Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Barcelona {Day 2; beach, boats and tapas}

We had a pretty simple goal for our second day in Spain; mama wanted to go to the beach!  I love Barcelona for many reasons, one of which is the water.  We decided to take the metro to the marina and walk to the beach since none of the metros go all the way to the beach.  After walking past all the boats we ended up near a brewery we thought we could try.
Black Lab seemed like it might be a good English pub but we weren't totally impressed with their beers, and the burgers weren't great either, so why am I even mentioning it?
because this beet and quinoa salad with "beet foam" was interesting and unique and I thought I should mention it.
After our mediocre lunch we took a short cut though the neighborhoods to get to the beach a bit quicker.  I love these little side streets with tiny balconies and proud catalan flags hanging from the windows.  Small potted plants and clothes line drying, it's a simple way of life that I respect among the european cultures.
and look at that we made it to the beach! The extremely crowded beach.
but hey, I got husband to take a photo of one of my new tees, so that's a win!
after enjoying some of the Mediterranean sun, we set off to find the girls some ice cream.
thought there would be some under this fish sculpture/building but there was only a small stand, which did thankfully have some push-pops, actually with haribo gummy bears in the stick part.  The girls enjoyed them on the walk back to the metro and then we went home to shower and get ready for our evening out.
Husband found a local place on google, had great reviews and only required a short subway ride; Paco Meralgo.  We got there and it was definitely a local spot, with my broken Spanish and the servers English we were able to negotiate a seat at the bar, with kids.
We've always had great experiences with traveling with kids in Spain, people have always been great about getting us seats right away and putting up with our children.
The girls loved all the small plates from tapas.  They're always snacking so it's a prefect set up to eat small plates shared among the family.
I love patatas bravas.  Spicy potatoes with aioli. I, literally, ordered these everyday along with tortillas and sangria.  These were some of the best we had on the trip.
They even gave the girls straws with their orange juice.
This window into the kitchen and through to the other side of the restaurant is a unique feature.  I always love to watch the kitchen and see what and how the cooks are preparing the food, not because I'm concerned with cleanliness or anything {although I am, and I like to sneak a peek} but because there's an atmosphere in a good kitchen that comes across when food is prepared and in a good kitchen you can see the chef smiling and know that the food really is made with love or at the least a positive energy, which I truly believe impacts the taste and quality of the food.  
Husband ordered the baby scallop but they were all out so, he got a full size one and it was worth it! It came fresh in the shell and I wish we had ordered at least 2 more.  They were so good!
We finished the meal with an espresso.  I realized we were near some Gaudi apartments
Here's Sonja standing in front of Casa Milà.  Next time we go and the girls are older, I definintly want to do the night tour on the roof.  It was 10pm and the kids were done for the night, but if you're a night owl I would highly suggest the 10:30pm tour because they light up the rooftop and it look dreamy.  Next time!
This, literal, street art in the cross walk near the Gaudi locations was heart warming.  I love these little reminders throughout the city that we're all human and that we need shelter and safety from hate.  It's little notes like these, and hope that keep people going.  I can't imagine fleeing from violence only to go somewhere I don't know the language and then be told to leave just because I exist.  Refugees are in the worst situation of their lives, to leave their homes and everything behind just to survive.  I don't know how anyone could turn people away just for trying to live, but it's real and it's a political issue in Europe right now with Syria, these little artworks are very relevant and I hope they're comforting to those in need, or at least a reminder to others to accept and help those in need.
And the final stop on our second day; my favorite building by Gaudi, dragon scales and Art Nouveau, Casa Batlló is one of the most majestic homes I've ever seen.  I love this style and wish Art Nouveau had lasted a little longer, with only a decade of hype this style of ornate and organic architecture and furniture just wasn't around long enough to fulfill my obsession. With patios that look like bones, and flowers, and rooftops that are reminiscent of reptiles, the convergence of nature and architecture and design is a huge inspiration to me, it's one of my favorite accents of Barcelona.

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