January 4, 2012

A New Year and New Post

I'm back. 

I thought about staying gone. Thought about how to stay tucked away in my little slice of heaven. Thought about disappearing into the great unknown and never coming back. 

Deep thoughts about how we can make a living in Barcelona...street performer??

I'm talking about Barcelona, of course. Nothing to do with you, bloggyland, and my lackluster attendence of late. 

Spain was flippin' awesome! Barcelona is an amazing city and I highly recommend any and everyone going if they ever get a chance. It exceeded my expectations and is right up there with the Greek islands as one of my favorite European destinations. 

While the city might have a totally different feel in the summer (i.e. extreme tourist overcrowding and less welcoming locals) it was a complete joy in mid-December. Not only was the weather sunny and warm - temps in the mid 60s - but the lines were short everywhere, the Catalonians were overly friendly and welcoming, and the city was alive with the Christmas spirit. 

I told the hubs that he got me the best present ever...the sun! That little bit of vitamin D, not to mention the sun actually up in the sky when we woke up each morning, did a world of good. 

Our highlights included...

La Sagrada Familia

Its stunning architecture and design blew me away. It is hard to capture it's true essence with any camera...especially my ancient one. 

Güell Parc

....but mostly because it was the perfect day to lounge on the tiled benches. 

La Rambla

As 'touristy' as most people might think it is, it is worth a stroll no matter the time of year. People from all walks of life and corners of the world are out and about here. Picked me up a nice little piece of local art as well. 

The Beach!

Yes!!! Nothing like walking barefoot on a Spanish beach in the middle of winter. It was amazing. The water was freezing, but that didn't stop a pack of surfers...or a naked, bathing man. Yeah, I have distant pictures to prove it. No, they aren't making the blog. 

Montserrat Day Trip

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! We had a picnic on top of the world. No big deal. Might have to expand on this trip a bit further in the future. 

Codorniu Cava Wine Tour

Getting a glimpse into Spain's, nope WORLD's largest sparkling wine producer and touring the cellars that have the capacity for over 40 million bottles. NBD. 

And have I mentioned the sun? 'Cause that was awesome. 


There is so much more to share, gotta save some for most posts. We got a lot done in a short 4 days. 

So, eventually we bounced back to reality and realized that there was no way logical way the hockey team in Finland could be transported to Barcelona. We headed back home on Christmas Eve and honestly can't wait to return again soon. 

As for New Year's, it was spent with the team and was such a great time! Too much champagne and faulty (and potentially hazardous!) fireworks. Perfect combination. 

And what's new for now!? Well, January in the hockey world is the sloooooowest and longest month ever. The festivities of Christmas have passed, winter has settled in (well, Finland, not really. WTH is up with this mild winter, I love it!) and yet the season just seems to chug along. This year has hopes of being better than others, in terms of pace. Three games a week, instead of the usual one or two, make the time go by faster for the hubs. 

As for me, time will go by super fast since I am headed home in one week to recharge my sun batteries (yes, they are already low since Spain), see family and friends, eat my weight in authentic TexMex and see what sales I can't hit up while back in Houston. Yeehaw, I am looking forward to that! Nothing like taking a 12 day Texas break in the middle of it all. 

So, I've been trying to make blogging rounds, and hope that everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. 

I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a great one. 
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  1. gosh you're back. i thought you had died (ok not really...thank goodness we're stalkbook friends).

    my vitamin d levels are at an all-time low (so is the paleness of my skin). can you take me to texas with you pleaseee :(

    your photos keep making me need a spanish vacay soon. or just somewhere warm and sunny! we're having a mild winter here, but the stupid sun does not come out EVER!

  2. Sounds like a great trip to Spain! It totally makes me want to go there some day. And, I'll definitely have to consider a trip in the Winter! And, enjoy Texas! There's no place like it in the world! (I live in NOLA, and seriously...cross the state line and the Mexican food sucks...makes no sense!)

  3. Welcome back and off you go again. Hey, before you know it, Hockey Season will be over. Perhaps Finlandadians are going to miss winter this year. We have so far and this is just too strange. Happy New Year Ltl Tex and welcome back. Have a nice holiday at home. Cheers

  4. Glad you had a great trip and happy to see you back! Happy New Year!

  5. So glad to see you back! Blogging has been crawling for many of us but you always find the time to share some fun posts.

    What a wonderful time in Spain, good for you! Naked,bathing man? In freezing water? Nutz!!

