Geri Dreiling

My professional tags include writer, lawyer and head of a legal PR firm in St. Louis. But I'm also a single mom of teens, dog lover, historic home owner and travel adventurer.

The Struggle to be Present

I haven’t been out of the country since January. A work opportunity popped up in my path unexpectedly and I decided to give it a try. Refusing to completely let go of the consulting business I have built and the teaching opportunities I enjoy, I continue to handle them as well. It has meant long days of labor that span the weekends.I haven’t seen E since he visited in April. When we said goodbye at the airport in St. Louis, we knew his work projects and my new work commitments would prevent us from keeping our every-three-month visit schedule intact. The changes have reverberated even into our daily emails, leaving him unhappy and me feeling guilty.My son leaves for his freshman year of college in two weeks. Some days, I find myself reminiscing about his childhood. On other days – more accurately the nights when he has missed his curfew yet again – I know it is time for him to go. But when I think about the actual logistics of the move, purchasing laundry detergent, shower shoes, pillows and notebooks, tears gather in my eyes....more

El Tostado in Avila: Where food and history collide

“El Tostado!” Enrique said excitedly as we toured the Cathedral of Ávila in Spain. With that simple exclamation, our cultural and language differences crystallized.The image that immediately popped into my head was of a tostada, a fried tortilla slathered with refried beans then topped with lettuce, tomato and salsa that is listed on a menu in a Mexican restaurant in the United States....more

The Walls of Avila

When you like someone in grade school, taking a walk with your crush around the playground is exciting. When you’re in college, a stroll through the zoo, a park or around a nearby lake can be a dreamy experience. But when you are an adult, the backdrop for a romantic outing is limited only by your imagination – and your finances....more

An Apprentice Photographer

There are many advantages to dating a kind and patient bilingual engineer and computer programmer with a master’s degree in design. In addition to being a considerate travel companion and all-around good guy, E is an awesome translator. When I encounter pesky computer coding issues, he is my problem solver.And when it comes to photography, he shares his insights and opinions when I ask. ...more

The Train to Avila

“And this snow,” Robert Jordan said. “You think there will be much?”“Much,” Pablo said contentedly. Then called to Pilar, “You don’t like it, woman, either? Now that you command you do not like this snow?”“A mí qué?” Pilar said, over her shoulder. “If it snows it snows.”— For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway...more

The Cerralbo Museum in Madrid

It was a museum Sunday. While visiting Madrid in January, E and I toured the Museo Sorolla and the Museo Cerralbo on the same day – with a break for tapas in between. In addition to collections of art, the small museums offered a glimpse into turn-of-the-20th-century Spain from the artistic and aristocratic viewpoint....more

A Café Confession

When I visited Segovia during my first trip to Spain, E’s parents suggested stopping at a café. During my second trip to Spain, E’s parents suggested a café stopover when we arrived in Toledo. And in my most recent trip, E’s friends Carla and Germán suggested stopping at a café in El Escorial before heading back to Madrid.It finally dawned on me to ask E if a café break was a typical Spanish custom. “Yees,” he said with a patient smile....more

Sorolla: The Spanish Painter of Light and Color

A century ago, the New York Times dubbed Joaquin Sorolla “the Spanish painter of sunlight and color.” The year was 1909. The occasion was his New York exhibition. In a much later article about Sorolla written in 2012, the New York Times noted that during that turn-of-the-century exhibition over 169,000 art lovers ventured out in cold, icy February weather and endured long lines to see his work. ...more

Postcard Pic: Madrid

In the United States, we refer to reddish-orange, clay roof coverings as “Spanish tiles.” In Spain, they’re simply tejas.In this postcard picture, a storm gathers on the outskirts of Madrid, creating a cloudy backdrop for the gray dome of a church jutting up above the roofs blanketed with Spanish tiles....more

El Labriego: Damm Beer and Tasty Tapas

Madrid has world-class museums such as The Prado and Reina Sofia. It has the interesting architecture of the Gran Via. It has the Plaza Mayor, a preserved medieval grand square that stands as a testament to the reign of the Hapsburgs.But it also has tasty tapas. And a visit to Spain’s capital would not be complete without exploring the city through food....more