Twenty F-ing One

Hey ya’ll,

Welcome back to a regularly formatted blog post (yay)!  I know that last week was highly unconventional and rather haphazardly produced, but I feel justified in my doing so as I have been incredibly busy as of late.  Between writing research papers, editing vlogs, adventuring with API, and trip planning, I simply have not enough timely resources to sit down and write.  Hell I haven’t even gotten to work out in a week and a half!  Added to the fact that I have been fighting a cold and my life has just been going 100 mph over the last few weeks.  But that’s all well and good.  I’d rather be stressed and busy than contemplating what to do with all the free time I have.  So, that being said, let’s get down to business.

Class Update

Gaelic:  I got my ass kicked on my last in-class test.  A 61.  And no, it wasn’t using the British measuring system.  61%.  Fuck.  I felt really confident in myself going into the class, but I guess I overestimated my ability.  I need to buckle it down and get to the grindstone – and I will.  I refuse to let myself do poorly on the final exam.  What may be a hindrance to my studies though will be the fact that my final for this course is on May 2nd.  That’s a month away.  Classes ended this past week.  How the hell am I going to remember it all over the course of a month?  Guess I’m just going to have to hit the library…  Ugh.  Ah well, I should have quite a bit of time to get with the program.  It’ll all be ok.

IPDA:  I submitted my research paper on Tuesday.  Fingers are hereby crossed, and may all the gods have mercy on my soul.  Luckily the final is a take-home at the end of April, so I should manage to knock that out of the park.  3,410 words.  Definitely the most amount of work for any paper I have done throughout my college career.  Here’s hoping all that effort translates into a 70+.

Poli Thinkers:  PT ended a week earlier than my other courses.  All I have to do now is wait for the final on May 5th, and pick my thinkers to focus on.  Should be straightforward.  Over the next month I look to get pretty in depth with Simone de Beauvoir, Gandhi, and MLK/Malcolm X.

North Berwick Beach Day!

What was originally a dark and somewhat rainy day turned into quite the fun afternoon for the API crew.  Having postponed the trip due to bad weather we found ourselves aboard a train to the coastal town a week later.  Though a considerable amount of API was missing due to prior engagements/studying (I almost skipped myself) there was still a solid amount of us to have a fun time.

We arrived in the late afternoon.  The rain fell quite heavily upon our departure from the coach, and we all lamented over the possibility that this could be our day at the beach.  Tara claimed I gave her the dirtiest of looks as I was putting my rain jacket on.  Sorry Tara, that wasn’t intentional!

We made our way into town and ended up in a diner.  For a place with 100 seats, we found ourselves to be the only ones in the place.  This gave way for some quite interesting conversations between the members of our band of misfits, of which I shall not repeat here.  Moreover, Theresa May had just signed Article 50, and we picked Tara’s brain about it considering its relevancy to her.  She was not enthused.  However, the fish and chips and pizza that we got for food lifted our spirits, and upon exiting the diner the weather had cleared up as well.  Tara also bought us ice cream.  In short, the day turned around pretty quickly.

It was about here that I started filming.  With the rain gone I utilized the opportunity to get some shots for the vlog I wanted to make.  I will link it at the end of the story.  It came out quite well if I do say so myself!

The beach was empty as well, though we were relegated to the high ground considering the tide was still rolling in.  I made the mistake of getting too close to the surf and subsequently got a wave right in my sneakers.  Ah well, it happens.  It didn’t stop me from having a good time with my friends.  We threw a frisbee (which we almost lost on more than one occassion), skipped rocks, and just had a genuinely good time enjoying the sand and sound of the waves breaking on the coastline.

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SQUAD

From the beach we went up to a rocky alcove.  I hopped the safety fence in hopes of getting some good shots on the rocks.  It was quite slippery and at times I really had to wait and plant my next foothold lest I slip into the oncoming breakers.  Totally worth it though – when concerning a good shot, there should be no limit to how far a person extends themselves to get it (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone/anything of course).

