Wedding Eve

A girl from California, Jordan, meets a boys from Brisbane, Rob, on a beach in Barcelona. They have many friends from around the world.

Today they started to arrive and gathered for a beach fiesta. No quiet pre wedding dinner. No, it was a pre wedding party in a stunning location. Chilly yes, but layers were added and tequilas were drunk.

Friends from Spain, Belgium, England, New York , Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Old school friends , family, waterpolo friends , cousins, aunties ……..

The taco man backed his truck in and fed us all. The drinks flowed and so did the laughter.

A great start to the party.

Tomorrow is the big day.

Therapy arrived in Santa Barbara.

Those who know me know I love my girlfriends. And my Therapy group are such a wonderful group of friends.

We formed years ago when our children were little. The girls of the group have shown such support to each other over the years that we feel it’s like going to therapy when we meet.

So today I brought a little bit of therapy to Jordan. It came in the form of ‘wise words of advice ‘ for the bride.

We assembled at a long table and enjoyed sparkling Rose while Jordan read her messages of advice – all the way from Brisbane.

Thank you to my funny, creative friends and especially to Patsy for her ‘Sweet Love Story’ which I’ll reproduce here for your enjoyment.

Now if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face – then read it again!

A Sunday Walk in Barcelona

The holiday is almost over – Berti, Cleo and Demi left at 4.30 this morning to fly back to Italy and Fabio has gone on with the Royal Princess to Fort Lauderdale, where it’s relocating to do the Caribbean cruise circuit.

Marg, Vashti, Jez  and the children are heading out to Park Guell and although I love that park,  we decided to walk the streets of Barcelona. The weather is gorgeous so we headed off about 10am and the streets were so quiet. The party obviously didn’t end until the early hours and everyone is sleeping in. And we thought we were late!

We walked up Passeig de Gracia and came to one of my favourite Gaudi houses. Casa Batilo


Other tourists were hitting the streets and a small queue was forming at Casa Batilo’s ticket office.

One thing I have learned this trip is to pre book everything! If you don’t then you won’t get in. The La Sagrada Familia  is fully booked today ( I tried yesterday to book online) so we will only be walking around it’s magnificence today.


We continued along the wide Passeig, Boulevard style road with its trees giving a dappled appearance to the already decorative buildings. Then we came to La Pedrera, Casa Mila. Another famous Gaudi building.

The detail in the iron work is amazing.


From here we strolled along letting our feet take us in the direction of La Sagrada Familia. Sundays are wonderful for strolling in a big city.


There are lots of little parks running down the middle of the wide streets. The locals love them. Living in apartments they must be keen to get outdoors and these parks are like their backyard.

I remember Rob said he often went and sat in the parks , using the free internet (yes there’s lots of free internet in these big cities) and practising his Spanish on the locals.


I loved this statue. It’s seems everyone likes a gelato!


I love these doors –  now an entrance to that underpriced fashion temple!

And then,  suddenly there it was. The most famous building in Barcelona – if not all of Europe.

I love it for its boldness, its bravery, it’s quirkiness. What a vision. But it probably will never be finished because then they’ll have to stop charging people to enter – it will be a working church.


Since my last visit about 7 years ago it’s grown and changed so I wonder what another few years will bring. Some sections look like they could already do with a clean.

Then when you glance across the road the buildings are so plain. That’s the way Gaudi wanted it I believe.


The flags of Catalunya are out in support. There was a huge peaceful demonstration yesterday. It’s proving to be a big issue for the government today. So, every country has its issues.

We continued on and walked back zig-zagging streets until we reached the big old Cathedral. And found a big party. A food festival. Bands played. People danced. And ate and drank wine. The chatting and laughter was infectious.


What a party.

We made our way towards Santa Maria del Mare a large Gothic style church- an area we stayed in years ago with Pete, Clare and Helen. We stopped to rest and have some tapas at Tallers. It has great tapas and we tried a variety of really delicious dishes. With a little Sangria Tinto.


With renewed energy we continued walking near the Picasso museum and discovered it was a day called The Big Draw. I thought it was a raffle but it was areas of tables set up encouraging everyone to draw. It was fantastic to watch.


Parents were there with their kids drawing , in between drinking wine and eating.


The old masters, Miro, Picasso and Dali  looked on.

Miro, Picasso and Dali

Then we made our way back to the hotel, stopping for a gelato on the way.

El Born market place. Now home to creative projects

A street garden in the middle of a street!

Sunday at the local looks fun

Perfect day for a stroll

Perhaps JORDAN needs a flower girl for her wedding?

Cameras around the city hall building waiting for some ‘news’

Feeling thirsty? No need to worry. There’s always a tap available.

And so our Sunday walk ended.

Then we had a rest and on the TV we found the Spanish love to build body towers. It was scary to watch children climb to the top.

You’ve got to love the spirit of the Spanish.

Hotel: http://www.mobile.hotel-lleo.com

 

Don’t fall!

 

Barcelona. A favourite 

Today we disembarked at Barcelona – this beautiful city that was home to Rob for 5 seasons of waterpolo.
It’s lovely to be back. The buildings are amazing. The weather fantastic and the food. Yum.

So far we haven’t done too much. The children chased the pidgeons in Placa De Catalunya whilst we waited to get into our hotel.


Then lunch in a nearby tapas bar before a walk to my favourite food markets.


Now we’re at the Hotel Lleo a rather nice modern hotel chosen by Berti. Great wifi! And a pool for the kids.


Tonight a vegetarian tapas bar!

Barcelona I ❤️you. Despite there being warnings to stay away from La Rambla tonight as there is another protest over the proposed Catalan separation.


Tomorrow la Sagrada.