Monday, June 9, 2014

The Best Vacation Yet! (Part 2- Barcelona)

The second destination during our two-week-hop was beautiful Barcelona!

 Cody and I had already experienced Spain, and were excited to spend some time in one of it's most popular cities.

We ended up finding an apartment in Barceloneta, which is a small area between the harbor and the far end of the beach. I wouldn't have wanted to stay anywhere else in the city! It felt very local and friendly, like we were just a part of the residents' everyday lives. There aren't any hotels in the area, so any other tourists were renting apartments, like us. As soon as we got in we went to a little cafe attached to the market at the end of our block to get some lunch. We guessed what to try and hit a homerun! The local speciality, bravas, couldn't have been more delicious; imagine fried potato chunks covered in a "spicy" tangy, sauce and a cheesy, cream sauce. We had small sausages on the side with some bread to dip in all the yummy juices.  You better bet we ate at that cafe every day- with Cody adding fried eggs on top of his bravas! From there we wandered to the beach, where I was surprised to find cute beach restaurants, playgrounds, volleyball nets, and a long, clean, stretch of lovely sand.
Eventually we had to walk back to meet our friend Jacky at the apartment, and we basically repeated the same exact adventure for a second time! After cleaning up, we found a local tapas bar to hang out in for a bit before wandering around the city in the dark. We eventually found Las Ramblas and followed the lively entertaining street all the way to the pier, where we continued to explore until we finally made our tired way back to the apartment.

Our second day was set to be our "touristy time" when we could go see the sights I had researched. There were only a few that I HAD to see, so instead of spending a ton of money on a hop-on/hop-off tour, we decided to buy a day pass for the metro and figure it out ourselves. The first stop was Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's home stadium, where Cody and Jacky stocked up on all-things-soccer. From there we went to the famous Sagrada Familia, where we snapped a few pictures, but skipped going inside. The amount of people there was basically unbearable, and none of us wanted to stand in line all day. Instead, we went back to the apartment and decided to laze on the beach for a couple hours; you can't beat having it right there and the 10euro massages in the sand. After the beach, we got all fancy and got ourselves to the Spanish Village to see a Flamenco Show! We ate before-hand because we weren't sure how big the tapas meal would be at the show; that was a mistake. The food was wonderful and bountiful! And the performers were spectacular. Although Jacky slept through the first half, Cody and I totally enjoyed ourselves (and Jacky's portion of the Sangria!). On our walk home we got to watch the Magic Fountain Show and then go to the top of the 360* arena, before collapsing into a cab to take our sore feet home.

Day three was a total beach bum day, and it was fabulous. We got mojitos, Cody got a massage, and we all just generally lumped on the beach until we got restless. After a walk up and down the beach to find a place for lunch, the boys got into a pick-up volleyball match (very TopGun, minus the jean-shorts) and I got to talk to a lovely girl who lived in Paris. We found the perfect place to have our last dinner, where we spent hours enjoying house-made vermouth, Hendrick's gin and tonics, and seafood paella. The sun, food, and alcohol had finally caught up with us and it was time to call it a night; ending our Barcelona trip on just as great a note as it had started.

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