Local Shops

While visiting the bar in Mataró we ended up seeing a horrific hunt by lions preying on a baby giraffe. The bar had an African safari theme and the television played animal encounters from the Sarengetti. The mama giraffe fought off two lions for a long period of time and was exhausted. The rest of the pride managed to separate the baby but the mama got in there and did some damage on the predators. We stopped watching when the baby was safe because there were still lions stalking them in the distance and we could not handle any more views other than what we already saw. We finished our drink and food then left to walk around the town. The shops were lovely and filled with cheer. It is nice to see so many small non corporate businesses doing so well. Living in Las Vegas has shown me how many stores are similar corner by corner. We call them strip malls but every shop is the same. I have no idea how they do so well but there are so many people in this city who go out shopping and it must be how these businesses stay afloat. Traveling in foreign countries feels like a walk in a dream for me. One filled with hope for our future modeling past traditions and helping each other out. I love Artisan shops and mom and pop shops. I wish we had more in the United States.

After walking around the town for quite a while, we ended up hopping a train into the city. Barcelona was filled with the hustle and bustle of many people and many feet walking around. We did find McDonald’s and Starbucks, which are chains from America. I do have friends that travel abroad and frequent McDonald’s and Starbucks just to have the comforts of home, but when I travel, I like to go into the local shops and try the local cuisine. Joanna and I found little cafés and ordered our café con Leche. This was our favorite drink other than the sangrias. Then we decided to just walk around and window shop since our funds were pretty tight and we found a cute little local shop filled with eclectic things. Inside the shop, they had a ring made out of a tapas fork. In Spain, they serve tapas, which are tiny little bites or finger foods. So I bought the ring, and I still wear it to this day. I did forget that I bought a bag that day that I ended up drawing on to carry all of my art supplies, a sketchbook, and my sarong, of course. The best thing I found inside the shop was a friend. The person behind the counter was so nice and lovely and we are still friends to this day for over ten years now. She is lovely as are the people of Catalan.

I think you can all see from my blogs on Alaska and my blogs now about Barcelona, that I love meeting new people. That is my favorite part of traveling… not just the experiences I have with the people I travel with, but the new people I get to meet along the way. I love the diverse culture from everywhere I go. I love seeing how other people live, trying the food that they create, being immersed in the artwork, and the history of the cities, and towns. if you like to travel, what is your favorite thing about traveling? What are some of the foods that you like to try? What are your favorite drinks? Are you a person who frequents a Starbucks or would you go into a small local shop and try something new even if it meant you could be puking all night long? And I say this because some food doesn’t agree with other people’s stomachs if they haven’t had it, not because the food is poisonous. While in Peru, our guy told us not to drink the water, not even to wash our toothbrushes in the water actually, because our stomachs weren’t used to it. He said the people of Peru grew up drinking it, so it was no big deal for them but for us even if we washed our vegetables with it, we would be sick. I thought that was very good information which I’m going to leave you with today for any of your future travels. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Wednesday! On Friday I’ll tell you all about the sea kayaking trip. It was a great experience!  
Thank you all for reading and have a happy start to your week. One week until Christmas!! I still have ornaments for sale on my website if anyone is interested. Here is the link! Ornaments are pictured below.
-Karen Hilliard

Also, if you would like to show support, I recently joined “buy me a coffee” which is a way for anyone to contribute to the creative process behind the paintings. Fuel the artist so to speak. Here is the link if you are interested and I truly appreciate the support and the fact that you are liking these blogs, as well as my art posts. I am working hard to bring you all fresh content! Here is the link to my Instagram where I try to post daily. You can also find me on Facebook at my art page Karen Hilliard Art.
Thank you again for all of your support! 

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