Travel Journal

Travel Journal: Doors of Spain

Every two years or so, my organization holds a World Staff Conference (WSC), bringing together staff from all of our 15 offices that are located around the world. Our most recent WSC was August 2019 in Barcelona, Spain! For this trip, I also brought along my mom for a vacation after the conference was done and my friend Jodi, who was also attending the conference as a consultant, also joined us for a few extra days. As usual with my travel journals I have split up my blog posts in a way that made most sense to this particular trip. Enjoy! 

Catch up on my other posts about this trip here:
Intro – Barcelona, Spain
Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain
Palau de la Musica and the Arc de Triomf
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
Montjuic and the Olympic Park
Gothic Quarter and the Mercat de la Boqueria
Park Güell
Montserrat

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Hey friends, I’m back in the new year with the last couple of posts sharing about my trip to Spain. With the rush of the holidays and the end of the year, plus wanting to check out for a few of those days to relax, I decided not to push myself to try to get these posted any sooner 🙂

Last year, when I traveled to Italy my Mom and I were obsessed with all of the doors and she kept asking me to take pictures of them. I joked that I should do a “Doors of Italy” blog post and by end of the trip I had so many door pictures that I wanted to share that I had to. So, shortly after we arrived in Spain I knew I’d be doing another one.

I said it in my Doors of Italy post, but I think it bears repeating… I think a door says a lot about a home or a business. And like Italy, so many of the doors in Spain had so much character. It made me want to more about the people who chose them, and lived and worked behind them.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain Girona, Spain
Girona, Spain

Girona, Spain
Girona, Spain
Girona, Spain
Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain

Near Jeon Leon Winery


Monserrat, Spain

Pals, Spain

Pals, Spain

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Hope you enjoyed those! I’ll be back again soon with my post on Park Guell.

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And just for fun here are some of my other past Travel Journal posts:

Italy -Six Day Self-Guided Hike, Rome, Venice, Florence and More
Nashville, Tennessee – Girls Weekend
London, England
Estes Park, Colorado
Thailand and the Philippines
Tumon Bay, Guam
New York City – Girls Weekend
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Antigua, Guatemala

Travel Journal

Travel Journal: Gothic Quarter and the Mercat de la Boqueria – Spain

Every two years or so, my organization holds a World Staff Conference (WSC), bringing together staff from all of our 15 offices that are located around the world. Our most recent WSC was this year in late August in Barcelona, Spain! For this trip, I also brought along my mom for a vacation after the conference was done and my friend Jodi, who was also attending the conference as a consultant, also joined us for a few extra days. As usual with my travel journals I have split up my blog posts in a way that made most sense to this particular trip. Enjoy! 

Catch up on my other posts about this trip here:
Intro – Barcelona, Spain
Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain
Palau de la Musica and the Arc de Triomf
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
Montjuic and the Olympic Park
Doors of Spain
Park Güell
Montserrat

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You can’t take a trip to Barcelona without taking a walk through the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic), the narrow, Roman medieval streets that make up the heart of the old city that has been fused with modern architecture to create an unique setting to walk through. Personally, I love to see that charming fusion of the old and new culture together, and the creativity that it inspires. We didn’t spend as much time here as I would have liked as there was a lot of history (including the Picasso museum!) and fun places to eat and drink that we could have gotten into, but you can never get to everything in a single trip.

The Bishop’s Bridge (Pont del Bisbe) that connects the two buildings. Though it blends in with the architecture around it, I read somewhere that it was actually built in 1928.

I loved these streets lamps!

The Gothic Quarter is also home to the Barcelona Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia). It was constructed between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries.

I’ve mentioned before that I love going to markets in every country I visit and the Mercat de la Boqueria definitely did not disappoint! We loved it so much that we actually went twice. It was on my list of things to do, but Mom and I stumbled across on our first day after we arrived in Barcelona in the morning and couldn’t get into our hotel room for several hours. I knew that we had to come back when we had Jodi with us. She and I first met while working at Kansas Pork together so I knew that the foodie in her was going to love it.

I am fascinated by food culture, what items and practices are unique to each place I visit and what appears to transcend across several cultures. Markets are the best way to see this.

