Tag Archives: vacation

a crazy week: wrapping it up!

3 Aug

Hey!

I want to start with a shout out to Caitlin from one of my very favorite blogs, Healthy Tipping Point.  I’m sure many of you are already avid readers, but if not you must stop by and check it out.  Today is a very exciting day in the blog world because Caitlin’s book Operation Beautiful hit bookstores across the country!!  Way to go Caitlin! Snag your very own copy at Barnes and Noble, Borders or Amazon.com.

Today has been only semi productive:(  Honestly, these last few days have been sort of tough.  I’ve just felt a little down in the dumps for no particular reason.  And it’s definitely affected my productivity levels.  I’m really hoping things start looking up soon!

Jon and I kicked off our morning with a fairly brutal 3 mile run.  We got started way too late, and therefore it was way too hot!  We actually ended up walking between miles 1.5 and 2.  But, fortunately we did finish strong so it wasn’t a complete disappointment.  Some days are just like that, ya know?

Stats

Distance – 3.o miles
Avg Pace – 10:48 (walking killed our pace obvs)
Best Pace – 7:59  (told you finished strong)

Splits
Mile 1 – 10:09
Mile 2 – 12:42
Mile 3 -9:34

After our run I was so overheated and dehydrated!  I’m certain that my lack of hydration during our runs is responsible for how tough they’ve been.  Today my mouth felt like cotton and it was hard to swallow I was so thirsty.  It’s quite the conundrum, though, because I really don’t want to carry water for short runs.  Camelback or hydration belt – neither is very comfortable, but for long runs I make it work.  I guess I really don’t have another option though – I’m just going to have to start carrying water every run…at least until it cools down some. bah.

Needless to say after we got back I couldn’t even stomach the thought of a heavy breakfast, so I made up a little fruit plate

Which of course left me starving about an hour and a half later.  Enter mid-morning snack of homemade Classic Garlic hummus, baby carrots and a few Back to Nature crackers.

Tonight Jon and I met up for a late dinner with our friends, Jonathan and Grace.  We had such a great time catching up…aren’t friends just the best thing in the world??

We went to McAlister’s, a cute deli that we don’t really hit up that often.  I used to think they didn’t have very good vegetarian/vegan options, but I have come to know better!  Tonight I went with the veggie pita with honey mustard on the side. And a side of steamed veggies.

delicious!

Okay – now on to finishing up the series of posts about this crazy last week.   If you missed it, here is part I, part II and part III.You would think after the chaos that had ensued since arriving at the lake, we would have high tailed it home.  But oh no.  We Marsh/McCoy/Fryar girls are not to be deterred when it comes to lake fun!

So after lazing around in the water for an hour or so, I decided I’d give wakeboarding a whirl.  I have been skiing since I was 6 years old, at which age they had to tie my skiis together because my little legs weren’t strong enough to hold them steady:)  I’ve wakeboarded a couple of times, but always struggled with it a lot more.

So, I dive in, get myself all fastened onto the board, wait for the rope to tighten up, and yell “GO!”

I don’t think at that point I really expected to get up.  It had been so long since I’d done it, I expected it to take me at least a few tries.  But no.

I popped right up on top of the water, wobbling like crazy and trying to maintain my balance while my mind attemtped to register what was happening.  Before I had even absorbed that I was in fact on top of the water, the front of the board dipped slightly, getting caught in the wake.  My body continued to propel forward, while my feet remained fastened in the boots of the wakeboard, causing me to violently slam into the water face first.

My first thought was that I was either A. going to die, B. have a concussion and/or C. black out.

Thankfully, none of the above happened.  But as I floated to the surface, waiting for the boat to return, I seriously could not feel my face.  The entire front side of my body felt as if it had been slammed into a concrete wall at a high rate of speed.  The wind was knocked out of me and every cavity of my body was filled with water.

All I could do was moan.

After several minutes, I began to regain feeling in my body and my mom and sister hauled me out of the water and into the boat.  No more extreme sports (as my husband calls it:) for Candice. We decided to call it a day and head back in.

Fifteen minutes of painful jolting later and we were back at the ramp to load up.  Of course only to discover that the boat trailer tire was completely flat.  Flat as a pancake.

We proceeded to spend the next hour and a half waiting, while some nice men helped us get it fixed.

