Kayla Kristina Barcelona! (and Brian too)

What a whirlwind, fun-filled week! It's hard to believe that it's already over, and at the same time I'm super impressed with how much we packed into just six days.  Kristina's visit was the perfect boost I think Brian and I both needed for the heart and soul and provided an abundant supply of laughter and good times.

She arrived last Sunday (February 20) at about 10 in the morning and was ready to go, go, go. The poor thing didn't get much sleep on the plane, but she was bound and determined to not sleep her first day away. We met her in Plaza Catalunya near our piso and made the walk back home to drop off her things. Of course Brian, being the gentleman that he is, pulled the bag while Tina and I gushed about how we just couldn't believe that she was actually in SPAIN!

First order of business was a trip up to the forbidden roof for the first of MANY photo ops.

Photo of the Floyds a la Tina!

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

After showing Tina the piso and getting a tortilla bocadillo and cafe con leche at Alsur Cafe, we set out to explore the city. Tina studied abroad in Barcelona for a summer in college, so lots of fun memories came flooding back. I loved seeing someone else ooh and ahh over the same sights we've come to love.

We had heard about the Catalan people dancing 'La Sardana' in the plaza in front of the Cathedral on Sunday mornings, and since we were up and around early enough, we decided to check it out.  It was nothing short of amazing.

This was one of the largest of many circles of people dancing the national Catalan dance to the live band playing on the church steps. I loved how they all piled their stuff in the middle and then gracefully and elegantly glided around it. At certain points the music would rise dramatically and their footwork would quicken with the beat. Brian said it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen.

They all had these special shoes for the dance - women in espadrilles, men in slip-on flats. The whole affair didn't last more than 15 minutes, and we felt so lucky to have caught it at the right time.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Kristina and Kayla!  :) Again...

After the dancing, we wandered up Passeig de Gracia to give Tina her first glimpse of her fave Gaudi house, Casa Battló (which was on the itinerary for Tuesday) and then decided to head for some sangria. Brian and I had been watching videos of Zach Galifianakis

"Between Two Ferns"

the night before so this is Tina and Brian and their rendition of "Between Two Cacti". I know, I know, had to be there. It was the first of many corny jokes that kept us all amused all week. It was nice to have our amiga guapa around who shares our sense of fun and sense of humor.  :)

We finally landed at this place in the Eixample called Bauma, which my guidebook said would be packed with locals and was a great spot for lazy Sundays. Check and check. Brian decided to start right away with his favorite job of picking on Tina.

What's more Spanish for Tina's first day than pitchers of sangria in a quaint Spanish cafe?

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Brian enjoying his sangria and his long-awaited sneakers Tina brought him. He has been searching for the perfect pair of sneakers ever since we moved here but who knew they'd be so expensive? So he finally just ordered some online, had them shipped to Tina and has been anxiously waiting for them for three weeks. He was as giddy as a kid when she opened her suitcase and handed them over to him; I thought he was going to burst with excitement. Tina also lovingly brought us some good ol' HEB tortillas, real salsa and Altoid Smalls for Brian. Too bad she couldn't pack a clothes dryer in her suitcase. I was jealous of all her fresh-smelling, soft clothes.

After walking around all morning and afternoon, we decided to take the metro back to our hood for some tapas and a stop at the piso before having to get ready for the soccer game. (Brian and Tina waiting for metro above.) After patatas bravas, pan con tomate, queso and more sangria, we were all ready for a nap... 

But not before Tina took a bunch of photos of us being complete dorks on the way home. Yes, this is Brian pretending that little truck is hitting him. The driver was stopped eating a sandwich and was completely un-phased. 

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Tina thinks I look like a badass in this photo...I tend to agree.  ;) 

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

After naps, we inhaled some of our homemade veggie soup and hit the road for Camp Nou for our first official FC Barcelona soccer match! We knew it would be a long day for poor Tina since her plane landed at 8:40am (1:40am Texas time) and the game wasn't until 9pm, but we felt like it was one of those quintessential Barcelona things to do with a visitor. And it just so worked out that this was the only home game during her stay.

We found tickets on Spanish Craigslist and were pretty impressed with our view, first level behind the south goal.

Tina and Brian in our seats. Brian was feeling mighty chatty and made friends with the Spanish couple sitting next to him. They were rooting for Bilbao in spite of Barca since they're from Madrid, but no pasa nada, we all had a great time together.

We ended up winning the match 2-1 (yay!) but ironically the only good action shot I got was of the other team scoring on us during their penalty kick. Oh well, a good photo is a good photo!

It was a great, fun-filled day, and I was just flowing over with gratitude to have such an amazing friend journey across an ocean to visit and explore with us. Thank you Tina for so many great memories that I'm looking forward to reliving here over the next week and for so many priceless shots of me and Brian like this one.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Day two would hold even more fun and adventure...including seeing Barcelona in a whole new way!