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The lighthouse on Bass Island.  I am in shock by how good my zoom on my camera is.
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The tide was just a wee bit high.
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Take 1.  Crushed it.
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The breakers were quite intense!
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Bass Island.  Each white dot is a seagull.  That’s a LOT of birds!

We sat and chatted on the cliffside for a while, but eventually we had to get moving to catch the train back to Edinburgh.  An hour later we were back in the city, happy with the events of the afternoon.  What looked to be a poor outing at the start of the day evolved into quite a nice adventure.  Everyone who partook got to relax a bit and see a little more of the lovely country of Scotland.  I still don’t know why beach days are a thing for Brits, but I suppose I understand it, if but only a smidge more.

Back to the Highlands

Saturday was the trip to Loch Lomond.  I don’t think any of us realized that it was going to be another full day up North, but we got to do some fun and interesting things without having to be out too late.

We started the day by picking up the Stirling API students and heading back to Doune.  It was nice to see them again considering we finally got around to introducing ourselves the weekend before.  I guess the highlands just have a way of making people bond with one another.

Our destination in Doune was the Deanston Whisky distillery.  Built in the remnants of an old cotton mill, Deanston has become quite the popular brand in the last thirty years or so.  Our group was split in two, and I found myself on the second tour with Tara, Lawson, Allison, Sarah, Sara, Dorian, Savannah, and a few of the Stirlingites.  Right from the get go it was apparent that Tara seemed to know more about the process than our tour guide did (she worked for the Scottish Whisky Experience before API) which I found quite funny.  We made our way through the distillery – smells of alcohol, hops, and malts wafted through the air around every turn.  It was fantastic.  I can imagine though that one must be careful not to spend too long in some rooms so as not to get secondhand drunk on the job just by standing around.  Our guide explained much of the process and equipment that was around us, but I wasn’t doing the best job of paying attention.  All the mixers and large copper vats and mills were intriguing, but they weren’t in use at the time so the effect they had on me was somewhat mitigated.

That is, until, we were taught how to taste whisky properly.

We were given a glencairn filled with a small sample of Deanston’s 12 year single malt.  Our guide instructed us on how to properly nose the glass, letting the aroma settle in our noses.  Next, we were to take a drink and let it sit for one second for every year the whisky was aged.  I don’t know if you have ever held whisky in your mouth for 12 seconds, but it burns quite a bit.  The second taste is much better as your mouth is used to all the alcohol.  That’s where whisky gets its reputation.  Sadly, I know not what my second taste truly reminded me of other than a hint of candy (think Disaronno but stronger).  I mistakenly took the second drink like a shot, but our guide was nice enough to give me a second helping.  She put a few drops of water in this sample, which drastically cut the burn and made the fluid taste quite differently.  I was surprised at that.  Sadly though, we could not spend the day drinking at the distillery, for it was naught but 10 a.m. and we still had quite a full day ahead of us.  In short order we got on the bus and departed for the Lake of Menteith.

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Mixing vat.
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More mixing vats.
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The storeroom.  Sooooo much booze in this room.

A half an hour down the road rewarded us with the beautiful sight that is the Lake of Menteith/Loch Inchmahome.  It is, in fact, the only “Lake” in Scotland.  But our destination was not the side of the lake.  Nay, it was in the center.  We boarded a small ferry 12 at a time and were driven to an island in the center of the lake, home to Inchmahome Priory.

I knew not what Inchmahome Priory used to be, as our tour guide did not fill us in on the significance of the ruin (click here for the wiki link).  We were free to run amok and enjoy ourselves, eat lunch, and take photos for the next hour and a half or so.  And that, my friends, is what I did.

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It was the last day of my 20th year – a nice photo was needed.
Lake of Menteith
On the ferry.
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Oh how I love nature.
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Yes, I love it so.
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The ruined priory.
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The old tree by the priory.
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5/5 squad!

