Spain & Ireland

Today’s post is a big one! I’m combining my trip to Barcelona and Dublin into one big post!

To be totally honest, I had high hopes for Barcelona. Everyone has told me that it’s a great place. I was also looking forward to relaxing on the beach (spent weeks upon weeks looking for a cute swimsuit for this leg of the trip but no avail). Barca wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t my favorite place. Plus, Barcelona happened after a wonderland called Venice. It’s your typical city with shopping, markets, and a beach. The rain probably didn’t help Barcelona’s cause. I had a good vacation here, and I ate some delicious foods, but it simply wasn’t my favorite vacation spot.

My favorite thing here would, hands down, be La Boqueria. This market has lots and lots of delicious treats! For a person who considers food as her passion (tehehe fatty at heart), this place is something like heaven! Fruit, candies, and juice galore! Mmmmm nom nom noms… Now be prepared for a color overload!

La Boqueria

Chocolates

Juice

SeafoodThis market is one of the main attractions of Barcelona. That doesn’t say much about a city… just saying. Dang, I’m a hater!

I must say though, shopping was great here! I bought a new jacket from Massimo Dutti (see my new jacket in my Dublin pics) and check out my new sunnies! No tax means let’s spend some $$$. Great shops near Plaça de Catalunya! 

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We also went to Park Güell to see beautiful views of the city. Many buildings are designed by an architect by the name of Gaudí. He used a lot of mosaic tiling, ceramics, and stained glass. Buildings with these details can be found all over the city.  

Park Guell

City viewThe clouds look so ominous

Guell

You’re probably here reading to find out what restaurants we ate at, am I right to assume? I will say that I had some of the best food in Barcelona. I’m a huge seafood person so this city was on point when it came to food!

If you’re ever there, do yourself a favor and check out La Bombeta for tapas. When there’s a line of locals waiting to dine here, you know your stomach will be happy. Even the sangria is delicious! Can Majó is a noteworthy mention too. It has one Michelin star, which is well deserved for price and quality. Very fresh seafood and one of my favorite things I ate on this trip, a noodle paella. Seriously check these places out!

Paella - Can Majó

The next day we went to take pictures at Sagrada Família, a Roman Catholic church also designed by Gaudí. Construction of this church began in 1882 and will be completed in 2026. We didn’t buy tour tickets, and I’m starting to regret that… But that just means I’ll have to return.

Sagrada Família

We had a bit of sun peak through the clouds so we were able to spend a few hours on the beach! Not sunny enough to tan but warm enough to enjoy the view (of naked people!!!)

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For our last meal in Barcelona, we bought food at La Boqueria. Mussles and sea snails in a wine broth, pan-fried fish fillets, and razor clams. I’ve never had razor clams before… Why! I’ve been missing out. These things are so sweet.

Seafood dinner

Dinner part 2

Then we headed over to watch the Magic Fountain. The fountain has a music/light show at night.

Magic Fountain Show

Magic Fountain

Fountain
We spent a good amount of time trying to do this ^^^

We had some time before getting on a plane to Dublin so we walked to Parc de la Ciutadella to hang out.

Parc de la Ciutadella

Near Parc de la CiutadellaIt’s near the zoo, hence this behemoth 

Arc de Triomf
^^^ Arc de Triomf in Barcelona

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Then we made our way over to Dublin, Ireland. Most people are surprised to find out that I have relatives here!

My sweet Aunt Kathy bought us some musical tickets for our first day. We watched “Singing in the Rain,” and it was amazing! Katie and I love musicals, and this was one of our top favorite shows.

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DSC07447^ Family selfie after the show

The next day we headed out to see Trim Castle. To be honest, I don’t know much of European history… but there are a few things I remember. Trim is a large Norman castle, it is three stories high, and it’s uniquely shaped like a cross. Coolest thing? All of Braveheart was filmed here. The movie used different angles of the castle. I haven’t seen Braveheart so it’s just kinda cool to me. Perhaps watching the film makes it a better fact. Heheh

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The boys… I kinda love this shot!

