vacation daze

I’m not on vacation, mind you. But I’m in a hazy daze of planning for one. Do you remember how I managed to submit an abstract back in March, after a frenzied push to get one finished during our trip to Texas and California? Well, I confess that I have been sitting on some news for a few months. My abstract was accepted for a poster presentation. The other abstract my research group submitted was also accepted. So, I’ll be going to a conference next month. Which is in Barcelona.


I’m terribly excited about the trip. I’ve never been to Spain before. The whole family is going, and my mother will be joining us as well. We’ll be staying in Barcelona for a week, and then heading down to Sevilla. I’m thrilled that I will get to meet the fantabulous azahar in person, and finally get a taste of some of Sevilla’s famous tapas.

There is a huge amount of stuff yet to do. It’s amazing how much stuff you have to consider, especially when travelling with small children. I’ve been mired in looking rental apartment options and ground transportaiton options and air options. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research.


Oh, right. Research. There’s also that conference business. Which means I have a lot of work to do with my own research. Because I probably wouldn’t make the best impression if I presented a comparison of Sevilla apartments with roof terraces vs. those with wifi vs. those with a free crib available.

30 thoughts on “vacation daze

    1. I study linguistics generally, prosody more specifically, and intonational phonetics and phonology even more specifically. My own project has to do with the phrasing structure of speech, looking f0 reset in (Mainstream) American English.

      You know, I’ve been meaning to write about what it is that I do for a while, but it’s never quite happened.

    1. Thanks! It seems a bit surreal sometimes, being my first solo conference acceptance. It’s a bit too nerve-wracking to think what I’m going to have to pull out of my “hat” in the next few weeks.

  1. I can spend an entire evening or usually more sorting out the details of a simple trip to NYC, so I can see how planning this trip would be a bit daunting.

    1. The planning is out of control. At least I’m down to one last major decision, being the apartment in Sevilla. I bought our plane tickets from Barcelona to Sevilla last night, and had already settled on a Barcelona apartment. (This is after agonizing about travel dates, and whether to go to Madrid, and whether to take the train, and many other steps. You know how I can agonize.)

  2. Alejna! I had no idea you were a linguist. Linguistics was my concentration for my BA in English. I love language and grammar and all that stuff.

    Your vacation sounds AWESOME. I am excited for you!

    1. Clearly I don’t write enough about my work, then, Leslie! Back when I was taking a class, I had a few posts that were linguistics oriented. I keep meaning to write more, but, well, you know.

      I hadn’t realized you had a degree in linguistics yourself. Language geeks unite!

  3. So you decided to fly Bcn-Sev. I still can’t believe you’re going to be here in just over a month! I shall do my utmost to help you wind down after all the conference excitement. Bring your appetite.

    1. Yup, az, we did decide to fly. It still ended up being cheaper, as well as faster. Thanks so much for the info there!

      I have to say, though, that Vueling has a way of adding on costs. It’s 10 euros per checked bag, and even more than that if you need to check additional bags that you didn’t specify online. Then they charge about 5 euros for using a debit card, or 9 for using a credit card that isn’t a Vueling one. Then they even charge for selecting seats! Of course, who knows what headaches and hidden charges the train would have had.

      I do indeed plan on bringing my appetite! I can’t wait. (Except for the bit about needing more time to get my work done…)

    1. Thanks, KC!

      Yeah, I’ve seen people at conferences with their nice tubes. We tend to go with just a cardboard thing that we can ditch later on. This is especially desirable when planning to travel more after the conference. (I’m actually kinda hoping I can get my poster into the tube with the other poster from our group so I have one less awkward item to carry on the plane.)

  4. My family did the same sort of thing; daughter and husband were at conference, I did the nanny thing for 2 yr old and 12 yr old and the teenagers did their thing on the topless beach.
    Loved Barcelona. The two year old adored tapas and Las Ramblas (note to your mother; take stroller; disregard old ladies in black dresses who glare at you.) I must write about the whole experience. It was magic. We went to the Mediterranean for our ‘holiday’ part of the trip. Even more magic. (Note to your mother; it cost three euros to run the mechanical horse toys that are everywhere; do not let it get out of hand – blush).
    I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time. We did.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Mary! I’d love to hear/read more about your Barcelona trip whenever you get around to writing it. (Of course, these days, I’m really behind in my blog reading, so maybe I shouldn’t encourage people to get me more behind…)

      And why am I not too surprised that you have some background in linguistics? (For a start, I know you love to play with words, much like me!)

  5. Oh, congratulations! If anyone can handle overseas travel with two little ones, it’s you! I’ve always wanted to visit Spain, as well. Have some tapas and gawk at the Gaudis for me!

    1. Thanks, Rima! It helps that we have one trip to Europe with one toddler under our belt, plus a trip across country with the two little ones. Plus my mother has vast experience in this area, having taken me and my sister many places when we were very little. Of course, I’m sad that I have no memory of these trips. I only have her word (and the stamps in my baby passport) to show that I went to Australia and Yugoslavia.

      I will gladly nibble and gawk for you!

    1. I’d gladly go visit your ‘hood, Sassy! You have already taunted me with your tales of yummy wines and cheeses. You are in the south of France, non? I will have to keep my eye open for conferences in your area. (Are you actually moderately close to Barcelona? I actually only have the vaguest idea where you live.)

  6. Hurray!! Congratulations and how exciting that it’s in Barcelona. Definitely one of my favorite cities, as is Sevilla. I’m sure you’ll all have a wonderful time.

    (Buy fans in Sevilla — they have nicer shops than in Barcelona. I say fans because you will be sad when you get home if you only buy one. I have about a dozen, and my only regret is that I don’t have more. Boy do they come in handy when I’m stuck on a sauna-hot subway platform!)

    Rock on with your linguistically bad self!

    So cool that your abstract was accepted.

    1. Thanks, Stacie! How cool that we get to visit two of your favorite cities! (I do find myself curious about what other cities are on that favorites list.)

      I will do my best to heed your advice on the fans! (It took me a moment to realize what sort of fans you meant, having just been considering air conditioning options in apartments.)

  7. Congratulations! Good luck with your poster and the conference in general! But even more than that, have a fabulous trip!
    Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Europe. When I worked in Rome my group did a lot of collaborations with a group in Barcelona, so we got to go there now and then for meetings. If you can wangle it, try to go to Casa Batllo (I think there should be an accent on the o), which has to be the coolest building ever–of course, Barcelona is full of awesome architecture, including several buildings by Gaudi, but personally I find this to be the best of his work. I’m pretty sure it is still open to the public. Then again, I’m not sure the kids would realize how very cool it is, so perhaps this isn’t the time to visit it.
    Have a great time! I’m looking forward to seeing the photos!

    1. Hey there, Sally! Thanks for the congrats, and for the Barcelona tip. I am looking forward to checking out the architecture, and definitely excited about taking photos. (Now, if only the work for the conference could be behind me. Sigh.)

      How was the move, by the way? Are you settled in?

    1. That sounds like a very cool plan! If only I had time to read a book. Maybe, just maybe, after I get the posters finished, and the trip organized…

      I take it you have read the book. Have you taken the walk?

  8. Congratulations on having your poster accepted! And what fun that the conference is in such a great location. I hope you have a fabulous time – at the conference and on your vacation. :)

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