In a lot of the cases with cheese they had cute little animal figurines to quickly share what kind of cheese it came from.

Ok, on to the next! I’ll be back tomorrow to share my “Doors of Spain” post! Thanks for stopping by!

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And just for fun here are some of my other past Travel Journal posts:

Italy -Six Day Self-Guided Hike, Rome, Venice, Florence and More
Nashville, Tennessee – Girls Weekend
London, England
Estes Park, Colorado
Thailand and the Philippines
Tumon Bay, Guam
New York City – Girls Weekend
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Antigua, Guatemala

Travel Journal

Travel Journal: Montjuic and the Olympic Park – Spain

Every two years or so, my organization holds a World Staff Conference (WSC), bringing together staff from all of our 15 offices that are located around the world. Our most recent WSC was this year in late August in Barcelona, Spain! For this trip, I also brought along my mom for a vacation after the conference was done and my friend Jodi, who was also attending the conference as a consultant, also joined us for a few extra days. As usual with my travel journals I have split up my blog posts in a way that made most sense to this particular trip. Enjoy! 

Catch up on my other posts about this trip here:
Intro – Barcelona, Spain
Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain
Palau de la Musica and the Arc de Triomf
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
Gothic Quarter and the Mercat de la Boqueria
Doors of Spain
Park Güell
Montserrat

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Montjuic is prominent hill overlooking the Barcelona harbour, that has several points of interest including being home to the Olympic Park of the 1992 Summer Games. We went there once on a beautiful afternoon just to explore when Jodi was with us, and then Mom and I visited again on our last day when the Olympic Museum was open. Though we spent a good chunk of time there, we didn’t come close to covering the whole area or seeing everything there was to see.

This is the Catalonia National Art Museum (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya) and was originally built to serve as the main pavilion for the 1929 International Fair. We opted to not go through the museum but it was still beautiful from the outside.

View of the city from the other direction.

Montjuic is also home to several botanical gardens and parks, so of course Mom and I, the horticulture and floral nerds couldn’t not stroll through a few of those. I loved that most of the plants, trees, etc., had little signs that told us what it was, its age and an interesting fact.

This is the plaza you see looking out from the Olympic Stadium, including the Torre Telefonica Communications Tower that was designed by a Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to transmit the 92 games on TV.

I come from a big sports family so my Mom and I were pretty excited for this. The Barcelona Olympic Stadium (Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys) actually has a pretty interesting history. It was originally built in 1927 and was set to host the 1936 Games until they were canceled due to the Spanish Civil war. It was used for varies events and needs over the years, including hosting refugees, until it was renovated again in 1989 for the 1992 Summer Games.

Across the street from the Stadium leading up to the Museum are all of these plaques on the ground of the various torch bearers from 1992. Unfortunately, we were a bit underwhelmed by the Museum. It certainly did a great job of capturing the history of the 1992 games and did highlight the various sports events held at the Games and their evolution from the ancient games to the modern games. But it was pretty outdated. I think things were only updated up through the 2008 games in Beijing. But we still enjoyed it and were glad we circled back to visit it another day when it was closed the first time we walked by.

The main event of the day, and my main reason for wanting to visit Montjuic was to watch the Magic Fountain show on the Plaça Espanya. Several nights a week throughout the year there is a fountain water show with lots of colors, lights and all timed to music. It might be a little cheesy, but I really love this kind of stuff. We ended up getting there really early, because I was pretty HANGRY (owning this because Jodi and Mom deserve to be recognized for dealing with me) and everything nearby was closed for siesta. So, we ended up getting dinner at concessions stands that were right there at the fountains and just people watched for a while. But it was honestly a good thing we got there early because it got PACKED pretty early on.

Overall, Montjuic is a fun destination to explore while in Barcelona, especially if you want to get your steps in!

Alright, another one down. I’ll be back soon to cover our walk through the Gothic Quarter and visiting the Mercat de la Boqueria.