I took the opportunity to get in some yoga.

And that was that.  After having the tire fixed, we said thank you to the nice men and made our way back to the cabin.  I packed up and headed back home, sad to be leaving such great time with my mom and sis, but exhausted after two full days of unexpected glitches.  And with a slight headache.

So, you can imagine my distress the next day when Olive ate an entire bar of dark chocolate and had to be rushed to the puppy emergency room.  I was this close to deciding to crawl back into bed and try again next week. lol.

I’m off to bed now, so I’ll “see” you all in the morning.  Hope you had a great day!

Back to what I mentioned at the beginning –

What do you do for hydration?  Do you carry water on every single run? Any brilliant ideas? Heck, any ideas at all?? 🙂

Oh, yeah – and I did something kind of fun and crazy tonight…but I’ve gotta tell my mom before I spill it on the blog. lol.  I’ll tell ya about it soon:)

a crazy week: part III

3 Aug

Let’s get right to the next part of the story, eh?

So Wednesday night we drifted off peacefully to sleep after our eventful evening.

Suddenly, at about 3am, we were all jolted awake by an unnaturally loud noise.  It was so startling in fact, that we all 3 simultaneously bolted straight up in our beds. It almost sounded as if someone had rammed a car into the front of the cabin.  Loud, but muffled. Our cabin only has two rooms for sleeping, one of which has two pull out sofa beds.  So, my sister was sleeping on one and my mom and I slept in the other.

Just to set the scene a little better – as I mentioned in part I, we have been going down to our cabin my entire life.  While we all feel at home there, there is also a slight uneasiness at night.  Over the years, the area has changed a bit – a lot of the people my grandparents knew have left, and the people who have moved in have not kept the neighborhood up very well.  When we’re there with our whole family, we don’t really think about it much, but being just us 3 women was a bit unnerving.

So we’re now all 3 wide awake with our hearts beating out of our chests.  We got out of bed and started exploring around, attempting to discover an explanation for the noise.  Nothing. There was nothing out of place.  No one around outside that we could see.  Nothing.  Finally giving up, we crawled back in bed, only to spend the next several hours in a fitful sleep.

You know those kind of nights when for whatever reason, you just can’t sleep?  You toss and turn and keep watching the clock, wishing for the sun to show his face…but he stays in hiding for what seems like forever.  You get the idea.

Finally he did reveal himself, though, and we went about our day.  After eating a quick breakfast…

brown rice cake, natural pb and banana (tired of seeing this yet?) muahaha

coffee

blackberries and strawberries

…we spent some time driving around the cove, stopping to ask a couple people if they had heard anything strange that night, receiving only humored looks in return.

Deciding to put the scary night behind us, we made lunch and started packing up to head out on the lake.

lunch – whole wheat spaghetti, grilled zucchini, squash and onions and jarred pasta sauce that my mom brought

Thankfully, our trailer tire had not gone flat overnight, so we were able to get back out on the water without a hitch!

Of course it would only be a few hours before the next big incident(s).  That’s how we roll.

I’ll be back later for part IV and today’s eats/exercise!

a crazy week: part I

2 Aug

I love books.  Aren’t books just amazing?

This morning I spent over two hours just looking at shelf upon shelf of books.  I first went to Hastings to see if by chance the Operation Beautiful book would be there already.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck with that, but then I started browsing around and found a load of books I wanted to just sit down and soak up.

So, I booked it (pun intended:) to the public library.  Our public library is not super extensive, unfortunately, and I usually leave in disappointment.  While they didn’t have the specific reads I was trying to hunt down today, I was able to pick up a few good ones.  I came home with

The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by Julie K. Norem
Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Alice D. Domar and Alice Lesch Kelly
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose

I picked up each of these books for a different reason (obvs:) – and I’m looking forward to sharing those reasons and my thoughts on these books as I read them.

Something that really should have been noted on my confessions post last week is that I tend to hoard books.  I love to read so I accumulate books like crazy, and then it takes me forever to get through all of them.  I guess it’s not necessarily a bad problem to have, but sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming!

This morning started off with a trip to The Daily Grind (our local coffee shop) for an iced soy latte.  I failed to get a picture unfortunately, but the bland styrofoam cup wouldn’t have been too exhilarating anyway.

