Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Trip to Spain in 800 Words or Less

So my month of racecation has come to an end. I'm feeling refreshed and ready to hop back on the running path again. Between Mr. Blondie and myself, we took about 1200 pictures. I’ll post a few of my favorites once we’ve got them sorted out.

Sorry to post and run while we were gone. I wanted to keep a little interest going while we were away with some quick updates. I’m catching up on my google reader to see what y’all have been up to, and to return the bloggy comment love as well. Geez, you guys have been busy!

Prague was actually our first vacation choice. We’ve heard nothing but good things from people who’ve visited there. However, the flights looked full even a full week in advance, so we went with plan B instead.

Spain has always been on the top of our must-see list too. The dollar is much weaker in Spain than in Prague, which is why it was our second choice. Albeit pricier, it didn't disappoint. I’m glad we ended up there because it was wonderful. It was sunny and 75 degrees every day, the landscapes were breathtaking, the food was tasty, and the people were nice.

Although we covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time, we felt relaxed and not the least bit rushed. We traveled about 11,000 miles in 8 days.

Instead of flying directly out of Atlanta, we first made stops in NY to drop Emily off with my inlaws and then to pick her up again on our way home. We flew to Barcelona non-stop out of JFK, and then got around Spain via a mix of Spanair flights, buses, rental cars, and subways. Everything we needed for the week was crammed into our backpacks. Our route looked something like this:

ATL -> JFK -> Barcelona -> Sevilla -> Ronda -> Malaga -> Barcelona -> Figueres -> Cadaques -> Girona -> Cadaques -> Port Bou, France -> Barcelona -> JFK -> ATL


We were seated in first class both ways. Eating and drinking our faces off began the second we sat down in the cushy recline-flat seats. It was liked I’d died and gone to heaven. The value of the plane tickets we used was equivalent to Mr. Blondie’s gross salary his first year at the airline. It’s absurd to think about. It’s about time we cashed in on some of the fringe benefits to make up for it. This is the first major international trip since he was hired 5 years ago.

We relied on Rick Steve’s Spain 2011 as our travel guide when deciding on which cities to see. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble a couple days before we left, so not a lot of research went into this trip. We were very happy with his recommendations, and it helped us to avoid over touristy areas. We used a mix of suggestions from the book, expedia.com, and dumb luck to find hotel rooms along the way.

Every hotel we stayed in nice and was reasonably priced between 40-80 euro (and usually included breakfast which saved us another 20-30 euro). Our only flub was one night in Barcelona when we couldn’t find vacancies anywhere. We stayed in sketchy hostel near Plaze de Catalunya which cost us 90 euro (~$140 USD). That was no bueno.

We ate 2 meals a day, and stopped at a grocery store to pickup snacks and make our own sandwiches for dinner a couple times. Eating simply, we still spent anywhere from 70-120 Euro a day on food and drink ($110-$180). The tapas bars can be pricey at night. And who can pass up sangria?

I don’t want to bore you with too much information, so that’s the condensed Cliff’s Notes version. If you have any specific questions about our trip or traveling to Spain, just leave a comment and I’d be happy to answer them :)

20 comments:

  1. That sound so awesome. I can't wait to see your pictures and I am totally envious of your 1st class seats!

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  2. That sound so awesome. I can't wait to see your pictures and I am totally envious of your 1st class seats!

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  3. This makes me want to do this immediately! Sounds like an awesome trip!

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  4. Sounds fun! I went to Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona when I was in college. Barcelona was my favorite of the three.

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  5. Sevilla was very laid back and traditional. Just how you'd envision Spain looking with bull fighting, flamenco dancers, horse drawn carrages, etc. Barcelona reminded us of NYC. It was quite fascinating to experience both.

    I can only imagine the types of escapades you had there in college!

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  6. Now the time Brittney!. It should definitley be part of your TTC checklist. Bow chick wow wow :)

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  7. Sounds like an amazing trip!! I love Rick Steve's... I'd love to use one of his guidebooks as guidance on a trip some day.

    Also... how do you get first class while non-revving? Do they just offer it up, do you have to ask for it, is there an extra charge over flying economy? So many questions! When I used one of our friend's Delta buddy passes, they just give the standby passengers first class if they have seats. You don't even have to ask. I hardly ever get first class, so I'm curious to know how you get it flying overseas. (:

    Out of all the towns/cities you visited... what was your favorite?

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  8. Lol, The hubs and I are such nerds. We love watching the travel shows on PBS, and like Rick Steve since he really tells you like it is.

    On Delta they'll automatically upgrade you if there are seats. United and US Air charge you an upgrade fee, which I think is something like $100 each way.

    The nice part about international flights is they won't upgrade frequent fliers from coach to first class. If first class seats remain unsold, then they will go to the standbys or remain empty.

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  9. Sounds like a great trip! My husband and I have never taken an international trip with just the two of us. Will be fun to do someday.

    About your potty training question, I haven't read any books yet. My parents gave me "Potty Train your Child in Just One Day" by Teri Crane. They said it's very similar to how they trained my brother and me, and it worked really well. So we'll probably do that. We're not in a rush to potty train because I think it's better to wait longer until they're really ready, rather than start too early and have potty training take months. We'll probably do it sometime over the summer.

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  10. i haven't been able to convince Mr. BMX that he would love spain just yet, so maybe I will get him to read all your posts!!!

    welcome home

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  11. Love hearing these details! And I love Rick Steve's travel tips, so thumbs up to that.

    Happy you had such a nice trip. I'm sure the pilot's life isn't easy, so it's good to hear you could use some of the perks and enjoy first class tickets. :-)

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  12. I'm green with jealousy over here! Amazing trip! We've never traveled internationally (Except the bahamas and I don't even count that).

    Wandering around with very little agenda sounds marvelous! Glad you had a great trip!

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  13. Cadaques was hands down our favorite. It was an artsy, laid back beach town. We've already talked about going back there next summer with Emily. There's just so many places in this world to explore, we're not sure we could justify repeating the same thing again. I'd highly recommend going there at least once though.

    Sevilla was a very close second. Barcelona felt like NYC to us. Nice, but nothing special.

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  14. Sounds like you had a great time! Spain is at the very top of my "must see" list so I am definitely looking forward to seeing your pictures. :)

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  15. I'm green with jealousy over here! Amazing trip! We've never traveled internationally (Except the bahamas and I don't even count that).

    Wandering around with very little agenda sounds marvelous! Glad you had a great trip!

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  16. Sounds like you had a great time! Spain is at the very top of my "must see" list so I am definitely looking forward to seeing your pictures. :)

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  17. That sound so awesome. I can't wait to see your pictures and I am totally envious of your 1st class seats!

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  18. Sounds fun! I went to Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona when I was in college. Barcelona was my favorite of the three.

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