My last blog was my epic weekend in Oktoberfest. Much to the dismay of my family, that was a staggering two weekends ago. Sure, I do try to blog at least once a week, but can they really expect me to blog when they demand that I wake up before 9 am to sight-see every day for a week???
For the past 10 days, the Buffington’s took on Barcelona. I used my month’s worth of knowledge to show my parents and Angie as much of Barcelona as I could. After anything weird or funny happened, they said, “You HAVE to put that in your blog.”
So I will do my best to put together the highlights of the family vacation.
Before I go any further, I also want to mention that my blog has now become stressful. I decided to be funny in a few blogs, and now there’s all this pressure to keep the laughs coming. This is not Chelsea Handler’s latest book. Yes, Angie and I did see a little person at a club and there was a ginger with a jew fro, but let’s face it, those ocurrances aren’t exactly normal.
Back to the family vacation. Actually, it wasn’t quite a “family” vacation because Erin couldn’t make it. I’m sad that she wasn’t able to come, but so incredibly excited/proud of her amazing career and the fact that she is now a home owner. Congrats sissy!!! I decided that we’re going to do a sister’s trip to Oktoberfest, so we’ll have a European vacation soon.
I was so excited for the Buffington’s to get here. To be honest, I was a little nervous too. I wanted to be the perfect tour guide and take them to the coolest places. I wanted to make sure to do all of the tourist things, but also take them to local places so they could get the real feel of Barcelona.
They arrived on Sunday morning…somewhere around 8:00 am. Even though I explained that Barcelona parties all night, I don’t quite think they grasped the concept. They were greeted in Placa Universitat by two drag queen prostitutes. Nothing says “Bien Venidos” quite like that. Unfortunately I didn’t see them because I was still attempting to wipe the crusty mascara off my face and get the nasty smell of smoke out of my hair from the night before.
The ultimate Barcelona experiences requires the perfect combination of sight-seeing, street wandering, eating, and late night entertainment. Hopefully I delivered the ideal mixture.
I have to admit, I haven’t been the best at sight-seeing in the time I’ve spent here. I’ve been adimant to learn the culture and experience the local scene, and by doing so, I somehow managed to cut sight-seeing out of my days. After spending the week touring, I realize now that people see those places for a reason…they are historical, cultural, and incredible. I’ve placed such a negative connotation on the word “tourist” that I kept myself from experiencing some of the most beautiful things Barcelona has to offer. I’m lucky my family came early on so they could snap me out of that dillusion.
La Sagrada Familia was my favorite. La Sagrada Familia is a giant church designed by Antonio Gaudi (the famous Spanish architect). Construction began in 1882 and continues today. Even though Gaudi died in 1926, the current construction attempts to remain true to Gaudi’s original intentions for the incredible church. I live about 2 minutes from La Sagrada Familia. I see the exterior every single day, and I am in awe every single day. The process to get in requires standing in an hour long line and paying 16 euro, so waiting for my family to be here worked in my favor (thanks mom and dad!)
We opted for the audio tour, so we looked quite fab with our headphones walking around the church. Had we not, though, I would not have understood even a quarter of all the symbolism in the church. It is overwhelming. It is gorgeous. La Sagrada Familia is projected to be finished in the next two decades (aka at least 40 years), and I intend to see it complete in my life.
When I mentioned to my friends that my family was visiting, I received the same response from all of them: “Are you eating amazing food???” The answer: Yes. Whenever we walk by restaurants that look great or after we eat at an amazing restaurant, we always say, “I can’t wait to bring my family here.” Our budgets don’t exactly allow for fine dining. I stick to my delicious 3.50 euro kebab at A La Turca.
A lot of restaurants in Barcelona offer English menus. The spelling is almost always wrong and the translating normally isn’t correct either. Instead of garlic calamari and chicken breast, we had to order “squid has the garlic” and “chicken chest”.
The dinner only became more entertaining when Mom bit the pepper in the squid has the garlic dish….tongue had the spicy. It was hard to be sympathetic when I was cracking up from watching her was dig through the sangria jar to get an ice-cube to rub on her tongue.
I’ll post another blog tomorrow, I promise. I actually have to do this weird thing called “homework”. I’ve basically forgotten what that means since I’ve been here.
Also, happy birthday Dad!!! My parents are in Paris right now, and I hope they’re having a wonderful time. I just read that the eiffel tower was closed due to all of the strikes…I hope they got to see it.