July 9, 2019: Sagrada Familia

Tuesday. GT2 Day Thirty One. Barcelona, Spain.

I got up at eight this morning. Showered, went through my mail and messages, caught up on MangoLassi, did some system updates, etc. Dominica got up at nine, and showered. At nine forty we woke up Emily because the sun was shining and it was a good chance to get to the beach for the last time of the trip and get some pictures before the rain hits the afternoon, which is the expectation. But we did not expect rain the last two days, so who really knows.

By ten, Emily was about ready to head to the beach to do our last photo shoot and last beach day of the entire trip! We were out the door, just the two of us, leaving Dominica to relax and Madeline to sleep, and walked north to a different beach than we had been to before.

Overall we did about three thousand steps, just over an hour out doing the shoot, and almost four hundred pictures taken. We were back by a quarter after eleven. Dominica and Madeline were both still in bed. Dominica had already showered, though, and was just reading on her phone. Madeline was, I believe, still sleeping.

The plan for today is going on a walking tour of Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, including the Sagrada Familia. Then it is time to pack, we fly home tomorrow. But first, we need some food. We all skipped breakfast this morning, and all any of us had for dinner was French fries.

I’m very happy that I have managed to keep up with all of the media posting, and the blog posting while we have been traveling. I was worried that I would be too tired, or not have time, or that the Internet would never allow it to happen. And for much of the trip we really wondered what the Internet situation might be. It is really nice that we ended with such a good connection and can be all caught up before we leave.

While waiting for the girls to get ready to go out to lunch I managed to get all of the pictures from this morning’s photo shoot uploaded to Flickr. And I got my phone emptied, again. I have gotten down quite the media management routine this past month. I also got caught up on emails, MangoLassi posts, network equipment updates, server updates, DuoLingo practice, etc. I had a lot of time to kill, it turns out.

Packing went on until a quarter after one. Dominica and I had given up trying to find out what food people wanted and were just waiting for them to be ready to get some lunch. We were a bit hungry, but can wait.

We went out looking for food. Eventually settling on Brunch and Cake, where we ate yesterday. The food was amazing again. Dominica got some kind of egg burger with salmon. I got the eggs benedict with salmon. And the girls got some sort of pancake thing to share, and they still couldn’t quite finish it all. Some of the best food that we have had in Europe.

It got super hot and muggy while we were at lunch, so we returned to the apartment to take a little time for it to cool off before we were going to set out on a walk to see the city. I was busy working and waiting for people to decide to be ready. I have unlimited amounts of work that needs my attention, having been away for so long, so I am not idle.

The little break went pretty long. At six I prompted the girls that we need to do whatever we are going to do before it is too late. With the need for dinner, there really isn’t time to go see anything. It is not a close walk to most things, so we have to take the metro or a bus and that takes time. So by the time that we start going to see something, it is already time to figure out dinner. And then it is night and everyone is tired. So the only option was to only go to the Sagrada Familia and see, most likely, nothing else. But that is the biggest thing in Barcelona and skipping it would be a bit ridiculous.

Our big walking day turned into a short metro ride day. It was nearly six thirty when we left the apartment. We just took the metro right to the Sagrada Familia, but it is so expensive to go in and requires that you wear too warm of clothes and things that not all of us have, so we didn’t even really consider going inside, even though it would be really cool. We did pictures out front, then walked the park there. I found the playground where Liesl and I played in 2012. Then we walked around the basilica for a bit. And that was our stuff for the day.

Now to find a Pandora store and some souvenir shopping. The Pandora store turned out to be really easy, there was one right by us. They were open until eight, and they had what Emily wanted. So we popped in and took care of that. Then we hit a few more of the cookie cutter souvenir shops to find some last minute items that the girls wanted to get. They are finally done, they thing, with souvenir shopping at this point.

We checked out some places for dinner. But the place that Emily wanted, Madeline didn’t want to look at the menu (this is random, from what we can tell, but happens often.) So we couldn’t eat there. Then Dominica looked up a Pintxo place that looked well rated, cheap, and on our way. But the girls aren’t okay with open face sandwiches, two slices of bread is a rule. So that ruled that out. There is nothing at fast food for Dominica and I to eat, although we encourages the girls to just eat at one of the McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, or Five Guys that face the Sagrda Familia, but that didn’t seem to interest them. The only thing that we could settle on was going back to the Huelva sandwich chain that we did the other day.

That place was packed, again. Even though the food was more expensive tonight, because it is Tuesday. This time the girls just got three sandwiches each, instead of five and a half, but still got fries. Dominica and I each got four sandwiches, and no fries. I got some drink on draft that we couldn’t figure out the name of because they called it different things in different places. But it is something like a Latino cider with a hint of summer. It was tasty, whatever it was. Dinner was twenty five Euros again, even though it was smaller this time. There were no tables available, so we had to sit along side the wall. Overall, I’m not really all that into this place. The idea is great and they do an okay job, but the sandwiches are only really interesting once, and as my selection options are limited, that really takes it down. I’ve now tried more than I am really interested in. I like the salmon with honey mustard quite a bit. And the cheese with pesto. Beyond those two, everything was fine, but most of the items are not things I would look to eat again. If looking for a cheap option on a Sunday or Wednesday, this chain is decent. But for any regularity, I think it fails.

The plan had been to do sangria out tonight as it is the last night and for the last few nights Emily has been saying “we will go out tomorrow night”, but just finishing up dinner Emily was already too tired to go out. Madeline wanted to, but not without Emily. Dominica is tired and ready for bed. So that is that, I took them back to the apartment and everyone but me got into bed. Madeline debated going out to get sangria still, but could not talk Emily into it, so they stayed in. I charged up my phone and then went out myself.

The seen around Barceloneta is not one conducive to going out alone. Bars like we have in the US, where it is easy to go alone, aren’t common in this touristy part of the city. There are all out night clubs, and restaurants. That’s really it. So I just went walking, I didn’t stop anywhere. I did maybe three hours of walking along the beach to the north, up to Olympic Port and explored all of the clubs and restaurants and stuff up there. It is amazing how lively Barcelona is on a Tuesday night. The clubs had huge lines and thousands of people in them. Even at midnight the restaurants were packed and still had people standing out on the street inviting people in to sit down to start their dinners!

So I got in seventeen thousands steps today. And walked about eight miles. I can feel all of the exercise of this past month as I walk. I am feeling much better than I was a month ago. The good food quality helps, as well.

I got back and went to bed. This is it, the big European trip is over.