Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Barcelona: Part 1

When I was in college, I spent a year living in Spain - and during that year I fell in love with the country, the language, the people, the wine and the culture (any place that shuts down in the middle of the day for an afternoon nap is OK by me). So when my dad suggested gathering the family in Barcelona for the holidays, I was beyond excited.

My parents rented a lovely five bedroom flat for all 8 of us to stay at on Paseo de Gracia, which is known as the "5th Avenue" of Barcelona (we lived above Hermes and Escada, across from Louis Vuitton and just down the street from two of Gaudi's famous buildings - Casa Mila and Casa Batllo). It was fancy and fabulous and I thought nothing could get in the way of our amazing holiday away... until half of us got the stomach flu our last night in town. Didz and I were so sick we had to miss our flights and stay another day, bed-ridden, until we were well enough to fly. It was a horribly miserable end to an otherwise wonderful trip.

Street view & Casa Mila

Christmas was warm and beautiful - after church, we had tapas on an outdoor patio... which then turned into a bit of a bar-crawl the rest of the day (if you know our family at all, you know that's no surprise)....

Christmas mass at the Cathedral
Christmas beers and g&ts
Merry Christmas! from our family to yours....
Because three of our crew of 8 only showed up after Christmas - the celebrations continued on for days... consisting of a lot of eating, drinking, sightseeing, gift-giving and walking through the beautiful city.

... and jamon... lots and lots of jamon serrano
Can't take them anywhere....

We ate at some fantastic restaurants - Mama nailed it in the restaurant picking department, but when we got tired of tapas we cooked at home. Each couple had to prepare one meal during the course of the week, and I'm happy to say our Spicy Mustard Fish was a huge success... 

Amazing tapas at Cerveceria Catalana
photo cred: Big Al
In the evenings, my brother, father and husband would retire to the back balcony with a pipe and bottle of scotch... They claim they were seeking enlightenment...

I'll share more in part 2 - with this cold, rainy weather I wish I could go back and enjoy the sunshine forever!

Our friend Giedre arrives from Chicago tomorrow to spend a few days with us... hopefully the rain won't deter us from having at least a little bit of fun! 

1 comment:

  1. typo - end of the 3rd last paragraph should read "they found enlightenment..."