Spain Recap: Numero 1

Hola! I've officially been back in the States for about 3 days and am trying desperately to get back into real life. That means back to work, back to the gym, back to the store, doing laundry...etc etc etc. However, life isn't going to slow down just because i'm jetlagged, so I'll get to the good stuff.

We are back from 10 blissful days in Spain and Portugal. Our trip was beyond, beyond amazing. I forgot how much I love Spain. The culture, the architecture, the streets, the café con leche, the tapas, the customs, the history... Being there brought me back to why I loved living there 8 (gulp) years ago.

We made it safe and sound to Europe, arriving last Friday. But of course, not without a minor hiccup. We had a direct flight into Germany, where we connected to catch a flight to our first destination, Palma de Mallorca. Checking in to the flight, the attendant couldn't find Bryan's reservation, even though he had a boarding pass. Upon further review, we discovered B missed his flight--because he had booked it for the day BEFORE. 

B is a travel connoisseur, so trust me when I say that these kind of mistakes just don't happen when we travel. But, it did this time, and we had no choice but to buy a one-way ticket to Palma, to the tune of 229€. Eugh. So, aside from starting the trip about $325 in the hole, the travel there was smooth sailing.
Views from our room, plus a glimpse inside it. 

Mallorca is an island off the Eastern coast of Spain, on the Iberian Sea. While I've been to Spain, Bryan has not, but this was a new destination for us both. We stayed at the beautiful Castillo Son Vida, an old castle that overlooks the city and the sea. It was amazing. We got upgraded to a two-bedroom suite with an amazing view, and were given a bottle of cava, gratis. After about 13 hours of traveling and only 3 hours of sleep, we took some time to rest and relax in the hot tub/steam room/sauna, take a short nap and shower before we set out to explore.

Our hotel

We did a lot more research before this trip than last year's, so instead of aiming blindly, we knew where we wanted to go for meals, things to do, etc. One thing we did not think about - or rather, I didn't remember - was a couple of key Spanish customs. The first being that many bars and restaurants are open during almuerzo (lunch) until about 4pm, and then they close for a siesta and to prepare for the dinner rush. The other custom is that that Spaniards typically don't each dinner until about 9-10pm. 

 Views from the hotel terrace

So, we made out way to the restaurant around 5:30 to find it was closed until 7:30. Not to worry -we walked around, saw the catedral lit up, and found a café to sit outside and have some tapas and vino. 

One of the best things about Spain is that you can sit at any of the thousands of cafés in any city and get whatever you want to drink, be it a Coke, café, cerveza or glass of wine for 4€ or less (about $6). Unreal. We sat people watching and I eavesdropped on Spanish conversations while we waited for our restaurant to open. Finally we were seating at The Wine Garage, and let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

We had personalized service from the owner, who gave fantastic local wine recommendations. We had apertifs and shared a friend chicken and potato dish for dinner. Sounds boring, I know, but trust me - it was unreal. The chicken was flash-fried, just enough, the potatoes thinly sliced. Divine. 

We were spent by the time we were done with dinner, so it was off to bed for us. On Saturday, we took an old train to a port town called Soller, where we walked around, had some coffee, saw the water and mountatins, another cathedral and headed back to Palma.

More sightseeing, more cerveza, more sunset photos and then off to another fabulous dinner: this time to a steakhouse called Bruselas. Again, we were served perfect wine, steaks, vegetables and desserts.

I'm nodding off as I type and omitting details, but ya'll probably don't care as much I do anyway. Enjoy the pictures, and I'll get you more updates in the next week or so.

Other posts I'm thinking of: my favorite Christmas traditions, holidays in Chicago...basically anything holiday focused! Super excited for the weekend, already, because our furbaby has been back in Iowa for the past 2.5 weeks. She's coming home this week and my sister, brother-in-law and niece are bringing her and staying for the weekend! Can't wait to do all things holiday with them.

That's all I got ya'll. Nice to be back and hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings with your families!

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