1. We haven’t been away together for more than 2 nights since 2009
2. We were ALONE!
3. We celebrated our 15th anniversary even though we’ve been friends since 4th grade.
4. We were in Barcelona!
In case you are Barcelona bound, I thought I would share some of our favorite things. First, I am a small hotel kind-of-girl. After many hours of tripadvisor.com research, I chose the Mercer Hotel In the Gothic Quarter. After reading so many positive reviews, I decided to add a breakfast to our reservation each day and print out directions from their site to help any taxis find it. Thank goodness because both times we used a taxi, they needed my map! It was an awesome location and hidden down a narrow alleyway- here is what really made me excited- “The hotel occupies a collection of buildings with great architectural significance on Calle Lledó, built on top of a section of the walls of Barcino, the ancient Roman city. It retains features from a variety of historical periods stretching from the 1st century AD up to the 19th century, all of which have been restored not only to display but also to encourage a genuine feel for the history of Barcelona. ” We stayed in a Superior Room that was in the old clock tower. The breakfast was divine- and I don’t throw that word around often. It was like a pastry shop with an a la carte menu to order from as well. We loved it.
Some of our favorite things that we did- The bar at Boca Chica is a must! Barcelona is known for their tonics and you really should have a gin and tonic here. My husband is not a G & T fan, but he changed his tune when we were there. The decor is indescribable. (For all the Chicagoans who read this- one of my favorite interiors is the upstairs bar at Le Colonial– so imagine that times 5.) When I read the reviews about Boca Chica, everyone kept going on and on about the bathrooms. Well, they were right. They are straight out of a Quentin Tarantino film.
In addition to eating, we did a ton of walking. We laughed how far we walked without kids in tow- the first day, Tom’s iPhone health app said we walked over 25,000 steps- equivalent to 11 miles. We continued this type of touring everyday and saw everything we hoped.
We also loved the Boqueria. It’s not to be missed. How I wish we could shop this way here. All the colors and choices of meat, eggs, fruit, dried fruit, juices… wow. We went back more than once. Our favorite restaurant inside was Bar Pinotxo– we really couldn’t stop eating Iberican ham, pan tomate and tortilla espanola. We also took a cooking class together at Barcelona Cooking. A couple of friends raved about their classes there before and we chose a day that was raining and enjoyed it so much. One of the big upsides of traveling in the low season is that you can stay for less at nice hotels and get a private cooking class as no one else was enrolled! My mom and dad treated us to this class as a Christmas present- love experience gifts like this- something Tom and I will always remember.
As for other places, we had wonderful meals and saw so much of the city. I am not adding them as they weren’t unmissable in the future- and there are so many places to discover!