It’s days like today that I miss the Barcelona heat. Although we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter this season in NYC, the cold days still leave me missing my beloved Barcelona. Last summer, I finally got the trip to Barcelona I’d won in a family bet from the 2010 World Cup. I’d cheered for Spain faithfully while everyone else in my family cheered for Brazil, then Germany, then the Netherlands. On the day of the World Cup Final I prepared empanadas for breakfast, and paella, tapas, and a big batch of sangria for game time. If there was a God Spain was going to win and so they did.
A year later, I toured around Barcelona, from the suburbs into the city and back for a week. I paraded down Las Ramblas, ate tapas and paella (bottom left) with the obligatory sangria at restaurants I stumbled upon in cobblestone lined alleys, and took a few dips in the gold-fleck-laden waters of the Mediterranean Sea at Icaria Beach.
In addition to the touristy stuff – I spent my days taking trains all over the city and walking (and walking). Every morning my mother, sister, and I hiked one and a half miles to the train station in a suburb called Bellaterra, and every day we passed my little door that we affectionately dubbed – mi pequeña puerta (bottom right). I skipped through and around the Barcelona Arc de Triomf (top left) and posed with my sister perched on mermaid sculptures in Barceloneta (top right). I hiked up to Parc Güell, and then hiked further to the top of the expansive and stunning park that overlooks the breathtaking city and the landmark Sagrada Familia church (middle left). Although my mother was insistent that we find a flamenco dancing show to watch, I left unsure of what it really represents to the Catalan or Spanish culture. It was one of those moments that felt too contrived, if only for tourist amusement, and I’m not sure that I’d do it again.
Nevertheless, I left Barcelona with an amazing appreciation for the city’s culture, it’s undeniable that from the food to the art – there’s nothing quite like the spirit of that city. My next visit will be spent touring the Balearic Islands and perhaps I’ll catch a glimpse of my favorite tennis player – Rafael Nadal.
On my return from Barcelona, all I wanted to do was go back. The fact that I don’t own a Spanish villa and I’d just been tormented by a turbulence-full eight hour plane ride are probably what stopped me. Nevertheless I have an eye out for a red flamenco-ish dress to keep my new-found Spanish heart alive and this sweetheart neckline frock is just the ticket. Don’t get me wrong, I realize it’s not a full-length flamenco dress but the ruffled skirting and the luscious red hue are the next best thing to me right now. Not to mention walking around in a full-length flamenco get up would definitely turn a few heads in the wrong way, and I’d be likely to trip over the train.
Here I sit, in JFK counting down the hours until my flight leaves for Spain. See, I was so excited that I may have slightly over-budgeted my travel time and ended up getting here approximately 4 hours before my flight. I’ve been dying to go to Spain for years and for one reason or another, it’s just happening now. Perhaps I should have fulfilled my promise to myself to learn a bit more Spanish before embarking on this trip, but it’s now or later, and I prefer now. One week in Spain is exactly what the doctor ordered. From Las Ramblas to the beaches and on to Parc Guell, Barcelona here I come. Tapas and Sangria are on the menu and a full report when I get back. Until then…
This winter weather and those pictures of Rafael Nadal for Emporio Armani has me aching for a trip to Spain that have almost been satisfied by the photos of the landscape of the Gran Melia Palacio de Isora in Spain’s Canary Islands. I’m fantasizing about eating tapas and drinking wine and sangria from night until sunrise on this beautiful landscape. And while the Caribbean has its merits the Canary Islands possess a certain kind of grandeur that’s the kind of thing dreams are made of.
The resort boasts a staff of personal butlers, five restaurants, and private gardens, and for utter relaxation, the property offers seductive tango lessons and the tranquility and services of their YHI Spa facilities. The seascape is a hypnotic true blue and the poolside canopy beds speak to true luxury. And while Luxury Link is hosting this divine destination on auction for a minimum of what is a steal of half price at $347.00, my dreams seem more in reach than ever before.
If you’re not a member of Luxury Link, use this referral code to get access to the vacation destinations of your dreams – LUXURYLINK-YZPIWJ – www.luxurylink.com