Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Day 1
After we visited Montserrat, we drove straight to Madrid. All along the way there were these giant cutouts of bulls by the side of the road. We never really figured out why..
We drove into Madrid and straight to the apartment we were renting for 2 nights. The apartment was stunning! It was right down town, like in the heart of Madrid and it was a huge modern place with three small balconies. It was decorated so well. I wish we had had more time just to hang there!

We dropped our stuff at the apartment then we cruised to Plaza de Toros de las Ventas for a traditional bullfight!

Grant doing his best "Ole!"

We finished the day with churros and chocolate. Mmmmm! That makes any day a successful one in my book.

Day 2 We had debated where to go on our VERY LAST DAY. We wanted to see Toledo, but also Segovia, and we couldn't miss El Escorial.. So, we decided to DO IT ALL! It was the most insane day. We started by getting lost.. and then making it to Toledo! Toledo is one of the oldest cities in Spain. It's set up on a hill and is surrounded on 3 sides by a river. Scholars went there for hundreds of years to study and learn. It became so revered that it was almost holy. That's where the saying, "Holy Toledo!" comes from.

The old Roman gate built buy Emperor Carlos V. 

The second oldest cathedral in Spain. It was complete in 1493 after more than 250 years of construction. There were lots of pieces by El Greco (the Spanish artist) here.

We got headsets and took a self-guided tour of the cathedral. Mark is looking super touristy here. Nice!

The church had a beautiful courtyard!
and there were beautiful, old frescoes on all the walls.

Good news, guys. We spent ten uninterrupted days together and we are still married! Success!!

We found a couple of Quasimodos at the top of the bell tower!

The next stop was Segovia! The home of 2000 year old Roman aqueducts. This was Grant's favorite stop on the trip.  It was so incredible to see something that has survived so many world events.

We followed the aqueduct into the city until it towered above us. We wandered around the beautiful old town and suddenly... TA DA we happened upon the town's cathedral. It was built in the gothic style and was my favorite cathedral of the trip.

We decided that Segovia is the coolest city ever and then we realized that we hadn't even seen the famous palace yet! What??

On the way back to Madrid we stopped at El Escorial - it's a massive palace kind of up in the mountains. Gorgeous. Of course!

That night Grant and I went to a little cafe right beneath our apartment and had our last Spanish treat. Grant got a gofre and I got churros and chocolate. Those last couple of days were wild trying to see everything we could in our limited time, but we just couldn't stand to miss anything! It is a glorious country. Mark and Sam continued their trip around Spain by car, but we need to head back to be parents again. Thanks for letting us crash your trip, Mark and Sam! Adios Espana!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Can't get enough of these narrow European streets. There's just nothing like them in the states. Especially in Oklahoma!
This is the street that our apartment was on. It had the cutest little balcony and was located close to the gothic district.
Barcelona, Day 1
We rode the metro over to the Sagrada Familia. It is the craziest cathedral designed by Gaudi. You walk up the stairs from the metro and BAM! There it is. It has been in a constant state of construction since it was started and it won't be completed until at least 2027! 

Castle of Montjuic. This is like THE place to be in Barcelona at night. They have a fountain light show (kind of like the Venetian in Vegas) and then of course there is the castle! What an incredible sight!

Day 2
The next morning we stopped at a small panaderia for some custard filled croissants (yum!) and then we walked through the Parc Ciutadella. From there it was a short jaunt over to the city's Arc di Triomf.

It looks so Spanish with it's ornate red brick.

Then we took the metro and walked a long way up a big hill to the Parc Guell. It is the park that Gaudi designed. The park is terraced and goes up a huge hill. It was about twice as cool as I thought it would be. Lot's of mosaics, crazy buildings, sculptures and walkways.

After Parc Guell we shopped on the Rambla. It was so fun! We bought two fantastic suits for Grant, a couple of things for me and lots of adorable things for Leif at Zara. It started raining like crazy, so we ran to our apartment which was pretty close. We made the men do a little fashion show to music in their new duds while we waited for the rain to stop. When it finally stopped raining we walked through the Barri Gotica (Gothic Quarter) to the Catedral de Barcelona.

Catedral de Barcelona was built in the 1200s!! What?? I know.

This was part of the cloister in the back of the church. It was the most beautiful spot. 

We wandered through the Gothic District a little more and then walked back to La Rambla for a paella and tapas dinner. We walked down to the end of La Rambla to the Cristobal Colom circle and out onto the pier over the ocean. The boys almost bought several knock off items including: beats by Dre headphones, jerseys, Ray Bans, wallets, and watches. Then we walked the length of La Rambla and stopped for the most delicious gofres (the delicious waffle and ice cream delight that we first experienced in Menorca) and crepes.

Day 3 
Woke up really early and checked out of our place in Barcelona, stopped for some fresh pastries (duh.) and then drove to Montserrat.

There is an incredible church at the top of the mountain. We happened to be there on a Sunday and heard the most angelic choir of young boys singing in the abbey. 

There were little hiking trails everywhere! I vowed that next time we were there we would take enough time to hike around. We didn't quite have enough time to do so on this trip. :(
Next: On to Madrid!!