Somewhere along the line though, in between taking pictures with friends, trees, or of myself, I tweaked my knee.  It’s all fine and dandy now but for a moment I thought I pulled something important in my leg.  The amount of walking that I’ve done in the past few months is staggering – perhaps it’s all finally catching up to me; or perhaps I just took a wrong step.  Either was it caused a brief moment of concern internally for my health, as a busted knee would effectively kill all momentum of this trip.  I was alright though, albeit I limped back onto the boat as we made our way off of the island.  Once on the mainland we had to wait for the rest of the crew to get back (we were on the first ferry), so Sarah, Allison, Lawson, Emily, and I walked over to a pasture and jeered at some sheep for a while under the midday sun.  Eventually though we grew tired of “bah-ing” and walked back to the coach where we boarded and departed for Loch Lomond.

The weather had once again turned cruddy upon our arrival to the Loch.  Our guide, Robert, decided to take us up to a lookout to view the lake from up high.  Shallow inclines be damned, my knee hurt.  It was a painful trek up, but the view was worth it.

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At the top our group decided to take some photos and hang out for a minute.  I took pictures and chatted with my friends.  Our time at the summit would not last long though, as within twenty minutes or so we began our descent down the hill.

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Almost all of API Edinburgh 2017!
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API Edinburgh 2017 – Goon edition

We were allowed to hang out in town for a little bit, most everyone got ice cream.  I personally went for a coffee and a “snickers” bar that the coffee shop was selling.  The infusion of caffeine helped me stay awake on the ride home.  It hadn’t been a particularly long day, and we were all grateful to be getting back around 5 p.m.  For my friends and I had big plans for the evening.  I was going to turn 21 at midnight after all…

Twenty F-ing One

You only turn 21 once.

That is the motto my friends repeated into my head as the day turned to evening on April the 1st.  Since it was a Saturday we decided to celebrate going into my birthday, rather than on the evening of the day itself.  In retrospect, it would be a wise choice.

Here’s the thing though, back home it would have been a much bigger deal considering that I would have finally been able to buy alcohol.  Yet, I’ve been doing that for four months already while in Scotland.  I beat the system!  Nevertheless, 21 is still an important milestone to celebrate, and my friends were determined to help me live it up in style.

Emily bought Papa John’s; Lawson wore a blazer; Allison and Sarah were determined to get boozy, not boujee, with me; Mckenna and Fabien turned up, and Chris and Bridie became wingmen/wingwomen extraordinaires.  My squad was lit.

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I love my friends!

Before going out I got to jam out to music of my choosing.  If I had to nail it down to five songs that describe my mood for the night I would pick these:

Sofia – Alvaro Soler

Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf

Cheap Thrills – Sia

Sun Daze – Florida Georgia Line

Galway Girl – Ed Sheeran

Trust me, as the night went on the music tone shifted from more happy go lucky into a more vibrant extravaganza of bass and bright lights, but for those moments still at home I was a happy camper.  That might’ve also had to do with the fact that I was quickly downing a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s.  I’ve acquired a taste for rum and SJ’s is my favorite brand.  Paired with a little coca-cola and my head quickly began to lighten up.  I made it a half-bottle in before we finally decided to head out.

I led my ragtag group of homies down Nicholson St. until we arrived at Whistle Binkies bar.  An odd name I know, but that’s exactly why I wanted to check it out.  You would know it considering it’s just a hole in the wall, but once you descend the stairs you arrive into a fun little bar with live music and enough room to comfortably move around.  I was impressed to say the least.  It was here that the clock struck midnight and I turned up in style, with the Four Horsemen.

I walked up to the bar and conversed with the waitress:

Mac: “Howdy!  I’ll have a shot of Jack, a shot of Bailey’s, a shot of Captain, and a shot of Sailor Jerry’s.”  (This isn’t the true four horsemen, but it was close enough for me)

Nice waitress: “Wow!  Sounds good!”

M: “Can I get a chaser?  Like a coke or something?”

