Our stop motion video of most of our trip!

Colorado to Florida, Mexico, North Carolina, Israel, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, India, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, California and back to Florida! Perhaps it’s disproportionately Colorado, Florida, and Mexico but oh well! hope you all enjoy it!

much gratitude for all of you we got to share our experience with…

tommasina and julian

A short note on Europe

So, you should give up hope that Julian will update this. Every time I prod him to compose his update, he grumbles and grouches and generally turns into a grumpy soul. I will probably compose a long update tonight though, so please, dearest attentive readers, look forward to it. Until then, I give you my analysis of my time in Europe…

Experiencing the daily lives of Germans and Austrians, viewing ancient buildings and old art in Spain and Portugal, and gorging on vegan treats at every opportunity have been great but the similiartities of consumer cultures, excessive meat-and-cheese eating, and the shortness of our stay everywhere has made Europe feel like a blurry parallel of the US. My favorite times were definitely our stays with Fred at the farm, Bishawjit in Germany, and Berny in Austria. Traveling like a tourist in Spain and Portugal has felt luxurious at best, and superficial at worst. And, I hate for this to be my final statement of the subject, but as someone who has mild asthma, I have had an awful time dealing with smokers everywhere.

*this develops into a whine here, so feel free to stop reading now* I now have this horrible consistent cough in the back of my throat and I’m convinced it’s from breathing in smoke just from walking down the street. The smog is also tangible and burns your eyes.

(on another, sweeter, note, Julian is fiddling with my camera and taking self-photos. He just said “How come I can take a good photo of myself and no one else can?” Adorable. Maybe we can figure out how to upload them this century…)

anyways, the rant is finished. I wish I could stay in better touch with you all, but it’s not that realistic right now. I’ve put most photos on facebook though, so most of you should be able to see them.

love love love

Vegans take Espana y Portual

Finally, Julian and I get to the part of our trip where we completely gorged on delicious foods every day with our good friend B, who I’ll call Veganita (per her usual name on our mutual friend’s blog). Due to my laziness, I’ll just jot down some notes or else I’ll never have the energy to finish!

Madrid
day 1: arrived, found Veganita waiting in the lobby, had dinner at Yerba Buena, an all-veg place that was super expensive.  Wack guacamole with gluten free bread (air crackers), I ordered some sort of spinach, rice, and raisin mush, which was too salty.  Pilaf was okay.  
Walked by lots of people taking botellon, and beautiful streetlamp-lit plazas.

day 2:  brunch at Sopa, had yummy gazpacho, Veganita had another kind of soup, Julian had a falafel sandwich, and i had a lemon tart. We walked around Parque del Retiro. Saw fountains, squares, a cat!, statues galore, etc. I felt a lot of *hanger,* and insisted that we go for food right then… after a long search I had lunch at La Biotika, a macrobiotic place, while poor Julian and Veganita watched. I need to carry snacks with me to avoid this situation! yikes. then, we stopped by pPlaneta Vegano, an all-vegan grocer, found a vegan sweeten condensed milk!!! went to a museum saw Dali (cooL!) ate at Ecocentro for dinner. We were confused and missed the main restaurant and just had normal hot bar food at their cafe. When we realized our mistake we vowed to return.

day 3: ate at another veg place, Viva la Vida, buffet style (like lots of restaurants here!), walked to a big palace that we couldn’t enter (bummer), Ecocentro dinner again, best meal of my life!!!!!! I wish I had written down what it was. maybe Julian can help me explain it…

Lisboa
day 4: woke up early to go to Lisboa, arrived, took breakfast at Bem Me Queer, ate individual little pastries filled with apples, mushrooms, or potatoes, went to the water, saw an old monastery, buildings, took a nap at the aviation museum! Julian and I took a tram to meet up with couchsurfer but misfortune struck and we went the wrong way on the tram and then arrived a half hour late with no one in sight, so stayed with Veganita in her sweet hotel

day 5: played at a fountain, ate at Terra Restaurante, which had a sweet patio, classical music playing, went to a free museum with ancient Moorish art, saw an old Hafiz poem, explored a new organic store 

day 6: walked through Lisboa’s hills, hills, hills. hung out for hours, walked to the castle, saw sunset over the Lisbon hills

day 7: vegan gluttony hits an all new level at Bake the Difference, ate loads! my favorites were the chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting and the sun-dried tomato sunflower seeded quiche!, the owner recommended us to go to Sintra, explored an amazing work of philosophical and architectural genius: Quinta da Regaleira, Julian fell in the water (hahahaha), afterwards buzz kill: ate at super expensive and bland Indian restaurant

Barcelona
day 8: managed to get breakfast at Bake the Difference again, caught a taxi with an amazing taxi driver who busted out the tunes, flew to Barcelona!!, on arrival, poor Veganita stressed about apartments, got online and called the apartment company and overall, spent too much. due to rental restrictions, I wasn’t allowed to be seen by the apartment person, so I waited on a bench and spent a peaceful hour observing the public in a square. families, crust punks, dogs. the apartment turned out to be awesome! great view of the city, good location, lots of space and a washing machine!, we all relaxed and then went for greasy but tasty burgers for dinner at Gopal, an all-vegan AR-focused bar, and then drinks at Cat Bar! an all-vegan cat-focused bar. sweet day.

day 9: breakfast at Juicy Jones, went to La Sagrada Familia, stumbled upon awesome museum on the inequity in the world, spent hours reading about the evils of the World Bank, etc. had a long loving walk with Julian

day 10: took it easy running errands! printed out postcards, and they accidentally printed them twice so now we have lots of pictures of ourselves in Europe. what to do! ate again at Juicy Jones for lunch, and at Gopal for dinner. had the bomb diggity doggest chocolate cake from Gopal. I drew a diagram in my journal to remember how delicious it was. (picture to come…) packed at the apartment, had a good long talk with Veganita, and went to bed.

Milan
day 11: we had an early morning flight to Milan, and had the day to explore before our flight to India. We had an amazing meal at Mudra Natural, a vegan restaurant which was super-yoga-ed out. we fell in love with the atmosphere and the food was wonderful too. I had some sort of throat cold and eating here was actually the height of my illness, but the nice owners made me juice and then a shot of lemon and ginger with some cayenne on top. I felt so much better being taken care of! we even managed to squeeze in some tiramisu… then we went for a walk to see this castle and stumbled upon some gelato. It started to rain and we decided to head back to the airport but first we picked up some take-out macrobiotic at Mens Sana, a chain of vegan macro hot bars. at the airport: we had a four hour delay before they canceled our flight! but then we got to stay in a swanky hotel where they provided breakfast (watermelon and toast with jam for us). after another delay at the airport, we finally got to board our plane and we were off to India!