Sunday, December 16, 2007

Death by Munich

So I've been slowly recovering from my 29th birthday... and I think the recovery process will take a while longer!

Having spent my last two birthdays with my Calatrava flatmates and other IESE brethren, I decided that this year should be no different. First year was in Barcelona, second year in Manhattan, so this year we opted for Munich. My dad asked me what was the best part about Munich... and honestly, Munich is a nice place and the Christmas markets were cool, but the best part about Munich was that so many good friends were there.

Frenchy and I left on Thursday afternoon (nothing like having a Spanish holiday for your birthday!) and arrived in Munich in the early evening. We waited for Juha, who now lives there, to finish work and kept warm with some gluwein and sausages. :) And then relaxed Thursday evening at Juha's place with some champagne and pasta.

On Friday while Juha was at the office, we checked out the BMW Museum (which unforunately closed for renovations the day before) and then went to Marienplatz to check out the Christmas Markets and wait for the other arrivals.

Outside the BMW museum.


Christmas markets in full swing!

Francis was the first to turn up, fresh from London and ready for weiners. And gluwein.

And, strangely enough, my friend Corrado from Bocconi happened to be in town the same weekend for a massive Roland Berger party. Here I am with the Milan RB contingent.
After about 7 gluweins the shop signs started to entertain us. Wormland.... seemingly a fancy department store.

And T-Mobile Punkt!

After an all-too-short rest, we caught up with Diego and Sandra and headed off to dinner.

Juha and Diego. Marco arrived soon after with Axel, and then Lamberto and George showed up straight from the airport with their bags.

And off we went to Pacha, where the door guy thought George and Lamberto were Italian DJs.

And so the party started, with all the usual suspects.... and a few new ones.

Calatrava guapos

The crowdChristian and Axel

Then Axel got a little sleepy....

And about two hours later, so did the rest of us. I think this walk home is where I caught my never-ending cold...

Which brings me to Saturday. My birthday. The day I didn't go outside until 8pm because I was too dead from the night before! But I still managed to make it (barely) to my birthday dinner. As you can see, I wasn't quite ready for more wine....

But I made a miraculous recovery after a shot of ouzo! We went to this crazy Greek restaurant where everyone appeared very calm and posh and well-behaved when we arrived. But around midnight, the music changed, people started dancing on the tables, and the waiters started throwing napkins into the air. What a place. And what a birthday!

And it was made even better by the fact that Valerio finally arrived to celebrate as well.

Opening my gifts with flair.

Birthday team.
After dinner we went to another club called Baby, which from the outside appeared to be a very posh members-only club. But when we got inside we were shocked by the number of people wearing 80s outfits... And acting completely insane. One of the first tracks to come on was Dolce Vita, a Calatrava favorite. The beginning of another exceptional night.

And that takes us to Sunday, where we stumbled around the Christmas markets at Marienplatz for the last time.

Momoni and I tried out all the fabulous chocolate-covered treats.

Avec Frenchy at Marienplatz.

And the sunshine even came out for 4 minutes! So we needed photographic evidence.

Italian stand-off near the potato stand.

And that is the photographic story of the birthday I had to take pictures of to remember. An amazing weekend surrounded by fantastic friends in a city I'd never spent time in before (aside from the 11 hour airport sojourn last summer) at Christmas time when it's full - too full - of gluwein and holiday treats.

Thanks to all my friends for making the trip and for celebrating with me!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Day in London, An Afternoon in Barcelona

So I got my Autorizacion de Regreso just in the nick of time, because Friday morning I was up bright and early to catch a 9am flight to London. Everything was running smoothly until I realized it was 8:50 and we still hadn't boarded the plane. I was supposed to be in meetings starting around 11:30, but at least I had an extra hour just in case anything went wrong...

We finally took off nearly an hour late, but I was convinced we'd make up the time. And anyway, I was due to arrive with enough time to make it to the office. But then two hours later, when we should have been landing, the captain came over the loudspeaker to inform us that there was no space for us to land at Heathrow and we'd be circling for a while. So instead of landing at 10, we landed around 11:15.

I made a mad dash for customs, where the immigration official looked at every single page of my passport, very slowly and carefully, and then asked if I was in town for business or pleasure. I said business. He asked if I work in Spain. Yes. So, he asks, what are you planning to do when your visa expires? I said I'm a resident and pulled out my expired residency card. As he's about to open his mouth to point out that my card is expired, I whip out my Autorizacion (complete with fancy plastic laminate) and let it linger under his nose. He looks over at a supervisor, who glances at everything for one second and then lets me pass.

