Spain | Posted by Don
Nov 27 2009
Well hello from Europe!  I must say that air travel is the worst. Right after we make through security (no big deal) we hit the duty free shop for a couple of bottles of adult beverages.  Being we are flying internationally we can do this. Moments before we leave, a little man with a little red cart shows up with our bottles (If we only had brought some straws!) we carry our bottles on board and pack in the overhead.

We board our plane right on time 5:30 PM and spend the next 7 hours and 20 minutes flying to Paris,  Ah, gay Parei.  We arrive at around 7AM Paris time and there is almost no one around.  We get off the plane and everyone goes one way and we seem to be the only people taking a connection flight!
I finally find a woman in an airline uniform and ask her where do we go?  We have no flight number on our connecting flight listed on our tickets and no seat assignments either, that’s all to be worked out when we arrive.  Well… We are here.  The official woman tells me to ask the driver because he will know all the various stops.  So we get on the bus and I ask the driver.  Unfortunately, he DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!

With several points and words like Barcelona and Air France, he knows where we get off and with a very stuffy look he says ‘c’est votre arrêt’.  Which I believe means get off my damn bus.

With several checks with every one we meet we somehow finally find gate F25 in one of the largest airports in the world.  Oh wait… Next problem…

 It seams that the alcohol we purchased in Newark is now not allowed on the plane.  It’s the same stuff that they are selling duty free about 20 feet from where we are standing and that alcohol would be allowed on the plane.  So Karen shoves the bottles into her backpack and runs back to check her backpack as another bag.  While Karen slugs her way through the international security process – again, I take some pictures of the Charles de Gaulle Airport.


The Ceiling

The Ceiling

$400.00 Sunglasses

$400.00 Sunglasses

IMG_0475 Oh, look, Karen’s back and doesn’t she look happy?

So we find the gate and we sit down in a normal airport gate waiting area.  They finally call that our plane is leaving and we must board.  So everyone gets up, gets in line, gets their ticket scanned, walks down that little walkway that leads to the plane and…  get on a bus!  Not just any bus, but a standing room only, sardine packed style bus where we wait, standing for a half hour, until it has been proven to the drivers satisfaction, through various attempts to pack just one more person in the bus, that it is no longer physically possible!  After being driven around for a half hour we are finally dumped out in front of our plane on the tarmac.


We arrive in Barcelona and get a cab.  Our driver is unique in that he apparently has both
the swine flu and TB and every 10 minutes coughs up one or both lungs.
(You can see the indents on the dashboard). 
Both Karen and I have alcohol pads rolled up in our nostrils and hope for the best.

Watch for the lung... It's Coming...

Watch for the lung... It's coming...

We are both exhausted and want to watch survivor (Thank God for Sling box). 
I will try to blog more after a few hours sleep. Peace out…


  1. Maxine Berry says:

    Hilarious, don’t miss your calling, start writing a book on your travels !


Barcelona At Night

Spain | Posted by Don
Nov 28 2009
Two rules to follow in down town Barcelona when walking at night.
1. Always cross between the lines.
2. Always wait for the light to be green. I mean 100% green, not just about to turn green.
If you follow these two simple rules, you have updated your chances of surviving a street crossing to almost 50%.

I’m telling you there are no lanes of traffic, there are only spaces too small for a scooter to get through and those that are not. 
And scooters are EVERYWHERE. Well we are up for breakfast and out to see the town.  I’ll blog more later.


  1. Susan says:

    Sounds a lot like crossing the street in Jersey City. Having a blast with the webcam.
    Feels almost like I am on vacation with you.   GianCarlo is always asking to call Karen and Donny now.
    He is a big ham and likes looking at himself on the monitor.
    Keep the pictures coming. Gives me something to look forward to.

Hola, Day Two

Spain | Posted by Don
Nov 28 2009
Day 2 in Barcelona
I wake up too early and can’t get back to sleep.  Karen’s out like a light. I try to get back to sleep watching Baywatch in Spanish.  Unfortunately the boobs are equally entertaining and it’s a no go for the sleep thing. 

