The Liebster Award

This is really, really belated, I know.  However, I recently got into to maintaining my blog on a regular basis and I wanted to save this fun post for a time when I am nurturing my blog like a good blog mamma should.  I also hadn’t been following many blogs at this point, so wanted to wait until I could pass this recognition onto some deserving bloggers 🙂

Anyways, back in January, I was selected by Becky at BEPCITY for the Liebster Award!  She, like me, blogs about many different topics and experiences.  Thanks for the award!  What exactly is the Liebster Award?  It’s an award given by a fellow blogger to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  Also, did you know that “Liebster” means “dearest” in German?  Interesting facts.

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Here are the rules:

Share 11 facts about yourself.

Answer the awarder’s 11 questions.

Ask 11 questions of your own.

Nominate 11 bloggers.

Facts About Me!

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1. I can’t wear adult size shoes.  They aren’t made in my size!  I think my feet stopped growing in elementary school and I currently wear a CHILDREN’S size 2/2.5.  Even an adult size 4 (when you can find them, which is rare) doesn’t fit me!  I find most of my shoes at Target…sometimes I can find shoes at this specialty small-footed person website called Cinderella of Boston.

2. I am half-Chinese and half-Caucasian (some sort of German/Scottish/English mutt).  I’ve gotten asked “What are you?” ever since I can remember – some of the way off guesses…Hawaiian, Italian, Hispanic of some sort.  Also, my dad is Chinese – most people assume it’s my mom.

3. The farthest I’ve traveled is to Vietnam.  In total, I’ve been to 8 foreign countries.  Wish it could be more!

4. I transferred colleges three times.  I started at American University (freshmen year), then went to Virginia Commonwealth University (for one semester), and then The College of William & Mary for the rest of my college career.  I’m so glad I ended up at W&M!  Also, I only went to VCU for one semester because it was close to home and I missed the deadline to apply to W&M.

5. I’m addicted to Diet Coke. I can’t break the habit.

6. Growing up, I was a HUGE theatre kid.  I spent five consecutive summers performing with a teen theatre company.  I went to the same performing arts school Jason Mraz went to in Richmond.  I did so much theatre in high school.  Even though I didn’t major in theatre in college, I took two acting classes and I still try and fit the extracurricular theatre “thing” in whenever I can.

7. When it comes to food, I’ll try everything once.  Like weird stuff.  Like intestines and all the nasty bits.  Part of growing up in a half-Chinese family, I guess!

8. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a roller coaster designer.  Too bad I suck at math…

9. I am a Delta Gamma!

10. I was a huge Alias fan in middle/high school.  I didn’t want my parents to know I was watching it for like the first two seasons because it was somewhat violent, so I would always make up some lie that I was watching something else upstairs and they wouldn’t bother me.  Then my mom found out I was watching it and she got equally as hooked on it!  I’m currently re-watching all the seasons on DVD!

11. When my high school senior class voted for superlatives, I was voted the “most outspoken” and “most flirtatious” female.  When we took pictures for the yearbook, I had to take the picture with my ex-high school boyfriend who got voted “most flirtatious” male, and who, at the time, I despised.  Pretty sure I lack all ability to flirt now, but I am still very outspoken.

Answers to BEPCITY’s questions:

1. What is your favorite/go-to item in your wardrobe?

Probably my jeggings, leggings, or skinny jeans.  They are perfect to wear with a cute, long top.  And yes, I do consider them pants for you haters out there.

2. If you could be on any reality show, which one would it be?

Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, even though the final season aired last year.  I love him and  I’d love to show him my hometown!

3. Have you ever had braces?

I had braces in 5th grade to 7th grade!  They were absolutely horrible and I also had rubber bands at one point too!  I remember the day I got them was the day right after Halloween – horrible timing!  About two hours after they put them on, one of the brackets fell off my bottom teeth (they had only put a wire in the top at the first visit).  I was so upset and crying because I thought it was my fault, but apparently it happens a lot.  In better news, I found out I was getting them off the visit right before the final visit.  I feel like most people know months in advance, and it came as a welcomed surprise to me!

4. What was the first CD/cassette you ever purchased?

It was a classical music CD from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.  I’m a nerd.

5. What drink do you order at a restaurant?

Non-Alcoholic: Diet Coke | Alcoholic: Vodka soda or a local beer, if they have it.

6. What kind of camera do you use?

I was using a Canon Elf (I think?) but now I just use my iPhone 5 camera because it’s actually better quality and I can do all the fun Instagram filters and such.  I would love a DSLR camera, but I’m poor so that is not happening.