After I got home, I was about to eat my arm, so I fixed a quick mid-morning snack

brown rice cake slathered with natural peanut butter and topped with sliced banana

Today is cross training, so Jon and I opted to sleep in and we’ll be going for a walk later on tonight after it cools off!

I have so much to catch up on since I’ve been at large the last few days.  As you guys know, I was at the lake with my mom and sister last Wednesday and Thursday.  If you missed my spiralizer review or the most awesome guest post ever 🙂 make sure and check them out!

It’ll take me a couple of days to catch up on everything, so I may as well get started!

On Wednesday, I got up super early to head to the lake.  I had to stop through my hometown to pick up my mom before making the long drive to the lake to meet my sister.  We finally arrived around noon and after hanging out at our cabin for awhile, we headed out to spend some time on the water.

For a quick bit of history on my family and the lake – my great-grandparents built our cabin when my mom was 2 years old.

My mom grew up going there every summer, and our family continued the tradition throughout my childhood.  There really is a little piece of each of us in that cabin and on the lake.  So many memories.  When we were little, we used to tell people our grandpa owned Lake Texoma.  And to us, he did.

After we spent a couple of hours on the lake, we decided to venture out on the 15 minute boat ride to one of the fancier resorts just to look around.  Not even 20 minutes after arriving, we noticed some storm clouds brewing on the horizon.

even little Bentley was getting concerned:)

We’ve had our fair share of close calls with storms on the lake – getting caught out in the middle with waves coming over the front of the boat, being stranded on the beach with the wind whipping the sand, stinging as it collided with our skin.  Once my dad got caught out in a storm, and our boat took a nosedive into a huge wave, breaking the windshields off the boat and losing most of his fishing equipment.  Needless to say, we don’t mess around anymore.

So, we took off back across the lake, barely beating the storm back to the ramp.  It was then that we realized our first real problem…

…to be continued:)

going "home"

6 Jul

I’m baaaaaccckkkk!

How was everyone’s weekend?  I hope you got to spend some time with family and friends or at least get a little extra rest in over the long weekend.

I had a great weekend hanging out with my family.  My grandparents have a cabin at the lake, and we’ve been going down there for vacation since I was born, but Jon and I haven’t been in several years.  It was a bit like going home after a really long time away.  So sweet.

Here’s a quick picture recap of the weekend

My step-dad’s birthday was Saturday, so I attempted to make cookies and have them ready when he and my mom arrived.  Unfortunately, the baking soda we packed had less than half as much as we needed, the oven at our cabin is on the splits, and this cookie sheet…well, you can see it for yourself.  FAIL

My great-grandparents built this cabin in 1960 (give or take a couple years:).  Even though it’s old and a bit small, it holds so many special memories and we love it.

Olive isn’t quite sure how she feels about the lake yet

my sister, my mom and me

my sis and I

skiing under the beautiful blue sky

Olive and her cousin, Bentley

fireworks over the lake

our little cabin:)

work hard, play hard, right?

she knows how to tell us when it’s time to head home

Happy 4th of July from our family to yours!

Today has been a little slow…and it has actually been quite nice!  For some reason, despite my laid-back weekend, I am exhausted! Plus, it has been storming off and on all day; Olive and I have been a bit lazy.  My afternoon appt. with Mohammad even got cancelled.  He called to say it wasn’t a good time for him because of the rain. lol.  So endearing to me because the Thais used to do stuff like that all the time.  love it:)

I did manage to make it to Piyo this morning, and got quite a workout!  The more I practice piyo, the more I love it.

For breakfast I threw together a yogurt bowl

whole soy peach yogurt, 1/3 cup raw oats, frozen cherries and chia seeds!

And just a few hours later I was ready for lunch

Amy’s split pea soup with black pepper and sea salt

Ezekiel toast with Sabra roasted garlic hummus and a sprinkle of chia seeds

Don’t forget about the giveaway coming up in celebration of my 100th post!  Details are soon to come…

What did you do over the weekend?

mini diana: paris

16 Jun

I am so excited to post a few pics from the first two rolls of Mini Diana film.  I hope you enjoy them!

There will be more to come!

Paris: the day of Diana

16 Jun

Here is a look at the Seine river from our hotel room window.  We rose on the morning of day 2 to find it quite overcast.  Not to be deterred by the gloomy weather, we got all gussied up, me in a skirt and sandals and him in shorts and a tee, and headed out for our first full day in Paris.  The moment we headed out the exit we were shocked with a chilly breeze (the day before it had been sweltering), and I turned tail and headed back up to our room to change into jeans.