I make a break for the Heathrow Express, which gets me to Paddington in 15 minutes... Its warmer than I'd expected in London and I'm already sweating. Awesome. I won't be anywhere near a shower for at least eight hours. Not wanting to get more sweaty in the tube, I opt for a taxi, which takes - I swear - nearly an hour to get to my office. I arrive around 1:30... just in time for lunch.

Anyway, the meetings all went fine and dandy, though they were all pushed back by about two hours, and I learned a lot in one particular meeting about my new field of advertising in video games. All in all, a very productive day. So by eight, when I was supposed to be arriving at a birthday dinner for my friend Henrik, I was instead arriving (in the rain, of course!) at my friend Lisa's flat. Realizing we'd be at least an hour late for dinner anyway, we opted to instead relax a bit and take our time and catch up, since we hadn't seen each other in six months.

And then it was time to head to the birthday party. Where we were very well behaved. Until Marco turned up. Yes, it would be my second time in two weeks seeing Marco, and this time it wasn't in the middle of a work day for a quick lunch, so all bets were off. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but between about 10pm when we arrived and 3am when we were eating chicken shwarma in some random takeaway, the following things happened:

Okay. So it was a fun party.

The next day Lisa dropped me off at Paddington so I could take the Heathrow Express back to the airport and head back to Barcelona. I'd already bought my return ticket so I'd be ready to roll, and was quite pleased with myself when I found the train sitting there, ready to zoom off. I settled into my seat and no more than three minutes passed when an announcement came over the loudspeaker:

"Due to an incident in Southall, Heathrow Express service is temporarily suspended. We do not know how long it will take until service resumes, so if you are going to the airport we advise that you find alternate methods of transportation. We apologize for the inconvenience."

And with that, I was out of my seat and off like a shot with my bag so I could get to the front of what was about to become a very long and angry taxi queue, and hopefully ahead of what would shortly become a traffic nightmare. I jumped into a black cab and asked the guy how long it would take to get to Heathrow, bracing for the worst. My flight was at 2:30 and it was now about 12:45. He told me he thought he could make it in 35 minutes and I sat back with sigh of relief and asked him to do what it took. The news of the "incident" came on the radio shortly afterward, but no news of what exactly the incident was. Only in London can the entire city shut down thanks to a possible, maybe, suspected outside chance of the uncertainty of a terrorist attack.

I got lucky. My driver was extremely cool and extremely fast. We chatted away for the next half hour and anytime we got stuck in the slightest bit of traffic, he reassured me that it was no big deal... and he was always right. Sixty pounds sterling later (that's $120!!!!!), he dropped me off at Heathrow terminal 2, where I was to take my Iberia flight. I had about 10 minutes to spare when I sauntered up to the check-in desk and presented my passport, only to be told I had no reservation. Well, I did. But it was operated by British Airways and I couldn't check in with Iberia. And BA is Terminal 1. A 10 minute walk away.

So I ran. Fast. And made it to the first possible BA check-in area (not the correct one, mind you) where it was miraculous not busy and a kind lady took pity on me and checked me in on the spot. With two minutes till the flight closed. I even had time to buy a sandwich after security! When I told Lisa my story, she was absolutely shocked. Apparently Paddington NEVER shuts down, and the Heathrow Express had never been suspended like that. Just my luck!

My flight back to Barcelona miraculously left and arrived on time. I chalk it up to the kind old people from Ft. Lauderdale sitting next to me who plied me with questions about Barcelona for the entire flight. And by the time I got back home around 7pm, I was absolutely spent and took the rest of the night for some R&R.

And the best part of the weekend? A massive Sunday paella birthday party for Xandy and Francis on the beach. Only in Barcelona could you be eating on the beach in t-shirts on December 2, surrounded by fifty friends, eating paella and drinking cava. A perfect end to a wild weekend.

Life is hard....

Francis and Wouter


The birthday boys, Francis and Xandy

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Tale of the NIE

So I spoke to the lawyer who so miraculously got me through the initial NIE process in Madrid in under an hour and she told me that, in order to leave the country (or, more importantly, in order to return) between now and when my new resident card arrives, I would need to file an Autorizacion de Regreso. Authorization to Return. Very important, as I have to be in London on Friday for meetings and then in Germany for my birthday and then in Switzerland for Christmas. Okay, no sweat.

She also told me that I should go to the Comisaria (the police station) where I would find a line that should last no longer than 15 minutes for exactly this type of request. 15 minutes? Sounds too good to be true. And it was.

