06/1/13
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Recycled Princesa

On June 1, 2013, Ivan, Lil Dave and I checked out of the Airbnb La Rambla apartment at 12:20 pm.

Ivan and I got a Magnum No. 2 Loving Kiss – Meringe et Fruits Rouges popsicle.  This gourmet popsicle is tasty, but not as good as the Crème Brulee.

We walked with our luggage to Mercat Princesa.  We were meeting our friend Michael’s sister-in-law’s sister today.  It was her birthday the other day, so he wanted to give her some birthday cards and a present.

This cool new restaurant has 10 different cooking stations like Mekong for Asian food, one with eggs, another with salad or one with ostras (oysters).

Ostras station

Ivan thought it was like how the Rio buffet was when it was good back in the day.

Ivan grabbed two tasty sangrias for us while we waited for Alba to arrive.  Alba arrived around 1:10 pm.  She said hi to me and kissed me on both cheeks.  Europeans will kiss you on both cheeks when greeting you.  Sometimes you’re not sure if they’re going to do it.. so Ivan tells me just to follow their lead.  I think the English are lazy because they only kiss one cheek.  You go to your left first and kiss their right cheek and then the other side.

Alba is really pretty.  Recently, Michael’s brother married Alba’s sister Ana in a big lavish wedding in Barcelona.  It was nice to chat with Alba since she’s very sweet and friendly.  She said Sorry for my English, I don’t speak it very often.  Her English was just fine.  She didn’t know some words, but it makes sense since she doesn’t practice it often.

Ivan gave Alba two cards from Michael with something in them.  We were hoping she would open them, so we could see what Michael gave her… but she didn’t.

We got a table in the main dining area in the back of the restaurant.  Alba got two slices of pizza while Ivan went around a few of the stations to grab food.

Ivan got a good mix of food: mussels, fish fritters, sardine pizza, tapas and scrambled eggs with mushrooms.  The food was very tasty.

Alba, me & Ivan at lunch

It was a great lunch with good company.  Alba was so sweet to offer to drive us to our new apartment.

Alba drove us there and we said good-bye and thanks.

Ivan booked an apartment on Airbnb.  He rang the bell for the apartment, but it sounded like a busy sign.  He tried other apartments, but they wouldn’t let us in.  We didn’t understand their Spanish.

Ivan called the guy who owns the apartment and there was no answer.  He was getting worried since his parents, his brother Neal and his girlfriend would be arriving later.  It wouldn’t be good if it didn’t pan out and we had to book a hotel.

Ivan kept calling him and finally got a hold of him.  It turned out that he was sick.  Ivan had to call his friend to see if he could come.  He said he would be at the apartment in 45 minutes.

In the meantime, I waited and finally got inside the main area by the mailboes and sat on the floor.  Ivan was walking around to find a hotel just in case the friend didn’t show up.

Thankfully, the friend did show up 45 minutes later and let us in to the apartment.  He said his friend was in the hospital.

He started cleaning the room while Ivan and I used the internet.  There was a balcony with a lovely view of the marina.

Boats in the marina

Ivan got a call from Neal saying that they would be there in 5 minutes.  It turned to be a little longer than that since the taxi driver was trying to get more money out of them.

Denise, Ken, Neal and D came up to the room.  They all flew in from London.  It was good to be with Ivan’s family.  Tomorrow, we’ll be going on a Mediterranean cruise together.

We chilled in the apartment and chatted.

Neal and D were going to a nice meal later on.

Ivan, Denise and Ken and I walked along the water.

Pretty Port Vell

Denise didn’t want to walk anymore, so we got a taxi to the restaurant Sésamo.  Ivan found this great vegetarian online.

Ivan ordered a bunch of things: filled gnocchis, mushroom croquettes, slow roast aubergine with red peppers and onions with caramelized goat cheese and rosemary oil, bread with tomato and figs with Brie.  The food was so very tasty.

We all decided to share a brownie with almond ice cream which tasted delicious.

Brownie with almond ice cream

I could have definitely eaten it all by myself, it’s that good.  Ivan and I didn’t eat that much since we wanted to go to Tapas Royale later and go dancing with Neal and D.

We walked around Barcelona and came across a cool recycled market in Plaça Reial.  This market happens every Saturday.  All the products are recycled.

I saw a table at the Illariy Art stall filled with cool little tape purses where you can put your credit cards as well.

