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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

3 Days along the Costa Brava in Spain

Our trip to Barcelona was loosely planned meaning, we really didn't have much of a plan. If you read my first Spain post, you knew that we did little prep for this trip thanks to the overwhelming exhaustion and sleep deprivation that comes with raising young kids. We knew we were going to spent the first three days in Barcelona but the next three days we had a hotel a little up the cost in Santa Susanna and no real plans besides relaxing at a beach resort.

After talking to our tour guides in Barcelona who were born and raised in the area, it was clear that we had to rent a car and travel up the coast along the Costa Brava. They told us of crystal clear water, quiet fishing villages, beautiful towns, and glorious beaches where we could soak up the Spanish sunshine. That was all I needed to hear and we quickly headed to the rental counter and eventually north along the Catalan Coast. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

A Week in Spain: Part 1 - Three days in Barcelona

Three days in Barcelona, Spain

My taste of a Spanish summer went a little like this:

A week of eating whatever I wanted, not a care about a calorie. A week of actual rest and relaxation, the kind I haven't felt since having kids, that feeling of being my "old" self before kids, while fiercely missing my kids. It started with a few nights in the city, riding the metro, eating and walking our way through one of the best restaurant scenes, covering double digit miles a day. We tasted the city on a walking food tour, stopped for a catamaran sunset sail sipping cava, and met some locals with tango lessons at their house. We left the city behind to see the famous monastery set into the mountainside. After three nights, we traded our train tickets for our European sized rental car and realized first hand the trouble with the EV system in Europe. Our car, quickly renamed the go kart, left Barcelona behind and took us an hour up the coast to the cute little touristy beach and boardwalk town of Santa Susanna. From there, things slowed down as we sat by the beach or walked the boardwalk at night. We took little day trips to the most beautiful little Spanish fishing villages and beach towns nestled in coves along the rocky coast known as Costa Brava. Little beach shops sold snorkel gear and floats, the most quaint shops and restaurants, and gelato shops could be found around every corner. The beach is a full day affair where you can find kids diving of rocks, topless bathers evading tan lines, couples snoozing on the pebbled beaches, and families playing in the sun.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Summer weekend in Southern Maine

When I think of Maine, I think of rocky coasts, national parks, puffin and lighthouse tours, lobster everything, epic restaurants in Portland, so many craft breweries, foggy islands, whale watching tours, and moose sightings on the lake. I’ve been up to Maine a handful of times to hike Acadia, stroll through Bar Harbor, get married on a lake, cruise around Bar Harbor, and hike the Katahdin, Maine’s tallest peak 

What I never really associated Maine with, was beach towns and boardwalks, amusement parks and family vacations. Of all my trips to Maine, this was the first time we made a point to stop at the beach, and do some of the touristy things like dinner in Ogunquit, a day at Wells Beach, and an overcast morning at the Old Orchard Beach boardwalk. After a few beach days on the southern seacoast of Maine, I can officially say I GET IT. Loud and clear. I get why families flock to the beach, why kids crowd the arcade and couples walk the boardwalk. It’s sort of like the Jersey Shore without Jersey: i.e. less people, more lobster.