I keep asking Kyle if it feels surreal to be in Barcelona because that’s how it feels to me. After a long journey to get here, it’s exciting to say that we’ve been exploring the city for a week now. So far the people have been lovely, the food has been delicious, and the city itself is quite beautiful.
Our adventure started last Saturday, embarking from LAX to CDG to BCN. Since our trip is about a month we decided to bring the dogs. We’re not those dog people though we kind of are. It would feel horrible to be away from them for a month. That said, traveling across the earth with two small dogs is… a lot. A lot for them and a lot for us. A couple pieces of helpful piece of advice:
Embrace the layovers as time for your pets to stretch and use the cute airport dog potties. Thankfully, the boys were absolutely troopers.
Pick your face mask wisely. I was wearing a white N95 that ended up bruising the bridge of my nose after wearing it for 12+ hours. We’re going to try wearing cloth masks with N95 filters inside them to potentially prevent that.
CDG to BCN ended up being a schlep. It was silly for me to assume that all Air France flights would leave out of the same terminal 🙃 We faced a gauntlet of passport checks (easy), security (of course they want to take everything out of our bags) and finally culminating in us arriving at the gate, only to realize it was the place to board the bus to the plane. Cute. We land in BCN, grab our luggage (the luggage that isn’t lost, that is), hop in a cab and voila! That night we enjoyed some well-deserved croquettes, jamon, steak with flaky salt, and cava.
As for the day-to-day, we’ve fallen into a pretty comfortable rhythm so far. Waking up around 9 or 10am, we’ll end up getting coffee and tea and a snack. I’m a lover of Iced Americanos and finding one has been a challenge, though I’ve found a couple of good options at Roast Club and Syra Coffee. After that we end up exploring, going grocery shopping, visiting local parks, and generally wandering. This lasts until 1—2pm when we ready ourselves for our work day, which lasts until around 10pm. The joys of working remotely fully coming into effect here. One of the few amazing things to come out of the last couple years. After that it’s dinner time. It’s so nice to wander across town for some paella or even a burger, sipping Vichy and a vermut, then wander back, walking off a delicious meal.
Culturally, there have been a few fun things I’ve discovered so far. First is the Casa LOEWE shop, newly renovated and recently reopened only a couple of weeks ago. The store is stunning, a chic and timeless blend of classic Spanish architecture and details paired with very modern touches. They currently have a pair of art installations as well, a woven bamboo piece by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, as well as an exceptional macramé work by Catalan artist Aurelia Muñoz. The service there was wonderful, very thoughtful, and we ended up with a massive Coriander candle as well as a bar of Liquorice soap.
Next, we had a lovely walk out to Parc del Mirador del Poble Sec, toward the south part of the city. As Angelenos, we love a good hike, and the the park was giving us big Runyon Canyon vibes, minus the tragic people hiking in heels or the herds of meaty bros. We visited on Sunday and the weather was incredible the city was clear (as you can see at top) and it wasn’t very crowded, which is also a perk. There was even a cute cactus garden that reminded my of the Huntington in LA! And right outside the garden was this little fellow (photo below). Has to be a sign, right?
I have one more very special thing to share later this week, a fantastic event I attended that I’m so excited to share. It was incredibly fortuitous to be here now and, honestly, this all still feels surreal.
✖️ — Cute illustrations ✅ Eclectically mixed typography ✅ Bread & coffee ✅ These are the perfect ingredients for an adorable little brand called Nud. Developed by Manaic Studio, the team created an extremely charming brand that feels simple without being stale. Also, love that they used an ivory instead of white, and I need to get myself one of those tote bags (I need zero more tote bags lol).
✖️ — Only took me 39 years to realize: The most important salad ingredient is salt. Salads are made of delicious components that only become more delicious with the addition of salt. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
✖️ — Lately, I’ve been reading ‘Water, Wood, and Wild Things’ by Hannah Kirshner, a gift from my friend Lindsay. In it, Hannah chronicles her time in Japan, learning how to make sake, hunt ducks, and turn wooden bowls, amongst other things. These aren’t common things for women to participate in Japanese culture, and especially rare for an American.
It’s been especially enjoyable to read this while being abroad. I think we all get that sense of being an outsider, a feeling that is magnified when you’re in city where you’re not fluent in the language and are learning about the culture. And what Hannah documents so well is her willingness to adapt, to go above and beyond, in order to be accepted. As I’ve found time and again, a little effort goes a long way.
✖️ — A few months ago I discovered the music of Claire Rousay, who I would describe as a found, or collage musician. She pieces and constructs compositions from field recordings and random audio snippets to create these really stunning aural compositions (you should 100% listen ‘An Afternoon Whine’ which she made with More Eaze). Fortunately, I discovered that she is a resident host on NTS, and now I’ve had her mixes/compositions on repeat ever since.
The Trend Report™ by my partner, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, is a sharp and insightful look at all the things going on in the world, arriving every Sunday to your inbox. Highly recommended, obviously.
So nice, enjoy your trip! I've been traveling with my little dog Mao (Jack Russel Terrier) through Italy for the past 5 months and it is the best. Have travelled only land-based, though, trains and car (and coming from Germany). How did you take them in the plane? Any tips on that part? Greetings from Otranto, Puglia!