‘Zona, ‘Lona and Home

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Jeff and I spent a long weekend in Arizona with the Krass fam, I buzzed through Barcelona for a work trip, and now we’re back in PDX, where spring is just blowing up. This place is flower-rama, pollen and spores and all kind of things billowing into the air. Apparently, according to the ear, nose and throat doc I visited last week, I’ve developed allergies during my last three years in this crazy lush environment. (And he informed me I also have a crooked nose, most likely as a result of my rough-and-tumble cheerleading days.) Dammit.

Sun setting against the rocky horizon

Sun setting against the rocky horizon

So Arizona. Ah, how I love our Arizona trips. Pure relaxation. Jeff and I try to squeeze in a quick jaunt to the Grand Canyon State every spring. This time, we met up with Rob, Amy and baby Ben, and of course, Jeff’s parents who live there during the winter months. We packed in a visit to Fountain Hills’ Great Fair, a little spa time and pool play at the heavenly CopperWynd Resort and Club, quality time with our Arizona cousins Phil and Lindsay and their families (including Lindsay’s adorable newborn Lexi), fireside drinks at the Lowrys’ gorgeous place, and a delish dinner at Cowboy Ciao in downtown Scottsdale.

Shortly after, I was off to Barcelona for a quick three-day trip to help launch the Nike Magista football boot. I absolutely adore that city, ever since my fabulous honeymoon there in August 2009. This time around, my work teammates and I stayed at the swanky Hotel Arts Barcelona overlooking the Mediterranean, and spent a good chunk of our days at the Disseny Hub museum, where the launch event was held with F.C. Barcelona footballer Andrés Iniesta and hundreds of global media in attendance. My job was to manage our employee reporter, Amsterdam-based but Italian-born Marco, who won the opportunity to cover the event for the 53,000 NIKE, Inc. employees worldwide. My boss Claudine, videographer teammate Bill, Marco and I had a great time together. In our less-than-72 hours in the Catalan city, we paid a visit to La Masia, F.C. Barcelona’s football training facilities; we interviewed NIKE, Inc. president and CEO Mark Parker; we enjoyed late-night video editing binges in Bill’s hotel room; we ate heavenly vegetarian paella on the beach in sunny 60-degree weather; Claudine and I stayed up ’til 4 a.m. at the neighboring Casino Barcelona before our 6:10 a.m. flight home…good times with a great crew. (And I’m kicking myself I didn’t take more pictures along the way!)

And here we are, back in Portland. I think we need another trip on the books. Maybe Michigan? (Please tell me the temps have climbed back above zero.)

Spring is in full swing in Portland

Spring is in full swing in Portland

Amy, Chris and Ben out for a stroll through the Great Fair

Amy, Chris and Ben out for a stroll through the Great Fair in Fountain Hills

The enthusiastic mascot for the dog hat booth at the Great Fair

The enthusiastic mascot for the dog hat booth at the Great Fair

The fountain in Fountain Hills

The fountain in Fountain Hills

Ground grandma (aka Bacci)

Proud grandma (aka Bacci)

There's Chris and Bob's place way over there!

There’s Chris and Bob’s place across the way from the Lowrys’ house!

Ben's first bonfire

Ben’s first bonfire

Lexi and Maggie, our cutie-pie kids of cousins

Lexi and Maggie, our cutie-pie kids of cousins

Ben's second dip in the pool (he looks thrilled)

Ben’s second dip in the pool (he looks thrilled)

Rob and Jeff checking out their new little cousin, Lexi

Rob and Jeff checking out their new little cousin, Lexi

My first javelina sighting in Arizona

My first javelina sighting in Arizona

The Arizona landscape as seen from CopperWynd Resort

The Arizona landscape as seen from CopperWynd Resort

The CopperWynd pool, where we've spent countless hours over the years

The CopperWynd pool, where we’ve spent countless hours over the years

How can you not smile at that cute kid in the mirror?

How can you not smile at that cute kid in the mirror?

Bill and Marco ready to start reporting

Bill and Marco ready to start reporting in Barcelona

A sea of journalists at the Magista launch event

A sea of journalists at the Magista launch event

A bullseye of beautiful boots

A bullseye of beautiful boots

The  Torre Agbar, the 38-story tower near Disseny Hub

The Torre Agbar, the 38-story tower near Disseny Hub

Barcelona selfie!

Barcelona selfie!

Panoramic view from my hotel room window

Panoramic view from my hotel room window

Pristine training field at La Masia

Pristine training field at La Masia

Our last video interview of the trip

Our last video interview of our Barcelona trip

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Football-mania in Madrid | Our Oregon Trail

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