Vacation to Spain: Tapas, Hill Towns, and Tons of Photos

November 16th, 2010

As the pressure of being a volunteer at POGO mounted, my wife and I sought to seek relief and flew off to sunny Spain where we had a fun, relaxed vacation.

We landed in Madrid, taxied in to downtown where our Paris-based son was to meet us, only to find out he misunderstood when we were planning on arriving, so the hotel had us booked for the next week.  Hmmm!  What to do.  So we called Paris, he arranged to fly down that night, and the hotel provided us accommodations for that evening.

Things went more smoothly after that.  We visited the famous art museums (including the Reina, my wife’s name), managed to sample as many tapas bar as our stomachs would permit, and walked the streets and parks of Madrid.  The architecture was wonderfully varied and exciting, so I was compelled to take scores of photos.

Next we hopped a fast speed train down to Seville and stayed in a quaint hostel in an out-of-the-way alley.  In Seville the sun was extreme, the sky crystal blue, the people charming, and the food sumptuous.  We walked the crowded, friendly streets, visited the beautiful cathedral and palace, and toured the Alcazar—a phenomenally beautiful mosque.  While in Seville, we rented a driver and explored the surrounding countryside and mountain hill towns, their homes all white-washed and tiled in red, some built into the hillside rock formations and caves.  The beauty of these towns and countryside compelled me to again take an uncommon number of photos.

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POGO Journeys to Smith College

February 26th, 2010

Last week several of the POGO staff went to Northampton, Massachusetts to see POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian receive the Smith College Medal “to recognize women who exemplify in their lives and work ‘the true purpose’ of a liberal arts education.”

The visit included a packed audience to hear Danielle speak about “Going Above the Influence to Make a Difference,” crazy hats, one member of the staff getting inked, and an announcement that was so warmly received by Smithies that it looks like Keith Olbermann got a little jealous. Check out our slideshow of photos from Rally Day below.

– Mandy Smithberger

More background here.