My Someday is Today

Just living my life in Barcelona and loving it!

Taking the time to “tomar el sol” February 7, 2010

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 9:59 pm
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When I woke up this morning I couldn’t help but smile – even though I’ve been here for over five months, I still can’t believe I did it – I’m really here. Luckily, it was beautiful sunny day out so I called a couple of friends and we roamed the streets of Barcelona without a plan nor purpose, we just walked. I’ve seen most of the tourist attractions and know how to get around the city now, but what I love most is that I can get lost in the small streets and discover all the hidden treasures throughout the city.

On Sunday’s not much is open, all the main stores and supermarkets are closed, yet that doesn’t force people to stay inside. Instead, you see everyone just walking or sitting on the grass “tomando el sol” and enjoying the nice weather. I feel like I can truly breathe here… even though at times it’s hard for me to balance, work, school and other extra curricular activities, the one thing I’ve learned from the Spanish is to take time to just sit and enjoy the present moment…

Park Cituadella

We walked through Park Cituadella, you can't tell in this picture, but there are hundreds of people with their tapas and blankets all over the park. You see everything from people walking on a tightrope to people playing musical instruments with friends singing along next to them... I love how people just take the time to sit and enjoy the company of friends and family.

Concert in the Streets

Behind the Catedral, there's this small corner that has amazing acoustics, there is always someone there singing or playing their musical instruments... I love the free concerts in the streets.

There is always a new plaza to discover and streets to roam, I could live here forever and still discover something new every time... I love how Barcelona never fails to intrigue me.

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Everyday is a learning experience… January 23, 2010

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 7:07 pm
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One of my favorite things about living abroad is that even the simple tasks, like going to the grocery store, always end being a learning process and the simple joys in life put a smile on my face. There are somethings I’ve learned to live without (minus peanut butter – I go to a speciality store and pay over $5 for a small jar, ridiculous I know, but I love it) and have grown accustomed to a lot of the local brands. Well anyways, today I went grocery shopping and after months of searching, I finally found oatmeal. I was super excited and grabbed some cinnamon and I started roaming the store looking for the brown sugar. I couldn’t find it so I asked the saleslady for “azucar cafe,” she looked at me with a confused look on her face and shook her head. I walked away roaming the isles continuing to look for it and then she came up to me again because she realized what I was asking for, it’s actually called “azucar moreno,” tan sugar would be the direct translation… ha ha. Even though I make mistakes sometimes, I really do learn something new everyday and I’m loving every second of it.

 

Holiday Travels: Back to Barcelona! January 21, 2010

After London, Anette traveled back to our favorite city… Barcelona. One of my best friends Vanessa came to visit to spend new years with me and to check out my new home town.

Loving the Christmas decorations

Loving the Christmas decorations!

This year the Barcelona government bought new Christmas lights saying “Merry Christmas” in 15 different languages and they were hung up all over the city. The funny thing is that they forgot to include “Feliz Navidad” or did they? The Spanish government was really mad and accused Barcelona of purposely forgetting to include Spanish since Catalunya is constantly trying to separate themselves from Spain… interesting stuff!

Feliz Navidad?

Feliz Navidad?

Yes, this is Obama and yes, he’s pooping. BUT, before you think this is weird, it’s actually a normal Christmas decoration in the Catalan nativity scene. From what I understand, in Catalunya, they believe that the day Jesus was born was like any other normal day, meaning that there was probably a guy pooping in the bushes on Dec. 25th. For that reason, they always hide El Caganer in their nativity scenes and when you go to a Catalan’s home, the first thing you do is look for el caganer. You can find el caganer in the shape of almost any known celebrity or cartoon, Anette asked me to get her an Obama for her birthday :).

Anette's Birthday present

Anette's Birthday present

We brought in the new year in Plaza Catalunya, everyone gathered in the center of the city with their bottles of Cava and grapes. In Spain, it’s tradition to eat grapes for good luck on new years eve. They start the countdown 12 seconds before midnight and you eat a grape with each sound of the bell.

Bringing in 2010!

Bringing in 2010!

