Daydreaming about… San Sebastian, Spain

Yep. Again.

Those of you that have been following along for awhile know I have shared my excitement about this destination before, but now that my trip is approaching, I’m starting to freak out! Can’t wait to visit my little sister in this literal slice of paradise. Even though I’m visiting during their rainy season, I’m so looking forward to exploring the Basque region. Rain or shine, don’t matter NONE. It’s going to be a blast.

Much of my enjoyment during my travels revolves around food and this trip will be no different. I can’t wait to visit some of the places I’ve heard about, like Bar Zeruko and El Quinto Pino (below). Need to try the local pinxtos (I was already warned not to call them tapas) and of course, as much sangria as I can stomach.

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain

And now, some links…

Hey Nike, can I do this next?

40 maps to help you understand the world (12! 17?!).

My friends and I are being vegan for a month (a day is child’s play).

The cutest tiny house on Sauvie Island right outside of Portland.

Tried this place recently and loved it! Trying to eat more whole foods.

This diary of a Whole Foods visit is hilarious and true.

Have a great weekend.

xxx

(images via Pinterest)

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Daydreaming about… San Sebastian!

We had such a nice Valentine’s Day evening bonding with some new friends. It truly reminded me to be thankful for the relationships in my life, whether new or old, close or casual.

After a crisis this morning regarding our house (when will it end?), I can get back to what I was going to share today….

BIG NEWS. I tend to keep quiet about things going on with my family and friends, but this is too good to keep to myself. My baby sis just got official word that she will be studying abroad in San Sebastian, Spain for the fall semester of the coming school year. I’m filled with pride; she worked so hard to make it happen. And I’m over the moon excited for her to experience life abroad. I think she’ll find it wildly fascinating.

Of course this means that I have to go visit her. Now that I’m nearly halfway around the world (it’s an 8 hour time difference), this will take significant planning. (Sidenote: Imagine if we were still living in Amsterdam or Stockholm! Dang it.) From my initial research, I gather that San Sebastian is a beautiful and glamorous city on the northern coast of Spain, nestled in the culturally-exuberant, wine-rich Basque region. Looks like I’ll shoot for a September/October time frame, so that gives Kimberly a few weeks to settle in (although, let’s be honest, I’d just as happily be there waiting for her as she arrives). Gotta brush up on my Spanish…

San Sebastian

This is going to be a big trip – stay tuned!

And Kim – I’m so proud of you.

Have a great weekend.

xxx

P.S. My most recent trip to Spain.

{image via (what looks like it will be) a very helpful (and funny) expat/travel blog}

Gracias Barcelona

We recently spent five days in sunny, HOT Barcelona! Had a great time with Jaro and some old friends of mine, exploring the city and seeing all sorts of stuff I didn’t see the last time I was there. Katie and Blake are a great couple that I grew up with that now live there. Cray! It was so comforting to see familiar faces. We got to experience the Catalunya Independencia celebration, which basically entailed a huge parade through the streets to the Arc De Triomf where there was a huge outdoor festival. Those Catalonians sure have a lot of pride. So much so that when you try to talk to them in Spanish they reply in Catalan (which I can’t understand, which probably means I can’t understand much Spanish either), or worse, English. But, at least they throw a good party. We also strolled around Parc de la Cituadella and saw a pretty impressive light show at the fountains of Montjuic. Katie and I even got to spend a day at the beach on the Mediterranean drinking beer and catching up. So fun! Traveler Tip: Yes the beaches are topless, but my top stayed on as I cannot compete with all those bronzed tits on the Med. The rest of the days, I was pretty much on my own and let’s just say, it will take some getting used to. I did some tour buses (and fell asleep like a homeless person on one), Gaudi architectural tours (very cool and worth the expense) and had many a meal sitting alone at tapas bars and cafes (its quite humbling to request a table for one). It was lonely some of the time and sometimes I just wanted to give up and sit in the hotel. Oh wait, there was no Internet or English TV. At all. So I didn’t bother.  But, I’m hopeful that exploring places will get easier as we travel around and I get more comfortable being the “foreigner.” 🙂 We did go to one of the biggest sporting events in the world – a champion’s league futbol game. FCB vs. AC Milan (thank you, Nike). It. Was. Insane. The stadium holds 100,000 people and every single seat was filled with screaming fans. For comparison, Soldier’s Field only holds 61K max. It was a very cool experience. Traveler Tip: The stadium only serves non-alcoholic beer (which everyone still drinks, weird), and you can smoke anywhere, including your seat. So I would imagine the nose bleeders probs felt like they were sitting in clouds.. Gross. All in all, we had a great time and I will post some pictures as soon as I get a chance. Gracias, Barcelona!