Saturday, October 20, 2007

Quick Update

Hi everybody!

We just wanted to let you know we're now in Monterrey, Mexico. We're currently living with Carlos' brother Daniel in a pretty nice house in the suburbs of the city, and we're pretty happy to be minutes away from a major shopping center, several multiplex movie theaters, PLUS a separate brand-new outlet mall. Amy is slowly adjusting to the diet (heavy in meat and Coca-cola), as well as the heat, which generally hits 100 degrees each afternoon. Reportedly this will decline into fall and then a mild winter starting later this month. Amy is praying this is true. Meanwhile, both of us are pursuing some strong job leads, we'll update on those when they're secure. Also, we will ideally have our own abode relatively shortly, as safe, new housing here is very affordable.

Next time, we'll post our photos and descriptions of the marvelous European destinations we visited. Florence, Milan, Paris, and even Brussels were absolutely exceptional places to stay, and we hope to go back again someday in the future!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A change of plans, and TONS OF FUN

Sorry for the VERY long gap in communications. We were without internet for a good while, which was very frustrating because we've been having a great time and wanted to let everyone know about it. Here's a summary of what's been going on:

Change of Plans
First of all, without getting too deeply into detail, an explanation. We decided that Barcelona wasn't necessarily the place where we should invest our time, money, and resources trying to establish a future. While Barcelona is an incredible city, you realize after living there a short time that it's a very transient city - everybody passes through for a short time, but eventually moves on to life elsewhere. It's a city focused on tourism, and soon you start feeling like you live in a giant theme park. Barcelona is almost isolated from reality, and it becomes exhausting after awhile. Plus, Carlos and I realized we hadn't yet seen other parts of the world. Therefore, we decided to halt the plans to live in Barcelona, and instead visit some of our other dream destinations in Western Europe before moving to Carlos' hometown of Monterrey, Mexico to regroup and come up with a new plan. We sent our big suitcases back to Mexico where Carlos' brother is taking care of them, and set up a dream itinerary of Italy, France, and Belgium before we fly back across the ocean. SO, here is what we've been up to and what's next.

Final Days in Barcelona
During our final week in Barcelona, we had three giant things to look forward to:

1 - La Mercè (one of Barcelona's biggest city festivals of the year) [photos, etc]

2 - the highly anticipated soccer match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla, [photos, etc]

3 - the visit of Amy's college friend Dennis Espinosa and two of his friends, coinciding with both of the previous two events, and causing us to get out and do the rest of the touristy stuff we hadn't done yet [photos, etc]

None of these was a disappointment; it was one of the most fun weekends in our lives! One great benefit to having friends around was having people to take pictures of Amy & Carlos together! Click the links above for all the details and photos. Below is a taste in video form (taken with our digital camera, excuse the poor quality):

Correfoc (fire run)

Barça game
Messi scores a penalty kick and the crowd goes ballistic

Birthday in Rome
The night before Amy turned 25, we landed in Rome (total cost of flight: € 20 for both of us, thank you Vueling Airlines). Amy's birthday [photos, etc] was an incredible day spent visiting the Vatican, eating amazing food, and walking along the Tiber river at sunset . Six more stunning days in Rome followed. We had a chance to see almost all of the major destinations, most memorably the Colosseum [photos, etc] and Trevi fountain among other places [photos, etc], and mostly we fell in love with Rome - the people, the language, the culture, the fashion, and most especially the FOOD! One observation we had in Rome is that it seemed like the sky was always a work of art - dark looming stormclouds, or big, white puffs with beams of sun shooting out, etc. A great background for all of the splendor of the monuments and buildings in Rome. In summary, we had a fantastic time in Rome, see our photo pages linked above for all the good stuff.

Next up...
Today we took a train (about an hour and a half) to Florence. It's a nice little city so far, where life is slower and more relaxing. Our hostel is INCREDIBLE, centrally located, with a gigantic bedroom, huge wardrobes, floor-to-ceiling light, a beautiful patio, satellite TV, free coffee and tea, a kitchen practically to ourselves, etc. Obviously we'll get out and explore, but when we don't, we'll be in total comfort.

On October 6th, we plan to head to Milan, where we will only stay for two nights most likely (Milan is a very expensive place, but we really want to see it). Then we'll be off to Paris for 5 days, and finally Brussels, Belgium for about a day and a half. From there, we fly to Cancun and then catch a late-night flight to Monterrey, Mexico where we will attempt to re-establish a sense of reality. The trip of a lifetime, wouldn't you say? And hopefully this is just the beginning.... :)