The first stop of the day was this cute little Boulangerie a couple of blocks from our hotel.  So cute, in fact, that we proceeded to eat there every single morning for the rest of our trip.  I dare anyone to try and stroll past a Boulangerie window and not be swooned by the sweet Parisian atmosphere and the aroma of fresh baked breads and pastries.

Because it was getting close to lunchtime, we split this savory french bread dressed in melted cheese and tomato slices.

Next, we headed to the Louvre.

This glass pyramid was constructed in 1989 due to some problems with the main entrance of the museum.  It is now used as the entrance – visitors enter the structure, then immediately descend down by way of escalator to the lobby of the museum.  When plans were made to build the pyramid, there was much controversy as many people believed the modernity detracted from the beauty of the Louvre’s architecture.  While Jon loved it and thought it was brilliant, I was, at first a bit more skeptical; however, it didn’t take long for it to really grow on me and by the time we left I found the contrast of styles quite charming.

This sculpture of the Greek Goddess Nike owns the top of the front entry staircase.

Gotta love the peacefully quiet ambiance.  lol.

Speaking of peacefulness, poor Mona Lisa will never have peace in her life again.  This room was a madhouse.  It was rather surreal to see The Mona Lisa in person, but by the end of the experience I wondered if it was worth it!  These people were crazy.  We got pushed, pulled, elbowed, stepped on, and even harshly reprimanded by another museum goer for taking pictures, when there is no rule about using cameras as long as there is no flash.

As I said, however, it was still quite novel.

And of course we both had to have our picture taken.  If nothing else to make all the work of getting to the front of the mob worthwhile! ha.

On our way out.

We stopped for a snack at this little place – and the owner was a bit crazy!  He even looks crazy.

I ended up with the only thing they had outside the realm of ham and hotdogs – a baguette with cheese and tomatoes.  Very similar to what I had for breakfast a few hours earlier.  Cheese and bread actually made quite a presence in my life while in Paris.  All my hopes for veggies and legumes were crushed as we encountered cafe after cafe, serving jambon (ham), and fromage (cheese).  And bread of course.  I made due, though, and tried to enjoy the cheesefest.

Next up, we visited this Cultural Center.  It was built with all the electrical wires on the outside.  Nestled in among the charming French architecture, it is seen as an eyesore by many people and was also very controversial when it was built.

While I personally didn’t see much culture inside, I did find a couple of wonderful things – this clock, which is the exact same cuckoo clock we have hanging in our living room (random much?) and this….

The Mini Diana camera.  It is a smaller version of the Diana F+ camera – but even better because it uses 35 mm film and has the unique ability to shoot half frame or square frame photos.  Throughout our last days in Paris, I used two rolls of film in this gal and got some really amazing pictures out of them.  If you stop back by tonight, I’ll be putting them up on the blog.  It’s my new baby.

Don’t worry, Olive, you’re still my favorite:)

I’m not sure which one of us is more excited about the new addition to our family:)

Okay, okay.  We’ll start taking pictures with Diana rather than of Diana;)

How about if we bike over and get some food??

Enter the Canal Saint Martin, Paris’ lesser known waterway (next to the Seine) that runs through old parts of the city and is lined with beautiful trees, cafes and locals living it up in their own Parisian way.  We strolled by the water for awhile before stumbling on this perfect little cafe.

Cheese Ravioli with a cream and tomato sauce

And Spinach Ravioli with cheese on top

We shared these two dishes, and it was the best meal this side of heaven.  Regardless of the fact that it was technically still cheese and bread (my third of the day), it was so delicious it didn’t matter.  The cheese was French, and it had just a hint of sweetness.  I die.

And the bread, of course.

We worked off dinner by biking home the long way back to our hotel.  Hands down, the best part of the trip.

