Top 5 Favorite Trips – #2 Barcelona, Spain
#2 on our Top 5 Favorite Trip list is the trip where Brian and I got engaged…Barcelona, Spain in 2008. While friends of mine were sure Brian would propose on this trip, I was less than convinced. This was the 3rd year in a row we vacationed in Europe and we’d planned the trip together almost a year prior. I also never thought my conservative boyfriend would bring an engagement ring in his carry-on.
Because of all the birds chirping in my ear about a pending proposal, I did want to make sure everything was as special as it could be, and that included the night before we left for Barcelona.
Ever since our first trip to Europe, to Rome in 2006, we started a tradition of bringing home 2 bottles of wine, saving one for our collection we’ll keep forever, and the other we’ll drink the night before we go back to Europe. So the night before we popped open a bottle of white wine from our trip to Prague and Vienna.
Fast forward a day and we’ve landed in Barcelona, checked into our hotel and off to explore the city! We started with a stroll through Las Ramblas next to La Boqueria. This city is our absolute favorite for aimlessly wandering and sitting on a bench people watching and chatting.
That night (little did I know), Brian was planning to propose. I can imagine the anxiety and build up was a lot to keep to himself, but after dinner we went to a bar, and then another and another, we ended up having an amazing time chatting with locals and bartenders so after a few shots his plan had to be put on hold for just one more day.
The next morning we set off for one of the must see sights of Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Famila is the work of Gaudi and when he died in 1926 it was only 15-20 percent complete. When we were there in 2006 you can see major structural support for the main tower was the focus. in 2015 it was declared to be 70 percent complete but the final 6 towers and church structure will be complete in 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death.
That night we got ready for dinner and headed for a specific restaurant Brian had his mind set on. After a few wrong turns and an overly frustrated Brian (because he had planned on proposing at dinner), I said let’s just go anywhere because the food is sure to be amazing wherever we go! I was right about the food, but the ambiance was not right for a romantic proposal so we finished dinner and headed back for the hotel and ended up walking right through a parade!
Back at the hotel, it was finally time for Brian to pop the question! It was so sweet and Brian got down on one knee and asked him to marry him. Of course I said yes!
The next few days consisted of lots of walking and sightseeing. A few of our favorites were Casa Mila, Park Guell, and Ciutadella park.
We also made our way down to the beach and tried to find the restaurant featured on “Three Sheets” with Zane Lamprey. Does anyone remember that show? I’m pretty sure we have a few seasons on DVD. “Estrella Dam” anyone? We also had the most amazing sangria at the beach that day.
The sights, the beauty, the architecture, it all takes a back seat to the food. The tapas to be exact! The food was so amazing we ultimately chose our wedding menu to be based on Spanish tapas with Spanish paella as one of the main courses. Calamari, octopus, potatoes bravas, bocadillas, cheese and meat boards…it was all amazing. I don’t think we had many lunch and dinners, we basically grazed all day long.
A few years later I returned to Barcelona several times over the course of a few months for work. I had a lot of fun trying to find all of the same restaurants we visited on this trip! While a few had changed, I did manage to find a few including our favorite bocadillas.
We’re even thinking of returning for our 10 year anniversary in 2020. We’ll see if it makes the cut!
Check out our other Top 5 Favorite Trips!