barcelona, spain - feb. 14-17, 2014

For Valentine's Day weekend, I flew to Europe to meet Alex in Barcelona. Before my flight, I had to shovel the 8 inches of snow that had fallen in Brooklyn, and upon landing in Barcelona, I was instantly drowning in sweat while waiting in the blazing sun on the train platform. It was so, so good to be in the sun for a few days with my lovely 6'2" Handsome European Scientist Boyfriend!

I had the afternoon to myself to wander around, architecture-gawk, and eat all the jamón ibérico I pleased before Alex arrived that night. Within thirty seconds of walking the streets, I understood why my father forever sings Barcelona's praises as his favorite city in Europe. So much color, intricacy and detail in the architecture.

I settled in to an outdoor street cafe with an old favorite book and ordered lunch and a cold beer. After months of shoveling tons of snow and ice, walking my dog in freezing temperatures, and sleeping in 3 sweaters under 6 blankets.... it was indescribable to sit outside, in the sun, in a light sweater.

After lunch, I ducked into a liquor store to pick up supplies and headed back to our hotel to lounge in the sun-soaked balcony. We stayed at circa1905, a tiny boutique b&b, which was absolutely perfect and amazing in every possible way, and remains my favorite hotel anywhere on the globe.

A book and Prosecco in the sunshine. Nothing more perfect.

That night, we had our Valentine's dinner at a lovely tapas place, and accidentally closed the place down -- we were so lost with staring lovingly into each other's eyes that we didn't notice that all the other diners in the very crowded restaurant had long since left, leaving eight waiters and waitresses standing around glaring at us. It was 1am, time to close shop. Alex and I inexplicably went to an Irish pub to hang around American tourists. Writing that sentence down, I have some questions, such as, why? Anyway. Drunk selfies:

The next morning, we took our breakfast on our balcony. It was... heavenly. This is the best adjective for circa1905. It was like Buddha himself was throwing me a bone for having to do all of that shoveling and dog-walking. Or maybe just gently pointing out that moving to Europe is a GREAT IDEA.

CIRCA1905 - Provenza 286

And then wandered around the city to walk off the 16 pounds of food we'd just eaten.

View from Park Güell


As the Brits say, it was a bit blowy.

After all that walking, we were ready for a small bite to eat. We grabbed seats at a tapas bar and ordered.... way too much food. And a couple of beers, including an old favorite from my Buenos Aires days (!!):

That night, we went to see FC Barcelona play at Camp Nou. The tickets were Alex's Valentine's Day present to me. Best boyfriend in the world.

Camp Nou, Barcelona

We were treated to a "champagne performance!" by Barça, who trumped Rayo Vallecano 6-0. Including very beautiful goals by Messi (x2) and Neymar.

V for victory!

Breakfast on the balcony again the next morning, soaking up the sun.

And then a walk down to the beach. I'd wanted to swim, but Alex had forgotten his bathing suit, thinking when I texted him "BRING YOUR BATHING SUIT, WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH" as I was drenched in sweat at the train station that I was kidding.

Barcelona beach
Characteristically overly-dramatic Spanish sky; it was actually warm and sunny, I swear!

Barcelona beach

We sipped drinks outside on the terrace at the W Hotel, and took in the beach views.

W Hotel Barcelona terrace
W HOTEL - Placa de la Rosa dels Vents 1

W Hotel Barcelona terrace

The temperature took a little bit of a dive, so we paid our tab and made a getaway..

So we threw on our coats and took a (very VERY cold) tram ride to the top of Montjuïc hill for a spectacular overview of the city.

Montjuïc hill view, Barcelona

Montjuïc hill view, Barcelona

Best Valentine's Day ever, and a beautiful end to an incredible trip.

Oh, and on our way to the airport at the end of our trip, I dragged Alex into a photobooth at the metro station and made him spend 4 euros on THIS:
Best four euros ever spent ever.

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