7. If you could change your name to anything what would you choose?

I like my name as it is now, however, in middle school I wanted to be called “Star”.  What a weirdo!

8. Do you now or did you ever play on any sports teams?

No sports for me growing up.  But I run and spend a lot of time in the gym now.

9. If you formed a band what would your name be and what kind of music would you play?

I love indie-pop-rock music, so the music would probably be like Mumford & Sons or The Avett Brothers.  I’m horrible with band names.  However, those image capture things you type into  so the computer knows you’re human always comes up with some catchy phrases.  I’ve always thought those would be good, unique band names.

10. Who was your first celebrity crush?

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.

11. Do you subscribe to any magazines?

I actually started subscribing to Glamour after my mom had a mysterious subscription to it last year.  Ironically, I got a mysterious subscription to large print Reader’s Digest.  And the secret subscriptions were sent to different addresses and my address I only lived at for one year.  We think the subscriptions got mixed up (she should have gotten the Reader’s Digest, as she’s mid-50s and mid-twenty me should have gotten the Glamour).  We asked everyone we knew and still can’t figure out who subscribed us.  Anyways, I ended up loving Glamour, so I resubscribed this year!

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Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Who doesn’t love a secret agent man? Image Source

What I Want to Know!

1. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

2. What was your favorite subject in school (high school or college)?

3. What is your favorite season – winter, spring, summer, or fall – and why?

4. If you had to pick a “last meal” (sorry to be morbid, I’m a foodie), what would it be?

5. Are you an early morning or late night person?

6. Do you have any pets?

7. Have you ever dyed your hair any crazy colors?

8. Did you have a favorite teacher?  Who was it?

9. How many cell phones have you lost?

10. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

11. Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it?

You’re Fabulous!

Here are the blogs I’ve nominated!  I’ve mostly been frequenting food/thrifting/travel blogs so check these out if any of those topics interest you!

Babska’s Journey

Student living and me.

Thrifty Magnolia

Gatsby’s Green Light

Modern Miss Thrift

Urbohem (ur·bo·em)

grub like a girl.

fille & feline

Thrift Your Heart Out

Coti’s Travels

Modern  Mouthful

Phew. That was a long post!  Hope you’ve enjoyed learning about all my quirks and maybe you’ll find a new blog you just happen to love in my list of awardees!

Happy Blogging!

Traffic Makes Me Panicky

Coming home from a meeting and Trader Joe’s last night, I found this beauty down by the garbage bins.

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Anybody need a bathtub?

On an unrelated note, I am starting to go crazy with my daily commute.  Apparently the average one-way commute time for a person living in the DMV (District, Maryland, Virginia) area is 45 minutes.  Mine has become 40 minutes to work in the morning, and, on a good day, 1 hour in the afternoon.  Before I moved to Arlington and was living in Vienna, the commute was around 25 minutes in the morning and about 45 minutes in the afternoon, but I was tired of living in suburbia.  Everyone is like, “Why don’t you move closer to work?”  I reply, frustratedly, “I didn’t move to DC to live on the outskirts of the city…I could have stayed in Richmond and done that!”  And also, this is a temp job, why on earth would I move, sign a lease (or whatever) to work a temp job?  People, come on now.  And it’s not even the distance, it’s the gridlock that I honestly hate.  Stop. Go. Stop. Go. STOP.  Like yesterday, it took me 1.5 hours to get from Chantilly to Clarendon for a volunteer meeting I went to after work.  I was almost late.   That should be like, a 30 minute drive without traffic, max.  It is sucking the life out of me.  We don’t have to worry about the zombie apocolypse sucking the life out of us, we already have that, it’s called traffic in Northern Virginia.

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This is not fun.

I am trying so incredibly hard not to make this one of those “my life sucks…poor me” blogs, but traffic gives me a lot of anxiety.  I get up in the morning and am already depressed because I know the commutes I am about to face for the day.  I thought I had experienced bad traffic around Richmond in rush hour.  Um no.  The “traffic” in Richmond is like the normally moving traffic for this area.  I think this factors into my “control” anxiety I have about certain things.  I hate gridlock; I feel stuck and panicky.  I seriously don’t know how much more of my daily commute I can take…it is literally turning me into a zombie.  I miss walking to work 😦

If anybody deals with a similar commute, how do you put up with it?!

Happy Commuting! Naht.

I promise the next post will be all puppies and unicorns and mason jars.