I arrived at the Comisaria in Barcelona at 9am without my trusty lawyer and went right up to the police officer at the entrance and explained the story: I am already processing in Madrid, I just need the Autorizacion, I've already been fingerprinted, and there should supposedly be a separate line for this sort of thing. Nope, he directed me to the regular line, the one I spent 7 hours in back in Sept 2006, and assured me it wouldn't be more than an hour.

So I got my number and waited. An hour. Then two. Three. Then a bit more... good thing I brought a book! Finally my number was called and I went to the window knowing that it should only take about 30 seconds to get everything done and go to the office. But when I explained what I needed, the woman told me I'd been waiting in the wrong place all this time and she couldn't do anything for me. Unlike in Madrid, where all these offices are under one roof, in Barcelona they are spread around town.

Hopped on the scooter and headed down to the port, and the office of the Extranjeria. Not before I had some words with the man who told me to wait in that line for over two hours, mind you. When I got to the next office, a very kind guard at the door listened to my plight and said he'd walk me through everything as long as I first moved my illegally parked scooter so it wouldn't get towed. How kind!

That done, he told me the following: Go to the next door, fill out a form. Make some copies of your resident card around the corner. Go to the bank across the street. Pay 5.67 euros in taxes. Get a stamp on your paper. Come back. Wait in line.

So I was off like a shot, because it was nearing 2pm, that dreaded time when all banks and most offices in Spain close. Got my copies, got my form, ran across the street to the bank. There were three in a row. The first one closed at 1pm. What?! At the second one a man entered just ahead of me and allowed the door to close behind him before I could grab it. Locked. Closed at 1:30 and it was exactly 1:30! He looked at me through the glass door and shrugged. Hopefully he tripped on something or stubbed his toe later that day.

At the third bank I was relieved to see they actually stayed open until 2:30. I got in the long line to pay my taxes and finally got to the front, where the man asked if I had a copy of the form. I responded flatly that I had been given one form at the office and they just said to bring it to the bank. He responded - more flatly, if that's even possible - that I needed another copy. Fine. Ran outside and around the corner where I had remembered spotting another copy shop. (You get very good at remembering where copy shops are in moments like these. I'm sure every immigrant can tell you all the best copy shops around the major government offices.)

I made five copies. Of everything. Just to be safe. And then ran back to the bank, waited in line, paid my taxes, left a copy, got a stamp on the paper, and ran back across the street to the Extranjeria, where I was given another number and told to sit and wait. Nearly an hour later, I walked out with a beautiful piece of paper that says I'm allowed to leave and reenter the country as desired between now and February 10, by which time I should have my renewed resident card in hand. Good thing, too... because it turned out I needed it two days later in London. But that's another story altogether....

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I apologize for not having written all week, but I can guarantee you that I have been through plenty of blog-worthy experiences since Sunday, including but not limited to:
  • A surprise farewell party for an American guy hosted by an Indian girl at an Indian restaurant wherein a dozen Brazilian girls danced an Indian dance.
  • Another surprise party the following night (Monday) for a Portuguese friend, hosted by his crazy (and I mean that in the best possible way) wife at a fondue place in Gracia
  • Six full hours of my Tuesday and my life lost to what is hopefully the final stage of my whirlwind bureaucracy tour 2007. A full post will be dedicated to that, fear not.
  • One of my oldest friends from San Diego but who is Italian by birth and heritage but now lives in Houston was in town the last two days with his wife and two geologist friends. (Yes, I was nerdy as a child, and continue to be.) Resulting in two straight nights of tapas and paella and alcohol consumption. And Champions League watching.
  • Tomorrow's trip to London for lots of meetings all day.... to be capped properly with a raging party for a crazy Dane.
  • This weekend.... which promises more birthday parties and more paella back in Barcelona
I promise... it won't be a boring post!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Very Thankful Indeed

Despite the fact that I didn't have Thursday or Friday off from work, I celebrated Thanksgiving nonetheless (not once but twice!) with a dinner on Thursday night at Calatrava and the annual IESE Thanksgiving on Saturday. No MC-ing or singing this year, just gorging and drinking... and that's just fine, thanks!

