february 2018… basically just spain

as of february 10 we have been married one year. we decided to go to spain for our anniversary and planning the trip and anticipating showing tyler all my favorite things in spain made winter bearable.

we didn’t have much of a plan, but tyler was convinced he wanted to drive around the country and see as much as possible in nine days… and by the end, i think we were both wishing we had taken things a bit slower! we got home definitely needing a vacation from our vacation! but it was so awesome. i loved having my worlds collide by taking my husband to some of the places that had shaped me. and seeing him try to understand castillian spanish and figure out how to order food and what the hell a “bocadillo” was ended up being quite hilarious.

so! our trip. we started out in madrid. we flew in on a red eye, got wifi at the coveted mcdonald’s free wifi station, and walked around a bit. we were incredibly tired, so we got churros con chocolate from san gines, the BEST in spain, and headed out on our road trip. we spent the night halfway between madrid and barcelona and slept for about 15 hours.

the following day we drove north towards figureres, the home of dalí and his art. we stopped at montserrat, a monestary in the high spanish mountains. i wanted to see the view i had missed when i was there in 2010. it was beautiful. and by the time we were heading back the fog had rolled in and the rains come. we had made it just in time.

figueres was a town i had never been to, but ended up loving. we stayed right next to  a church in a cute apartment that overlooked el museo dalí. we spent our time there eating tapas, walking the city streets in search of coca light, and visiting the museum. it was a sensational delight, truly. i recommend it completely. here’s tyler’s “art outfit” and “art appreciation stance”

our time spent in barcelona was short and COLD. haha we made the best of things and walked around the parque guell for the view of the city, then down to city center for a tour of la sagrada familia. also, more great food and expensive parking. sagrada familia was fantastic, even better than i remembered. it is still not complete, but much different than 8 years ago when i was there. it is so beautiful and indescribable, you must go. and we will have to go again too because we accidentally watched the entire video in catalán instead of english or spanish, so we definitely missed some important parts.

our next day was a travel day in which we had to cover a lot of ground in our volkwagen polo, so we stopped in multiple cities along the way. valencia for orange juice (duh) and then alicante for the beach, sun, food, and people watching. it was actually warm there, so i was incredibly happy and my spirit renewed. and i got to take off my ugly black coat so i was happy. that night we stayed in granada and had a lovely dinner of paella for el dia de san valentín!

in the early AM the next day we piled our stuff back into the car and drove to el caminito del rey, which is a hike along sheer cliffs that tyler had wanted to do. it was scary. i like to try everything and heights usually don’t get to me, but this place took my breath away. it was beautiful country though. and tyler was happy, and we were outside, so overall good? besides the terror.

our next stop was ronda. favorite part of the trip for me! ronda is small town high in the mountains of andalucia. hemingway loved ronda, and wrote about it a lot. it is also the home of bullfighting. ronda is built up on a cliff, and there are multiple connecting bridges all around the city that are so lovely. below the city are farms and olive groves for as far as the eye can see. it was such a relaxing, beautiful stay. we explored the city by foot and by car for all the best sites. also, we found a grocery store where you could squeeze your own orange juice from the BEST oranges and i felt like i had won the lottery. from ronda we took one day trip to marbella, which is on the sea to the south. lots of boats, finery, and money clearly run the city. it was a fun trip to see how vacationing europeans live.

and on our last day in spain we drove to alcalá de henares to see my poveda familia!!! it was almost nerve wracking driving to see them! tyler said he felt like he was going home to meet my parents. haha being in alcalá was great and strange. seeing streets i had walked down a million times and places i had forgotten about was a real trip! and i only got us lost once.  🙂

we ate dinner with fernando, pilar, and the whole gang. they recently sold their house and renovated the store they owned into a house, so we spent time going through and seeing everything, right now to the closets’ interior. it was great. both their sons and their families came, so i got to see everyone and try to understand everyone’s accents. between tyler and i, we did ok. it was so great to see everyone again. they are completely the same, only fernando has a few less teeth. after dinner we went on a walk through the city, and tyler couldn’t believe the dining options we was having just then. i think he thought i was holding out on him. haha! guess we will need to take a trip back to alcalá soon.

the next morning it was back to the USA. such a great trip, i already want to go back.

 

 

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