July 19, 2017

The Getaway Part 1: Getting there and Barcelona

I'm more of a dreamer than a do-er. I don't do a lot of adventurous things. I've never dived off of a rocky cliff, bungee jumped over an Australian rain forest.or backpacked across the moors (because you know, wolves). Also I don't take vacations like I should.

So when my Aunt and Uncle decided that all of the family should go on a Mediterranean cruise together, I was like HELLS YEAH! I'd been on one cruise before and that had been nice, so why not? Plus on cruises there's less chance of being attacked by wolves. Seriously, people - beware the moors. And remember the Alamo. A few of you horror geeks might get this, the rest of you will just be confused, as well you should.

So 52 (52!) of us embarked on our little getaway - a trip that started out in Barcelona and would go to France and Italy before taking us sadly back to our mundane, routine lives. The plane ride was long, but to my delight Delta kept us occupied with snacks and movies. During the 10+ hour travel time, I could have opted for the strong message of Hidden Figures, or the sad poetic drama of Gifted but instead I watched Logan and Lego Batman - because this is me we're talking about. Also I had been placated with Diet Coke and pretzels so that kept me content. I'm a simple girl. 

By the way, that little Logan chick is a serious badass. I want to be her when I grow up.
We stayed at the beautiful Holiday Inn Express in Barcelona because CULTURE! But of course, none of us had slept on the red-eye flight and we had one day there so why not send some sleep deprived Americans out on the street of a beautiful Spanish city? Actually we didn't get in too much trouble. Some of the family and I found a cute little Middle Eastern restaurant because when in Spain, you should not eat the food the country is known for but instead just munch on falafel and hummus, right? It was good, but why oh why did we not opt for tapas? Damn. Next time.
The waiter was a lovely guy who did tell us he "very much liked our Los Angeles". I probably would have thought that way too - except I've been there.

Those of us in the "we don't need no sleep" camp found ourselves in the little coffee shop adjacent to our hotel - El Fornet which, after tooling around the city later in the day, we saw was a chain there. Most of our family members tried to ask questions in English to the poor woman who was overwhelmed by it all so I think she was relieved when I ordered a cappuccino because that's pretty universal and also was on the menu. It took her a good 5 minutes to make though as she steamed the milk, carefully poured it on top of the coffee, then frothed a second tin of milk and slowwwlly added that too. She also smacked my hand away when I tried to get it from her because apparently she needed to add sugar packets and a stirring spoon before the masterpiece was complete. But ladies and gentleman, I have to say that this was the BEST DAMN CAPPUCCINO I'VE EVER HAD. Slow is way better. We Americans need to learn this.
And no that isn't an iStock photo - that was my actual drink. Ain't it pretty?

Revived by caffeine we then decided to go on a bus tour of the city, which was nice but probably would have been better had we not been nodding off in between stops because it had been over 24 hours without sleep and counting. Three things I noticed in Barcelona though. First, everyone on the street seemed to be carrying loaves of fresh bread and I bet it tasted wonderful. Second, there are tons of street artists including one guy who dressed up perfectly as a bronze statue (and I can't even begin to think how long that took) and a lady who could this, while I sometimes find it hard to walk in a straight line on the soberest of days:

Oh and the third thing is graffiti. Lots and lots of graffiti. That was going to be a recurring theme in all the cities we went to.

Somehow we managed to work out the Barcelona subway system and made it back to the hotel and  in one piece without embarrassing ourselves too much along the way. Adéu Barcelona, the next time I see you is when I'm coming home. :(

Next up - our big badass ship and France!

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