Holy smokes – it’s been nearly three weeks since my last post! Eek! Well for starters, I wish I could explain away that happening by saying that I have been busy traveling or doing other equally wonderful things, but the sad truth is that I’ve been spending a large chunk of my time studying for the GRE. Boo standardized testing. Boo math. Boo 30-minute time limits. Studying for that is, needless to say, my current Everest. But alas, I have already taken two practice tests and I have seen some progress thus far, so thank goodness for that.
Other than that time-consuming venture, I have also been kept busy by nannying Mar & Clara and Dylan, as well as doing two social media freelance positions nowadays (Barcelona Nights and Family Box). I really enjoy the social media marketing work and I’m looking forward to further pursing like-minded opportunities. Dylan is about to become a big brother any day now… I can’t wait to meet Cynthia & Will’s second baby boy!
I am still actively enjoying learning how to cook. Recently, I have gotten pretty good at making baked tacos and a chicken pasta casserole dish. Most notably, I made Scott’s recipe for banana bread; it turned out well overall, with some room for improvement. Due to studying, I sadly haven’t been reading as avidly as I usually can here. But to counter that, among other reasons, I have started a weekly bible study with Gabi! We did our first one last week at a cute Italian café in Borne. It was refreshing to discuss her daily devotional and work through some scripture.
As I took my second practice test this last Friday, I gave myself the weekend off. Saturday evening Damian and I went to a nearby bar to watch the el clasico (FCB v. Real Madrid) match. Sadly, Barcelona lost 3-1, but watching Suarez play for the first time plus two mojitos made for a good time nevertheless. Afterwards we took the yellow line to Barceloneta to finally try out Cass and Gabi’s recommended steak spot – La Malandrina. Damian got the entrecot with fries, while I ordered the entrecot with the famed patatas a la crema. So good! Too good, in fact, as I ate myself into a food coma. Add into the equation their homemade chimichurri and diced pepper sauces, provolone cheese dip, beer, and you get an affordably priced Uruguayan slice of heaven on earth.
Yesterday I went on an all-day trip to Girona, Figueres, and Besalú with Barcelona Trips. At first I had been planning on going to Girona and Figueres on my own, but considering that it was cheaper and less planning involved to hop in with that group, that is exactly what I ended up doing. In Girona we had a historical, yet humorous, tour of the main part of the city and then had free time for a couple of hours. Girona is a beautiful Catalan city and it was quite bustling with activity for a Sunday afternoon.
From there we bussed to Figueres, hometown of the famous artist Salvador Dalí, and now home to his museum. I had an idea of what I was getting myself into, obviously Dalí is known for some pretty out-there works… but his museum is something else! The building itself, on the outside and inside, makes you stop and constantly do a double take, thinking to yourself: “What the…?” I’m definitely glad I finally saw the Dalí museum, but let’s just say I’m not dying to go back in the near future.
Last but not least, we stopped in Besalú, a medieval town nestled into the hills of Catalonia. Unlike Girona, Besalú was pretty dead by the time we arrived (early evening). I took in the views and stopped in several cute local shops. Then it was back to Barcelona!