Just needed to vent.

The Family that Eats Together

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

– written by J.R.R. Tolkien, said by Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring

This past Saturday, I spent the first spring-like day of this never ending East Coast winter in Williamsburg, Virginia, with family from my dad’s side that I haven’t seen in almost 10 years.  We ended up meeting up with my cousin, Mark, his wife, Lauren, and their 4 awesome kids ranging in ages 5-15.  They were visiting Williamsburg on spring break.  We joke that we only see each other whenever someone gets married, which is partially true; the last time I saw them was at a HuYoung wedding.  Doesn’t it end up happening that way?  Weddings and funerals always brings family closest together…anyways I digress!

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My Cousin’s Kids – they are half Chinese like me!

Life does get busy, and with family spread all over the country, it’s hard to get everyone together.  But when we are able to see each other, albeit 10 years later, it’s always a good time.  I also really enjoyed the opportunity to show my family around my alma mater and Williamsburg.  With it being spring break, a Saturday, and the first nice day of spring, the historic area was absolutely swamped with people.  I wanted to try out the new DOG Street Pub and their extensive beer menu, which I got the opportunity to try last summer, but it was over an hour wait.  Absolutely crazy!

We were able to get a table for our party of 9 at Blue Talon, which was perfectly fine with me.  We had a 15 minute wait, but the kids went to the Peanut Shop and sampled all the yummy peanuts and chocolate covered nuts (I may have sampled a few too) while we waited.  I love free samples!  Anyways, Blue Talon is so yummy!  All of their dishes are French-inspired.  I ended up getting the Chicken and Mushroom Crepe, which was delicious.  It’s a creamy chicken/mushroom (bechamel sauce – I think) combo, wrapped in a crepe, then topped with Parmesan cheese and baked.  I also got a side of their fries – I never eat fries, but Blue Talon fries are so good!  And I got a Champagne Julep, which my cousin said tasted like spearmint gum; it was very refreshing!

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Chicken & Mushroom Crepes

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Champagne Julep! Minty!

After lunch, we went in a few of the Merchants Square stores –  Ocean Palm to look at all the pretty Lilly dresses I can’t afford, the Christmas ornament store, the toy store, which all the kids liked…and there was a live band in Merchants Square that day too!

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Why are little kids so cute?!

I then suggested we go to the Wythe Candy Store.  All the kids wanted candy, and my dad ended up buying them each a treat…you can’t take a kid in a candy store and not let them get a treat…that’s just torture!  However, they were so well behaved, and didn’t beg for anything at all!  There was a little “can we get this?” but no whining!  They were very well behaved!  The adults got chocolate truffles at $2.50 a pop, which we cut into fourth’s and enjoyed later in the evening with a bottle of Col Solare wine – yum!

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Is there really anything better on this earth?

We still had about two hours until dinner, so we walked over to “old campus” and I tried to convince my cousin’s eldest and only son, who is 15, that he should consider William & Mary for college! 🙂 Then we ended up going to Aroma’s, a W&M staple, for some wine (for the adults) and tea/soda for the kids.

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The gang minus a few at Aroma’s

Dinner was at Peter Chang, which is like this cult Szechuan Chinese restaurant that originally opened in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Many of the items are very spicy, and all their food is authentic.  Seriously, check out the link and go, it’s delicious.  There’s also a location in Glen Allen, Virginia, in a strip mall next to the Wal-Mart in Short Pump.  Peter Chang, so they say, doesn’t want the fame and fortune that comes with an amazing culinary establishment.  Apparently, he hates the interviews, and just wants to cook…so much, that the Charlottesville location, after much acclaim, closed.  The Glen Allen location, on a weekend, fills all its tables around 6 pm and has people waiting.  The Williamsburg, Virginia, location was busy, but did have empty tables.  We got so. much. food.  My family loves to eat.

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Family Style Chinese!

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SO.MUCH.FOOD.

It was so great to see my family after all these years, and I really hope it isn’t another ten years (or me getting married) before I see them all again!  Life does get busy, and I’m famous for saying “life gets in the way”, but it’s really important to maintain the relationships we have with people that are important in our lives!  This weekend definitely reinforced that belief for me.  Even if people don’t make an effort to reach out to you, you have to be persistent because if not, they will slowly fade out of your life, and maybe reappear five years later, and you’ll sit there, with your glass of wine, being like “Why didn’t we do more to maintain our friendship? etc.”