I'm extremely thankful for the following:

- My family, with whom I wish I could have spent this weekend.
- Barcelona, which was just so sunny and awesome and perfect today.
- My cool little flat with the incredible view all the way to the water on one side and Tibidabo on the other.
- Calatrava.
- My moto! I love you moto!
- My health, which, despite a few instances of food poisoning, has been remarkably good this year.
- Soccer. I will always be thankful for soccer.
- France, for the production of Frenchies. (Yes, a very un-American sentiment on a very American holiday weekend. I know.)
- Ski season, which is just around the corner.
- Grieg's 1st Piano Concerto, which I'm listening to right now and which just makes me so AMPED. Particularly the 3rd movement.
- Friends who know how to cook turkey.
- A pretty dope job and cool people to work with.
- 80s music, which gets me amped when I'm not listening to Grieg. Like this old Prince song, "When You Were Mine" that just came on! YESSSSSS.
- Having nearly made it to another birthday. I'm getting old!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This morning I woke up at 6am to catch an early flight to Madrid in order to (supposedly) finalize my work permit paperwork. My flight was delayed, so I was late getting to the office in Madrid, but fortunately everything worked out okay. I squared away all my papers and went to some building which is one part police headquarters and two parts bureaucracy central. A huge line had already formed outside... and it was 10 degrees Celcius today.

Fortunately a woman was there to meet me. A lawyer! Hooray! She convinced the police that we should be allowed to skip the queue and after my shortest-ever wait in line, I was fingerprinted and stamped and apparently ready to go. Of course, while we were waiting, she noticed a few discrepancies in my paperwork... The company put Madrid as my residence on one document, but of course I empadronamiento'd myself in Barcelona, where I live. But, lucky me, she is friends with everyone in that building and managed to convince the woman wielding the stamp to start processing my paperwork and promised she'd be back with an updated version of that document saying I live in BOTH Barcelona and Madrid. Proof that I'm in two places at once. How cool is that?

And now the catch. I'm due in London a week from Friday for meetings. And in Munich with the Calatrava Guapos in 2 weeks for my birthday. But, contrary to what I requested, the Spanish consul in NYC only gave me a single entry visa. So I can leave Spain, but I can't get back in. And apparently it could take TWO MONTHS before I can go anywhere. Um, hello? If nothing else, Christmas is only 6 weeks away, and of course we're going to a non-EU country... Switzerland.

I think it was around when I momentarily stopped breathing that she hastily mentioned, "but I'm sure it'll be fine. You'll probably have it by Friday." Hmm. Two days is very different from two months. Don't you love how Spaniards seem to enjoy toying with your emotions?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Transformers on the Prowl

Having spent my last two birthdays with my Calatrava flatmates (even though they were in NYC last year for my birthday) I decided I didn't want to do anything any different this year. I need my guapos around me for my birthday.

So I sent an email to some of the usual suspects a couple months ago, knowing how quickly schedules fill up now that we're no longer students and all living in different countries. The executive leisure committee made a quick decision and Munich was chosen as our destination. Fine by me, since despite spending hours upon hours in Munich airport, I've never actually seen the city.

Frenchy and I booked our tickets last week and I sent George a message on Skype to let him know. Here follows the conversation, proof that even after living together for two years, and then apart for six months, you can still have a good old Calatrava-style miscommunication.

[13:10:40]Noelle says: finally i bought my tix for munich :)
[13:11:45] George Kuruvilla says: yeah!
[13:11:55] George Kuruvilla says: so at what time do u land in Zermany?
[13:12:01] Noelle says: on thursday
[13:12:04] Noelle says: 13.45
[13:12:06] Noelle says: :)
[13:12:13] Noelle says: we leave sunday at 16.20
[13:12:19] Noelle says: so an hour and a half before you :(
[13:12:23] Noelle says: but it was the best we could do
[13:13:34] George Kuruvilla says: vale venga
[13:13:49] George Kuruvilla says: i will instruct quentin too hook up girls for me in advance on thurs evening then
[13:14:24] Noelle says: yes, we will be on the prowl ;)
[13:15:59] George Kuruvilla says: prowl?
[13:16:02] George Kuruvilla says: what's that?
[13:16:13] Noelle says: hmm
[13:16:17] Noelle says: what cats do
[13:16:19] Noelle says: when they are hunting
[13:16:34] George Kuruvilla says: if u google it i find robot images
[13:16:39] Noelle says: ?
[13:16:44] Noelle says: really???
[13:16:54] George Kuruvilla says:
[13:17:16] Noelle says: it´s true! me too!
[13:17:21] George Kuruvilla says: :)
[13:17:26] Noelle says: transformers
[13:17:40] George Kuruvilla says: ah ok so u will be two transformers
[13:17:43] Noelle says: yes
[13:17:46] Noelle says: we will be transformers
[13:17:48] George Kuruvilla says: i will come dressed up like power rangers
[13:17:52] Noelle says: this is how confusion starts

I promise photos of us dressed up like Transformers and Power Rangers at the Christmas Market in Munich will follow in about 3 weeks...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It dawned on me yesterday in the middle of my work day that one of my favorite words in Spanish is "estupendo." I love the way it sounds, the manner in which it is used, and also the fact that it actually has the "e" in front in reality, unlike other words such as "escooter" and "espaguettis" which have a silent "e" in writing but a very loud "e" in pronunciation.