    Happy New Year!!!

  6. Sounds like a fantastic trip! I'll admit, I thought I missed some announcement about moving to Spain when this post first popped up. I'm not sure TexaGermaFinlaSpaNadian sounds very good. It's a mouthful (TWSS), but it would work. Glad to see you back.

  7. i am jealous, i am not talking to you ever again... so there. i am glad your trip was s-well... and you are save. beautiful images you did share, thank you.

  8. Global Warming...thank you very much! How you found your way out of a sparkling wine cellar is crazy. Or maybe you followed someone carrying a filled flute. Happy New years, lady. So glad your trip was sun-o-licious. 12 day countdown to the homeland...secretly you know you're on an hourly countdown :)

  9. Beautiful pics! Makes me want to go! So glad you're back to bloggyland :)

  10. WELCOME BACK FRIEND!!!! I got so excited when I saw your new post. Glad Spain was so amazing, it's never been on my list of "must see" but after seeing how much you loved it, I think I'll add it. You had me at Worlds largest sparkling wine producer. :)

  11. Hi Friends! Feels good to be back :)
    @Megan - Haha, you can stalkbook me any day, haha. I will just swing by Norway, you jump in my suitcase and none will be the wiser. Sound good?! :)
    @Betty - it really was amazing. With such great weather there in December, winter is the time to go! Fun, I'll be in NOLA this spring for a wedding. Such a great city.
    @SaucyKodz - haha, no kidding, right?! It will be over soon, it has flown by this year. I think they miss it...I sure as heck don't. Thanks Lilly, always good hearing from you
    @Erin - well thanks! You were totally right, Barcelona was amazing. Happy New Year to you too!
    @Patty - hey lady! I'm blaming it on the darkness. It gets blamed for a lot, haha. Nutz?! Literally, haha, couldn't help it.
    @Joshua - No way, if we move to another country, I'm thinking up a new blog name. You are right, Spain just doesn't fit into there. Thanks, Josh. And happy new year to you!
    @iZombie - aw, don't be mad. But yes, we did have a great time and it was beautiful. thanks man!
    @Morgan - I'm all for it! haha. We literally had to take a tram! Not kidding. Happy new Years to you too! Less than that, I am headed back in a week. Let's see how many hours is that... ;)
    @TriGirl - thanks girl. I have a couple of your great posts to catch up on for sure!
    @An Irish - hey hey hey! Well isn't that sweet. Glad to be back. And so much to read. It really was so cool. You would love it, I just know! Haha, that got me too.

  12. My little brother and I have been talking about taking a trip to Barcelona next Christmas. I hope that we get it all worked out, it looks amazing! Glad you're back.

  13. I've never really considered Spain till just now. Thanks for the tip. I'll be adding it to the list. Wave when you pass over Florida on the way home.

  14. Happy New Year...
    you know I live vicariously through your blog...the most exciting place I head to is Chuck E Cheese with my brood...

  15. Glad to see you back! Your Spain photos are awesome, it makes me miss it so much! Too bad you didn't get to Madrid. Maybe one day we should meet up there :) Happy New Year!

  16. Glad your back! Love the pics, it looks like Spain was a blast.

  17. Good to have you back in bloggyland!!!The pics looks great..I really envy that you got some sunshine cause Im on the edge of doing just about anything to get some sun in my face:)))

  18. @Jordan - you would LOVE it! I really hope it works out for ya'll too!
    @SFlaGuy - I have a feeling you would like it. I can't vouch for summer, but winter was very chill. I will make sure to wave!
    @Not a - Happy new Year to you too! Haha, well glad I could help out. Although, Chuck E Cheese is pretty dang exciting ;)
    @Meri - well thanks, good to be back. Isn't it so great. I want to tell everyone how fun of a place it is. Hey, I'm down! You let me know when :)
    @Angela - Thanks! It was fun, glad you liked the pictures
    @Mrs K - haha, it felt like i was gone for forever. I heard flights are cheap this time of year ;) Go for it! lol

  19. Glad you are back and that you had fun in Barcelona! Have a great time in Texas! I bet it will be great to see all your friends and family again!

  20. Looks like you had an awesome trip, Barcelona just has so much character! Have an awesome trip home! I am still trying to get rid of the extra lbs from all the TexMex but let me tell you... WORTH IT

  21. I love Barcelona and I'm so glad you got some sun!


Whoomp, there it is!