Monday, November 12, 2012

Moms' weekend in Barcelona!

I realize this post is a little late, but there's no way I could continue to blog without writing about an incredible trip I took a few months back. Some friends and I were talking about how fun it would be to do a girls trip while we're here, so we pretty quickly decided on a place, a date, and got the ok from the hubbies who would keep the kiddos that weekend! We ended up in Barcelona for three whole nights, leaving behind strollers and pack n' plays and diapers bags . . . we literally did not know what to do with ourselves that first morning! But we quickly settled into our "previous" life, where we could shop, eat, and travel while only having to think about ourselves. Those of you still in this life stage -- SAVOR IT! Our flight leaving Eindhoven was delayed by a few hours, but we didn't let that put a damper on our trip! :)

The rain took care of that for us . . . we headed out on Saturday, our first full day, and it poured. all. day. long. We figured this would be a good time to do some shopping, so we took a taxi to an indoor mall and shopped to our heart's content. After finding some good deals we dropped our shopping bags off at the hotel before heading out to lunch.

Jennifer got us a reservation at an amazing restaurant called Cinc Sentits (meaning Five Senses) -- but it's hard to call it a restaurant, as it's more of an experience. I am not even exaggerating. It was seriously the nicest meal I've had in my life. We picked which set of courses we wanted and we were not disappointed! Their goal was to appeal to all your senses, and mixed all kinds of textures and spices and salty and sweet -- surprises with every bite! There were aperitifs first served with bread and a few different kinds of olive oils. After that was an amazing six course meal (as opposed to the eight course meal). I was able to get pictures of everything except one course that I devoured before remembering to snap a pic. When we first saw everything on the menu I thought for sure I'd be pushing food around my plate and not eating half of what I read about -- but I could have literally licked every plate and bowl clean because it was that good. Here are some pictures I was able to snap of all the amazing dishes . . .

aperitifs that had maple syrup in them!

frozen apples on top of fish
scallop with a ham crisp
fish on top of creamy rice with a honey crisp on top
pork course
NOT a mint
slivered peaches with ice cream
More desserts!

After a two-hour lunch where we ate the entire time, we could have very easily gone back to the hotel for a nap, but instead we headed out in search of some sites, including the very famous Sagrada Familia. After seeing many cathedrals during trips to Europe and now living here, I definitely have my favorites . . . and the inside of this church is definitely my new favorite. It is so bright and white and breathtaking (compared to the dimly-lit interiors of other cathedrals), and the way the columns branch out at the ceiling make it look like a stone forest. Absolutely amazing.





After walking around in the rain all day and finding a little Italian place for dinner, we finally caught a cab to drive the two blocks to our hotel (we didn't realize we were so close!), and collapsed into the room at 10:30 pm -- LONG DAY!

As rainy as the first day was, the second day in Barcelona was the total opposite! It was sunny and beautiful and so nice to take a tour bus and see some sites! After grabbing a Starbucks we got on the hop on hop off bus and saw a lot of the city in a little amount of time. We got out and walked around to see the Museum of Art, along with a mini car show (meaning a small car show, not a show for miniature cars), Gaudi buildings, and a visit to the Olympic Stadium.

waiting for our bus
ready for the day!
Gaudi apartment building

Musee d'Art

in front of the Musee d'Art

Olympic Stadium

The car show:





Our favorite part of the day was taking a gondola ride to the top of the mountain where we toured castle grounds and got to see the best views of the city! It was crazy to see the amount of houses, churches, the port, and sea -- we could have stayed up there all day . . . if we weren't so hungry!

headed up the mountain

in the gondola 
castle gardens
front of the castle

view of the port
my favorite picture from the trip!
We ended up taking a cab ride down to the port to eat at another recommended Spanish restaurant. The place was kinda crowded and the service wasn't the best, but the Sangria, croquettes, and Paella made up for it.


We walked back along the port, taking in the boats and the beautiful scenery, when all of the sudden Lindsey tripped and broke her favorite sandals! All three of us could not stop laughing as she dragged her foot and broken flip flop all the way to a tourist shop so she could buy a new pair of shoes! Luckily we were at the port because it would have been difficult to find shoes otherwise. We got back on our bus to head to La Rambla, a long street filled with vendors, restaurants, cafes, shops, and lots and lots of people!

the barista thought Lindsey's name was Venti!

one of Gaudi's building

Day 2 ended quickly and we packed our things to get ready for our super early flight on Monday morning. It was a whirlwind trip, but so needed and made for such nice memories with friends. I'm so glad that I have good friends here to enjoy these things with!


PS -- And I didn't even cry leaving Little Man behind! Go me!

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