Posts Tagged With: coffee

Living in the Hipster Age

First of all I have to say that it’s kind of pathetic how behind I am on posting about my adventures. I’ve been to London, Oxford, home to Colorado, San Fransisco, and Kalispell Montana and I have yet to write a single word about any of it. I promise I will eventually get to it all and even more, but today I have to talk about something else: Hipsters.

We live in a world of forward ever, trend setting, mustache grooming, hipsters. They set the trends, then jump out of the drivers seat leaving the band wagon to fall off a cliff. I know several of these coffee loving folk, I have even been accused of being on myself every now and then. We love to hate them and that is just what my new web-series Little Hipsters is about. The everyday lives of those record loving, flannel wearing, ironic glasses sporting girls and gals. Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe to see more videos every week! I’ll be back to my travels in a few days.

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Bienvenido a Torrelles De Foix

I have now officially been in Spain for almost two weeks and I have yet to write a blog post. In my defense we didn’t havve internet for a while, and then we were out a lot, and then my grandmother passed so there just hasn’t been a god time to sit down and really reflect on my first week here.

We left Frankfurt, Germany around 8pm and arrived in Barcelona, Spain at about 10pm. It was a stress free, short flight…at first. We got off the plane and walked through the airport to baggage claim in relatively high spirits. We sat, and waited for the luggage to be unloaded, and we started to gather our things. Now because my God family is moving to Spain permanently, they have a lot of bags to keep track of. We got most of them, but there was one missing. So we waited, and waited, and waited some more until the airport was almost empty and there were just a few stray bags going round and round in a continual circle. We took stock of everything and discovered that, of course, the missing bag was the bag with all the expensive recording equipment, (Luckily my God father is smart enough to keep a lock on his equipment case). So my God father stood in line for an hour or so just to be told that the luggage got left in Frankfurt, but would be on the first flight the next morning. Tired, and annoyed we left the airport and called the hotel shuttle to pick us up. We finally got in the van around 11 pm and, luckily we had a very kind driver. He didn’t speak much english but we knew enough Spanish to communicate. After getting tot he hotel and getting settled for the night we went down to the little store in the lobby of the Barcelona Best Western (which is beautiful by the way highly recommend it) and bought sandwiches and water. For five of us it came to almost 50 Euro which is ridiculous for pre made sandwiches and bottles of water, but beggars can’t be choosers. I called my father and chatted for a bit and then drifted off into a very comfortable sleep.

The next morning we were out the door by 10am to meet the man who owns the house we have rented. He had graciously offered to pick us up from the hotel and take us to the house, but as soon as I saw his compact, four passenger car I looked at my oldest G-Brother and said, “There’s no way we are all fitting in THAT…” and I was right. 20 minutes, and a lot of failure to communicate later, I found myself sitting in the Best Western lobby waiting for the boys to get dropped off and for my G-father and the owner to come back and pick me up. I would say I was there a good three or four hours, but I had wifi so who’s complaining? Plus I had lunch at the hotel restaurant which, while a little expensive, was incredibly delicious and my waiter was a very nice man who forgave my poor Spanish and made conversation with me as far as I could communicate. Eventually I was picked up and we made our way to the house.

We are staying in a lovely little house in Torrelles de Foix which is about forty minutes outside of Barcelona by car. It is a neat little town with close set building and little alleyways where people hang their clothes out their windows and on lines across the sky.There is one little market with a meat counter in the back, and I’m pretty sure we now own the only box of cereal in the entire town. There is also a Panderia owned by a wonderful man named Pedro, and a meat and wine shop owned by a coupe names Jaime and Marcella. There are maybe two thousand people in the whole town and we have met a lot of them. Inclusing an Australian (that old travelers joke about Aussies being everywhere is so on the money).

The first time we went out we met Jaime and Marcella who let us try every one of their meats so we knew what we liked and wanted to buy. Next we met Pedro who is very kind and always up for a chat even though he speaks no English. then there is the restaurant/bar that serves the best coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life, where a young woman works who speaks Spanish, and apparently French as we learned after she served a french couple one night, but no English. Basically no one speaks English but they are all so incredibly kind and patient with our poor Spanish.

We also live about fifteen minutes out of Villa Franca which is a decent sized town where we go to buy groceries and essentials for the house. I can’t tell you how many times we have stopped to ask directions and someone has just dropped what they are doing to take us to where we are going. We even met an Englishman who took us to two different places to find Visa information, and THEN found us in a grocery store later to give more ideas on the solution to some of our problems. People here are so kind it’s staggering.

This post in getting incredibly long so I will save my Barcelona trip for another day, but my conclusion so far is that Spain is lovely and so are its people.

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A Romantic Interlude

There are a lot of people writing about the romance of Paris, and London, and Rome, but there are few people writing about the romance of Frankfurt, Germany, so if you’ll allow me, I would like to take a moment and step into that gap.

Frankfurt is a big city with all the charms of a small village. Life starts at 6am, when I can hear the bicycles and cars rushing past my window. Which I leave open because it is August and heat rises, so you can imagine, being four stories up, that I am kept nice and warm in the heat wave they call summer. The commuters of Frankfurt start the day, probably with a pastry, which can be found in any of the hundreds of bakeries on every corner, definitely with a cup of coffee, and perhaps even with a beer depending on how seriously they live by the, “5 o’clock somewhere” rule. The buses begin to fill with people on their way to work, or school, or just to run errands. Perhaps they are off to the market in Konstablewache square that brings fresh produce, flowers, and Bratwurst each Thursday. Perhaps they are going to the river to stroll by the water, or sit with a friend and talk in the cool of the early morning.

