Ah, day twelve. All the plan possibilities were swimming around my head as I fell asleep the night before. Adventures in Barcelona? Food coma in Girona? Was Red finally going to see my favorite city on earth, Marseille? We didn't set an alarm and ended up sleeping in. That ruled out Marseille because we would have needed to leave early to make it worth the drive, or even the train ride. So we bummed around slowly getting ready for heading to the train station and seeing if we were headed to Girona or Barcelona.
Now I've been watching my work email because I've been having to deal with vendors who can't give me simple information when I ask for it for a big work project. Turns out they really can't get it straight. However, as I was dealing with their BS more even larger pile of turd plopped through my email. I will not go into it here but by the time we left the apartment it was noon and I had sent several emails. Including one to my Director and my VP telling them I was at the end of my rope. It's possible I could have ended my career while on vacation. We'll see when I get back.
Now that my skin is literally crawling with aggravation and it's past noon so siesta is happening soon. We decided there is only one solution to this. Deeply exploring the exceedingly charming city of Figueres though an extensive and expensive shopping trip. Yes, my ultimate solution to stress is to spend money like I have no fucks to give. It's a wonderful version of therapy and it works.
So we headed out, stopping at every shop we could find. Countless Dali shops selling all kinds of memorabilia surrounded the area we were in. Adrienne found a local hand weaver shop and bought all kinds of warm wool clothing. We made loops and weaved throughout the city. I could describe every store we stopped in but let me highlight my favorite three. Big Bang, 7Art, and Zara.
Big Bang was my store. Seriously if there was one of these in Austin I would shop nowhere else. Imagine a store will all the alt-brands and pop brands in one place. The jeans, shirts, shoes, backpacks and everything I that I buy on a regular basis in one store. I even found a new pair of shoes. The Nike Air Presto and Nike Air Presto Flyknit, a reissue of the 2000's classic Nike shoe that brought the idea of a "T-shirt for your feet" together with a light jogger. The place was heaven. I figured this had to be some kind of Spanish chain due to the top quality of this store. Nope, it was a local Figueres shop.
7Art was a local Figueres tattoo shop. Check them out here. This is seriously the nicest tattoo shop I've ever seen. It looks like it could be an upscale alt-lifestyle boutique fashion shop, but instead, they sling ink and needles. This is a seriously high bar for any tattoo shop anywhere.
Lastly was Zara, the only reason I mention this is because of the recent hoopla in social media over the jacket. First, off the only reason I went in was to find that damn jacket. They did not have it, anywhere. I checked them all, not only did they not have that jacket they didn't have a single item of clothing with a message, words, or letters on them anywhere. What they did have was really cute women's clothes. So cute that Red and I found a dress that she had to have. They didn't have her size though. I'm not saying the jacket isn't from Zara. I'm just saying I'm disappointed that I didn't find it.
Finally, after all that shopping it was late and time to eat. On the way we did stop by one store we saw called "Fricken". It ended up being an American pop nerd culture store. Everything was overpriced though probably due to all that was imported.
We went to a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner and had a three-course affair that could have fed four people easily. A bottle of Rosé was ordered to start along with an amazing salad (we skipped the breadsticks). This of course came with a plate of olives, YUM! Red ordered this ridiculously complicated and delicious Tortellini that just finished me off. However, I made it through and to a mini three sampler dessert with a cafe con leche.
Afterward, we were useless so we went to the apartment and watched a movie while being fat and cuddly. I really felt at home in Figueres that day, and it was what I needed. There is so much art, and so many places that made me feel at home. Like the kind of things that Austin could do if it wasn't so expensive to live there or have a cool store there.
The next day Red and I slept late again. The food and bottle of Rosé might have had something to do with that. I accepted that our adventures had brought us to Figueres for a reason. The other cities will have to wait for the next round in Spain. Besides, I felt comfortable here. It was like a warm magical blanket of art was wrapping us up and protecting us. Plus you have to remember that Red caught a cold day one from that damn airplane kid. No one expects the Spanish Influenza. The "Stop Cold" and Flumacil is doing what it can but she has really been a trooper.
That late morning Red and I went for breakfast at Sant Pan. I was wanting to hike to the Sant Ferran Castle which was about a twenty-minute walk from where we where. San Fernando Castle is considered the largest bastion fortress in Europe. It was built to respond to the need to reinforce the frontier to protect the Spanish region of El Ampurdán from invasion by foreign troops. Construction of it began in 1753. We can see a good majority of it from the back windows of our apartment. However, after breakfast, I could tell that my super trooper was not up for it. Today was a day of recovery and rest for Red. So I took her up to the apartment and let her sleep while I caught up on blogging and the rest of the trip.
I planned with her getting the items she wanted from Zara delivered to the hotel we would stay at in Madrid when she woke and then we went out for a walk before Papeo's opened for dinner. We had to have one last meal there before we left town. After buying Red some fancy Italian lingerie we stumbled upon the city center were a foam party was going starting up. This is was a family-friendly event and the foam and fun were for the Ninos while the grandparents visited on the park benches and the parent laughed and danced to the music playing. We joined in on some benches and I really felt a part and welcomed as a part of the community. Country of orgin and language be damned.
That night we stuffed ourselves on Papeo. We were treated as regulars and given access to the secret experimental menu concoctions they were trying out. I was told they thought I looked like Russel Crow which we all had a good laugh about.
That night I realized I will be back to Figueres the next time we get to Spain. Shopping at Big Bang, scheduling a tattoo at 7Arts, and filling our bellies with the best world fusion tapas anyone could imagine will happen again in my life. Fat, high on life, and happy I feel asleep.