March 2018 - March 2021
Currently traveling
  • Day7

    Flying home!

    April 2, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Flew back to Rome yesterday to be ready to grab Caty in the morning and start the journey back.

    Laura and I weren't feeling so hot on our last day in Barcelona, so we stayed close to the hotel (doing a bunch of reading and relaxing) until it was time to head to the airport. It was an uneventful flight, and we got a few hours of sleep in a nearby hotel.

    5am rolled around pretty early, but we're ready to come home! Happy to have Caty back with us -- sounds like she had a blast.

    On our way, Mira!
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  • Day4

    Aeri de Montserrat

    March 30, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Slept in later than we had planned, though neither of us were upset about it. After crossaints and espresso, we boarded the train for an hour long journey to the cable car functario. The train was packed to standing room only, and we had the pleasure of listening to a group of women's inane babble the whole ride, which was unfortunate for us. We practically sprinted off the train when the doors opened to get away from them as soon as possible.

    That proved a good decision, because the line to use the cable car was quite long, so we at least ended up in front of the rest of the group from our train. It was a long wait, so we whipped out the books we were smart enough to pack, which distracted us from some children whose behavior was only worse then the parenting they received.

    Eventually it was our turn to ride up to the monestary, and the view along the way was truly spectacular. Once at the top, we went looking for some food and drink, and more importantly, a place to finally sit down.

    The lines for the two restaurants were unappealing, so we settled on some cheese, nuts, honey, and a beer. It hit all the right spots, and feeling better, we walked around until we made it to the church.

    After spending enough time in the high altitude, we started back to the cable car -- neither of us wanted to miss the next train. We shared a cable car with our delightful female friends from the reason ride in, but it was well worth the price of just barely making the train home (though we did make sure to board a train car several down from them).

    We're looking forward to dinner, which I will guarantee is going to be at a sit down restaurant.
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  • Day3

    Drinks and dinner

    March 29, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    We had just over an hour to kill before dinner, so we went to a relatively close by cocktail joint that came highly recommended. It had an old fashioned vibe, and was definitely with the expense -- the cocktails were generous pours, the bartenders knowledgeable, and the other patrons amusing.

    The hour killed, we made a pit stop back at the hotel to change before heading to Bar Cañete for the best meal of the trip by far, and a bottle of bubbles. The tapas of choice included: Oysters, fresh red shrimp, aged beef, oxtail, spicy octopus, and a spicy meatball. Hard to pick a favorite from that list.

    As delicious as the food was, the highlight was probably watching the kitchen staff, which was up to the challenge of a busy night.
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  • Day3

    Park Güell

    March 29, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Famous houses and Roman Catholic churches didn't seem like enough for Gaudí, he was also tasked with the design of a local public park, though calling it a park feels insufficient.

    We managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, and took the Metro to the closest stop and began the ascension to the park entrance.

    Laura had gotten is tickets to the paid area of the park, so we headed straight there before too many people started showing up. We walked around once or twice, then left the paid area to explore the public park. Saw lots of happy doggies -- Barcelona seems like a very dog-friendly city. We miss our puppup, but know she's doing okay due to regular pupdates.

    Satisfied with our walk, we went searching for lunch, and landed on Boca Grande, a cool restaurant with trippy bathrooms and yummy seafood. From there, back to the hotel for nap time.
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  • Day2

    La Sagrada Familia

    March 28, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Went on a self guided tour of Antoni Gaudí's finest work, La Sagrada Familia. Visually stunning outside and in, and absolutely massive. Construction is still in progress, scheduled to be completed in 2026, it'll be even taller once the main tower is completed.

    We ended up going to the top towers, followed by a stressful walk back down the 400 winding steps, all while stuck behind the world's slowest people. Still, probably the most impressive architecture I've seen. The view from the inside was definitely better than from the top, owing lots to the different colors streaming from the stained glass windows.
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  • Day1


    March 27, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Took a nap for a few hours, and then set out for drinks and dinner.

    Our first stop was at Barcelona's main craft brewing bar, Abirradero. Their on-tap selection was not shabby, but I saw a gem on their bottled menu. They almost refused to sell it to us, because the "best by" date had passed ~2 months ago, but I convinced them to take my money and let us have it. Well worth the effort.

    We figured out the metro and made our way to dinner at Llamber, and every single thing we had was fantastic. We were pleasently surprised to see that the restaurant made good cocktails. Laura liked hers so much she got the same thing the second time around.

    Bellies full, headed back to the hotel to get out first full night's sleep in a few days.
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  • Day1

    Arrival in Barcelona, Casa Battló

    March 27, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Slept like the dead for several blissful hours before it was time to get up again and catch an early flight to Barcelona. The travel was uneventful, and we made it into Barcelona around 11am.

    Our hotel room want ready, so we dropped our bags and went for a walk along La Rambla. We stopped in Mercado De La Boquiera and sampled fruit juice, a spicy burrito, and some mixed seafood.

    Continuing our walk down La Rambla, we ended up at Casa Battló, an extremely cool house rearchitected by Antoni Gaudí in the early 1900's, and refurbished over the years. "It is a universe of symbolism, a canvas of marine inspiration, a dream world, which evokes nature with its organic elements and is suggestive of fantasy." Extremely unique, the house has few straight lines and was not just visually appealing, but had inventive and effective methods of heat and ventilation. The VR-augmented tour was very well done, even if we did feel a bit silly with the provided blue headset and pointing the given iPhone at everything.

    We went looking for a beer, but the bar we wanted to go to was closed, so we decided to check in and take a much needed siesta.
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  • Day0

    Flying out

    March 26, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    It was a mad dash to get everything wrapped up before heading off to ORD to begin our long flight to Istanbul. Mira was less than enthused as we packed up, but perked up when we dropped her off with Bogey and Chris. She'll spend The first half of the week with them, then with Laura's parents until we come home.

    I scrambled to do some final work-things right up to when we boarded the plane, and then we settled in for a 10+ hour flight. We had a short layover, complicated when we got stuck in a holding pattern, so it was a mad dash to the other side of the airport to catch our flight to Rome. We made it in the nick of time, and were pleasently surprised to find our checked bag also made it on the plane in time.

    Caty is off to spend spring break in Italy, and Laura and I are going to catch some much needed sleep before our early morning flight to Barcelona tomorrow.

    Bonus: Tickled to see what the local news station thinks of our fearless leader.
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