Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Honeymooning in Barcelona

When you think of a honeymoon, do you think of everything going smoothly, relaxing somewhere exotic with a drink in hand and just enjoying your perfect first week of marriage? Well if you read Mrs. Charlotte's blog yesterday, then you know there are some things you should know before your honeymoon. Unfortunately, there are some things that happen on your honeymoon that are not only unavoidable, but practically unimaginable. That being said, I'm going to introduce y'all to my wonderfully, interesting honeymoon in none other than Barcelona!

It all started out innocently enough. We woke up in our hotel the morning after our wedding, made it over to my parents house to say bye to our wonderful, family and friends that would be enjoying another day of partying and were whisked off to the airport! The flight to Barcelona was smooth, we got a little sleep, but not enough since I was a bit crabby the first afternoon in Barca!




We stayed at Hotel Barcelona Universal which we actually found via Expedia and it was perfect! It was walking distance from Las Ramblas where a girl can shop and eat her heart out! It's a very modern hotel. I would call it swanky for sure :) I don't actually have any pictures from our room, but here is one from the website!




We stayed in the Superior Room which are slightly bigger than the regular rooms and a full buffet breakfast was included each morning! We were able to upgrade for free for our honeymoon! We truly enjoyed this hotel and they had great service which we will come back to later in our journey.

The first few days in Barcelona were so much fun! We did a two day on and off bus tour of the city. There were several routes and stops where you could choose to get off as you please. We saw the Segrada Familia, Park Guell, The MNAC, Olympic Park, Monestir de Pedralbes, Futbol Club Barcelona and so much more. Notice how I tell you all these wonderful places we visited without any pictures? Oh that's because my camera was stolen. Out of my husbands pocket. Sucks huh? We were out at a bar after day 2 of the bus tours watching a soccer match. We left the bar and started walking back to our hotel where there were some gentlemen trying to get us to go into their night club. One guy put his arm around JP and started pressuring him to go in and we're pretty sure that's about when he jacked it. Worst part? It was my momma's camera and she had pictures from the wedding on it to. So many memories in such a little package just gone. Luckily, I had thrown my little Flip Camera in my suitcase before we left so I had a means of taking more pictures!

So what does one do when all of their glorious pictures from Spain are no longer in their possession? Retrace your steps. By foot. Make new memories. I can honestly say that walking around the city, taking the subway and figuring out another way to get to our favorite places was such a blast. We made it by subway back to Park Guell...




This was one of my favorite places. We may have spent even more time here the second time! There is just so much to see and Gaudi's architecture is simply stunning. Looking back, this would have been the perfect place for a picnic lunch.

We walked up a mountain to get back to the Montjuïc Castle. The first time we went we rode up on the Telefèric de Montjuïc which is a cable car ride to get you to the top of Montjuïc to see the castle! Walking up the mountain was a completely different experience, but so worth it!




From there we were able to walk to Olympic Park and then over the The MNAC. On our original bus tour, we actually toured the Museu Olipic and The MNAC, but since we had already seen everything, we decided to save our money for something else...




...THE AQUARIUM!




I love anything and everything that involves animals...aquariums, zoos, you name it. I was so pumped because Barcalona has one of the BEST aquariums in the world along with an 80 meter long tunnel where you can walk through with the sharks swimming over you! Oh I was like a little kid in a candy shop! Ever since swimming with sting rays in Cayman, I have been obsessed. The rays at the aquarium were so cute and I think they wanted to be my friend!




Another thing we saved money for was shopping! Oh yes, shopping in Barcelona is AMAZING! They have the cutest clothes and so many reasonably priced stores...and a lot of ridiculously expensive, fancy store that I cannot afford.




Some of the other things we did were...

...get lost.
...walk along the coast.
...shopping on Las Ramblas.
...eat tons of great food at all the little hole in the wall places.
...drink lots of Sangria.
...visit St. Josep outdoor market and get food for a picnic on the beach.
...enjoy our time with each other.

All was great until the volcano. What? Volcano? I'm sure you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about. Remember that volcano that erupted in Iceland April 2010? Volcano Eyjafjallajökull {say that 5 times fast} erupted while we were in Spain. This special volcano interrupted air travel in Europe for 6 days. Luckily we were only stranded in Spain for an extra 2 days. Now I'm sure you're thinking, geez Amy, it's not like Spain is such a terrible place to get stuck. You are correct, but as newly weds that have already spent a pretty penny on this trip we were about to spend a lot more than we expected...

The hotel was wonderful. Because of the incident, guests with current reservations were allow to extend their stay before they offered your room to someone looking for a new hotel. Isn't that awesome? So we were able to stay put and explore the city through the haze. We were able to get in touch with one of my colleagues whose wife is actually a travel agent. She was wonderful and helped us get a flight home WAY sooner than British Airways was going to get us home. Since Spain wasn't as effected as northern Europe, we snuck out and flew through Bogota, Columbia. Crazy right?

Of course, nothing is that easy. On the way to the airport, our cab got a flat tire. We had to wait on the side of the highway with a hooker for a new cab to come get us. Once we checked in {the airport was practically empty!} I needed to eat. What was the only restaurant in our terminal? McDonald's. I cried. My last meal in Spain was going to be from an America craptastic restaurant that I didn't even eat in the States. The flight to Columbia was smooth. We landed, hopped on the red eye to Houston and waited. For two hours. On the runway. Going nowhere. Completely exhausted. They eventually fixed the engine issues and got us to Houston. They forgot our bags though. They were still chillin' in Columbia. Fantastic. So we went home changed and went to work. Luckily, my work sent me home and told me to work from home the next day. JP wasn't so lucky. Eventually, we got our bags and all was well. It was hellish back then, but makes for a pretty entertaining story now though right?

Barcelona was amazing. I can't wait to go back in just a few months! Even if it's only a day, it holds a special place in our hearts.




Do you have any fun/crazy stories from your honeymoon or trip abroad?
Have you ever been to Spain? If so where?!

Helene in Between



Until next time...
With love and God bless,

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