Did you know that every hour for ten minutes the Eiffel Tower illuminates with these tiny flashing bulbs that make it appear as if it is glittering?  I didn’t know that beforehand, but it was so beautiful.  We would often stop at it’s feet on our way home at night and linger for just a few extra minutes to catch the show.

our first look at Paris

15 Jun

We rose early in the morning to make our 10am flight to Paris.  I had planned meticulously for what I would eat on our flight from the states to Europe (see this post); however, it is a little bit harder to plan for travel in the middle of a trip.  So, I found myself scouring the airport for a decent breakfast option, and all I could come up with was this:

That’s right, a big hot bowl of spaghetti with marinara.  When McDonalds is the only other option, spaghetti at 9am starts to look decently appealing.  I have to admit, it was tasty:)

I ended up being thankful that I ate a heavy breakfast because once we arrived in Paris, it was about 7 hours before we ate again.  If you know me at all, you know that doesn’t fly.

We had decided instead of taking a cab from the airport to our hotel, we would take the train and then connect to the subway.  In theory this was a brilliant idea, and I can’t say we wouldn’t do it again, but it was rough.  We were on that train for over an hour, it was sweltering hot, and we went through really sketchy parts of the city.  Picture us crammed on this train with our suitcases and some questionable looking characters in 95 degree heat.  Not a happy Candice.  Then when we came up out of the subway, we had no idea where we were and spent another half hour at least trying to get to our hotel.   With two suitcases in tow.  Not a glamorous arrival for sure.

It ended up okay though, and at least we saved a lot of money….which we readily spent a week later taking a cab back to the airport;)  This girl can only “rough it” so much.  lol.

Once we got cleaned up at the hotel, our first stop was of course, the Eiffel Tower.

Hours later we finally made it to this cute little cafe.  Notice my “I’m smiling for the camera but I’m going to kill someone if I don’t get some food asap” smile.  It was definitely worth the wait, though.

I ordered this vegetarian plate which included a bagel, cream cheese, pesto, onions, pickles, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and oil soaked eggplant, bell pepper and zucchini.  With a side of fries.  This plate was really phenomenal.  Or maybe I was just so hungry that anything would have been appetizing.  The only dilemma was how to go about eating this beautiful meal (the French put so much care into the presentation of food).  I ended up putting the cream cheese on the bagel, open faced, and then adding the veggies and a drizzle of pesto.  The next picture I’m showing not because it looks so mouthwatering, but so you can see why the waiter looked at me quite strangely the next time he came to our table.

I completely ruined the presentation, but at this point I was so famished I could have cared less.

Jon ordered a club sandwich with fries, and was happy as a clam.  By the way, did you know that in Paris a soda costs between 7 and 8 dollars if you order it from a restaurant?  Wine is cheaper than soda.

In case you haven’t noticed from my vacation recaps so far, Jon and I love to wander around new cities.  We almost always walk rather than take the subway if at all possible.  And we never take a cab.  We just want to see as much of the city as possible, and there’s no better way to do that than hoofing it everywhere we go!  The only downside is that we always end up walking at least 7 or 8 miles throughout the course of the day, and after day one of that our feet are screaming.  This trip was no different.  There were moments when I compared the pain to how my feet felt at the end of our marathon last spring. The upside is that it often makes for great photo ops!

Doesn’t this look like a backdrop?

And finally the Parisian Arc de Triomphe.  We’ve seen the Laotian version, we’ve seen the Spanish version.  And now we’ve seen the real deal.  As expected, it was the biggest, and quite possibly the most beautiful.

After our visit to the Arc, we continued walking along the Champs Elysee, which is one of the most famous streets in world and is the most expensive strip of real estate in Paris.  It’s saturated with high end shops and restaurants, and also serves as the final stretch of the Tour de France.  We splurged on a Starbucks drink, but wisely waited until a little later to grab a snack because it’s also one of the most expensive areas in Paris.

We didn’t wait long, however, before grabbing this delicious crepe.  We honestly aren’t big crepe people (probaby not many Americans are I guess:), but they are so popular in Europe, and we couldn’t resist having this cultural experience.  Obviously.

We passed by this extravagant government building that sat alongside the Seine river on our the way to our ultimate and final destination for the day.

The Louvre Museum.

Please stop back by later for the daily post and then tomorrow for a look inside the Louvre!

Barcelona: dia tres

14 Jun

Our third lovely day in Barcelona started off with a little breakfast at this sweet Boulangerie.  We loved these little corner pastry and bread shops and stopped in often.

