The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vacation Imminent

On Thursday Diane and I begin a little anniversary vacation by flying to Barcelona. We'll spend a couple of days there before hopping aboard the cruise ship, Norwegian Jade, for a week of rest and relaxation. The ship will visit Monte Carlo, several Italian ports, and Palma on Mallorca, before returning to Barcelona. We then intend to spend another four days in Barcelona before flying home. It should be a nice restful time. Neither of us has ever been to Barcelona, so we're looking forward to exploring the city and its remarkable architecture. We might even form a few friendships with some of the locals. We also hope to make a day trip to the Benedictine Monastery at Monserrat, which is perched up in the mountains about an hour from Barcelona. I will, as usual, take lots of photos and maybe even sample some of the local Rioja wine and sparkling cava. We will be traveling with friends -- another deacon and his wife -- for at least part of the trip. I'm pretty sure none of us speaks Catalan, but I'm hoping that maybe one person in the group might know a few words of Spanish.

In the past, we've always been over-burdened with luggage, and so this time we're going to experiment with actually packing light...well, light for us anyway. We are each taking only one relatively small suitcase and a carry-on. My carry-on is a kind of knapsack containing my cameras and other goodies. I have no idea what Diane will put in hers. I know only that it will weigh a lot and I will have to carry it. I have also decided to leave my little ASUS netbook behind and rely exclusively on my iPhone for Internet access, email, texts, etc. I may even try to post a few things on this blog using just the iPhone. I've already downloaded all kinds of neat iPhone apps for the places we intend to visit. Should be interesting.

Anyway, during our absence I expect the posts will appear much less frequently than usual. This will have very little effect on the world in general since I'm lucky, on a busy day, to get 125 hits on this blog. But for my tiny band of quasi-loyal followers, I promise to continue after my return.

Sagrada Familia (Holy Family)
One interesting coincidence: Pope Benedict will visit Barcelona this Sunday. I don't know his entire schedule, but I believe the purpose of his visit is to dedicate Sagrada Familia, the magnificent church designed by the remarkable Antoni Gaudi. It's been under construction only since 1882! I suspect a million or so people will likely try to witness this dedication, so we probably won't get very near. And the timing of the dedication might also have an impact since our ship leaves that evening and we need to board in the late afternoon. We'll see.

Until next time...God's peace.

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