Throwback Thursday ~ Barcelona Travels

Currently my sister is spending the semester abroad in Copenhagen and as she ventures off on her adventures, it got me reminiscing about the time I spent in Spain.  I can’t believe it’s been over three years since I spent three and a half months in Barcelona but sometimes it feels like just last year.

This little gem happened to be my first attempt at blogging.  It’s safe to say I fell in love with it.  Sometimes I go back to my old posts and scroll through the thoughts and pictures, amazed at how much has and hasn’t changed over the years.   Good times and some more stressful times of course, but it was one helluva growth opportunity.  Sure, every 21 year old says that about the time they spent in Europe 😉 But really, there’s way too much to say about that time so I’ll just leave it in the best way I know how – pictures.

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>> our “familia” w/ Marie Carmen, one of our primos, me, liz, conchita <<

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>> mnac <<
museu nacional d’art de catalunya

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>> tapas for dayssssss <<

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>> our school (IES) running club <<

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>> one of Gaudi’s creations in the parc de la ciutadella <<

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>> This may be where a majority of my savings went…I convinced myself that having gelato in Europe was a once in a lifetime opportunity (or you know, maybe 20-30 times in Europe) <<

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>> peace.love.cava <<

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>> I think that I love living in New York because it reminds me of Barcelona in a way.  The endless routes to walk across the city, the tall(ish) buildings, something new and surprising to see around every corner, and oh, the walking.  What can I say, I love to be active <<

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>> race everything <<

CIMG7419>> Montjuïc Castle <<

IMG_3332>> cheering on our barça boys at Camp Nou <<

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“In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take” – unknown

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GOOOOOOOOOL…It’s Friday

WHO IS PUMPED FOR THE WORLD CUP??  (Yes, I spelled the word “goal” in the Spanish method)  Of all the sporting events, soccer is probably my favorite.  This is most likely correlated with the fact that I started playing soccer when I was in preschool.

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I didn’t really play but rather complain about running, annoy my teammates and drive my dad nuts.  He was always my coach and I always felt the pressure to perform and sometimes felt different than the other girls.  But, something started to click when I was in 8th grade and I started to really enjoy the sport.  Soon this daisy picker turned into a soccer athlete.

IMG_0556The days I spent at SCU soccer camp without realizing I would end up there 4 years later for college

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Also, I feel like everyone has their own special sport they like to watch (disclaimer – if you don’t like sports, ignore this generalization).  It often is related to the sport they grew up playing and so for me, would be FUTBOL!  There’s something magical about the art of soccer, the passion of the play, and the speed of the game.

CIMG7387Just exploring the Olympic stadium in Barcelona

American football – you better block out 4 hours for that.  Sure it’s fun but what’s up with the timeouts?

Hockey – who knows what’s happening there

Baseball – It’s America’s favorite past-time and can be exciting but let’s be real.  How many nail-biting moments are there?

I’m not hating on any of those sports because I love to watch it all but soccer is like nothing else. I grew up watching the Los Angeles Galaxy play at the Rose Bowl and later at the Home Depot Center.  Any Cobi Jones fans?  How about Landon Donovan?

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We also were lucky enough to be present at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.  All my good pics are at home but here’s a little love from my time at Santa Clara.  I LOVE BRANDI CHASTAIN! Just saying.

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Of course watching my own country play is fun but how about roaming around Europe and Spain?  That’s where the true passion is.

My trip to Madrid’s stadium was nice, but watching a game in Barcelona was even better.

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I was talking to some of my friends recently and we were confused why people act surprised when we say we like sports?  So girls don’t usually like to watch sports?  Sure, I don’t watch ESPN religiously but I don’t mind attending a sports match or watching on TV once in awhile.  I guess we are quite unique in that sense.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” – Pele

Barcelona Fun on Bleeker Street

CIMG8211Back when I studied abroad in Barcelona, there was this fabulous sandwich shop called 100 Montaditos.  It’s known for having a list of 100 sandwich options, perfect for any palate.  ~ From chorizo to tuna to melted chocolate ~The prices were cheap, the variety was huge, and it was the perfect place for a snack, meal, or happy hour.  Every Wednesday, all sandwiches were only 1 Euro, so of course it was a no-brainer.

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They serve each plate with a handful of chips, which aren’t always my favorite, but always pair nicely with sandwiches 🙂  When I heard they had introduced 100 Montaditos to lower Manhattan, I knew we had to go.

100 Montaditos
176 Bleecker St
NY, NY 10012

IMG_3367Seating is on a first come first serve basis and if you have the skills to stake out and hover for someone to finish, you will be very happy.   I wish I was still up to speed on my Spanish.  I definitely heard some people chatting it up with the staff in Spanish and possibly even Catalan.  That last part might off, but I did hear some people at the next table talking about Spain and Barcelona as if they were just visiting New York.

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Cool ambience, sure, but I’m sure you are more interested in the goods.  Well, the prices are some of the best in the city, seeing as you can’t get a drink and dinner for under $20 elsewhere.  We ordered a number of sandwiches, fries, beer for Laura, and sangria for myself and Quinn and managed to come out with plenty of change in our pockets.

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A menu that can put any restaurant to shame.  Ok, not exactly that good, but for some cheap bar food, I was highly impressed.  You know, I think this particular menu might beat Barcelona’s WAY out of the park.

IMG_3379Estrella – the beer of Barcelona

IMG_3376_FotorAfter a long day of work, this hit the spot perfectly.

91 – caprese – serrano ham, mozzarella, fresh tomato & pesto on ciabatta

58 – chorizo, manchego cheese, fresh tomato, and arugula

62 – chistorra (basque style chorizo sausage), cream cheese & crispy onions

69 – brie, arugula, crispy onion, honey mustard on wheat roll

IMG_3378My two wonderful dining partners, open for any sort of adventure and totally ok with candid photos.  My favorite type of pictures 🙂

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“It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about – enjoying things.” – Julia Child

Happy Birthday Gaudí!

While I’d like to think I can shut myself off from technology while on vacation, it’s not true. Sad to say I’m addicted. However, today’s post is quick and semi-informational. My friend alerted me to the fact that its Antonio Gaudí’s 161st birthday! The Catalan architect was extremely influential in the designs and architecture of Barcelona and obviously had a big impact on my time in Barcelona. Continue reading

WIAW #36 – Country Tunes and Food

Well, last week I felt that there was not enough to do academically or socially and I guess my thoughts were granted because this week I seem to be jumping from one place to the next, usually with a textbook, midterm study guide, and pair of cowgirl boots in tow.  I’ll keep in short and sweet.  Looking forward to pounding these essays out and hitting the road to Stagecoach this weekend! Continue reading