Now that I don’t really have any commitments (i.e. I’m not married, don’t have a demanding job, not in school, etc.), I feel like it’s a really great time and maybe even should be a goal for me to visit family and friends that I don’t get to see very often.  In the long run, family and friends are the most important things in life.  I’m guilty of spending an entire weekend vegging, doing nothing, when I could spent it getting to know people I don’t see very often!

Quick update!  I was misinformed and there actually is a Peter Chang restaurant in Charlottesville.  They just closed for a while to move to another location.  You can find it here! 2162 Barracks Rd.  Charlottesville, VA 22903

A Beautiful View!

This is my last Gaudí-Barcelona related post about Park Güell.  If you haven’t already, check out what I have to say about Casa Batlló and Sagrada Família!

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View from the park on a pretty Fall day!

Park Güell is located outside of the city center, on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district.  You walk a few blocks on flat road when you get off the metro and then a few blocks straight up hill.  Definitely wear comfortable shoes, because it’s quite a trek up a very steep hill, not to mention that there’s lots of walking to be done in the park.

All the directions I read in advance said to look for the street signs which point to the park, and I did this, but got a little confused at one intersection and ended up walking up the wrong hill.  Ah, my lovely sense of direction – where I get the “I think I’m going in the wrong direction feeling…but just maybe it’s ahead” I should listen to my initial instinct.  Anyways, I got to see some side streets and walked up a very, very steep hill before realizing this wasn’t the right way.  I made it back to the main road and found the correct sign – not really sure how I could have missed it, but at least  I realized my error before I got turned around too much.

Once I got back on the main street and found the directional sign, I started walking and knew I was in the right direction because there were more people who seemed to be going in the same direction.

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Entrance sign

What’s great about this place is that a visit to Park Güell is free!  I went on weekend on a really pretty fall day, and there were a lot of people walking around, relaxing on the benches, kids running around and playing soccer.  You could tell there were many tourists, but it seems like locals come here too.  I was also impressed by the amount of runners around the park!

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Field where kids were playing soccer

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Pretty mosaic benches – relax here after your trek uphill

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Mosaic lizzard

The entrance to the park is pretty crowded because this is where most of Gaudí’s mosaic art is, but as you keep climbing upwards, people start to space out.  There were also entertainers along the way from a string quartet, to a band, to a group singing Beatles songs.  Vendors selling handmade jewelry and souvenirs line the path upwards too.

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Musicians around the park

If you keep walking upwards, which I did, you’ll find a variety of paths.  I took the one that went to an awesome summit with stunning views of Barcelona.  I ended up lingering here for a while, but it was quite chilly because of the elevation.  After being at Park Güell for around two hours, I left and made my way back to city center before the sun went down.

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Me and Barcelona

I’m so grateful for the chance to see Gaudí’s works in BCN.  Seeing Gaudí’s works was high on my bucket list and it was amazing to see these amazing, iconographic sites as a young adult.

So a question for my readers! What places/historic sites have you been to that have been on your travel bucket list?  What are some of the places you still have yet to get to?

Happy Traveling!

Side Note:  I’ll hopefully be able to compose a few more posts about my Barcelona experience, and, of course, I still need to tell you all about Rome.  I really am sorry for these sporadic travel posts done after the fact.  In my future travels and life experiences, I hope to update more frequently!

Work in Progress

I woke up to a gorgeous blue November sky on my last day of leg numero uno in BCN.  Let’s note here that I did not wake up early, no, in fact, I actually slept in until 10 AM and then took my time getting ready because I had no schedule, no deadlines – my only plan for the day was to visit Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família.

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La Sagrada Família – Doesn’t it look like a giant sandcastle? Also, I don’t know why the sky is yellow.  It really was blue!

To get to La Sagrada Família, you can take metro L5 (it’s the blue line on the map) to the “Sagrada Família” stop.  When you get off the metro, the basilica is right in front of you.  I arrived around 1 PM on a Tuesday in the “off” season (early November) and the line for tickets was about a 15-20 minute wait.  Like most of the Gaudí sights, you can book tickets in advance and print them off on these ATM/ticket vending machines that are located on almost every block in the city.  One of the things that sucks about traveling alone is when you have to wait in line by yourself for tickets.  Even more suck points in a foreign country because I didn’t have the ability to use my cell phone.  This is my fault, because even though it was an unlocked iPhone, lazy me didn’t feel like figuring out buy a SIM card.  In retrospect, I probably would get a SIM card the next time I travel abroad, especially alone.

