Archive for the ‘Travel’

The sun sets late in Spain

June 24, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Spain, Travel, Weird

Crepuscular!If you’ve ever been to Spain in the summer, you’ll know that the sun sets very late, which suits Spaniards, who like to have dinner as late as 10 or 11 at night, very well. It’s not just because of the tilt of the Earth at the summer solstice, or the fact that all our days are getting longer. Tonight, for example, in late June, the sun will set at 9:58 PM, one minute later than it will set as far north as Copenhagen! What sense does that make?

I blame the Nazis.
(more…)

Business Idea: Airfare Limit Orders

May 12, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Travel

toy planeEvery time I shop for airline tickets, I find myself thinking about how little sense airfare prices make to me, and I’m reminded of the variability of the stock market. There are so many forces and variables acting on the price of a stock (or an airfare) that prediction becomes a matter of guessing probabilities where even the experts don’t really have much of a clue. The frustration at checking airline prices reminds me very much of that of playing the stock market. Prices seem to fluctuate for no reason and deciding when to make a transaction is painfully difficult…and the price seems to always go in the wrong direction right after you buy.
(more…)

Visiting El Greco – Toledo 2014

April 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel

Gentleman with hand on breastFor many years now, my wife has expressed interest in visiting the Spanish city of Toledo. Although she’s not much of an art aficionado, if you ever ask her who her favorite painter is, she’ll reliably respond “El Greco”. So when we saw on the news that there was a big exhibition to celebrate the quadricentenary of El Greco’s death in 1614 (yesterday, April 7, was the actual date), in which his greatest works would be shipped from museums around the world to Toledo, it was not a matter of if, but when we would go. When we got an opportunity to leave the kids with my in-laws, we took it!
(more…)

The Guggenheim in Bilbao

March 16, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

Nora and Westie - Guggenheim - BilbaoI’m a little embarrassed to admit that it’s only as we’re rounding out our ninth year living in eastern Cantabria that we have actually entered Frank Gehry’s incredibly unique building that tops all guidebooks to the lovely Basque city of Bilbao. But we did it; with two kids in tow nonetheless!

As a child, Nora was completely miserable to travel with in the car, so we became very town-bound. Ian is considerably better at riding in the car, so we’ve decided that we need to start doing more things on the weekends as a foursome family unit.
(more…)

Myrtle Beach Time Of Year

February 17, 2014 By: erik Category: Golf, Music, Photos, Travel, USA, Videos

Earlier this month, I took my annual vacation – remember: traveling with children is a “trip”, and traveling without children is a “vacation” – to North and South Carolina for our annual golf tournament that my father hosts, called the Myrtle Beach Classic. This year we played a novelty golf course called World Tour Golf Links, which has recreated many of the most famous golf holes from around the world. It’s a clever gimmick and I’m glad we played there, but it’s probably not worth returning there in the future. As expected, we had a really great time and I got to see some friends that I only see once a year, every February. I am forever grateful to my wife and in-laws for carrying my parental burden during these trips.
(more…)

Sunday Waves in Santander

December 17, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Wave Mist RainbowDespite the four of us being at various stages of battle against a winter cold virus, we decided to go, last Sunday, to Santander to see the penguins. Nora has expressed some interest in penguins, and there are some at the park near the Palacio de la Magdalena, Santander’s primary tourism must-see site. Because mobilizing a family of four is so challenging, we rarely do day trips, and we got out the door closer to lunch time than we’d planned, but that resulted in fewer crowds at the park. It turned out that there was something much more interesting and mesmerizing than penguins that captivated our attention.
(more…)

International Travel With Kids

December 06, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Reviews, Spain, Travel

FlightsWe just got back from our first transatlantic pond hop as a fully formed family of four. The offspring were very well behaved, considering the adventure we went through. I’ll be using this post to vent some of my frustration with our voyage.

It began when my mother dropped us off at the curb of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Just like she was for the first fifteen minutes of our car ride to the airport after saying adiós to her grandfather, Nora was wracked with inconsolable grief for the first fifteen minutes. She’s not good with goodbyes.
(more…)

Golf in Pedre̱a РHome of Seve Ballesteros

November 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Golf, Spain, Travel

Pedreña Putting GreenMy token answer for the often asked question is that, what I miss most about the United States, apart from my family, is the relatively easy access to golf. In Spain, I’m lucky if I get to play once or twice a year, and with the burdens joys of fatherhood, even less. As if to taunt me, one of the closest golf courses to my house is the super private Real Golf de Pedreña, probably the most famous course in northern Spain, and the home stomping grounds of Spain’s golf legend, Severiano Ballesteros.
(more…)

Colindres in October

October 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his trip to visit us in Spain in October 2013.

Ian and GrandpaOctober is my favorite month for visiting my son and his family in northern Spain. The weather is always comfortable, neither too hot nor too cold. Daylight begins around 8:00 am, and lasts until almost 8:00 pm. It is a convenient time to be away from home.

And then there are the birthdays. My son’s birthday is on the 12th, and my wife’s birthday is on the 16th. In Spain it is customary to take your friends and extended family out to eat on your birthday, often at a restaurant a bit classier than the norm. Some of my most memorable restaurant meals have been in Spain. To make the week even more worthy of celebration, October 13th is Erik and Marga’s wedding anniversary, and not coincidentally the anniversary of the best party I ever attended. So we flew away from America on October 8th, and flew back on the 18th.
(more…)

Tags: , , , ,

Bar Culture in Spain

July 30, 2013 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel

Which way to the nearest bar?After living in Spain for so long, I have internalized so much of the culture, that I forget what is quirky about it and what seems weird to outsiders. One aspect of Spanish culture that visitors often misunderstand is just how central bars are to Spanish society. When you first visit Spain, you will notice that there are a lot of people in the bars every midday and evening (and even for breakfast), and you might think, “Wait, where’s the economic crisis?” There is one simple fact that you need to know to understand almost anything about Spanish social culture:
(more…)