4.30.2020

What We Loved In: Madrid & Barcelona

I'm hoping it's not completely tone-deaf to post this, as I know no one is traveling right now. But, think of it as escapism! With so much time on my hands, I've found myself thinking a lot about past adventures and dreaming up where I want to go as soon as this is all over. I'm so grateful for the traveling I've been able to do - throughout my life, but especially the last few years in my adult life. My heart aches thinking about all of these gorgeous, vibrant, cities, and how they've been affected in the last two months. 

Just the other day as I was working out in my backyard, I was literally daydreaming about sunny afternoons spent wandering the streets of Madrid...

And on that note, here's the final installment of my mini-guides from my trip to Europe last Summer. Just sharing quick recommendations of the things we loved in each city, in case you find yourself there! 

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+ Fun surprise - our trip aligned with Madrid Pride! We had a super fun night out bar-hopping in the Chueca neighborhood.
+ Two quick food recs: baked eggs and tomato toast at Plenti make an excellent morning after Pride breakfast ;) & dinner at Taberna Carmencita was another favorite meal of the whole trip - beautiful, cozy, historical, space, in a great location, perfect cocktails, & everything we ate was delicious.
+ Atop my shopping list was a pair of avarcas - leather sandal/flats that are THE Spanish shoe (Madewell sells very similar styles.) LOBO is a shoe store that's been open in Madrid for over 100 years! They sell beautiful handmade avarcas and espadrilles of all colors for very reasonable prices. We each bought a couple pairs!
+ We had to see some flamenco dancing! We had a fun night at Casa Patas, where tickets to a show in an intimate theater are included in the price of dinner (lots of traditional Spanish food to choose from!)
+ Do not miss the Mercado De San Miguel, Madrid's massive food hall with endless options for tapas, desserts, seafood, cheeses...we had such a happy afternoon there :)
+ Madrid is a huge city & we didn't have nearly enough time there, but we did our best to see as much as possible. We stayed in the Centro neighborhood which was super walkable - from there we stumbled upon hidden neighborhood parks, gorgeous cathedrals (pictured above is La Almudena), candy colored apartments, & El Retiro (their Central Park.) 
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+ Another city, another food hall - we loved Boqueria, especially, the xuxo at Pinotxo Bar, that exquisite cream filled flaky pastry pictured above - heaven!!
+ La Sagrada Familia was well worth booking in advance and trekking early across the city. It is absolutely one of the most uniquely beautiful pieces of architecture I've ever seen! Don't forget to stop at Gaudi's favorite Taco Bell across the street afterwards, haha
+ GrĂ cia was THE neighborhood for shopping (so many cute boutiques!) & bar hopping. We loved BarBut (we laughed at the name as well) for cocktails & good food.
+ We had a magnificent beach day, with books and beers, at Playa de la Barceloneta, capped off with dinner at Somorrostro for some delicious (and in my estimation, very authentic) paella. Our last dinner all together!

I am so thankful for this incredible trip! What place is first on your list when we can all travel again? Let me know in the comments and thank you, as always, for supporting this little blog. 
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