Take Me Back – Barcelona Travels

Hi Everybody,

In attempts to get over my hump day blues, I thought I would relive my amazing trip to Barcelona this past New Years. While it took 15+ hours to get there, it was worth every second – a place I’ll never forget! The atmosphere, sites, and food were incredible! Truly a place worth visiting.

We visited many of the historic sites including taking tours of the famous – I’m gunna say artist, not architect for reasons you’ll see below – Antoni Gaudi’s inspired creations. We visited the Sagrada Familia (a work still in progress, being finished in Gaudi’s vision), Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and Park Guell.

Antoni Gaudi's Incredible Sagrada Familia
Antoni Gaudi’s Incredible Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is an amazing Basilica that is believe it or not still incomplete. Construction began in 1882 and Gaudi took over in 1883. He created an incredible vision is actually still being carried out today. Words cannot describe the beauty inside and pictures can’t do it justice either. This is a must see if you visit Barcelona – and the guided tour is definitely worth the price.

Small portion of the incredible stained glass interior of the Sagrada Familia
Small portion of the incredible stained glass interior of the Sagrada Familia

We also visited the beautiful Casa Batllo, completely inspired by nature, it is an extraordinarily unique place. The interior features two huge light columns bringing the natural light down throughout the entire home.

Exterior of Casa Batllo
Exterior of Casa Batllo

Another incredible place courtesy of Gaudi is Park Guell. It was originally commissioned to be a park surrounded by expensive, technologically advanced homes, to create a sort of wealthy exclusive community; however, the project never took off and instead we were left with the beautiful park.

“El Drac” – the dragon at the main entrance of the park

From the top of the park, you can see the entire city of Barcelona – looking out over the beautiful mosaic bench Gaudi created.

Looking out at Barcelona from Park Guell (photo taken from Park Guell's instagram as I couldn't find the one I wanted)
Looking out at Barcelona from Park Guell (photo taken from Park Guell’s instagram as I couldn’t find the one I wanted)

Not only did my family enjoy the sites of Barcelona – but we enjoyed the food. A lot of food. A lot a lot of food. Paired with a lot of Sangria. We went to some amazing restaurants, had a lot of Paella and Tapas, and visited the Mercado de la Boqueria (as seen in the header picture – taken from my sister’s instagram @isabellekh14)!

Squid Ink Paella at L'Arrosseria Xativa
Squid Ink Paella at L’Arrosseria Xativa
Shrimp Paella #omnomnom
Shrimp Paella at L’Arrosseria #omnomnom

The squid ink Paella from L’Arrosseria Xativa was one of our favorites throughout the trip. It may look scary but it is delicious!

Tapas from Tosca – so good we went twice!

We had tapas almost everywhere we went but some of our favorites were from Tosca, a cute little cafe / bar a couple minutes away from our hotel. This place was so good we ended up going twice! My favorite tapas of the trip were the Patatas bravas (potatoes), Albondigas (meatballs),  and Croquetas.

We celebrated our New Year’s Eve at the restaurant Agut. An amazing family owned establishment. It was established in 1924 and still has the same paintings hanging within today. They served a prix fixe menu that was delicious, we devoured every course! This was a perfect place to soak in some of the true Barcelona culture – and have a great time on New Year’s Eve!

New Year's Eve - Livin the dream at Agut in Barcelona
New Year’s Eve – Livin the dream at Agut in Barcelona – can we talk about the guy in the background and his foil hat!

Overall the trip was amazing and I think Barcelona is a fabulous place to visit. I know my family and I had an incredible time – I hope this post (although long) gives you some idea of the experiences to be had!

Take me Back!
Take me Back!

If any of you are planning a trip soon and need a tour guide feel free to reach out 😛

xxoo Melissa

#TBT – Our Meal at Avocado Restaurant in Santorini, Greece

Last summer, I was lucky enough to visit Greece with my family. It was the most amazing trip and my personal favorite stop along the journey was Santorini, with Mykonos as a close second! The island was right out of a movie with everything in the classic blue and white color scheme.

Looking out over Santorini
Looking out over Santorini at the classic blue and white architecture

We went wine tasting, hung out at the pool with its dramatic views, went shopping, and ate AMAZING food. There was endless fresh seafood and the classic Greek preparations were delicious.

Avocado Restaurant in particular was one of the best meals we had on the trip. We ended up there one night on a whim as it was right down the street from our hotel. That particular night the wind was unreal and made us unwilling to travel very far for food. Luckily this place was nearby! The food was amazing, as you can see from the picture below and the people there were so incredibly nice and accomodating. They even seated us at a table in the back in order to shade us more from the crazy wind outside.

Our incredible food. Grilled Octopus, Stuffed Calamari, and fresh Catch of the Day!
Our incredible food. Grilled Octopus, Stuffed Calamari, and fresh Catch of the Day!

This was the best octopus I had on the trip – and we ate it almost at every meal! It was extremely fresh and tender delicately prepared with lemon and olive oil – my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Another one of my favorites was the stuffed calamari. It had a delish cheese mixture inside that paired perfectly with the fresh calamari and lemon. Lastly, my dad ordered the catch of the day, an extremely fresh fish cooked with olive oil and lemon. As you can imagine the olive oil in Greece is top notch, and the simplicity and freshness of the seasonings really allowed the seafood to shine.

I can’t wait to go back to Greece, especially Santorini and eat here again!

Dreaming of this hot tub as I sit in my over air conditioned cubicle :(
Dreaming of this hot tub as I sit in my over air conditioned cubicle 😦

xxoo Melissa