A visit to the Sagrada Família

Erica and I went to the Sagrada Família on Saturday the 18th, after we’d given our talk. (More details on all that later.) I had tried to go when I was in Barcelona last time, cough cough, but didn’t get to.

Anyway, I’m not usually one for visiting old buildings or churches, but this was truly exceptional. So unique and breathtaking and many other adjectives. Construction began on this church designed by Gaudí in 1882 and it’s not done yet.

Erica and I also booked tickets to the tower, which was fun and hair-raising. (You take an elevator up but a tightly wound spiral staircase down, and it’s kind of terrifying.)

Without further ado…

Details outside

The interior

Views from the tower:

Terrifying staircase:


People right as they walk in, stop, dumbfounded, then take pics.


They say it’s going to be finished (finally) in ten years. We’ll see.


Back in the US

I have much to blog about, of course. I initially was going to try to keep up as the trip went along, but obviously I failed miserably there. But I’ll post a bit now while I sit in the United Club lounge with a glass of wine and free wi-fi. (But I really need to make it fast so I can go call Kristina. I haven’t talked to her in 11 days and that is entirely too long, considering we usually talk one or two times a day.)

It’s hard to believe how long this trip was. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. I had a fantastic, exhausting, busy trip. But it felt like a month, not a week and a half. When I think back to when we were in Barcelona, it feels like eons ago.

I also have to give a shout-out to my colleague Erica. She was an excellent traveling companion, and we had a great time together. I think it’s safe to say we’re both suffering withdrawal from each other. We were apart very very little over the course of the trip. This could have gone horribly wrong. Even traveling with good friends can be a harrowing experience, but I can honestly say she was an amazing travel partner. Probably doesn’t hurt that the girl likes to eat. Heh. She was extremely supportive of my ham cone quest, and she’s a vegetarian. Now that’s a friend!

Okay, here’s a little Pam ‘n’ Erica collage (you’ll probably see these again in future posts too. Deal with it.)

Okay, my wine is done, so I’m going to publish this now and go call Kristina. Can’t wait to see my boys! Cross your fingers that the bottle of schnapps I brought back makes it intact. I’m tired. Stop babbling now.



Ham cone!!!

My favorite thing to eat in Spain is the ham. I suppose more specifically I mean the jamón ibérico?  Whatever it’s called, it’s delicious. When Erica and I were in Barcelona, I spied a cafe with a sign outside advertising “Ham Cone”, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A paper cone filled with pieces of jamón. I was determined to get a ham cone before we left Spain, and today my dream came true!

We were walking back to our Airbnb after lunch (I purposely had a very light lunch) when we passed Mercado de San Miguel. Right when we walked in, we saw a stall selling HAM CONES!

It was way fancier than the ham cones at the other restaurant – three times more expensive, and quite a lot of ham, even for me. But I have until lunchtime tomorrow to eat it. And it’s insanely delicious.

Also they gave it to me on a paper silver tray. So fancy!

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Gotta give props to Erica, who is a vegetarian, for supporting me on my epic quest for HAM CONE.

Today’s office

IMG_1797Erica and I are working at Google’s Campus Madrid today. It’s a nice space, in spite of the cafe worker who is not a fan of Erica (which is ridiculous, Erica is one of the kindest people I know.)

Tomorrow night we’ll be giving another talk here. Eek!

Barcelona, day 1

Not going to write a ton about my first day in Barcelona, but it was lovely. Didn’t sleep on the plane, so the first half of the day after meeting up with my coworker Erica were a bit of a haze. But the weather was gorgeous and we got a lot of walking in.

Mmmm. Pastries.
My food upon arriving at the airport – jamon on baguette. Heaven.
Dog at the airport
Gothic Quarter
Gothic Quarter




More Gothic Quarter

Toes in the sand!
The Mediterranean Sea

Rose on the Mediterranean.
Blue sky



Dinner the first night.

I meant to post this earlier, but the wifi at our Barcelona Airbnb was terrible.

The week we had

Oh, I mean, it wasn’t exciting or anything, I just didn’t want more than a week to go by without blogging so I shall blog about what we did this week.

The boys started camp, which has been great for me. It’s nice and peaceful at home, and I can go to Orange Theory to work out, and of course, they’ve been having a great time too. Their friend Ethan is at camp with them, and from what they’ve told me, they’re all thick as thieves. So that’s fun. They’ve been swimming every day and went to Laser Tag yesterday and blah blah blah mainly they’re not doing anything electronic for 6-7 hours a day and that’s the best part.

Of course, I’m the worst mother ever and forgot to put sunscreen on them for the first three days of the week, so by Wednesday they all had rather pink shoulders. I definitely felt like shit.


I went and had dinner with my triplet/quad mamas, that was always lovely. Here I am with the mamas from here.

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Saved up some Amazon gift cards and got some amazing (and eye-wateringly expensive) noise cancelling earbuds. I feel quite confident that I’m going to snooze like a baby on the airplane next week because of these as well as this travel pillow I bought. YES I DID.

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I don’t care in the least how goofy this looks if it means I can get a few hours of sleep on the plane. Erica and I arrive early Friday morning, and that night we have a presentation to give. So if I don’t sleep on the plane, it could get really ugly.

In non-travel-related news, we made pizza bombs! I love Tasty. I am addicted to watching the videos, even though half of the recipes look less than appetizing. These were a big hit with the boys.

Okay, I should have sealed up the dough better. Whatever.


And now I shall end this post with this ridiculously adorable picture the boys found online.



It’s been an eventful start to the summer already. Gareth‘s sister and family are in town, which has been really fun for the boys. Rachel has two boys who are nine and twelve, and all of the boys have become fast friends.

There was hanging out at the pub, coloring all of the bricks…


Swimming on Memorial Day…


Taking over the levee last night…


and generally just being goofy. I’ll be sad when they leave at the end of the week! Hopefully we’ll see them again soon, either over on their home turf (the UK) or back here.

I also took Miles to see Angry Birds (terrible, but look, triplets!)


and Linus and I went shopping, where I bought him his very own plant to take care of. (It’s spearmint.) (He liked the smell.)


And some movie nights on the sofa with popcorn.


Fun times! Next week will be camp for the boys, and the week after, I leave for Europe! Eep!