7 Hours in London

“Guys, we have 7 hours at Heathrow. Is that enough time to get out? I’ve never been to London”. It started an easy enough question. Some of us in the group had never been to London. My best friend R was turning 40. To celebrate, we were doing a girls trip to Malta. But on…

2018 – The Year I Got Back to Travel

I’ve talked about this before. The end of 2015 saw great changes in our family life and lifestyle. 2016 w as a year of transition and 2017 was a year of adjustment. But the end of 2017 saw yet another change in our family situation, and allowed us some wiggle room to breath and more…

La Universidad de Barcelona

The University of Barcelona is a sprawling organization with campuses all over the city. However, for whatever reason, in 1999, all the exchange students took classes at the old campus, right off Plaza Universidad. The building, built between 1863 and 1882, is classic Moorish architecture, with big courtyards and lots of greenery. I remember being…

Barceloneta

“My cousin wrote back…she wants to meet for lunch!” “Your cousin? The one in Barcelona you haven’t seen in 40 years?!” “Yep, here is the address of the restaurant we are going to meet at.” Look at map…”Are you serious? If I remember correctly, that’s the not so great area of Barcelona. It’s full of…

El Barrio Gotico

When you are a college student studying aboard, you are generally poor. You have some money but you want to use it for traveling to different places around the country (or Europe) so the weekdays, when you have classes, you try to keep your costs to a minimum. I was a typical broke college student,…

La Catedral de Barcelona

The beautiful beating religious heart of Barcelona is hands down the beautiful Gothic cathedral. La Sagrada Familia is all about architecture, but La Catedral, that’s pure old school religious soul. Built in 1046-1058 AD with a Gothic façade added in 1298 the church is hundreds of years of art, sculpture, and religion Beautiful Gothic facade…

Las Ramblas

As a student living in Barcelona, my classes all ended before lunch. One of my favorite activities was to walk the short distance to Plaza Catalunya and then down las Ramblas, eventually steering into el Barrio Gotico. People watching was cheap and entertaining, so I’d get a coffee at a café and nurse it for…

La Sagrada Familia

In 1999, I was a young exchange student living in Barcelona and having the time of my life. While there I went on a tour of the Sagrada Familia. At that time, the tour did not have a set price, but donation based pricing. And the “tour” was simply access to the museum on Gaudí…

A Morning in Montserrat

“We need to meet the tour bus at WHAT TIME?!?!?!” That was my reaction when I found out my mom booked at tour to Montserrat, the famous mountain just outside Barcelona with a cathedral dedicated to the black Madonna, but left Plaza Catalunya at 6:45am…on our first day in the city. To get breakfast and…

Gilroy Gardens

“You should really take your kids to Gilroy Gardens, they’d love it!”. That was my best friend, R. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’d get around to it” I said. So when our weekend getaway was coming to an end, we had a choice, see more of Monterey, or try and check out Gilroy Gardens. On a…