The view from the top of La Catedral de Barcelona

The view from the top of La Catedral de Barcelona

Finally made it inside of Casa Batilo, loved it - definitely worth a visit :)

Finally made it inside Casa Batilo, loved it - definitely worth a visit 🙂

 

This is where I’m supposed to be. December 12, 2009

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 12:40 am
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Anette recently sent me this picture we took four years ago on my first trip to Barcelona. We were only in Barcelona for 24-hours, but it was love at first sight when I walked through the streets of Barrio Gotico and saw Gaudi’s architecture for the first time. I remember telling Anette that I could see myself living here and I felt at home…
If you would have told me then that I’d be where I am now, I wouldn’t believe you. It’s crazy where life takes you, but I can finally say that I’m grateful for the changes in my life that brought me to where I am now. I couldn’t be happier.
Eating pizza with Anette in front of La Sagrada Familia

Eating pizza with Anette in front of La Sagrada Familia

 

Thanksgiving in Barcelona… November 30, 2009

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 7:07 pm
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It was hard to spend Thanksgiving away from my family, but I’m definitely thankful for all the new friends I’ve made here. On Thanksgiving day, I was thinking about my family and friends and missing everyone back home. My mouth would salivate every time I thought about all the delicious food I was missing out on. Luckily, My close friends from EADA decided that we had to bring Thanksgiving to Barcelona since they’ve seen it in the movies and wanted to try the all the delicious food.

I sent everyone a list of typical Thanksgiving dishes along with a Web site with recipes and I volunteered to make my favorite dish, stuffing. I was really nervous since I’ve never cooked it before and I was feeling the pressure since I wanted my friends first Thanksgiving to be memorable. The cutest thing is that everyone took their dish really seriously and since pre-made boxed meals don’t exist here, so we all had to make our dish from scratch. After school we went to the grocery stores in search of the ingredients and spent hours making our dishes. We all got together at a friends house with our dishes, set the table and started to chow down. All the food was amazing and everyone was so proud to share their dish since they put so much time and love into the preparation. The stuffing was definitely a hit, the girls were eery to try it at first since it’s something they’ve never tasted before, but they definitely enjoyed it. The only thing that was missing was a turkey (it’s nearly impossible to find one in Spain), but we substituted a chicken which did the trick. We had everything from mashed potatoes to apple pie and ice cream, we for sure had the full Thanksgiving experience.

I had two friends here visiting from home and we all agreed this was one of the most memorable Thanksgivings we’ve ever had. I can’t stop counting my blessings, I’m thankful for my parents who have given me the opportunity to be here, my family and friends who’ve been more than supportive and for all the new friends I’ve made in Barcelona. I am truly blessed.

Thanksgiving dinner before...

Thanksgiving dinner before...

...and after, we devoured it all!

...and after, we devoured it all!

 

Parque GĂŒell

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 6:05 pm
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Girls trip to Park Guell

Thanks for making the long trip from CA to visit me Kat and Fran!

Unflattering angle, but cool pic! I love all the Gaudi mosaic ceilings...

 

Loving the Bicing November 2, 2009

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 9:36 pm
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Today I finally got my bicing card, I feel like such a local now. Bicings are red bikes are all over Barcelona and for a 30 euro yearly charge you get a card that allows you to check out a bike for 30 minutes. All you have to do is swipe your card and it unlocks a bike for you to check-out and when you’re done using it you return it to any bicing stand. If you go over 30-minutes, you get charged a few cents for every minute you go over, but you can usually get anywhere in the city in under the alloted time. It’s honestly genius and the best way to get around the city quickly since there are bike paths everywhere. I took my first stroll on my bicing today and I really liked it, I got to see a lot more of the BCN that I usually miss when I’m on the metro. In order to get a bicing you need a NIE and a local bank account (I went with La Caixa), I’m still waiting to get my NIE card, but as long as you have the number you can do it all online and they mail you your bicing card.

On November 20, I pick-up my NIE (NĂșmero de IdentificaciĂłn de Extranjeros), once I get that, I’ll officially be a legal Spain resident – can’t wait :).

Here's a picture of one of the hundreds of Bicing stand all around Barcelona.

Here's a picture of one of the hundreds of Bicing stand all around Barcelona.