Barcelona

2019 in Review – What Did We Do Again?

On the back of the door in our apartment we have one of those old school calendars. We use it for scheduling shit and to make sure that we keep the dog alive with our schedules. I took a look at it this morning as I was getting the Black Eyed Peas and Greens on the stove and here is what we had to show for with Trips;

  • Geranium was away 151 days in 2019. Mind you 31 of those days were when she was in Switzerland/France. That actually made us both appreciate our time together more and take stock in our relationship which made it stronger.
  • We saw Elton John and his Farewell Tour at The Barclays
  • Got to experience The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. That was a killer event.
  • While Geranium was away Mr. 3 First Names & Lady Lawyer and I went to see Jose Andres at his book signing.
  • Got our Southern Redneck on thanks to BK and saw Hank Jr and Skynrd at Forrest Hills.
  • Rang in the New Year at the Barclays Center with The Strokes.
  • Oh and we had dinner at Per Se too.
  • And so that I am not a complete prick I am going to end this list that we also did some horse gambling at Aquaduct Race Track.

Regarding Trips Away, I am kind of embarrassed to divulge this to you dozen readers. I mean this list is somewhat obscene. Mind you we were able to take advantage of Geranium’s international trips and my ability to fly stand by.

  • Hung with PNG Mike, Ellie & JD in London and watched 6 Nations Rugby with them.
  • Visited Northwest Arkansas for Family Christmas
  • Made a trip Upstate with Vivian and Stone
  • Made warm weather trips to; Cancun, Belize, Fort Meyers, Gulf Shores, and Dale Hollow Lake.
  • Went over to Philly for a BBQ at Pepe’s house.
  • Got to experience Barcelona for the First Time. (Got to go back)
  • I did 48 hours in Switzerland to see Geranium and imagine that..it was raining!
  • Made it to Memphis for Thanksgiving and for a work trip in September.
  • Got to eat some low country cooking with the ChoHo’s in Charleston South Carolina.

All in all it was a good year for us for doing the fun shit. Granted I wondered why our bank account has been low but now I know why I haven’t been able to see my feet in months.

Photo by Toria of Blue Water Grill down in Belize
Charleston South Carolina with these two!
Thank God Geranium is Fluent in how to Speak Randy!
We got to go back one of these day!
I booked a whole week with these knuckleheads and I loved every minute of it!
I love this man!
Lausanne Switzerland and the snow topped alps
The rain does happen in Spain!
Oh Maya had a blast while we were away too!
Thanks Viv and Stone!
Rain in London….how odd

It was a good time for trips and shit that we saw in 2019.

One Year Ago Tomorrow – We Lost A Great Traveler

I recall it like it was yesterday. The first text came from GrainbinGirl at like 7:AM (6:AM Memphis Time) then the next came from Pepe. “Anthony Bourdain was gone and by his own hand.” *Disclaimer – I have lost many a good friend and family member by their own hand. This post is not in any way shape or form trying to speak of this horrible disease. Sadly it takes too many good people*

Best Friends

So the loss of Antony Bourdain has bothered me for a while. Now that I have just finished up on a whirlwind tour with Shawna (yeah, I am serious when I use real names) I miss him even more.

Tunisa

For this post I plan on speaking about some of Tony’s quotes that I hold dear to my heart.  His friend Jose Andres said it best in his latest book in the tribute;

To our friend Anthony Bourdain, who spent his life planting seeds

That man put a bunch of seeds in my head and I owe it to him to make them grow and experience some of what he got to see. Let’s be honest….the Cock Sucker had the best life in the world and I am so grateful that I can try to do as much as I can!!! Enough with the chatter. Here are my favorite Bourdain Quotes in no sequential order and some notes;

  • “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” – Loved my trip to a small town in Switzerland. You don’t get the same experience in the larger towns. Here I was just an American who couldn’t speak French and didn’t know I needed to bring a bag.
  • “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”Or if you are 49 years old do this and load up on the ADVIL! I am not going to lie, the travel I did to see Shawna was tough but I look back and loved every minute of it!
  • “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”I landed at Heathrow exhausted but figured out the Tube Schedule, walked my ass through the rain and got to the hotel. I could have wimped out and paid a King’s Ransom for a Black Car but what is the point if you aren’t going to see and experience Rush Hour into London on a Friday?
  • “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m also a big believer that you are never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”This was 100% Barcelona! I only had a list from The Notorious NFG but it was going to be a total wing it. I love that town. I want to go back and I want to go back now.  
  • “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”No Comment
  • “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Loved our visit with English Mike & Ellie as well as our visit with The Tour Agent and Curly Sue in Switzerland. I know that our paths will cross again and when it does. I plan on picking up from where we left off.
  • “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”It is very well documented that I smoke cigars, drink alcohol on occasion, and need a cholesterol pill. Sure, I try to keep myself leaning towards the cleaner side of life but what’s the point of living if you can’t slide down butt naked on a sheet of ice. Yes, I ordered the damn goose liver and I loved it!
  • “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”I am hoping she never reads this but I so disagree with Z-Squared and her guerrilla vacation tactics. I love her to death and will be that “3AM phone call guy to come bury a body” guy but I can’t vacation with her. Let that shit roll off the back.