NW: “Well, I’m technically not allowed to, but if you’re about to do what I think you are going to I’ll spot you a drink!”

M: “Thanksssss!  It’s my birthday!  I’m 21!”

NW: “No way!  That’s fantastic!  May god have mercy on your soul!”

I’ll go on record now and say that wasn’t the verbatim conversation, but from what I remember it was pretty darn close.  I do remember thinking that it was the most in depth talk I’ve ever had with a bartender before, so there is that.

So here I was, already buzzed to level 782, with four heavy shots in front of my face.

I only turn 21 once.

Down they went, first the Jack, then the Bailey’s, then the Captain, and Sailor Jerry’s to finish.  A splash of coke to follow and I found myself standing smack dab in the middle of the bar.  I don’t remember who was around me.  I don’t remember it we were at a table or in the middle of the dance floor.  I vaguely remember telling someone, maybe Bridie, to finish the remnants of the shots because I left a touch in two of them.

All I remember next is from my snapchat story.

Apparently we walked to the Liquid Room on Victoria Street and I had a rum and coke there.  Apparently I also paid for Sarah to get in.  Apparently we left because it was dead.

Apparently I almost didn’t get into Silk because the bouncer asked, “You ok bud?”  to which I responded with a resounding: “Hell yes, it’s my birthday!”.  Flashes start to creep back into memory at this point.  I know I was with at least Chris, Bridie, and Sarah.  Supposedly I wandered off at some point, though I’m pretty sure I was not the one to get lost in the crowd.  Time did not exist at this point, but it must’ve roughly been 2:30 when we left Silk.

I do not remember walking to the Meadows playground with Chris and Bridie.  I do remember ziplining there though!  We walked home shortly after and I cooked myself a quesadilla at 3:45 in the morning.  From what I recall, it was a nice meal.

Around 4 I hit my mattress and fell into a deep slumber.

I woke up around 9:30, surprised that I had no major headache.  Was I groggy?  Oh, for sure, but I was not debilitated.  Reluctantly I pulled myself out of bed and tried to recall the night before.  Snapchat helped fill in some of the blanks, but on the whole I gotta say – I felt pretty proud of myself.   I’m pretty sure that not remembering your 21st birthday is a common goal, right?

I went on to walk over 30,000 steps around town that day.  My goal was to get a tattoo.  Ironically, every place that I wanted to go was closed even though their websites said they took walk-ins and were open on Sunday’s.  They lied.  Eventually I found a place, took a deep breath and walked in.

I musta looked like the biggest fish out of water.  I reasoned this based upon the smirk the artist at the counter gave me.  He knew I was a rookie; I knew that he knew it too.  It was uncomfortable even though he was a hell of a nice guy.  He gave me a quote and I thought for a moment.

It wasn’t the right time.

Maybe it was the shop, or the artist, or the fact that I had already seen a different place where I wanted to get work done, but I admitted to myself that I wasn’t ready.  Will I ever be?  That is the question.

It was a weird feeling walking out of the shop.  In a very literal sense, my life could have been altered, well, forever.  The decision to stay or to leave took place over the span of five seconds.  I suppose it was humbling to know that I had that level of control over what I could do to my body.  Working out and building muscle is one thing, tattoos are another.  If I am serious about going through with it, I better not have any hesitation when going into the shop.  This was a powerful revelation, and it sobered me up (figuratively) pretty quickly.

Other than that, the rest of the day was pretty low key.  I edited some videos, bought a backup hardrive, and almost bought a DSLR, but decided against it.  I already have a functional camera and that money could be better used on plane tickets in the future.  I got a call from my folks, and wound down the day watching NXT Takeover: Orlando.

My 21st birthday was fantastic.  I had a wonderful time with all my friends in an amazing city on the far side of the world from home.  Though I may not remember it all, the parts still in my head will last a lifetime.

Above all, it was my friends that made the night into such a success.  While I miss my pals back home, and have made other homies here, the squad who bent over backwards for me to make my birthday as kick-ass as possible will forever be in my heart.