Around 11AM we head out to exchange our bus vouchers for tickets.  This turns into an 11 block expedition with multiple ‘do you speak English?’ conversations with the locals.  I eventually find the place.  To make it extra easy to find there are no street signs and they put the place underground! Nice.

 IMG_0499 IMG_0497

The tourist bus is really a good way to see a lot if you have very little time. 
You can jump off at any stop, go explore and hop back on the next bus. 
After our excursion on the Red Line we decide to head back to our room for a little break and
then head out on the Blue line, (It covers a different section of the city.)

 IMG_0501 IMG_0502

Back at the room, I laps into a comma (remember that can’t sleep stuff I mentioned earlier),
but Karen, the deep sleeper, decides to do a little shopping and explore while I am sleeping. 

It’s 5pm (11am at home) and we head out for the spot where we get on the Blue Line bus.
Four Red Line buses pass but no Blue…  Finally…

It’s dark now but the city looks great at night. 
This is a wonderful city to explore.  The people, for the most part, are friendly and helpful.


We jump off the bus in the merchant section. 
We are told the 4 km stretch of shops and street stalls is the longest in Europe. 
Everything is pretty expensive (with a 16% VAT tax). 
Karen & I being the big spenders we are buy a couple of scarves and go back
to the bus stop to wait for the Blue Line bus.  We wait, and wait, and wait for 45 minutes.


I’m not getting off that damn Blue Line bus again.  We decide to let the bus take us back to where we got on and call it a day.  But wait, yet another surprise.  Lucky us, this is the last bus of the day and it stops at the central location.  Everybody off.  We have a general idea were we are (as like we're in Europe) and are surrounded by thousands of people, but we have no clue which way to go to get back to our room.  Karen asks this guy, who turns out to be English (thank you Lord).  He gives us directions but really thought it was far too far to walk. Yeh, I bet they told that to Lewis and Clark too, so we thanked him and started hoofing it.

Well after a few miles (all uphill) we finally start to recognize where we are.  It’s around 10PM now and we are both really tired and hungry.  Karen is determined to eat at one of the local restaurants, you know, really soak up the local flavor.  So she finds this little place and we go in, we study the menu (all in Spanish), and then Karen, in the best Spanish she can summon, blurts out the order absolutely perfectly. “Dose Big Macs y fries grande por favor”. 
Yah gotta love that girl.


  1. Kim says:

    Hahaha McDonald’s!! Everything looks beautiful there.
    At this rate with all the walking you are both gonna come home skinny
    even after all the McDonald’s. Keep posting love the pics and the blog’s.
    Love you guys,
    Kim & Sean

  2. Susan Garcia says:

    Loving the Spanish Ratched. You are making Jersey so proud.

    Nice to see that the Rosetta Stone was worth it. Maybe they’ll let Karen be
    the Rosetta Stone spokesperson.

    Hope you guys don’t sleep through the time when you have to board the ship.


Day 3 in Barcelona

Spain | Posted by Don
29 2009

Today we checked out Las Ramblas on foot and took the bus again. Las Ramblas in Barcelona is approximately 1.2 kilometers long with Port Vell (near the cruise port terminal) at the Southern most end and Placa Catalunya at the northern most end. If you have your back to Port Vell and you are looking up towards Catalunya along the Ramblas on your left hand side is the Raval area and on your right-hand side is the Barri Gotic (or Gothic Quarter).

My favorites were the guys dressed as statues.

Here’s some pictures from today…

IMG_0547 IMG_0546

IMG_0545 IMG_0543

_MG_9293_edited-1 _MG_9247

_MG_9247 IMG_9366


IMG_9371 IMG_9366

IMG_9364 IMG_9350

IMG_9272 IMG_9267

IMG_9256 IMG_9253

IMG_0570 IMG_0564

IMG_0557 IMG_0556

IMG_0555 IMG_0555



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