And will I finish with this one. I will always have the deepest respect and love for Ernie and Lynn Mellor for giving an out of work carnie a job.

  • “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Nothing is better than standing over a hot smoker busting balls and or discussing life. I am always appreciate of the visits with the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn.

So, if you have not figured out by my already 900 words this is telling you to go out and explore. It doesn’t have to be in a different country. It can be in a different part of your home town.

All you have to do is be friendly, be respectful and always be humble.

How cool would it be if you were having a lunch on this beach?

Rest in peace Tony. I am still pissed I didn’t get to drink with you at Billy Mark but that is more for a selfish reason.

To honor you I will try to see as much of this world as you did.

Carbunkle Trumpet and Mary Louise Take on Barcelona – And that town ROCKS!

When Geranium was in the planning stages of being based in Switzerland, we decided that I would try to make 2 trips over to see her. With it not being the tourist season yet the chances for me to fly stand-by would be better than average. The plan was for me to come during Mother’s Day weekend; possibly to Spain and we would see what the schedule will allow. That changed two Thursdays ago when she texted me saying she would be in Barcelona over Cinco de Mayo weekend. Carbunkle was booking some stand-by flights with a weeks lead time.

I flew in to Barcelona Thursday night on the Red Eye and arrived about an hour late due to rain in Newark. Sadly, it was raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock in Barcelona and did so pretty much all day. I get to the hotel and was able to get into the room where I could take a shower and a little cat nap while I waited on Geranium. Because of the quickness of this trip I really didn’t have much time to do any research on the town but thankfully one of my peers did a semester in Barcelona so she got me the hook up.

So with little to no knowledge of Barcelona, no real impressions or idea of what to expect I went into this trip with an Anthony Bourdain outlook. As I was heading back to the airport yesterday early morning the cab driver asked what I thought of his fair city. I got to be honest with you 10 readers. Barcelona FUCKING ROCKS! Would I have put this on my short list of cities to visit? Nope! Would I think that the food scene here is comparable to New York and much cheaper? Nope! Did I expect that I would find the narrow ass streets and old-world charm neat? Nope!

Seriously, if you have never thought about a trip to Spain and to spend some time in Barcelona you are missing out! More to come on this.

This is Aldi’s in Barcelona, They allow dogs to be inside the store near the front door.
Narrow ass streets that are not very well marked can make one crazy. But when we get crazy we go find wine.
The Catherdral…..in the freaking rain
Cab into the city. Love the balconies
Fucking Gate Lice!

More on this trip in the next posts.

Living the Bachelors Dream Here Folks

I was trying to think back the other day when was the last time I lived alone. I had to go back to 1992 when I was living in the Shrine Building, working at Chez Philippe. and making more money than God. Since then I went out to East Memphis for a brief stint and then back downtown and started cramping Didi’s style at 71 Union Ave. Then I met Mary Louise and since then the toilet seat has been down ever since.

Mary Louise is to return back in the US on the 22nd of May until then it is going to be just me and the dog. Oh and don’t worry, I am not sitting here on the couch crying my eyes out. Vivian and Stone and I had dinner last weekend and I have a feeling that Maria and I will catch a dinner in the next couple of weeks. Of course Mr. 3 First Names and I have been out every night coming home in the early hours of the morning with Memphis in May sobriety. Ok that is a lie, he and the Landlord have been busy over there in the Slope with a remodeling job that is over halfway done. Maybe we can get some drinks next weekend.

I have been spending a lot more time at work and getting stuff done which isn’t bad for me. Naturally I have been spending a couple more hours than normal at the Gym that I belong to. The gym is over on East 73rd street between 1st and 2nd Avenue and I walk out of there needing a shower because I stink. For those of you who are not doubled over laughing need to know that the gym isn’t called Soul Cycle or Equinox but The Cigar Inn.

Oh and don’t cry for me too much. My ass is leaving this evening heading over to Barcelona to meet up with Geranium. She is going to be there for training so I figured I would crash her style and get some Spanish culture in too! Oh and by the way, when I text or facetime with Geranium she doesn’t care about me, she wants to see pics of the dog. Below are some of the pics from this past week.

Made me a work station while Geranium is away
Why are you walking me at 5:30AM? Why can’t I sleep in?
What the Corn Bread Fuck? I am never in here when there are 2 of you here.
I am going to get all my toys and play on the bed while you are pooping dad
Life is Hard
Stretching before we go out to pee
Kind of hard being this cute dad.
Even got one of those Nanny Cams. It is kind of boring since she is kenneled while I am away
See you fuckers on Monday!

Have a good weekend folks!