Bridie, Lawson, Allison, Sarah, Chris, Emily, Mckenna:

I love you guys, thank you so much for one of the best birthday parties a guy could ask for.

Birthday Squad
Boozy, not Boujee

About Wrestlemania…

I love wrestling.  The amount of respect I have for the in-ring performers is off the charts.  When you consider that 90% of what they do is improvised you realize that what they do is incredibly difficult.

And Wrestlemania is indeed “The Grandaddy of them all”.

Which is why I was rather disappointed with it.

Here it is, my brief review and grade for each match on the card!

Neville vs. Austin Aries:  A-

Cruiserweights don’t get the respect they deserve.  They move faster and hit harder than anyone else on the roster.  The Cruiserweight Classic was incredible in 2016.  Neville and AA went to war to kick off WM, and the result was awesome indeed.  It’s sad they were relegated to the kick-off show.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: C

Skipped most of this bout.  The inclusion of Gronk was interesting, and Mojo Rawley is an unexpected winner, but it was the wrong decision.  Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler badly need a push; Braun Strowman and Big Show are deserving in their own right.  Killian Dain was a nice teaser, but not as impactful as he should have been.  Underwhelming if Rawley doesn’t get a major push.

Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin: C-

Skipped most of this bout too.  I’ve never been much of a fan of Ambrose, he is too rigid.  His insanity gimmick just doesn’t have the pull it once did.  Corbin should have won, as his improvement over the past year has been trending upward.  He is a pure heel with enough physical prowess to carry him in big matches.  Look at him and Kalisto in TLC, that’s what he is capable of.  But, the IC championship on Ambrose is not the worst decision.

A.J. Styles vs. Shane McMahon: A

A.J. Styles vs. Finn Balor or Shinsuke Nakamura would have been much, much more intriguing, but Shane O’Mac held his own.  The fact that Styles made a late 40’s non-wrestler look credible is a testament to his skill in the ring.  He is the best in the world at what he does, hands down.

Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho: A-

Jericho is aging, and it’s beginning to show.  Still, him and Owens put on a fantastic contest.  I don’t think their duel is over though.  Matches with hardcore stipulations are the next logical step.

Bayley vs. Charlotte vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks: B

Nia Jax never should have been in this match, but I am surprised to see her eliminated so early.  I wish WWE went with Charlotte next, as the battle of best friends is a better story for WM in my opinion.  Still, Charlotte is a great heel, and Bayley finishing her with the Macho Man elbow was a nice touch.  This should have been her first title win though, and not a defense.  WWE jumped the gun on that one.  If it was her first title win this grade would probably be an A.

Enzo and Cass vs. The Club vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. The Hardy Boyz: A

As soon as the New Day announced there was a fourth team in the match I knew it was the Hardyz.  Still, my hair stood on end seeing the icons return.  Jeff Hardy was one of my favorites as a kid, and even though he has had his struggles with drugs and all that he is still a hardcore icon.  The final spot was awesome fitting for the brothers, and their win of the Raw tag titles was fresh and exciting.  However, Enzo and Cass deserved the push more, but you can’t deny how damn cool of a comeback Matt and Jeff had.

Miz/Maryse vs. John Cena/Nikki Bella: C-

Couldn’t care much at all about the match itself: I think we all knew it was just for show to set up the proposal at the end.  Everyone got to work an easy match and Cena/Bella had a nice moment in front of tens of thousands of people.  Sure will look good in the wedding video.

Seth Rollins vs. Triple H: A+

This was storytelling at its finest.  Major props to Rollins for sticking out a legitimate MCL injury and selling like a champ.  Behind Finn Balor he is my favorite performer in the whole business, and for good reason.  He needs a world title like nobody else.  Hall of fame potential.  Trips was his usual great self, and he continues to perform at a high level even as he gets older.  Plus, their entrances, especially Rollins’, were fantastic.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt: C-

Did not care one bit about this match.  Wyatt’s entrance is always spectacular, but the projection bits were a bit much.  Having him fall to 0-3 at Wrestlemania does nothing to help him either.  Orton is a proven commodity – throw the Eater of Worlds a bone dammit!

Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg: B-

Hard hitting and to the point.  We all knew Lesnar would win, but seeing a slugfest between the two monsters was awesome.  Lesnar’s leap over Goldy’s spear was a genuine “Woah” moment, and his dismantling of the now former Universal Champ re-established him at the top of the food chain.

Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Naomi: D-

Who the fuck decided to put this match between Lesnar/Goldberg and Taker/Reigns?  They need to be fired.  Alexa and Becky are my two favorite female performers, but they, as well as everyone else, got screwed.  It was clear the crowd was gassed.  6 hours of wrestling in the Orlando sun will do that to a person.  On that note, WM should never be longer than 4-5 hours total. 8 hours of action is too much, and WM is all about the best crowd reactions.  Focus on the quality WWE, not the quantity.  In any case, Naomi reclaiming the Smackdown title after a knee injury cut her reign off was nice to see, especially in front of her hometown.  The question now is if she can run with it.

The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: B

This one tied me up in knots.  The match itself was not great: Taker simply could not keep up with the physical specimen that is Roman Reigns.  Everyone could tell his body was failing him.  This led to a lot of sloppy moments and an overall product that needed to impress.

Yet, at the same time, that’s kind of what made it good.

Reigns begged Taker to stay down.  He took spear after spear and chair shot after chair shot.  Thankfully, he got to do all his signature moves one last time before Reigns finally put him down (The Tombstone spot on Reigns was perfect, one last time).  Regardless of the common perception of Reigns, him winning is the right call.  No one can deny he has big moment potential, and now he has one of the best resumes in the business after only a few years of being on the main roster.  He’s not a talker, and he’s not a hero, or a villain.  He just simply, in his words, is The Guy.  Now, it’s His Yard.  In a very real sense, this match was a changing of the guard in WWE.  One generation passing the torch onto the next.

Watching Taker remove his gloves, his coat, and hat and lay them in the center of the ring under purple light will forever stick with me.  For all the ups and downs of the show to this point, this moment capped it off in a beautiful way.  I watched Taker take a deep breath before he did one last eye trick, and I could see him reminisce on his career as he walked back up the ramp.  Having him hug his girlfriend/wife(?) was a spontaneous decision by him I’m sure, but I think that’s the moment that truly signified the end of the reign of the Dead Man.  It made him human, and took off his persona.  As the final gongs tolled and the lights went out on Wrestlemania 33, the melancholy vibe of a departing legend loomed high over the Orlando Sky.

Final Verdict: B

Everything was either really good or really bad this year.  Rollins and Triple H stole the show.  Neville and Austin Aries put on a clinic.  A.J. Styles re-affirmed that he is the best in the world.  The Hardyz got the biggest pop I have heard in a long time.  The Undertaker hung up his gloves…

For that reason alone this ‘Mania will be remembered as historic.  The Undertaker helped build the event, and will walk away with a 23-2 record overall.  That’s incredible.

I wish that Finn Balor was injected somewhere.  Hell, just put him up against Samoa Joe.  Yes they feuded in NXT but neither being on the card Sunday night was a massive misstep.  Both are too talented to be left on the sidelines.

At the end of the day, ‘Mania was ‘Mania.  While there is nothing that will really cement it as a classic, it nonetheless proved why it was the “show of shows”.  The future is now for a new generation.  Reigns, Rollins, Balor, Joe, Nakamura, Bayley, Flair, Banks, Lynch, Bliss … The future is yours now.

The Big One

10 days.

From April 6th to the 16th I will be on quite the adventure.

For I am going to Spain.

3 days in Barcalona; 3 days in Madrid; 2 days in Pamplona; 2 days in San Sebastian.

My flights are booked; my hostels, reserved.

It. Is. On.

