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Trip Report Anna Maria Barcelona

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Who, What, When, Where, Why

Who: 50-something, small town, Midwestern travel addict/empty nester and my 40- something, newly divorced, outdoorsy, drug company rep brother who lives east of the Rockies. I switched my profile pic to a photo of us from a recent family and friends cruise.

What: Drug Company Sales Conference/Incentive trip for my brother's company. During the economic downturn he was downsized when his company was sold. I'm thrilled he has a new job and is thriving. I'm sure some of you know how defeating it can be to be unemployed. With less than two years on the job, he was the only person in the company to win two national awards for 2013, one of which is for his philanthropic work with an organization near and dear to his heart. I'm fully aware that junkets like this are a contributing factor in the high cost of medicine and medical procedures. Not going to defend or deny the practice.

When: May 17-24

Where: Barcelona Baby! Staying at the Hotel Arts, a Ritz property way out of my usual lodging budget. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Barcelona/Default.htm?utm_campaign=TBPSUSEBPB19&src=ps&pId=rztbppc I had a pricey drink at the hotel bar one evening four years ago but never imagined staying there. I usually stay in budget-minded apartments via VRBO/Home and Away or an occasional Pricelined hotel for stays shorter than a week.

Why: I've been DB's chief support and cheerleader through a contentious divorce he initiated even though it pained him to do so. He's taking me to Barcelona as his "plus one" to say thanks. We get along great, enjoy the same things and travel well together. He's one of my favorite people on the planet.

DH isn't a fan of city sightseeing, long flights, or jet lag. If there's no biking, skiing or hiking involved he doesn't want to go. He happily stays home and takes care of my menagerie while I travel (as long as I don't add chickens to the backyard zoo, then all bets are off). What can go wrong.... Well, there was the time DH left the gate open and my pony ended up grazing in the front yard. Then there was the time DH came home from work at lunchtime and let the dogs out, not realizing a tree cutting crew had decided to show up unannounced to finish a job that had been postponed due to weather. My "fraidy cat" dog bit one of the tree trimmers who tried to pet him. That dog has since left this world but one of my dogs likes to jump the fence so there's never a dull moment. The last time I traveled without DH, my 13 year old dog developed Old Dog Vestibular Disorder and DH thought she was going to die while I was gone. He never tells me these things while I'm gone. In fact, some incidents I only learn of years later.

To add even more excitement for DH, I've scheduled installation of a new front door and removal of two walls in the kitchen and living room while I'm out of the country. What can go wrong.... Well, the last time I scheduled home improvements while on vacation I came home to salmon colored walls in my living room, dining room and kitchen instead of the subtle beige I'd selected. I'm not gonna stress. I'm gonna drink sangria in Spain and be happy.

Warning- I'm chatty. There will likely be plenty of useless information in this trip report.
Ann. Marie

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