Cute tape purses

I bought one.  The lady asked if I wanted it wrapped.  I said No, it’s for me.  She said that she does this cool wrapping thing with the inside of the tape.  I thought it sounded cool, so I said Please do that.  It turned out great.

Cool Tape gift wrapping

The lady was really nice and told me how she made the fork rings too.  She said Have a great life to me.  I said you too.  I think this may be a common Barcelona thing since I heard a guy say that to somebody at a bar.  I thought it was different, but definitely nice.

Denise told me there was a stall selling orange peel jewelry.  The woman who makes them explained that she shapes the orange peel into shapes like flowers.  She adds resins and bakes it and then bakes it again.

Ornage peel flower earrings

I bought a pair of flower orange peel earrings.  Denise wasn’t sure if she should buy a cool flower orange peel necklace.  But, I told her it looked really nice.  She tried it on and the woman adjusted it to suit her.  I wish we could have spent longer at this market.

We stopped by a grocery store so Denise could pick up breakfast for her and Ken tomorrow.  She found some whole wheat rice cakes.

We all walked back to the apartment.  Denise and Ken were staying in.  We left a few minutes later.  Since Neal didn’t answer Ivan’s texts, we decided to eat around the apartment and not walk all the way to Tapas Royale.

Ivan found a nice place down the road called L’Arros.  We wanted a late night snack.  Ivan and I shared mussels marinara, bread with tomato, Galician-style octopus and a small seafood paella that’s meant for one person.

Seafood paella

The food tasted lovely especially with the bubbly cava.

It was back to the apartment after to use the internet before bed.

05/22/13
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Sunny Ibiza

On May 22, 2013, Ivan and I woke up really late at 3:30 pm.  Lil Dave was awake already.  It seems his jetlag is slowly disappearing compared to ours.  Lucky monkey!

We all used the internet before heading out at 5 pm.  I’m glad that the weather was once again sunny.  Ivan found a place that has good pintxos, so we walked to Mar A Vila

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Ivan picked a good variety of pintxos like tuna stuffed pepper, Spanish omelet and empanada with cheese and vegetables.  Some were tastier than others.  Our favorite was the goat cheese on top of a vegetable.  The food was good, but we prefer the pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain. 

We walked to Ibiza Gran Hotel along the waterfront.

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Ivan went to find out if there was more tickets for the Fatboy Slim & Pete Tong dinner which is one of the events at the Ibiza International Music Summit.  Unfortunately, it was already sold out.  We walked around the hotel and outside where the pool is located. 

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It’s a pretty hotel that’s modern and cool. 

We went in search of the restaurant where Fatboy Slim would be playing late tomorrow night.  It’s a small place since it’s inside a restaurant. 

We started walking back to Old Town.  I saw Ikea and wanted to stop in – I’ve never been inside one. 

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Inside, the store was filled as much as possible with furniture and home décor.  It was so small which disappointed me.  But, we did find some cool things that we might get later for our loft.  I’ll have to go to a huge store sometime in California.

We walked back to Old Town and walked around.  Ivan and I had a Solero popsicle which is quite tasty on a warm day.  Ivan bought me two funny t-shirts at Atlantis.  I love finding cool t-shirts while we’re traveling. 

Ivan wanted to stop and chill by the water with a drink.  Lil Dave got a banana juice while Ivan and I each had a white wine.  Lil Dave was excited when the waiter put his juice in a wine glass. 

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The funny part was when Lil Dave acted like he was drunk after drinking his juice.  I kept telling him that it was JUST banana juice.  But, he insisted that the waiter put in wine since he thought he was a cute monkey.  What a silly monkey!

We headed back to the apartment to chill for awhile.

Later that night at 10 pm, we walked to Formentera Restaurant.  Ivan read that this place is known for their paella.  Ivan and I shared Padron peppers, mushrooms with garlic and parsley and a seafood paella. 

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Our Spanish meal was lovely with a glass of red wine.  The food was delicious.  The paella was amazing.  Ivan says the paellas we make at home pale in comparison.  I said Of course it does.. we’re in Spain!

We walked around after dinner.  Ivan was hoping to get a frozen yogurt, but it was already closed. 

We got back to the apartment and used the internet since we were once again jetlagged.  Lil Dave was snoring away.  Bedtime was really late again at 6 am.

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