I am traveling with my friend Jes for the first two cities – from Madrid she is going South to Seville while I go North to Pamplona.  I am also meeting Reagan from API Stirling while in Barcelona (She blogs too!  Follow her here).

I don’t really have much of a plan for each city – I just want to enjoy myself.  Of course, I want to see all the sights and hear all the sounds.  I even may catch a bull fight!  Sadly, FC Barcelona is not playing whilst I am in town, which is quite the bummer.  Still, I am beyond excited for the upcoming trip.

Speaking of which, by the time this post goes up I will be in Barcelona.

What a crazy thought.

I don’t know what to expect, or what the upcoming week(s) will bring me, but I do know that I will come back a changed person, with a hell of a lot of vitamin D therapy in tow.

So why Barcelona?

FC Barcelona man!  Agh I’m bummed that I will miss a game, but I will try to get to the stadium.  The Sagrada Familia too, can’t miss that!

Madrid?!

Capital city baby!  Gonna try and catch a bull fight here.  Now THAT should be fun!

Pamplona?

Sadly, I will not be there for the running of the bulls.  No, I am here to follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway.  I did buy The Sun Also Rises for a reason.  I am even staying at “The Hemingway House” – how cool is that?!  My goal here is simple: finish my book with a good, strong drink and get lost in the home of the Fiesta!

San Sebastian!

Purely an R&R retreat for me.  Recommended to me by Tara, my only goal here is to relax, get some good photos, eat some great food, and lay out on the beach all day.  After a week of travel beforehand, and a hard semester to boot, I could use a splurge.  San Seb is exactly that.

You might be wondering how exactly I am going to post the blog next week then.

I’m not.

While I was originally going to bring my laptop I decided that might not be the smartest idea.  Still, I went ahead and got a 1TB external hard-drive.  It could come in handy down the road I suppose.  In lieu of bringing my laptop I purchased a 64 gb memory card for my camera.  Paired with the 16 gb one I already have I should have plenty of room for 10 days of footage and pictures (I would hope so at least).

This journey is a culmination of months of planning, and is a testament towards my capability to handle myself in a foreign land.  It also will be the first time I truly trek out on my own once I reach Pamplona.  Am I anxious about that?  Sure, who wouldn’t be?  But I think that will keep me on my toes, which is something invaluable to say the least.

Oh shoot … I need to pack!

In Ernest’s Footsteps

Pamplona, as I mentioned, is all about Hemingway and TSAR.  I want to follow in the footsteps of Jake and Brett and truly immerse myself in one of my favorite novels of all time.  I have read quite a bit of the story since I put down my last passage from it, but I will save my finishing of it until I am in the fabled city itself.  For now though, here is one of the more notable sections, with one of the most famous quotes:

We went down the stairs to the cafe on the ground floor.  I had discovered that was the best way to get rid of friends.  Once you had a drink all you had to say was: ‘Well, I’ve got to get back and get off some cables,’ and it was done.  It is very important to discover graceful exits like that in the newspaper business, where it is such an important part of the ethics that you should never seem to be working.  Anyway, we went downstairs to the bar and had a whiskey and soda.  Cohn looked at the bottles in bins around the walls.  

‘This is a good place,’ he said.

‘There is a lot of liquor,’ I agreed.”  (p. 9)

Parting Thoughts

This week was pretty damn good.

I had fun on the beach with my friends.

I learned how to taste good whisky.

I traveled to a ruin on an island in the middle of the lake.

I did some sightseeing.

I turned 21.

I watched some fantastic entertainment.

I went to Spain.

Yeah … It was a damn good week.

I also just realized how much work I will have to write up the Spain trip: editing photos, videos, writing this blog … It’s going to be an effort.  But I will do my best.

Again, I’m taking the next week of the blog off to enjoy Spain in all its glory.  I will attempt to have the next post up on Friday, April 21st.

Until then, I love y’all’s.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

See you soon.

One thought on “Twenty F-ing One

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