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Oh you know… just pondering about life in his castle…

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Are you even allowed to climb these rocks?

DSC07534^^^ Richie, Jay, and Fay Kay

DSC07566It’s so beautiful 

Another really awesome place we toured, the Guinness Storehouse!  You learn how this dark beer is brewed, how to master pouring yourself a pint, and there’s a 360° viewing room to enjoy your beer. 

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DSC07646^^^ Beer staches!

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DSC07666She actually finished her pint!

We also met my cousin Richard’s girlfriend at a cute teppanyaki restaurant called Chai Yo. This place blows Benihana out of the water… It’s an interactive restaurant. They call on you to perform tricks! Our waiter even memorized all our names. I tried to catch an egg on my spatula; caught it but it cracked. MG was to catch an egg in his hat and he did it! So impressed by my man. The guy at the table next to us didn’t catch his egg, and it cracked on his back. Yikes. Not impressed but hilarious! Really random dinner but so much fun.

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Okay, okay. I’m done! I thought that Barcelona and Dublin could be in one post because there wasn’t much that went on. Going through pictures and this post, I was wrong. There was a lot that happened!

Have you travelled to these cities? How was your experience in Barcelona? How did you like Dublin? Are you interested in these cities? If so, why?

Paris and London to come soon…
Jay

  

Nerd Party & Antiques

What do you do during a 3-day weekend?

Let the husband plan one day.
Rest another.
Let the wife plan the last.

This makes everyone happy!

Husband’s plan:
Host a LAN party, aka nerd hangout. Props to you if you know what LAN stands for… anyone? MG invited his childhood friends, and they all brought over their laptops and PCs. After stuffing our faces with turkey weenies in a blanket, triple chocolate brownies, caramel chocolate chip cookies, guacamole, and garlic fries… After a few sodas and a few beers… After 2 hours of configuration and downloading (4 routers, 10 people hardwired into the cable, 2 on wifi, lots of IT knowledge), we were finally ready to game.

Here’s the gang (we had to get an extra table at Costco the morning of).

LAN

LAN Players

The Milkcrate
Pretty cool set up right? Even if you’re not a nerd, you have to appreciate this (at least the hosting aspect of it)! Also this picture directly above ^^^, that’s MG’s cousin Brian. He built his own computer, at least it’ll never heat up right? We named thee, “The Milkcrate.” Don’t hate!

We played Team Fortress 2. It’s a first-person shooter game, with missions, like capturing bases, unlocking sectors on the map, and pushing a cart down a rail. I basically bum rushed people and set them on fire. I was an amazing Pyro. Proof? Look at the screen grab below. Yay! Obviously this was a one-time thing – I was usually towards the bottom. Heh.

Team Fortress

Wife’s Plan:
On Monday, we went to Danville (my first time), and it’s an adorable little town in the North Bay. We walked around downtown, and the city is lined with antique shops. You can call me Explorer Jay, because I LOOOVE antiquing. Look at how lovely this place is:

Danville Sites
The town is full of shops like these.

Crafts in Danville
Perfect for crafting!

Antiques
Antique bottles, vases, and gadgets galore!

Had a little bit of fun in front of a mirror at an antique shop:

Just for fun

It was SO HOT. So we took a break and got some Starbucks. Always a delicious treat!

Break time

More importantly, look what I found for the house!!!

Shelf
Only $10!
I will be putting this above the toilet in our guest bathroom. I’ll be revamping this just a bit! Stay tuned…

Bench
Only $15!
This bench has SO much potential. It’ll be going downstairs so that people can sit and put their shoes on. Reupholster the seat and fresh paint will give this bench new life! A reupholstery tutorial to come soon…

CabinetNow, this is my favorite piece so far. Only $20 at the Salvation Army (OMG and still in great condition)!
I’ve been looking for a storage unit to go in my living room, so that I can put away some of my appliances since our kitchen space is limited. I am going to tint the wood, add some hardware pieces, and it’s going to look fabulous. DIY tutorial on this later as well.

I’m really excited for these projects. As you can see, this will be keeping me busy for a while!

What did you do this weekend?