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    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    *****
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    *****
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    *****
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    ***
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    ***
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    ***
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.
    **

Off to London

We know it has been a long time since we wrote and I still need to tell you about how awesome San Sebastian Spain is but i am writing this from my iPhone and so won’t do that now.

I’ve been back in the USA for about 10 days, just enough time to get sick, get a traffic ticket for expired tags and start work. Today I am leaving for London, where I will meet up with Kelly and spend the next month working on a work project. Kelly is only there for a few more days and then shell head to Switzerland and spend the next month traveling trough germany.

On nov 5th, we will meet in paris and fly home together. At that point we will be back permanently in Seattle. Many people have asked if we were going back to NY and the answer is no. We never had any intentions of going back there and we have nothing there now. All of our stuff is in Seattle.

I don’t know anybody in London so when I’m not working, I’ll start updating the blog again.

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Asturias

My last bus ride! Even if it was an uneventful and totally pleasant ride form Madrid to Oviedo, I’m happy to not have to take another long distance bus for a long time. 6 hours is about my limit before I start getting antsy and that is just the amount of time it takes to get this far north. Kelly has plenty more bus rides lined up for the rest of her trip but she is on her own for that. At least she’ll have the computer and a few seasons of Entourage.

We went to Oviedo because, of course, we had a friend there. Err, well, K has been getting onto me about calling her friends “our” friends because she wants to make sure everyone knows SHE knows everyone in Europe and not me. This is true. I don’t really know anybody here and anybody I do know hasn’t invited me to their house to stay a week with them and their mom, which is exactly what Bea did.

or at least I think she did. It really could be that we invited ourselves. Hrm. You’ll have to ask Kelly

But however it worked out, we ended up here in Arenas de Cabrales – a town of about 800 people in the state of Austuria and somewhat working the tourist market as the hiking and sceneary around here is breathtaking. I’m not just saying that to be all positive and nice. The state of Austurias really is beautiful. one of the most beautiful places we have been, in my mind.
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Into Spain

We were really lucky to be able to fulfill a wish of ours for our trip. originally, we had planned to rent a place in the country of France or Spain in an attempt to save money and to really get a feel for life in one of these countries. But it wasn’t going to work out. We had too many places we wanted to go and no time to rent a place for the two months or so that we wanted and so we shelved those plans.As it turns out, our two weeks in Provence were exactly what we needed to replace it. We got to see what country life was like with a bunch of locals and slow down. We even got to cook a few meals – something we greatly miss while traveling. And when the two weeks were up, we felt we HAD been there long enough and were happy to move on.

After a short drive to Marseille where we had a wonderful dinner down on the beach, we went to bed in a hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The next morning we took a cab and a bus to the airport and after a heated dispute that with Ryanair over the size of our carry- on that ended with me forking over another 20 Euros, we were on our way to Madrid.

Madrid was hot like Provence but at least the nights were cool. We spent a couple days there with an old friend of Kelly’s and her family. I love French food but I have to say that sitting down to our first meal in their house provided a welcome change to the subtle flavors we had been eating. A tray of lomo and cured chorizo along with crusty bread came out, followed by ham covered in paprika and olive oil, three types of Manchego along with quince paste and olives in a tangy brine. The acidity and saltity so much different from Provencial food.

The next day we walked around the old city a bit and visited the local market, but the highlight was clearly the Mercado de San Miquel. Opened just a few months ago in a converted structure near Placa Mayor, this cooperative of food shops and tapas bars was buzzing with activity when we came by at 11am. People were circulating to different spots, picking up a dozen fresh oysters on the half shell, a 3 euro glass of wine from the wine bar (which had about 50 different types of wine by the glass), diving into ham and cheese croquettas, giant grilled prawns in olive oil and salt and then just hanging out with friends and family for hours, which is just what we did. I think we spent 2 hours there, just the two of us, enjoying the wine and food.

I Bought a Playstation 3

You would think that after living in a tiny apartment for 1 year and then traveling around the world with only a backpack that I would have shunned all material things.

You would be wrong.

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