Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I don’t wash my hair everyday; I’ve re-gifted presents before; I hate hate hate macaroni and cheese; I don’t floss as often as I tell my dentist I do; I have insecurities; I tend to shelf my feelings and I don’t like to admit that I cry. I’m scared of psychosis (mainlycontractingit), commitment, old age, and processed cheese (which brings us back to my macaroni and cheese issue). And lastly, before Tuesday, I wasn’t particularly fanatical about going to Barcelona.

Granted, I was excited to get out of France, visit somewhere new and I had mentioned in passing that I would like to see Barcelona. But aside from Taco Tuesdays, a love for Sangria, and four years of dating my high school sweetheart, I’ve never been especially intrigued in Spanish culture. Call me a snob if you must but I’ve always taken more of a liking to the French, which could be the culprit for my snobbery. But Barcelona, I had you mistaken and I apologize. Turns out, youre an exceptionally gorgeous city filled with exceptionally gorgeous architecture, and exceptionally gorgeous people. It’s true what they say, that you find love when youre not looking for it because well, I fell in love with this city.

About two months ago, when times were bleak, Facebook Status Updates informed me that my friend from the language school here in Lyon was planning a trip to Barcelona. I asked if I could tag along and before I knew it, the trip turned into a group of 6 of us girls, none of us really knowing each other all too well; 2 Brits, 1 German, 1 Pole, 1 Austrian, and yours truly. The perfect setting for reality TV as you would think that cattiness would surface and conflicts would emerge. However, MTV would be sorely disappointed because the 4 days and 4 nights in a 2 bedroom apartment with 6 girls sharing 2 bathrooms, transpired flawlessly. We shared food, clothes, conversation, stories, and laughs.

Barcelona was 4 days of exploring the myriad sites, the cutting edge art, stylish buildings, and yes, even the beach. We saw all of Antoni Gaudi’s famous buildings, from the incomplete cathedral La Sagrada Famillia to the enchanting Park Güell. And while they were breath taking, I couldn’t help but think, Leave it to a man to start something grandiose and leave it unfinished.
Somewhere between the famous La Rambla boulevard, the quaint alleyways, the medieval palaces and plazas, the countless open air markets filled with gluttonous amounts of every fresh food one could imagine, I realized why Vicky and Cristina loved this place so much. What’s not to love when your daily schedule looks something like this:

8:30 am: Wake up
9:30 am: Explore the city
1:00 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: More exploring
6:00 pm: Siesta
10:00 pm: Shower and get ready
11:30 pm: Find a restaurant
Midnight: Dinner
2:00 am: Dancing
5:00 am: Go home to bed
8:30 am: Start all over again.
Ditto Wednesday. Ditto Thursday. Ditto Friday.

I felt the same way touring around Barcelona as I did walking around Manhattan or stepping foot in Paris: Alive and myself. It was relaxing but energizing, busy but serene, it has character, idiosyncrasies and it offered a sense of harmony, despite my only Spanish vocabulary being (Si, Sangria, Salsa, Hola, and Buenos Noches). Barcelona is to Spain what Paris is to France, what Manhattan is to New York, and what London is to England; but instead of rats, instead of croissants, instead of The Beatles, you come across seagulls, eat Paella, Tapas, and salsa to Ricky Martin. The restaurants resulted in food-orgasms, the dancing was a blast, and the siestas were essential. And when English wouldn’t get me by (which was quite often) French usually could. Of course, there were those moments when everything went completely without comprehension:

Spaniard: Hola {Insert rapid Spanish dialogue}

Me: Uhhh, si?

Spaniard: {Insert more rapid Spanish dialogue}

Me: Knick-knack-patty-whack, give a dog a bone?

Spaniard: {More Spanish, more rolling of "r"s, more lack of understanding}

Me: Sally sells seashells by the seashore?

Spaniard: Salsa?

Me: Si!

So here is my confession: I can admit that I was wrong to base my Spanish intrigue on previous encounters because the truth is, I loved everything about this city. Everything…. Well, except for the 8 hours of driving back to France, but even that turned into an experience. And after 40 hours of no sleep, 5 hours in an airport, an argument with a taxi driver, the copious amounts of highway tolls, a stop in Provence, a stop in Arles, one random French couple, driving off with the gas nozzle still in the tank, getting lost despite having a GPS, and arriving in Lyon by 9 pm, we stayed true to Spanish fashion as the remaining two of us headed out to a late night reward dinner. Thank you, Icelandic Volcano; You provided quite an adventure.

... and since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let my shoe do the talking of the success that was Barcelona

  • Though I love my new host family, I must admit that coming home to a quiet house was much needed.
  • Laundry is done and the house has been cleaned inside and out!
  • It's warm here!
  • Fresh banana bread


  1. oh wow... that sounds like it was an amazing whirlwind trip! awesome! i love the pics, you girls all look so good! : )
    i love coming home to a quiet house, vacation from the vacation.. its a good thing!

  2. LOOKS GORGEOUS!!!!!! i would definitely want to visit barcelona...but not before france haha. your friends and you are gorgeous as well!

    confession lol...i dont wash my hair everyday...more like every 3 days :)

  3. I LOVE all the pictures! I've been all over Spain, but never to Barcelona. I've heard it's beautiful. I can't wait to catch up with you more soon! I can't Yahoo chat at work (it won't connect), so email will have to do for now!
    PS I'm with you on all of your confessions, except I like homemade mac and cheese (not the box with the fake cheese).

  4. Awww - I´m so happy for you, Lauren!
    Lovely post, as usual :)
    Have a wonderful night!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  5. Sounds a.maz.ing! Love the pictures too. So good to hear from you today, thank you for everything!

  6. I might have to make try and make it down to Barcelona now! You've made me very excited for a pending weekend in Toulouse with the friends I've made here.

    I'm not sure if you saw my reply to your comment on my blog... I'll relay just in case! I'd absolutely love some company for the music festival if you're game, it'd be great to have someone to go with! Looks like a really wonderful festival, so let me know if you're definitely interested =).

    Glad to see things are getting better for you there, it's not easy being an au pair!

  7. ah, you're such fun!
    i'm jealous you're flaunting about...i'm going to come hang with you, kay?