Another phrase I like is "estoy instalandome..." I'm installing myself back in Barcelona. It sounds weird in English, but in Spanish for some reason the idea of installing myself sounds perfectly natural and appropriate. So please forgive my lack of posting of late... I've been busy instalandome, and I'm getting there slowly but surely.

A phrase I like in English is "I have no complaints," and it's one I've been using a lot in the past week and a half. The weather is beautiful, my apartment rocks, my job seems to get cooler by the day, my colleagues are really nice, and I'm living in the same city, time zone, country, continent, and hemisphere as Frenchy for the first time in nearly five months. Even Spanish bureaucracy has been shockingly easy. I got a social security number in a total of about 12 minutes last week. And I re-empadronamiento'd myself (registered at my new address) in a grand total of 15 minutes.

Maybe THIS is what I get in return for all my crappy travel karma! And I tell you, I'll take it!

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Moon On Monday

No, I didn't end up mooning anyone in the office on my first day at my new post in Barcelona because MY CLOTHES ARRIVED LAST NIGHT! Woo hoo!

All three bags appeared, intact, delivered by a man with an elegantly uncombed mullet and an equally ravishing yet rather uncouth beard. Okay, I guess I was really tired at that point.

Just a quick one to say I'm no longer without clothing, my first day at work in Barcelona nice and chill (as one hopes on a first day) and the rest of the week looks to be very interesting. I'm looking forward to what the future will bring.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Skateboard Incident

I am writing this now from bed in Barcelona, under the covers because I have no clothes. But I'm way ahead of myself...

I checked in for my flight yesterday afternoon at JFK and everything was smooth sailing. After debating whether to carry my longboard (skateboard) on the plane or mail it to myself, I figured it'd be safer to bring it with me since it might never arrive in BCN or be destroyed en route. The check-in lady told me I could bring it with me, and that was that. I spent a luxurious hour in the British Airways lounge before boarding my Iberia flight to Madrid.

First a word about Iberia. I should have taken a photo of the inside of the cabin because, despite the fancy seats and the fact that this airbus was clearly brand new, it still felt like the 70s with their old school brown and orange motif. Maybe that's why I didn't sleep well last night... for anyone who has ever traveled with me, you know this is an oddity. I'm usually asleep not only before the plane takes off, but before my seat mates have even managed to sit down.

Anyway, all was well. The food was surprisingly good, we left right on time, the staff was nice. The only annoying thing was the guy next to me who couldn't stop playing with his motorized seat, which caused my seat to vibrate every few minutes, usually after I'd just drifted off to sleep. But I digress.

We got to Madrid right on time at 7:15 am and all I had to do was go to my next gate in time to board my 8:40 flight to Barcelona. Piece of cake! Until I got to security, where I was told I couldn't bring my skateboard on the plane. After a moment of discussion, I was allowed to proceed through security, where I was told by another person that my options were the following: 1, leave the board and it will be destroyed (god forbid!) or 2, go through immigration, get a new ticket because I'd surely miss my flight, check my skateboard, and get on a later flight. So I took option 2.

First I passed through immigration, which I would've done normally in BCN, and which took about 20 minutes. Then a train to a different terminal. Then I had to go downstairs 4 flights and then back upstairs 3 to get to check-in. At check-in they told me my flight had just closed (it was now 8:10 and boarding started at 8) and they couldn't check my skateboard. So they sent me back downstairs to collect ALL my bags, and bring them back up to be rechecked on my new flight.

My bags never appeared and I spent ten minutes looking for someone who worked there . Finally I found a desk and the woman there told me that my bags didn't appear because the people upstairs are idiots and shouldn't have sent me downstairs at all... the bags had been pulled from my flight but would automatically be put on my next flight unless I had specifically requested to stop traveling in Madrid.

