Friday, July 15, 2011
Cala Sant Vicenç

My brain is a little sapped right now from all the fun in the sun but I thought I would throw up some pictures here from our time in Mallorca. We stayed in a little beach village on the opposite side of the island from the airport and really preferred the quaint and often quieter coves over the the Ibiza-like party scene of Palma.

I wrote a ton in my little travel notebook while we were there but I will save the stories and lavish descriptions for when we return and I have the time to write a proper post. Here I will say that the postcards and pictures from the web did not disappoint. The sea was a clear blue varying from shades of turquoise to cobalt and the water temperature was like stepping in to a refreshing bath, especially nice when you are used to the freezing Pacific. In addition to doing plenty of nothing, we enjoyed meals high atop cliffs with views of the Mediterranean that went on for miles and stayed at an adorable little hotel that fed us the most delicious Spanish breakfast every morning on our terrace. We also enjoyed a few great restaurants--the sea-salted Mallorcan quail at a restaurant called Modesto was to die for--but noticed there were probably a few too many places catering to the awful tastes of the German and British tourists that dominated the island. At least for the cuisine, we were happy to get back to Barcelona and the delicious offerings of an international, foodie city. Oh, and I lost count of the number of times Chris referenced The Odyssey while we were there but I think he will enjoy teaching the epic having now swam in the great body of water.

And, now we are off to enjoy our last night in Barcelona with a little dinner and wine on the roof top of our apartment where we will say "adios" to the Mediterranean for now. Next stop, San Sebastian on the other coast. Then, Paris and London.

Posted by Kelley at 1:59 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 7, 2011
La Barceloneta

Just two days in Barcelona and we are smitten with the city. Chris and I had a conversation on the way to dinner tonight about whether there is an American city that has the wonderful blend of beach town and city life that BCN offers and we could not think of a single place that could even hold a candle to it.

We are fortunate enough to be staying at the apartment of my best friend Monica, one she shares with her fiance Ewan. It is in the neighborhood of La Barceloneta, a tiny peninsula that juts out from the city into the Mediterranean. That means that it is surrounded by beaches and yet still nestled at what feels like the entrance to the city. We are incredibly gracious for their generosity. It is so pleasant to return to an actual home after a long day of travel rather than to a sterile hotel room, and we couldn´t ask for a better experience. From their roof we can just about see 360-degree views of BCN and, better still, we can see whether or not the beachfront is crowded. This afternoon, after a nice long siesta, Chris and I decided to shake the sleep out of our eyes by taking a dip in the sea. It probably took us longer to walk down the stairs from their fifth-floor flat than it did to get from the building´s front door to the water´s edge. ¡Que fantastico! Even getting ready is an experience: my husband has taken to playing classical music on the radio at just the perfect volume, and I often forget this and think the sounds of a string quartet are wafting in through the open windows.

Dusting off our Spanish speaking skills was a bit intimidating at first, but the people here are wonderful and it is actually quite fun to try to communicate and converse in a language other than your own. Still, each time we enter a new establishment, whether it´s keeping up even a short conversation or ordering successfully from a bakery, we get a little thrill and our abilities improve by the hour.

We are in love with Barcelona and continue to fantasize about what it would be like to live here. And, even after checking out the main tourist attractions--La Rambla, Parc Guell--our favorite moments so far have definitely been sitting down to relaxing meals that start with ensaladas, end with cafe con leche, and always include wine. Equally as enjoyable has been popping in to bars and devouring an assortment of tapas (I particularly liked the place we found that was playing Frank Sinatra Christmas music in the background). Either way, the Spanish lifestyle of relaxing, resting, and eating is appealing to say the least.

Tomorrow we are off to Mallorca to enjoy the sun and, hopefully, lots of sangria. More to come...

*I take absolutely no responsibility for any misspellings or general bad writing during this trip as I have written this after enjoying an entire bottle of wine with dinner.

Posted by Kelley at 3:45 PM | 0 comments

Just married

We got hitched! On July 2, 2011, we were officially married and enjoyed a fabulously long weekend with friends among the Redwood trees. We will detail the whole event, complete with photos, soon, but first we have to enjoy a nice long honeymoon in Europe. Keep a look out for mini-posts and pictures of our trip as it unfolds...

Posted by Kelley at 11:19 AM | 0 comments