Happy Birthday Josh!! Our Visit to Sitges, Spain!

Saturday was Josh’s 35th birthday.  Not having been in Spain long to really get a feel for the shops and not having much room in our apartment for more “stuff”, I decided that I would take Josh on our first trip outside the city to the seaside town of Sitges.  And we would go sin niños.  So after securing a babysitter for the day/evening, Josh and I headed down to the train station to take the Renfe about 1/2 hour south to the town of Sitges. 

And it felt sooooo good to get out of the city.  I don’t think we realized how contained we felt being in the same “town” for almost 3 months now.  There is still so much for us to explore here but can you imagine never leaving the town you live in?  Yeah, me either.  So we enjoyed the scenery on our way out of the city – it was slightly foggy but we definitely got the idea of what beautiful vistas there are to be had here just outside the city.  Gorgeous mountains that overlook the Mediterranean sea with quaint houses with red tile roofs, just the way I pictured it in my head, but better.

We arrived just after 1 in Sitges and it was a sight to behold.  As Cristy had put it, if you combine Provincetown with Newport, you’ll get Sitges.  And she was right. From what we understand, it’s a very artistic town and also tends to draw many gay people.  I really didn’t see a lot of evidence of that though we wouldn’t have cared either way since we were there for the food and the views – we actually saw tons of people, mostly families.  Cute restaurants dotted the coast where there was a boardwalk for us to walk along.  People playing volleyball on the beach.  Tons of adorable stores to shop in (I held back, you’ll be proud to know!).  And this breathtakingly beautiful church that abutted the sea and honestly I can’t even describe how amazing it was – and I only wish my pictures would do it justice but they don’t.

We strolled along for a while and then went in search of a restaurant that was recommended to us for the best paella around – El Vivero.  It was on the other side of the church where we found even more restaurants and shops.  And this restaurant had an amazing view of the church from it’s terrace, again I only wish it had been a little less foggy for the pictures but you’ll get the idea.  I can’t say it was the best lunch I had ever had given there was one thing on the entire menu that I liked, mussels, and they came out cold.  But we were here for Josh’s birthday and so I continued to drink my vino tinto (red wine) and my sangria (I’ve become a big fan) and suck up the fact that I was starving.  I did, however tell him, that it had better be the best paella ever given how hungry I was.  He told me it was up there… it better be!!

We walked around some more and hit up a few more bars after lunch.  The perfect day!  We headed back to Barcelona around 6:30ish and were in town by a little after 7.  I was still hungry but nothing here really opens before 8 and I was not in a tapas mood which meant that we had to wait.  So we ended up at yet another bar (this one an English pub that served tapas) for more drinks and then we headed out to a cute little Italian place for dinner before coming home around 9.  All in all, I hope it was a great day for Josh and a welcome to his official mid 30s.  I know it’s a place we will definitely go back to in the future – Josh has already said he wants a summer home there – I say let’s try to visit at least one other town before making that decision!!

The next two weeks are bound to be busy which is great.  We’ve been bit by the travel bug which we had hoped would happen once we got settled here.  This coming weekend we will be taking the kids on our trip to Valencia to the City of Arts and Sciences / the largest aquarium in Europe.  And then today we booked a semi-spontaneous trip to Paris for the following weekend and to Disney Paris.  We knew we wanted to go somewhere for the long Easter weekend and had been trying to come up with a location for the last few weeks but couldn’t settle on something.  Then one of Aidan’s school mate’s mom suggested that to me today and we just jumped on it.  As you can imagine, we are all very excited for the next few weeks!!

Walking along the streets of Sitges.  The signs for each street appear to be handmade and are stunning!
View of the church from the right side of the town.  Street view near the water.
Old old cannon up by the stairs to the church overlooking the sea.  Ward off intruders perhaps?  And a side door to the church – the stairs have red rose petals all over them – there was a wedding here today!
View from the church to the other side of Sitges.  And on the right is the restaurant we went to – El Vivero.  Notice it is literally built on the edge of a cliff!!  You have to walk around the front (the sea side) to get into the restaurant – it drops down pretty steep!
Me taking a picture of Josh taking a picture of his “famous” paella.  The right is the room we sat in for our lunch, again you can see the side of the cliff that the restaurant was built into – above the rock wall are plants and trees.
View of the church from the restaurant and then walking towards the church.
The area behind the church as we walked from the restaurant.  There were a few little kiosks with local merchants.  I bought a scarf for 5€ trying to support local crafts – when we went to dinner that night I happened to notice a Made in Thailand tag on it.  Oh well, I tried!
Josh outside the church.  Me on a bench outside the church overlooking the sea and wearing my new 5€ scarf 😉
The only sign of any gay life here that we saw… sorry you can’t help but laugh at this poster, gay or not… 2 men carrying a bear???
On that note, I’ll sign off for the night!

Julie

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