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And just for fun here are some of my other past Travel Journal posts:

Italy -Six Day Self-Guided Hike, Rome, Venice, Florence and More
Nashville, Tennessee – Girls Weekend
London, England
Estes Park, Colorado
Thailand and the Philippines
Tumon Bay, Guam
New York City – Girls Weekend
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Antigua, Guatemala

Travel Journal

Travel Journal: Basilica de la Sagrada Familia – Spain

Every two years or so, my organization holds a World Staff Conference (WSC), bringing together staff from all of our 15 offices that are located around the world. Our most recent WSC was this year in late August in Barcelona, Spain! For this trip, I also brought along my mom for a vacation after the conference was done and my friend Jodi, who was also attending the conference as a consultant, also joined us for a few extra days. As usual with my travel journals I have split up my blog posts in a way that made most sense to this particular trip. Enjoy! 

Catch up on my other posts about this trip here:
Intro – Barcelona, Spain
Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain
Palau de la Musica and the Arc de Triomf
Montjuic and the Olympic Park
Gothic Quarter and the Mercat de la Boqueria
Doors of Spain
Park Güell
Montserrat

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I could recommend only one thing to do while in Barcelona, it would be to visit the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. And most travel guides, blog, websites, etc., will agree with me. Regardless if you are not religious or into architecture, skipping it is a mistake because it has an incredible history and is beautiful.

The Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica. Its construction start in 1882 and it is STILL not done. The original architect dropped out of the project shortly after it began due to differences with developers. He was replaced with Antoni Gaudi who proposed a new, grander design, which has been completed slowly section by section. For the last 12 years of his life, from 1914 to 1926, this was the only project he worked on. Unfortunately, he died in an accident in 1926. When he died, a close collaborator continued his work until 1938 when a fire destroyed the workshop along with all of Gaudi’s original plans, drawings and photos, as well as many scale plaster models. Since then, construction has never stopped and has continued to respect the original concept.  As of now, it is set for completion in 2026. That was a very brief history lesson but you can read all about it here.

My pictures really don’t do it justice. I’ve always been fascinated with the amount of detail and meaning goes into famous and historic works of architecture, but this tops anything I’ve ever seen before. We bought our tickets ahead of time for a specific entrance time, which I highly recommend doing, because based on what I read the lines for tickets aren’t fun. We did a self-guided audio tour that took a little over an hour. It takes you around the outside and all through the main level inside section by section sharing the history of Gaudi’s vision, the meaning behind several details and more.

When I shared on my Instagram Stories, I had one friend comment that it was so cool to see it in present day because she had visited several years ago. It made me think a bit about how we normally view and experience historic places and items, and the fact that the Sagrada Familia is so unique in that it is both old and new. I would love to visit again when it is finally finished.

Even though it might be busier, I highly recommend that you visit in the afternoon. Its main stain glass windows are on the east and west sides of the building to best capture the strong morning and afternoon light, and the afternoon light is gorgeous. A friend and one of the farmers at the conference told me that when he first walked in he quickly turned around to watch the reaction on his wife’s face and he said that her jaw literally dropped. I laughed a bit at how dramatic his comments sounded, but friends… I walked in and my jaw dropped. And I teared up. It is that beautiful and honestly mesmerizing. I so wish that I could bottle up what that experience felt like. This place was so big and overwhelming, yet it also felt so peaceful in there. Gaudi took inspiration from patterns and shapes in nature, so his work contained no sharp lines or straight corners. The inside gave the illusion that you were under a tree canopy. This site does a  good job of sharing more about Gaudi’s style and the design of the Sagrada Familia.

Again, there is no way that my pictures do it any justice.

Ok, I’ll be back again soon to share about our time at Montjuic and the Olympic Park. Cheers!

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And just for fun here are some of my other past Travel Journal posts:

Italy -Six Day Self-Guided Hike, Rome, Venice, Florence and More
Nashville, Tennessee – Girls Weekend
London, England
Estes Park, Colorado
Thailand and the Philippines
Tumon Bay, Guam
New York City – Girls Weekend
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Antigua, Guatemala

Travel Journal

Travel Journal: Palau de la Musica Catalana and the Arc de Triomf – Spain

Every two years or so, my organization holds a World Staff Conference (WSC), bringing together staff from all of our 15 offices that are located around the world. Our most recent WSC was this year in late August in Barcelona, Spain! For this trip, I also brought along my mom for a vacation after the conference was done and my friend Jodi, who was also attending the conference as a consultant, also joined us for a few extra days. As usual with my travel journals I have split up my blog posts in a way that made most sense to this particular trip. Enjoy! 

