, see this post.)

Nerja wasn’t quite like that.

This was my first view of the coast.

Where’s the beach? Where’s my luscious white sand?

Getting closer. That sand isn’t exactly white but…

…that’s fun!

And crowded. You mean I don’t get the beach all to myself?

That’s ok. I’m still at a beach! I’m a happy camper.

How could I not be happy with views like this? So pretty!

Eventually my friends and I found a secluded, shady spot underneath some cliffs at the very end of the beach.  We definitely didn’t have the beach to ourselves, but it kind of felt like it.

But there was still one little issue.

This was the sand.

In Kansas we call that gravel. We put it on our roads. And drive on it. Not lay out on it.

I may be exaggerating a little bit.

The sand really wasn’t that bad. Once you put a towel down, you could hardly tell you were laying on rocks.

All sarcasm aside, I really did have a good time.

I laid out in the sun.

I got hot.

I went for a dip in the Med.

I went back to my towel.

I laid out in the sun.

I got hot.

I went for a dip in the Med.

I ate an apple.

I took a nap.

I laid out in the sun.

I think you get the picture. It was the life.

And to think, I can almost do the same thing in Kansas! We do have the gravel after all.

But not the Med. Or any large oceans/seas/lakes/rivers/ponds/puddles/H2O in any way, shape or form.

I think it’s about time Kansas got around to inventing water…

España day 25 – James Franco, Ian Somerhalder and Spanish flamenco

Welcome back me! I’ve been back in Málaga for two days now after traveling to northern Spain the previous week. I went up there to walk a 70+ mile stretch of the Camino de Santiago in just five days. It was an incredible experience, but I’ll save that for another post. I’ve got some catching up to do first.

Before I left, I meant to post photos from a flamenco dance show I had the privilege of attending. Well, life happened and I never got around to posting them. I’ve just gotta share the photos with you though, so here they are!

 

Actually, this isn’t flamenco quite yet. (Bonus points for you if you figured that out before I told you.) It’s the cute little town where the flamenco show was held, called Mijas. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places (or whatever the Spanish equivalent of that is) because it’s an all white town. Evidently they aren’t very common in Spain anymore. I thought it was lovely… historic register certified or not.

Ok, now for the flamenco dancers.

They came out in very traditional flamenco dress and performed a traditional flamenco dance.

I’m qualified to tell you this because I am very well-versed in the history of traditional flamenco. It’s how we dance in Kansas all the time. Castanets and everything.

This is called chemistry.

Flamenco is all about chemistry. And passion. And stamping your feet.

More chemistry.

I may or may not have had a major crush on Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome on the right there.

He is what you would call in Spanish a “Super Guapo,” or SG for short.

Then Super Guapo left and the ladies did some interpretive dance with baskets. I think they were doing laundry.

They obviously have very different feelings about doing laundry.

Red polka-dot woman has found her true calling in life and blue polka-dot woman is unimpressed.

Now both of them are happy.

So happy their skirts are flying up.

Laundry isn’t exactly the sort of thing that makes my skirt fly up, but to each his own I suppose.

Then Super Guapo came back and they all had a party.

The guy on the left reminded me of Vince Vaughn.

Don’t ya think? Minus the guyliner and the difference in skin color, they’re practically twins.

Regardless, this guy made some pretty great faces throughout the whole show.

He meditated.

He just about had the heavy metal rocker thing going on in this one.

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I think the woman’s expression is just as good as Vince Vaughn’s. Wonder what she’s looking at?

Vince Vaughn is about to fall over. Super Guapo is happy.

Hi there, Super Guapo.

Since I’m naming Spanish flamenco dancers after American celebrities, let me just say that I think Super Guapo looks like a mix of James Franco and Ian Somerhalder.

Oh dear. Someone catch me because I am going to faint. Or my skirt is going to fly up. One of the two. Both would be bad.

Three super guapos are just too much for me.


Super Guapo has his own girl anyway.

I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

España day 22 – the Alcazaba

Last Sunday I went to a Moorish castle in Málaga called the Alcazaba. It was great! The castle was built in the 11th century so I loved the archaic architecture. And I got some fantastic vistas of Málaga from the top of the castle.

I’ve got a bunch of photos to share with y’all, so I’ll let them do the talking and keep my sarcastic commentary to myself today.

 

Now I have to explain the photo above because it is clearly the odd one out.

After touring the Alcazaba, a friend and I were heading downtown and we passed through Calle Larios, one of the prettiest and busiest streets in Málaga. The city had hung up shade cloth earlier in the week to try and keep the street (and the people) cooler in the heat of the day. I had seen the shade cloth before, but I was amazed by the new decoration that seemed to be hanging from the heavens.

Paper cranes. Hundreds and hundreds of them.

They were so beautiful.

There was a banner hanging a little way beyond them that said something about, “We don’t know what to do with all the paper,” or something to that effect.

In America, we shred paper. In Spain, they make paper cranes.

Point for Spain.

There are more photos to come! Check back soon for legit flamenco dancers.

Until then, much love,

kskristy

My 4th of July… without America

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, second only to Thanksgiving.

I love everything about the 4th: summer, red, white and blue everywhere, classic car shows, small town parades, barbecues, friends, family, homemade ice cream, sweet tea. Oh yes, I love it all.

Yesterday was my first time to be out of America on Independence Day. It was a strange and sad feeling.

We had a party here at the center with a lot of people and a lot of food (for real… I’ve hardly eaten today because I’m still so full), but still it wasn’t the same as celebrating America’s independence in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

I found some pictures on my computer of the fireworks show my hometown put on last year. I loved looking at them and reminiscing.

Out town actually wasn’t even allowed to have a fireworks show this year because we’re under a burn ban. Maybe I’m selfish, but it made me feel a little better knowing I wasn’t missing out on as much of the fun 4th festivities all my friends and family were getting to partake in.

Here are a few of my favorite fireworks photos. Enjoy.

(I’ll be back to Spain photos later this week. Moorish castles, cityscape panoramas and flamenco dancers are yet to come!)

 


Much love and God bless America,

kskristy

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