04.30.2015

Barcelona Highlights

Barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

While our love of traveling is not a secret, I’ve always found that it is often my most valuable investment. Never have I returned from a trip and said, “Why did I do that?” Contrast that to several material purchases I have made that sit in my closet for months, weeks past their ultimate return date, and ask myself, “Why did I buy that?” That being said, this last Europe adventure was one of epic proportions. One that I will remember for years to come. Maybe it was the amazing weather. Possibly it was the countries we visited and the cuisine (and cocktails) we indulged in. Ultimately, it was the company and memories that were made that made it worth every dollar (uh, Euro) we spent.

We started our journey in Barcelona. We had visited it before, as I mentioned previously, and it poured sheets of rain for 4 days straight (yes, that is the world’s smallest violin you hear playing). This time, it was nothing short of spectacular. We spent the days exploring, afternoons sipping sangria, and the evenings (with the exception of a few work events) trying out tapas spots. It’s a country where the people are friendly (and I truly mean that here), the food is tasty (and this is likely not a word that describes how delicious it truly is), and the culture is rich. You can check out all the photos below, as well as all of our fun recommendations! And stay tuned for Switzerland next week!

Eats:

La Pepita– This is a must see spot. You can solidify your visit by writing on the wall, while you enjoy their signature rosemary gin and tonic and mouthwatering tapas.

La Caneta– Another delicious tapas spot. We visited this the first time we were in Barcelona and loved it so much we had to return.

Boca Grande– AMAZING Paella… and the bathrooms… well you’ll have to see for yourself!

Chok– We stumbled on this little gem of a spot… and trust me, I couldn’t have been happier. Decadent chocolates and the donut? It was definitely worth the indulgence (although I did insist on splitting it….).

W Hotel– This hotel is spot on. Their rooftop bar Eclipse provides you with craft cocktails (trust me here, some of the best ever) and sweeping views of the city. Try their restaurant SALT for an open air experience. Or check out any of the other several dining options they have. I’m usually not a fan of hotel restaurants, but I’ve never been disappointed there.

As far as accommodations go, we stayed at The Ritz Carlton, Hotel Arts this past trip. While the accommodations were top notch, we both hands down recommend The W Hotel.

barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences {After a full morning of site seeing, a little gelato and a churro were in order 🙂 Scarf, dress, shoes}

striped jump suit, itsy bitsy indulgences

photo-47{Some pre-dinner cocktails at The Ritz (jumpsuit)}

barcelona bikes, itsy bitsy indulgences {All over Barcelona you can rent these red bikes, ride them as far as you want, and drop them off at a bike station.}

barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

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IMG_1930{The Boqueria market is where all the restaurants pick up their food for the day’s menu. It’s an amazing experience, definitely worth visiting… if not re-visiting in the same trip. They have some pretty delicious fresh fruit smoothies!}

Sagurada familia, barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences {The Sagrada Familia is a chapel whose design was largely carried out by Gaudi… whose architecture is sprinkled throuhgout the city (see below for more pics of his architectural designs)}

Gaudi architecture, barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

gaudi architecture, barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

IMG_3983{At each of these locations you can explore further, if you so desire 🙂 The colors are more magnificent in real life}

W hotel barcelona

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Eclipse barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

IMG_4085{The W Hotel is truly a culinary experience. As I mentioned above, there are several dining options… but if you must only visit one, head to Eclipse for the view and craft cocktails}

IMG_0314{A little sangria sipping}

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IMG_1913{You WILL NOT regret a stop at Chök. Trust me here.}

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IMG_0280{Since part of the trip was for TJ’s work, we enjoyed a gala night with his company at a gorgeous Casa in the middle of the city. Complete with opera singers and quartets.}

La Pepita Barcelona, Itsy bitsy indulgences

la pepita barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

la pepita barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences

la pepita barcelona, itsy bitsy indulgences {La Pepita was hands down our favorite spot in Barcelona. For a number of reasons, but seriously, how cool is it that they let you “sign” their walls?? (off the shoulder top)}