Catch up on my other posts about this trip here:
Intro – Barcelona, Spain
Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
Montjuic and the Olympic Park
Gothic Quarter and the Mercat de la Boqueria
Doors of Spain
Park Güell
Montserrat

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When I travel I like to do a lot of research beforehand. I like to plan a very loose itinerary that basically includes anything that is a must-schedule in advance experience and then a list of all the other things we are interested in doing with any important info about cost, business hours, tips and tricks, helpful weblinks, location, etc. Then we can choose what we want to do the day of or night before on any given day of the trip. This my way of “going with the flow” but also honoring my Type A personality, because it takes the stress or anxiety out of travel. Organization and efficiency are my love language people.

When I was searching through Pinterest for ideas for Spain, the Palau de la Musica Catalana was one of the top things I saw, as many dub it one of the most “Instagrammable Places in Barcelona.” So obviously we had to go!

Palau de la Musica Catalana

But seriously, look how pretty and unique it is!!!

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is a concert hall built between 1905 and 1908 by the modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a home for the Orfeó Català (choirs). The indoor hall, which includes the balcony and colonnade that you see here in the picture is the  Sala Lluís Millet (Lluís Millet Hall), and is often used for intermissions.

When visiting, you can join a guided tour and go the route we did and go through it self-guided. I believe both options are 20 euros.

I might have went for my Instagram photo of the columns but the inside was STUNNING. Pictures really don’t do the colors and amount of detail any justice.

I would put the Palau de la Musica on a must-see list when visiting Barcelona. Regardless if art, architecture or music aren’t your top interests its too beautiful to skip.

Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf (Acro de Triunfo) was built by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. We passed under it on our way to the waterfront for dinner one evening, which also took us through the Parc de la Ciutadella (a park). It was a beautiful evening and with lots of street entertainers, it was just fun to people watch.

Alright, I’ll be back tomorrow with more color and beautiful architecture with my post on the La Sagrada Familia.

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And just for fun here are some of my other past Travel Journal posts:

Italy -Six Day Self-Guided Hike, Rome, Venice, Florence and More
Nashville, Tennessee – Girls Weekend
London, England
Estes Park, Colorado
Thailand and the Philippines
Tumon Bay, Guam
New York City – Girls Weekend
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Antigua, Guatemala

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 33

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my not-so-glam 20-something life. See past posts HERE}

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Friends, I usually do these So There’s That posts every 4 to 6 weeks (ideally once a month), but I haven’t done one since mid-May! So buckle up, this is going to be a long one and somewhat of a psuedo summer recap.

Home to Oregon

At the end of June I traveled to Seattle for a work meeting and then caught the short flight home for my annual summer trip to Oregon. As always, I packed quite a bit in, including a few days up in the mountains with my parents who were catering for the Pendleton Round Up Wagon Train. I wrote all about that here and shared tons of fun pictures I took with my DSLR. I also spent some time with my best friend and her kids, my baby cousin Sawyer and up to the mountains again to my family’s cabin to catch the first couple of days at our annual campout week.

In Case You Missed It On the Blog in May, June and July

  1. Roses and Thorns
  2. So There’s That Vol. 32
  3. Friday Jam Session: Recent Country Releases
  4. Travel Journal: Girls Trip to Nashville
  5. Jordy’s Cactus-Themed Bridal Shower
  6. I Joined the Pure Barre 100 Club
  7. Just Living – Golden Hour on the Farm
  8. Sawyer June is 1!
  9. So I Launched a Website!

Sawyer June

Sawyer has grown quite a bit since some of these photos and just recently started to walk! She turned 1 on July 13 (which I wrote about here) and is definitely the star of the show.

Goodbye to all that: the last letter of year 29.

I am quickly approaching year 28, but this blog post by one of my favorite writers/motivators, Hannah Brencher – an ode to her 20s really connected with me in so many ways.

A few of my favorite pieces…

People will come and go in and out of your life. And that’s okay. Things end. Friendships don’t always go on forever. You’ll hopefully have your people though. And you’ll learn, as you grow up, that you don’t need the whole world sitting at your table. It really only takes one, maybe two, people who get you and want to be with you in the mess. You don’t need everyone’s approval.