We ordered a quiche…

…and a sinfully delicious pastry to share.  Normally I would cringe at the thought of such a buttery, chocolaty, indulgent breakfast, but something about the charm of this city wiped clear my conscience and I enjoyed every little morsel.  Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be on vacation in another culture?  All bets are off when it comes to experiencing something new, right?

After breakfast, we strolled over to this work of art, La Sagrada Familia.  This Roman Catholic church is nestled in the middle of the busy streets of Barcelona.  Construction on it began in 1886 under the instruction of a famous architect, Antoni Gaudi.  Construction is expected to go on until 2026.  It was incredible!

The opposite side, where we entered.

Close up of the front entrance

and the inside

there is something novel to me about this incredible church with equipment and workmen filling the inside

Next up was a trek to the Mediterranean.  The beach was beautiful as was the water.  Not having worn our swimsuits, we marveled at the scenery for a few minutes, then moved on to get some pizza!  We were starved!

My little vegetarian eyes lit up as soon as they spotted the sign reading “vegetarian pizza,” but this pie left something many things to be desired.  I think it had been sitting out a little longer than I’d like to imagine.  Regardless, we ate most of it in an effort to tame our hunger and then headed back toward our hotel for some pool time.

Along the way we enjoyed the endless quaintness of the Spanish architecture…

and somehow couldn’t resist joining in on some good ole’ fashioned tourist fun:)  While Jon and I typically shy away from overtly touristy attractions, I couldn’t stay away from the fruit man!  Who could?

We denied our itch to keep exploring the city, surrendering instead to the luxurious rooftop pool of our hotel. I think this was the most relaxing part of the entire trip for me.

After lounging at the pool, we were off again.  This time to an area of town which features more work of Gaudi.  Among the quaint, Spanish buildings lining the streets, you’ll find random modern architecture mixed in.  These buildings were insane and interesting to say the least.

Not modern, yet too beautiful to be left uncaptured.

Stopping at this Croissantery to get a bite to tide us over until dinner.  The Spanish way – a big baguette!

And a couple of hours later…time to eat again!

Sangria to start with…obvs.

Next, a dish found on many a Spanish menu – Patatas Bravas.  Aka fried potatoes.  With spicy sauce of course.  Delish.

And for our main dish, an entree that is seemingly quite popular on the streets of Barcelona – vegetable Paella.  I still can’t pronounce it.  It was really very tasty.  It basically consisted of rice, and vegetables, sauteed in a savory sauce served in a skillet.  Nothing to get too worked up over, but pretty good nonetheless.

To end our last night in Spain, we were lucky enough to stumble upon this light show that was going on at the National Museum.  There were droves of people there, and for good reason.  It was beautiful and entertaining to say the least.  The perfect, romantic evening to end our days in Espanya.

This fountain “danced” and lit up in an array of colors in beat with music that played out over the city.

Next stop: the City of Lights.

Barcelona: dia dos

4 Jun

From eating bikinis to holding the hand of a giant, day 2 in Barcelona was one to remember.  Here’s our day in pictures:

We hunted down this restaurant that was built in 1786 – it is the oldest restaurant in Barcelona.  Sadly, it was closed, so we didn’t actually get to eat there.  It made for a cute picture, though.

Instead we opted for this cute little cafe – Cafe de L’Opera.  We saw it the day before while strolling down La Rambla, one of the busiest and most interesting streets in the city.

I ordered a bikini – hold the ham:)  A bikini is a staple menu item at most restaurants here.  It is essentially a ham and cheese sandwich – so you can see exactly how exciting my lunch really was.  It actually was quite tasty, though.  Jon went with the full bikini.  He’s crazy like that.

Jon had scouted out this quaint little herb shop in our guidebook called L”Herboristeria. Del Rei.  It really was just a little hole-in-the-wall shop that was cute as it could be. It even had this giant guestbook for us to sign, leaving our mark on this little place forever.

Adorable, right?  And guess what else…

…chia seeds!  It was the most random moment when I spotted them.  This sweet little lady is the owner of the shop, and she didn’t even know what chia seeds are.  Jon nearly brought her to tears by showing her the picture of her shop in our guidebook.  Sweet.

The building on the left is an old government building where the royal family used to live.  Inside you find these absurdly large statues of royalty. Kind of creepy…yet fun!

And moving on…

Sweet little nuns.

I love this little girl – from a distance of course:)

Beautiful church – even though it’s under construction.  That is another quirk about Barcelona  – there is construction everywhere!

