Sunday, June 29, 2014

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive."

Hola folks!

We last spoke on Monday about the incredible Sant Joan festival, so let's skip ahead to tuesday. We didn't do much on tuesday since we had the day off and stayed out all night the night before. It was nice to catch up on some much needed sleep!

On Wednesday night, Olga invited me over for dinner. We've had these plans for over a month now, so I was so excited when the day finally came. It was so strange commuting back to my old house. It was bittersweet. Olga is such a wonderful cook so it was nice to have her cooking again -I've definitely been missing it. She made me her famous tortilla patata and her special baked eggplant dish, which she remembered I love. I also got to meet the two girls currently staying with her. She even had a bottle of cava for the occasion! I brought her an apron from the states which she seemed to love. It was such a great night, I went home with a full belly and a smile on my face.

My old metro stop

Commencing nostalgia 
I really missed the beauty of my everyday commute
My old street
Olga makes the best tortilla patata I've ever had

Thursday was the big US game against Germany. Our boss Rich, who is American, made reservations for us to all leave work and watch the game together at a local bar. It was the first US game on at a normal hour for us. My roommates are very spirited about futból, which makes it more fun. At halftime, Gee and I went to get some fresh air from the stuffy bar and found ourselves window shopping for a good half-hour. Everyone was wondering where on Earth we went! It's easy to get sidetracked in such an exciting city!

This week at the office was pretty hectic for me since we have another large group of students arriving tomorrow. There is a lot we have to do in preparation for their arrival.

This weekend was one of the best so far in Barcelona! We spent Saturday sunning on the beach, and splashing in The Mediterranean. We went to a very local beach to get away from all the tourists. Most people were topless, which is very normal here. I'm proud to say I even joined in for a while -I'm so European now :P

Today Zach and I headed out to Montserrat, one of Barcelona's largest mountains. I never made it up there last time so it was definitely a must-see this time around. We didn't realize how far away it really was from Barcelona. We had to take an hour train outside of the city, and then take a cable car up the mountain. I do have to say it was entirely worth it. The views were breathtaking and unlike anything I've ever seen in Barcelona! It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a bit. First we climbed the tall statue for an epic picture (even though the sign says please do not climb the statue). Of course a stupid man had to ruin my picture by climbing on up, but it wasn't anything my mom's photoshop magic couldn't fix.
Riding up in the cable car

Then we headed over to the monastery, which is why Montserrat is so famous. It's a very religious site, and is known for its statue of the Virgin Mary that dates back to 50 AD!  The line to see the virgin was out the door, so unfortunately we didn't get to see her. Afterwards, we did some hiking. The views were incredible and there was so much to see. We didn't get to see everything since the mountain was huge, but we got to experience Montserrat on a gorgeous day!

Outside the monastery 

Blurry version of where the virgin is

We had dinner at one of our favorites, 100 Montaditos, a tapas place with 100 types of little tiny sandwiches each for 1 euro (on Sundays and Wednesdays).

I ended a perfect day with a great big refreshing glass of sangria and some delicious montaditos
Photos from the week:

Thinking of you mom ;)
This guy was awesome! When his owner wasn't riding the skateboard, he would chase after it. Now thats a golden retriever! 
In times of media manipulation, to read is an act of revolution

A delicious hotdog joint
In a hat store -go figure!
So I literally did it all this weekend from the ocean to the mountains! I'm so grateful for this city and the joy it has brought me. ¡Hasta la semana proxima!

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