Your words are pretty powerful. They can either build a person up or tear them down. Choose to build people up. You’ll learn in year 29 that words that don’t bring life are words better left unsaid.

Read the whole letter here.

Tex and Cash

Not one but TWO puppies joined my family this summer and I was really bummed that this happened AFTER my visit home. Tex, on the left, is my sister’s new pup, and Cash, on the right, is my parents’. They are mini heeler X border collie, and already causing all sorts of trouble on the farm.

Happy Mail

Motivation

Enjoyed this wise words (and funny ones), and celebrities using their spotlight for something good.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgossipnet.net%2Fvideos%2F850043581859218%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Grand Canyon

At the beginning of August I traveled to Arizona for a conference in Scottsdale. When my friend Nicole and I discovered that we both had really early arrival times because we were traveling from the East Coast, we decided to make the most of it. We hopped in a rental car along with one of Nicole’s co-workers and drove up to see the Grand Canyon. It was a quick but fun adventure. I think it goes without saying but the Grand Canyon is just beautiful. I also discovered that it terrified me! I’ve always loved hiking and the mountains are my favorite place to be but when we climbed down a tiny bit and walked out to one of the cliffs the didn’t have safety barriers I basically froze. Guys, I was so scared that I started to tear up a bit (thank goodness for those sunglasses!) Anyway, I did find it a bit comical once my friends were done taking their pictures and we were back up on normal ground. I had no idea something like that was going to freak me out! But between the sites and a good dose of girl talk, I am so glad that we made this side trip.

So, any photos you see of me now or hereafter that look like there is nothing behind me, trust me there is or I’m comfortable distance away from the edge. Its all about the angles.

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

Necklace from my mama 🙂

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 32

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my not-so-glam 20-something life. See past posts HERE}

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I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been a little MIA lately because that’s just the season I am in. I have a huge project going on at work and especially now that we are finally having a spring, that all sort of zaps any desire I have to be in front a screen of any kind outside of working hours. Plus, even though I’ve still had some fun things going with friends and a few quick visitors in town, I haven’t been all the great lately at getting any pictures snapped. But I have some more fun travel coming up and then later this summer I should be back to blogging a little bit more again.

In Case You Missed It On the Blog in April

  1. Friday Jam Session: British Artists
  2. Mom and Dad Visit DC
  3. So There’s That Vol. 31
  4. Travel Journal: London – Part One
  5. Travel Journal: London – Part Two
  6. Friday Jam Session: Rainy Days
  7. Travel Journal: London – Part Three

Sawyer June

Baby girl just turned 10 months old a week ago! I am so excited to see her in a few weeks!

Pure Barre

Back in March, I completed the March Madness Challenge at my Pure Barre studio (taking 20 classes in the month) and was pretty pumped that I earned this coffee mug! I tried Pure Barre out on a whim a few months ago and was completely surprised by how much I fell in love with it. I am actually pretty close to hitting my 100 class mark (which is celebrated at the studio) so I’ll probably do a little blog post about it soon!

Hobbies

THIS. IS. IMPORTANT. Especially as a Type-A, work-driven, millennial (which should NOT be a dirty word) I’ve always found the lines between my work life and personal life pretty grey. I love what I do and the industry that I am in, but I also have experienced serious burnout more than once. Everything this article speaks to, I can definitely relate to, and more so, see it in the lives of many friends and colleagues. Just some important food for thought.

Roses and Thorns

Last week I wrote a short blog post on “Roses and Thorns,” my new, quick way to jot down my highs and lows for the week, which has turned out to be a good way to keep my attitude in check. I had a few people respond that they loved this idea and were going to try it for themselves!

Changing Definitions

Mari Andrew is a writer and illustrator that I love to follow on Instagram.

Source.

Cody Johnson

A few weeks ago, I headed to the Fillmore in Silver Springs (Maryland, just north of DC) with a crew of old friends and new friends to see Cody Johnson play. Even though it was a mid-week concert, I usually try to not miss a good red dirt/Texas country concert if I can help it.

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.