As the day progresses, and the sun gets higher in the sky, hundreds of people walk the streets, or ride down them in search of french fries, or curry, or more bread which seems to be a main staple here. They may take a stroll along the lock bridge where hundreds of locks with the names of hundreds of lovers are hanging from it’s metal siding. Or they may take their lunch to the old part of town and eat surrounded by buildings that could only be found in fairytales of old, inhabited by child eating witches, and little pigs.They pass the fountain with the lions heads, and the statue of David atop the severed limbs of Goliath. They meet each other, (one is always running into people they know on the streets of Frankfurt) and they stop to chat, seemly forgetting where they were headed in the first place, as if they had always full intended to meet this person and have this conversation.

After a long day the people pile back into the trains on their way back to their families. Or to Friedburger Platz where on Friday people gather with their friends, beers, and cigarettes, to sit, stand, and lean until someone finally says enough and goes home. Or maybe to the street lined with cafes filled with people drinking wine, where on the corner there is an ice cream shop that people travel from all around the city to eat Mango Sorbet and laugh at some joke I’m, unfortunately, too American to understand. As the sun begins to set, I sit in my windowsill and listen to the bells that ring out and seem to hover on the still, hot air like an angelic chorus. And finally by 10pm the sun has gone to bed and the stars have taken its place. The people have retired tot heir homes and just one or two stragglers wander the streets on their way to their own little flats on their own little streets.

I live with the awareness that I have never been to Paris, or London, or Rome, but that I do live in Frankfurt, if only for a little while, and it seems so wonderful I can’t imagine a place I could possible like better.

I began to feel a bit sad today when I thought of all my friends starting school again without me. And I’ll admit it does hurt a little bit every time I see a post about term starting up in a few weeks. Although it doesn’t hurt as much as the posts from old flames about new girls while I sit alone in my apartment and watch Netflix. And it’s not a real hurt, just a dull ache to think of my life back home and of time gone by. But then, as I began to pity myself I looked around. I realized that I am in Europe, living alone, serving the Kingdom, making new friends and new memories. Why on earth am I thinking about silly things like school starting up and old boes I don’t even have feelings for anymore? If I were there I would be wishing I was here, but I’m here and perfectly happy that I am. So the world can take its fall semesters and new romances and stuff it in a box. I will think about such things when I get home. I will start studying books when I stop studying architecture, history, and language. I will fall in love with a man when I stop falling in love with travel, and new friends, and God’s creation. And it will be a very long time before that happens. In the movie Sabrina one of the repeated lines is, “I found myself in Paris” well perhaps I am going through the process of “finding myself” in Frankfurt, if I believed in such a thing. I am becoming increasingly aware of my own independence, and more importantly of my own ability to thrive in such conditions. I no longer fear the unknown or the terrifying silence of being on my own. I embrace and welcome it as a chance to know myself better.

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Becoming A Star…Maker-Abingdon Virginia 

Since I was fifteen I have been dreaming about performing on The Barter stage. I had dreams of being an actor there, of singing and dancing on main stage. Of acting my heart out on stage two, so when one of my dear friends told me that she was hired to work tech for their production of Mary Poppins, I jumped at the chance to work on a Barter show. My friend’s father is a part-time actor there, and she often works on shows when she’s in town. I had driven up for a visit, and ended up with a two-day job, which was absolutely fine by me.

In my time there I set up lighting in their summer tent, painted a set piece, made stars that lit up the nursery in one of the numbers, and helped adjust some lighting. Over all it made me realize A) how much I miss being involved in theatre full-time, and B) how much I still love The Barter after all these years.

After all the work was done we were able to attend the preview of Mary Poppins, and oh wow was it great. Even at a preview where everything was not completely polished the show was wonderful. It’s bright and beautiful, and fun. The dancing in incredible and the singing is great, and of course the acting is top-notch. If you are anywhere near Abingdon this summer I suggest you buy yourself a ticket and indulge in some childhood Disney Magic.

Later that night we attended the premier of the two person play, Mary’s Wedding, playing on stage two. It is a beautiful play about a WWI solider and the girl he left at home. Portrayed as a dream that Mary is having the night before her wedding, you follow the couple from their first meeting and through their love, as they are separated by family, war, and their own pride. It was a beautiful show that left us all in tears. The two actors who play Mary and Charlie are brilliant, I highly recommend the show.

Now let’s talk food, because we all know that food is a big part of my life. First afternoon there we went to Caprese which is this hole in the wall Greek/Italian joint. I had the garlic knot and the Spanakopita, and both were delicious. It was a bit hot because I don’t think their air conditioning worked, but the man who worked there was incredibly nice and the food was good. The next morning we woke up and went to Zazzy’z for coffee. This place has maybe the best coffee (Although oh my cow their dirty Chai is even more amazing) I’ve ever had and that’s saying a lot because there are some dang good coffee places in JC. If you are ever in Arlington, if you do nothing else get coffee at Zazzy’z. For lunch we went to an oldy but a goody, Pop Ellis’. Pop’s is someplace I’ve been going to since I was fourteen, it is the one place I make sure to stop by when I’m in town. They have a great staff, delicious food, and amazing milkshakes. Definitely a staple in the Arlington community, in my opinion. That night we went to Bonfire for BBQ, and holy guacamole I don’t know if I’ve ever had better pulled pork, and their corn bread was to die for, not to mention they have a BBQ sauce bar so everyone can have what they want. After dinner we went to a place called Anthony’s for desert. I had a cherry cheesecake and it was delicious. I returned here a second time and got some Strawberry Sorbet which was also amazing. There is no shortage of delicious food in Abingdon.

The long and short of it is that Abingdon Virginia is one of those places you could see yourself retiring…or just living there forever. I am very sad to see it in my rear view mirror. But I’ll be back soon.

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