Weekend in Barcelona

Last weekend, over Easter, we were off on our third and final trip for the month of March – this time to Barcelona. What a busy month!  Essentially we had 2 weekends at “home”, home being a relative term – one in Boston and one in Barcelona.  It was fun getting to be in both places that we once called home within 10 days of each other and recalling the things that make each of them special in our hearts.

The kids and I arrived mid day to gray skies (boooo!!!!!) which is very un-Barcelona-like. But we made the best of it and since it was still significantly warmer than being in the Netherlands, we took advantage of the nice weather and walked.  A lot.  Like 10 miles worth of walking.  We had crepes at our favorite crepe place (Creps a Barcelona) and then headed down to Vila Olimpica to go to the movies.  Yes, we went to the movies while we were back home for just a weekend.  But at this point it was starting to rain and being Good Friday, literally nothing but restaurants and movies were open.

After our movie (Kung Fu Panda 3), we continued our walk back up towards Placa Catalunya for a late tapas dinner.  Ahhh it felt nice to have dinner at 9 even though it wasn’t necessarily our norm when we lived there other than the weekends.  But what felt better was seeing the city full of life even that late at night.

Speaking of seeing the city full of life, just walking through the city during the day brought back a familiar tug of home and things we loved about Barcelona.  Some of them silly and some of them made us wistful to be back on a longer term basis.  From the palm trees to the breakdancers in Portal d’Angel to hearing a batucada practicing as you walk down the street and little old ladies with bright purple streaks in their hair.  All of those things (and more) give Barcelona it’s vibrant and colorful persona.

The reason that brought us to Barcelona for Easter weekend was not just a trip down memory lane, but yet another wedding!  Josh decided to join us at the last minute and arrived at midnight on Friday night.  It made for a very long day for him.  We had to leave early the next morning for Salomó, where the wedding of Alex and Kathy was taking place at a macia there – Mas Boronat.

Salomó is south of Barcelona, not far from Tarragona and in the heart of the Penedès wine region.  It’s about an hour drive from the city and yet a world away.  Unfortunately we got a later start than I thought and we only arrived 30 min before the wedding started.  I only wish we’d had more time to take pictures along the way, though Josh got a few on our way back the next day.

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It was so nice to see our old BFIS friends, some of whom had traveled very long distances to be here. The setting, stunning. Our drive took us through vineyards, meandering up small hillside roads with hairpin turns. Not for the weak of heart. But the views were amazing. And the wedding was set at a macia called Mas Boronat.

Alex and Kathy made beautiful brides. We were honored to be among the small group of about 60 guests.  The ceremony was simple but poignant. And it was outside – you can’t do that in the Netherlands!  It was a beautiful day to celebrate their love!

What followed was a calçotada, a traditional Catalan spring onion (the calçot) roasted over coals for hours, then dipped in romesco sauce. It also meant drinking from a porron. Josh has done it before but I wasn’t quite so brave. It made for a fun ice breaker with the guests.

This was also our first wedding in Europe and we had no idea what to expect but I can tell you the 12pm event went into the late hours of the night. At 9pm we told the kids it was time to go back to our room. We had an early morning ahead of us since we had a 2 hour drive up to Costa Brava to spend Easter with friends of ours.

The time change did us no favors getting out the door in the morning.  We’d had our phones on airplane mode since there was no reception where we were.  We based our alarm time on the current time assuming the phones would not move ahead on airplane mode.  But apparently we misjudged and when we got to breakfast at 8:30 and not 9:30, we realized we woke up even earlier than we needed to.  It explained our exhaustion for much of the day.

After grabbing a quick croissant, we were off to the Costa Brava to celebrate Easter with friends of ours.  I find it amazing how often Liam gets to see his best friend even though we now live in two different countries.  And I love that he sees him as often as he does! The smile on his face was worth the repercussions we suffered upon our return back to the Netherlands!

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Playing wii U together

We had a wonderful day and night catching up with our Barcelona friends – filled with a lot of laughs, great talks and of course, delicious food!  The kids ran and played all day and Liam even swam (given it was only in the mid 60s, I say brrrrrrr)!  An Easter egg hunt topped it off and finished off a fun weekend on a high note.

Our time in Costa Brava was short, just a day trip and later that evening the entire group of us headed back to Barcelona for the night.  Before you know it, Monday arrived.  Liam stayed with Quinn for the morning while Josh, Aidan and I wandered around the city, just taking it all in.  Being a holiday, nothing was open, but that was ok – we had breakfast at Federal Cafe and just took in the sights of the city we love, capturing it in our memories til we can come back to visit again.  By mid afternoon we were off to the airport (and a delayed flight that wasn’t delayed til we were on the tarmac) to head back home to reality and dream of life again in Barcelona.

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

2 thoughts on “Weekend in Barcelona

  1. Pingback: My Best Friend’s Wedding | The Expat Chronicles

  2. Pingback: Expat-iversary Lucky Number 7 | The Expat Chronicles

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