Goodbye Barcelona...

Wednesday, March 30 was our last full day in Barcelona, and we marveled at how quickly three months had whizzed by. We had yet to take Dana to Parc Guell and we wanted to take one last indulgent peek ourselves, so we set out on the now-familiar trek to the Gracia neighborhood to show her one of our fave Gaudi wonders...

After the walk from the Vallcarca metro stop, we went up, up, up the escalators. This route is "supposedly" less uphill walking than the Lesseps stop because of these fabulous moving stairs, but I somehow still manged to be completely winded and sweating my skinny-jean-clad buns off.

No matter how many times we saw Barcelona from on high, I still got that exhilarated flutter in the pit of my stomach and that electric realization that this was MY city. I never got tired of those little surprised moments when I remembered that I was LIVING in SPAIN!

The wisteria was bursting with Spring and made the park even more beautiful. Dana and Brian's mom has a giant green thumb, and they thought she'd love this pic of her kiddos with one of her fave plants.

Brian and I decided to represent for the great state of Texas on our last day as Barcelona residents and sported our Austin and Lone Star t-shirts. A girl in the bathroom line in front of me asked if I was from Austin and said she grew up there and was visiting her boyfriend who was in an undergrad study abroad program. I was so overwhelmed with excitement and camaraderie at finding another ATX lover so far from home that I broke down and gave her one of my coveted Kleenex for her bathroom visit. Toilet paper is a commodity at the popular tourist spots, and I could see ravenous wet-bottomed women eying my stash. It was a special moment.

I loved seeing these girls sunning on the famed tiled Gaudi benches. By this time of the month, the weather was starting to get really beautiful in the daytime...70s I think. I never really mastered the whole Fahrenheit to Celsius thing, but I knew that I was in a much better mood anytime the weather got above 20.

All in all I ended up visiting the park three times -

once in January

on Kings Day,

once in February

with Tina, and now in March with Dana. So yes, this is the third time you are probably seeing me take the same pictures. Third time's the charm! I promise there are no more. Really.

Dana wasn't going to take the token photo with the lizard fountain because there were so many tourists jam-packed around that thing with the same idea. But a hole opened up in the universe and people peeled themselves away for a split second, so I heaved Dana into the frame and managed to snap off a couple shots. A little tear welled in the corner of my eye when I realized what a professional I'd become at elbowing the "tourists" (said with mild disgust) out of my way for photo ops in my city.

I love those happy little heads.

After our trip to the park we headed back to the Old City to do a little final shopping and to say goodbye to our neighborhood. I was well aware we were leaving Barcelona, especially with all the painful packing we'd been doing over those last few days. Painful because it somehow no longer fit in the bags we brought it all in. But for some reason, it didn't really hit me until that evening when we were walking past some of the now-common sights for the last time. Suddenly I felt nostalgia lodging itself smack-dab in the back of my throat and that familiar feeling of an emotional goodbye pooling in my eyes.

So on our walk back to the piso I decided to say goodbye (out loud...and loudly) to all the sights I'd come to know as home. Dana and Brian got a good laugh out of all my farewell proclamations to the city that night. Goodbye weird gift shop on the Gothic Church alley road...

Goodbye arch with the eerie skull and bones that supposedly kills you if you walk under it three times...

Goodbye Via Laietana, the street Brian was always painstakingly trying to avoid, undoubtedly contributing to more than a few instances of getting lost...

Goodbye crosswalk to our little street...

Goodbye Bicing bicycles we never rode...

Goodbye Palau de la Musica Catalana and all the tourists who probably have countless shots of the top of my head as I walked through their photos of you...

Goodbye hand-in-hand walks to the piso with Brian...

Goodbye little neighborhood fruit and veggie stand and the happy little man who always waved hello...

Goodbye to the only pretty graffiti on our street...

Goodbye to our little pan (bread) shop and the man that always insisted he had no change...

Goodbye random wall sculpture that Brian always thought was so cool...

Goodbye Tres Eres, our favorite 2 Euro wine...

Goodbye to our little street, Sant Pere Mes Alt...

And a giant HOLA to an epic Spanish road trip....