Gaudí's Artistry on the Facade

Gaudí’s Artistry on the Facade

Waiting in line alone without electronic distractions can also be interesting because you get the chance to observe people.  Such as the Asian tourists with the chubby little boy who were speaking a mix of some Asian language and English.  And all they were talking about was food and being full.  I don’t know, I was interested.

Anyways, I bought my ticket with my student ID discount!  There are a few options like basilica entry only, basilica entry with audio guide and tickets for assigned times to take the lift up the towers.  Just fyi, tower trips are weather permitting and run on the hour-ish.  I opted for all the things which cost me 17 euros (it’s 20 euros with an adult admission) – basilica entry, audio guide and the trip to the towers.

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On the main entrance there are modernist statutes depicting the life of Jesus – here’s a diagram!

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One on the Jesus’ life statues – The Crucifixion

Once you enter the basilica, you’re free to roam around, go to the audio tour stations or sit down and contemplate things.  You can also make your way to the basement museum and see some of Gaudí’s original plans for La Sagrada Família, pictures of it when construction began and other works by Gaudí.  I found the pictures of the basilica in the 1900s really interesting because at that time there were not any buildings around the site.  It was just a bunch of land.  Over the years, BCN was built up around this giant church.

Me standing in the nave!

Standing in the Central Nave

Pretty stained glass in the nave

Stained Glass in the Nave

Giant Organ!

Giant Organ!

Does anyone know what these weird zodiac looking images are in the basilica? I forget...

Does anyone know what these weird zodiac looking images are in the basilica? I forget…

Another thing that’s really interesting about La Sagrada Família is that it’s still under big time construction and not expected to be complete until 2028.  When Gaudí passed away in 1926 (he was hit by a tram, did you know that!?), construction was only 15-20 percent complete.  In 2000, the central nave was completed and an organ was added in 2010 (so says Wikipedia).  These additions meant the basilica could finally have religious services.  When you enter, you’ll see scaffolding and crane lifts, empty windows where stained glass will eventually  be laid and uncompleted areas.  Construction workers walk around in neon vests (some passed by me and were very smelly, might I add).

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A Work in Progress – Modernist & Modern

I took my time in the basilica; I listening to the audio guide, walked around and looked at the altar and organ, and reveled over the modernist sculptures on the facade of the basilica…something was so magical and awe-inspiring about just being in this awesome work in my own time and having a personal experience.  I’m not a huge believer in organized religion as in, I don’t like being told what to believe and how I should act, more importantly, I don’t like told what I’m doing wrong.  But I am religious and while I’m Christian, also believe many other world religions have great teachings we should also embrace.  I have my own relationship with a higher power and I’m leaving it at that.  But I am inspired by the intense devotion to God that is represented in Gaudí’s creation of La Sagrada Família.

The Alter - More Images of the Crucifixion

The Altar

As I noted earlier, I purchased a ticket to the basilica towers.

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Beautiful View of BCN from Towers

The towers were quite possibly the best part of the visit.  You enter at your assigned time at the appropriate tower lift (it will be noted on your ticket) and are hurried up in these small little “I’m claustrophobic” capsules that are supposedly elevators.  You are let off on a small open-air walkway that overlooks BCN, and then continue on into the towers where little windows look out over the city.  You have the opportunity to get a closer glimpse of the artistic tower details as well as a stunning view of BCN.

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Image From the Towers

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Doves & Olive Branches! And Ants on the Ground!

Note that there isn’t a lift “down”, so you’ll be taking small, winding and dizzying stairs.  Maybe not the best idea if you aren’t able to walk well or get claustrophobic.

Overall, I spent around 2 hours at La Sagrada Família, and would recommend visitors devote the same amount of time in the basilica, admiring the facade and visiting the basement museum.  I might have spent more time, but I got hungry.  Food always wins in my book.

So this is how I like to travel.  Let me interpret and digest things at my own speed – let me have an experience.  I don’t like to be hurried from site to site, with a guide who shares his own narrative of a particular location.  Let me take it all in, in the moment.  Especially at churches.  I know there is a lot of history to many significant places of worship, but shouldn’t we take the time to admire them for what they really are – places of reflection, contemplation and worship.  That’s just me.  I also understand the importance of schedules and guided tours, especially when one might not want to miss out.  Tour groups can also get you into a location normally “off limits” to the public or do the organizing when people don’t have time to plan and read about what they want to see on a trip.  This is fine.  But I get much more out of traveling on my own terms.

Happy Traveling!