Remember yesterday when I mentioned pick pockets being a serious problem here?  We found this sign in Starbucks.

Arc de Triomf – when Jon and I were in Laos, the main (and only) sight to see was the Arc de Triumph, which was built by the French in Laos.  This was my favorite part of day 2 in Barcelona because it was so beautiful.  There was a huge park that backed up to the Arc and we spent some time just laying in the grass and walking around.  The weather was beautiful and there were a lot of Spaniards out just hanging with friends, sun bathing, playing games etc.

Jon and I in front of the Laotian Arc de Triumph two years ago.  I have to say I’m pretty excited to actually get to visit the Parisian one in the next few days.

Jon chillin’ on the Arc de Triomf

lovin’ on each other:)

Next on our path was this group of yoginis.  I seriously wanted to join them, but I resisted.  We still had sights to see!

Cascada in Parc de la Ciutadella – Okay, honestly that is all I know about this place.  We saw it, climbed it, took pictures of it…just because it was so dang pretty.

Another beautiful church.  I have to say, though, that if you’re into this sort of thing you must stop back by tomorrow because there will be an insanely gorgeous and amazing church in tomorrow’s post.

Mid-afternoon snack – a veggie pastry

and the precious little shop we bought it from

One of our last stops for the day was this Mediterranean port – there was a mall at the end of the pier and we did a little shopping at H & M.

And of course to top off the day Jon and I found our Mexican food.  This guacamole was some of the best I’ve ever tasted!  I also ordered a vegetarian burrito that was to die for. It was filled with veggies, refried beans, avocado, lettuce and some kind of unidentified sauce that was the key ingredient.  Delish.

That’s all for day 2 (I’m blogging a day behind)!  Tomorrow morning we leave for Paris.  I’m going to try to keep posting, but our Paris hotel doesn’t have internet, so I’m going to try to track down an internet cafe.  If you don’t hear from me, I’ll post recaps once we’re back in the States!

I miss you all, and I hope you’re all having a great week!

P.S.  I love my husband.

hola Barcelona

3 Jun

Hola!  We arrived in  Barcelona yesterday morning after getting only a couple hours of sleep on the red eye.  By the time we caught a bus to our hotel and showered, it was about 1pm.  Despite our tiredness, we decided to get out and explore this beautiful city.

Here is our day in pictures:

First stop on our exploration was the National Art Museum.  We didn’t go in, opting to enjoy the beauty from the outside instead:)

The pictures are a bit dark because it was overcast.  The weather is amazing, though, 70 degrees during the day and 60’s at night.

Looking back toward Plaza Espanya (where our hotel is) from the museum

where the 1992 Olympic Games were held

We went to La Boqueria (the main outdoor market)  and I couldn’t resist snapping photos of the beautiful fruits and vegetables

the architecture and structure of Barcelona is absolutely quaint and breathtaking.  I love it – it has stolen my heart.

there are many horses and carriages

the front of our hotel – we love this big wooden door that slides open

the Torre Agbar building – or as the guidebook calls it “Barcelona’s own cucumber shaped building”

We are spending plenty of time on the subway where pick pocketing is supposedly the worst.  We keep getting warned by complete strangers to be careful.  Today a security guard walked up to us on the subway and told us to put our camera, which was around Jon’s neck, in our bag.  They are serious.

We finished off yesterday with dinner at a quaint little restaurant on the side of the street.

I ordered the vegetarian plate – hummus, pita, falafel balls, grape leaves stuffed with rice and a salad.  It was delish!  I haven’t had any problem avoiding meet whatsoever.  I just say “soy vegetariano” and they know exactly what I want….or don’t want:)

Jon ordered this chicken dish with hummus, falafel and salad

That’s day one in a nutshell.  We are loving Spain and the people here are wonderful.  The things that really stand out to me so far are that pickpocketing is a really big deal (but people are being so kind to try and warn us), this should be called the “city of love” because everyone is always kissing each other, the weather is perfect and the streets and alleyways are adorable, and Spaniards are very laid back and friendly.  I don’t want to ever leave!  I guess I’ll let Jon peel me away, so we can go to Paris;)

Stay tuned for day 2 and to find out what I found in a little hole in the wall shop that is very dear to my heart.  Adios!