Well my last post left off when Cass and I were trying to figure out the train reservation situation.  When we finally ended up getting to la estación de Francía on Tuesday, we were eventually informed that we had to have our EU Rail passes on our person when we wanted to purchase the individual train reservations.  On top of that, the guy at the ticket window told us that many stations in Spain have trouble purchasing many train reservations for domestic Italian lines. So… we left empty handed with more items now on our To Do list.  Tuesday night Cass and I walked down to Ciutadella Park and sat down near the Arc de Triomf whilst enjoying a few “Damn Limons” (a poor man’s Summer Shandy here).  Pretty glamorous over here!

On Wednesday, Cass and I accidentally overslept again (considering I have no alarm clock anymore, it can be pretty difficult to wake up at a set time).  We hurriedly made our way to Plaza Cataluña to catch a train out to Sant Cugat as we had plans to meet Josh, Xavi, and Mario at the Sant Cugat station that morning.  As fate would have it, we bought the wrong ticket first… had to leave the area we were in, walk across Plaza Cataluña and go down a different entrance.  There we bought the right ticket and somehow managed to stumble into the right train to get us to Sant Cugat about 20 minutes later.  All in all, we were only a half hour late 😛 Lucky for us, the boys had patiently waited for us and we promptly hit the road to pick up Mario y algunas cervezas.  We sped down the highway towards Ocata beach, windows down, American music turned up.

Once we arrived in Ocata, Cass and I were pleasantly surprised at the pristine beach, gorgeous color of the water, and small amount of people on the actual stretch of beach.  We spent the afternoon sunbathing, occasionally swimming, chatting in Spanish, drinking beer, and discovering Cass’ hidden talent of rapping anything from 8 Mile.  It was such a fun day! The boys kindly drove us back into the city and dropped us off at our doorstep. 

Wednesday evening Cass, Bri, and I went to Marta’s for dinner.  On our way over, we picked up some beer to accompany our framed picture as a gift for Marta.  At dinner, we met her new students- Nolan and Trevor.  It felt like it had been just yesterday that Cass and I were staying there with Marta; I suppose some places will always feel like home in some way.  It was comforting to be there.  As a bonus, Marta put our picture on the shelf with the photos of her children and other loved ones- we made the shelf! After dinner, Bri and Nolan left for Sebastian Ingresso, and Marta, Cass, and I went to Michael Collin’s, an Irish pub close to the Sagrada.  From there, we took the metro to Jaume I and walked to El Caso Born for round two.  It was great to get to talk to Marta about a variety of topics and just catch up.

Thursday Cass and I walked to the ISA office and talked with Janelle. She gave us some great advice about the job search and how to apartment hunt here, or should I say room hunt.  It was surreal to be sitting in the ISA office again, but we were grateful to be there for sure. Janelle even offered that we could leave our luggage there when we backpack for three weeks – definitely going to take her up on that offer! After stopping at George Payne’s for a euro beer during happy hour, we headed back to Petra’s. Thursday evening Cass and I met Alice, Dave, Julian, and Bri in the lobby of the W hotel down on Barceloneta. What a walk that was! It was so nice to get to hug some familiar faces! We taxied down to Las Ramblas and made our way to La Oveja Negra. Thankfully, probably because of the soccer game, we were able to find a table for the six of us and promptly ordered a family size container of sangria. Since I haven’t ordered sangria there for a while, we were a little sad to find out that it tasted much like one would imagine alcoholic Welches to taste. But we bought it and we were certainly not about to let it go to waste so we did our best to make a sizeable dent.  When the clock struck midnight we toasted to Alice’s birthday! It was a good time.

Now today is Friday, Alice’s actual birthday!  We are getting ready to meet the crew at Park Guell. Tonight I am very much looking forward to going out to dinner with them for her birthday, followed by Chupitos and then we’re thinking end at the club at the W. Should make for quite a night! 

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