FishBones – Gaudí’s Casa Batlló

At the end of every post, I’ll be noting the artist/song/playlist/Spotify radio station (check out Spotify if you haven’t!) that I’ve listened to while composing my post.  Maybe it can inspire you as well!

My decision to go to BCN was heavily influenced by the works of an extremely eclectic Catalan artist, Antoni Gaudí.  This was his city and he is noted for modernist works like Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.

I first learned about Gaudí in high school Spanish class, and for some unexplainable reason, I really appreciated his quirky art and architecture.  Possibly because I’m a quirky gal myself?  I really respect him for doing things “different”.  I also think it’s interesting that La Sagrada Familia, conceived and started over 100 years ago, is still a work in progress and visitors can actually witness the progress and construction that goes on today.  I hope to dedicate an individual post about my experiences at three of Gaudí’s works – Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.

Here goes Post #1:

Casa Batlló (House of Bones) – 43, Passeig de Gràcia

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Casa Batlló at night

I think one of the reasons I connect with Casa Batlló is because I grew up watching Casper: The Friendly Ghost.  I’m pretty sure I watched this VHS tape on repeat because I was one of those kids.  If you’ve ever seen this children’s movie, you might remember that the “haunted house” actually has similarities Gaudí’s modernist style from the way the rooms have a curvy feel to the stained glass.  Anyways, I thought that was the coolest house before I even learned about Gaudí!

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Quirky doorway in Casa Batlló

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The foyer staircase – supposed to look like the spine of a fishy!

If you go to Casa Batlló, which was constructed in 1877 for the Batlló family, you’ll learn that Gaudí’s inspiration was the sea and nature.  The “bones”, which you can see on the balcony railings, are actually reminiscent of fish bones.  When you venture to the roof, you’ll find the mosaic tiles on the roof resemble the scales of some reptilian creature.

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Venture to the roof – not only will you get to see the mosaic reptile, but you’ll get a great view of Passeig de Gràcia

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Don’t you just feel like you’re in the sea?

The house avoids use of straight lines, and there’s a lot of emphasis placed on organic elements.  Since I’m not an art expert, and I don’t really remember everything the audio tour said, you should probably visit the Casa Batlló website if you want more (accurate) information.  Or hey, just visit!

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The Batlló Family

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Lights!

Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Casa Batlló website and then printed off on these ATM/Ticket Vending Machine things that are located all throughout BCN.  Apparently the line can get pretty long, especially in peak season, so I’d suggest looking into booking them in advance if you’re traveling in the late-Spring/Summer/early-Fall.  Since I went in the semi-off season, I went around 4 pm and waited about 15 minutes to purchase a ticket.  After you purchase the ticket, there is immediate entry.

If you’re an adult, tickets cost 20.35 euro, but I’m still technically a “student” in the fact that I still have my student ID and take full advantage of student privileges.  It will be a sad, sad day when/if I lose my student ID.  I ended up paying 16.30 euro for admission.  Just fyi, Casa Batlló takes credit cards.

I’d really recommend visiting Casa Batlló if you’re ever in BCN.  I enjoyed that I was able to move through the house at my own pace with my audio tour and appreciate it all in my own time.  One of the perks of traveling alone – you get to do things at your own speed!  Casa Batlló, and Gaudí’s works in general, were some of my bucket list – things I wanted to see – so you can imagine my excitement and happiness about crossing these magnificent works off the list!

Happy Traveling!

Currently Listening: Imagine Dragons – Continued Silence EP

Public Transportation in Barcelona

A note on public transportation in BCN – if you plan to use the metro, which I highly advise because trains go almost everywhere and run in very precise intervals of about 3 minutes (Dear DC metro, why can’t you be this efficient), get a T-10 fare card.  The T-10 cost 9.45 euros when I visited in November ’12 and allows you 10 trips (including transfers) on the metro, buses and trams to any destination, including the train that runs from the airport to city center.  I believe there is a window of time to transfer from the metro to a bus or tram and vice versa.  A one-way trip on the metro is 2 euros.  You do the math.

The BCN public transportation system, or Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, also has unlimited daily travel passes, but the T-1o is really the best buy if you’re going to be there a week-ish like me.  It even tells you on the back on the card how many trips you have taken.  One thing I feel I should note, especially because I depend on my credit card for everything – many travel sites say the metro station fare vending machines take “card” and cash.  This is partly accurate.  They actually do not take credit cards, only debit/bank cards/cards requiring a PIN.  I was really stressed by this because I had forgotten my debit card, but thankfully I had enough euros to purchase a T-10 fare card!