Back upstairs again, where I went back to check-in and explained everything again to a different agent. He checked me in for an 11:30 flight, but didn't have a box for my skateboard. 5 euros and 10 minutes later, I returned to him with my plastic-wrapped skateboard (why are Spanish people so obsessed with plastic wrapping their stuff? They are like spiders) and he gave me a new ticket and walked with me to another area because the skateboard was slightly too big to go in a plastic bin on the belt. So we went to another HUGE belt and put my poor little skateboard on there, where it dropped into nothingness and as I mouthed a silent prayer for its arrival in one piece.

With three hours to kill, I went to the Sala VIP (pronounced "beep") and had some orange juice and snacks and checked my email. At 11 I boarded my flight to Barcelona, which arrived more or less on time at 12:45. Everything seemed to take forever: the drive to the gate, the arrival of the bus, the turning on of the bus, the actual movement of the bus toward the terminal... probably because I really needed to use the ladies room and also because I was so tired of traveling after 24 hours.

We finally arrived at baggage claim and after racing out of the bathroom I ran to the claim area for my flight. My skateboard appeared. In one piece! And.... that's it. My three bags holding four month's worth of my belongings and, more importantly, all my work clothes for 9am tomorrow morning never appeared. And so that's how I came to spend another 20 minutes of my life explaining the story in Spanish to yet another Iberia employee, who promised my bags would be on the 3pm flight and would be delivered to me. Five hours later, and I'm still waiting, but at least I received a text from the airline saying that my bags had indeed arrived and would be delivered to me this afternoon. (Does 8pm count as afternoon?)

And now for the most important question. Is nudity a good excuse for missing your first day of work at your new office? Surely it's better than "I'm sick" or some other such feeble excuse... Either way, I'm definitely riding my skateboard to work tomorrow.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Every Cake You Bake

When I was 4 or 5, I had three favorite songs and, thus, three favorite artists. "Our House" by Madness (a song my mom hates to this day because apparently I sang it in the car incessantly), "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, and "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. Those are still among my all-time favorite songs (and artists) and while I never thought I'd get to see any of them live, the one I least expected to see was the Police.

But my luck changed last year when they announced they were getting back together for a world tour. I knew I had to be there, and I had my sights set on Sept 27 in Barcelona. Cut to several months later, and I'm in Boston when the Police are in Barcelona. And I'm in Barcelona when they're in Boston... so the only option was the show Nov 2 at Madison Square Garden. And I think I chose wisely.

I'd heard from various sources who saw them play at various venues that the concert was lacking. Kinda boring, not so impressive musically, etc. So I was really not expecting much, but even if I had been, I still would've been totally blown away last night. Maybe they've improved and learned to enjoy themselves more in the past month or two, or maybe they just really dug the MSG crowd. Whatever it was, they put on an amazing show that definitely belongs in my top ten concerts of all time list. Which already has 11....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Farewell Boston

Nothing quite like a parade to celebrate your Boston farewell. Oh, oops. I mean the homecoming of the World Series winners!

Thanks Boston. It's been a blast!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wedding weekend

This weekend I braved my bad travel karma and the bad weather that seems to hit Boston every Friday night this month and did a triple appearance.

First stop, Friday night. After circling Manhattan for an extra 45 minutes, we finally landed at Laguardia and found another taxi strike was under way. I ended up carpooling into midtown with two other guys and made it to the IESE Alumni event at 7:01pm. Just one minute late. On Spanish time, that's early!

From there I managed to find a cab in the rain and headed downtown to meet my friend Michael, whom I hadn't seen in months. When I'm in NYC he's out of town. When he was in Barcelona this summer, I was in Peru. We used to live around the corner from each other and have breakfast together ever day. I guess you can't have everything.

Finished dinner around 11pm and tried to get a taxi, but no luck. So I took the subway to Penn Station, where I missed the train to Newark by 10 minutes. I waited until 12:37am, surrounded by some of the strangest people I've ever seen, and finally the train arrived. That train led to another train to the airport. Then a bus to my hotel, where my mom was already tucked in. I got there at 2am. And had to get up at 6:45... for a wedding!

My cousin Robin got married in New Jersey and the wedding was totally worth it. More food than I've ever seen in my life (and all of it excellent) was bested only by three generations of women in my family cutting it up to "I Will Survive" on the dance floor. It even made my delayed return flight not so bad....

My mom and grandfather

Nicole and me with our grandmother
Nicole boogies with my grandmother. (I will not have any sympathy next time she complains of knee pain!)

Meanwhile, we had breakfast on the way to the wedding and saw this nail salon. Nicole and Evan thought it was a Korean place. I thought it was someone's attempt at combining French and Ebonics. Like... it means "your beau nails." Yo Bo Nails. You be the judge.