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When the fam's in town

17 Jul 2016

English: This past week has been an absolute blast – my family came to visit and I got to show them all around Barcelona and then I travelled with them to Rome for an amazing wedding! Until they came I noted down places that I wanted to take them and recommendations of things for them to do while I was at work. They stayed at a hotel in the Gothic Quarter, which is one of my favorite areas of Barcelona – old architecture and narrow alleyways everywhere you look. Luckily for me, I got to share a hotel room with my mom and soak in the air conditioning that my apartment painfully lacks. It was so fun being their city guide while they stayed in Barcelona, and I got to impress them with how much my Spanish (it also mad me realize how much I’ve improved since I’ve been here).

When they arrived over the weekend, we walked around the area and I took them to lunch at La Boquería – they loved the market and went back almost everyday they were here, mostly for the fresh juices. We also went to Casa Batlló, which is one of Gaudí’s famous works in the city and something I hadn’t seen from the inside before. It was really interesting to see the interior of the house – there were beautiful stained glass windows, doors, and an outdoor patio. Afterwards, we found a cute tapas restaurant and they let me order for the table. We had all the classics, including patatas bravas, croquettes, olives, chorizo, and more. Of course Spanish wine and desserts were included. We discovered a delicious dessert – Catalan cream. It was presented like crème brulee, but had ice cream on the bottom and we continued to look for it every night after that.


We made sure to hit all the must-see spots – Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Barceloneta, Camp Nou – but also managed to spend some time shopping and relaxing at the hotel pool. They were here for the perfect amount of time, from Saturday to Thursday, so that the days weren’t too hectic. On Monday night we went to dinner at Sensi Tapas, one of my favorite restaurants here and it also has some great vegetarian options. I highly recommend going there if you are ever in Barcelona. The next night, I arranged a cooking class from the same person that IES had set us up with earlier in my stay here! We learned how to make paella, a delicious lentil salad, and tomato bread. The experience on a rooftop terrace overlooking the city made for a fun evening, and even my little cousins got to participate (they mastered a fresh fruit salad). The last night they were here, we gave in and went to a Mexican restaurant (something everyone in the family enjoys) called Rosa Raval, and it was another hit.

I’m extremely lucky to be able to have shared some of my time here with my family, showing them around and showing how much the experience has given me. Lots of love for this city and I’m looking forward to making the most out of my last week here.

Español: La última semana era muy divertida – mi familia me visitaba por un rato y les mostraba todos mis sitios favoritos y los que se necesita ver cuando estás en Barcelona, y luego viajábamos a Roma para una boda magnífica. Hasta que ellos llegaban, había escribiendo todos los lugares que quería mostrarles. Se quedaban en un hotel en el barrio Gótico, que es mi área favorito en esta ciudad – edificios antiguos y pasajes reducidos en todas partes. Por suerte mío, quedaba en el hotel también y tenía aire acondicionado, que es un lujo aquí. Fue muy divertido para mi ser su guía de la ciudad, y les impresionaba con mi habilidad de español (y también me daba cuenta el nivel que ha mejorado aquí).

Cuando ellos llegaban al sábado, caminábamos desde el barrio y fuimos a La Boquería – les encantaba el mercado y volvieron casi cada día después para los jugos frescos. También fuimos a Casa Batlló y era muy interesante ver el interior de una obra de Gaudí. Luego, encontramos una restaurante y comemos todas las tapas tradicionales – bravas, croquetas, chorizo, olivas, etc. Y para el postre, descubrimos crema catalana que fue muy deliciosa.

Visitábamos todos los lugares más famosos de Barcelona – Parc Guell, Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Barceloneta – y también teníamos tiempo para relajarse en la piscina del hotel. Fuimos a Sensi Tapas, que es una de mis restaurantes favoritas aquí, y también organizaba un clase de cocinar, donde aprendemos hacer paella, ensalada de lentillas, y pan de tomate. La experiencia fue única y divertida, y los niños también hacían una ensalada de frutas deliciosa!

Soy muy suerte para poder compartir mi tiempo aquí con parte de mi familia. Tengo mucho amor por la ciudad y voy a hacer mi última semana la mejor!

Spanish Lesson #6: When in Italy, if you don’t know Italian, use your Spanish!!


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