Tonight we had an impromptu dinner and movie double-date to watch Casablanca by the lake. Happy anniversary Hirschauers- here's looking at you, kids.



Valencia! After a ful day of travel, we arrived in Valencia. (Have you ever been on a flight where people screamed because we all thought the plane would crash? Pretty happy to be alive and on the ground.) We landed in Barcelona, transfered stations, walked a bit waiting for the 3.5 hour train to take us to our final destination, and finally, were welcomed by a beautiful art nouveau station. 

Our first bit of wandering found us at the annual battle of the flowers-a parade of beautiful, costumed girls riding horse-drawn floats, that turns into a carnation fight between the parade and the audience (the girls have protective racquets). After an ear of grilled corn, and wiping the orange petals out of our hair, we made our way to dinner.

Yum, Copenhagen restaurant with a surprising vegan pecan ice cream...called the Illinois nut cup!

I spent the first day wandering, after a run along the park, and toured the city for the entire day (a bit limpy on a sore achilles).

Derek joined me for an evening stroll after the conference sessions, and we waited for Mary Katherine to arrive.

Mary Katherine and I spent our first day sampling market treats...and found ourselves there again the following day for more- nectarines, black cherries, fresh juice, hummus. We moved from bench to bench around the city, people watching, and catching-up.

Touring Valencia.

Aqua de Valencia...pitchers of cold beverages drunk under shady umbrellas are a great way to spend the hot afternoon.

I know you can eat all that!

After a roof-top cocktail reception with the Boost conference, sangria and stumbling upon a guitar concert in the square. Swoon- Spanish guitar.

A day at the beach...after a bit of a bus ride. We enjoyed the water and some sun before the clouds came in, and (ooops) wandered into a nudist beach on our way to catch the bus back for a last night out. The city's been fun, but I'm ready for cool, fresh air and quiet countryside. Back to France for us, and safe travels back to England, MK! 



Sunflower fields are blooming. It's an extra bright and cheery few weeks of summer as the fields take turns blanketing in happy yellow.

A little help to get just the right vantage over a sunny field.