First off, my apologies for the long gap. A lot has happened over the last month, (don’t worry, nothing serious) that has prevented me from dedicating time to one of my favorite hobbies-this blog.
Visits from both sides of the family, took up most of my free time. First, the Honey Bee’s brother visited. He spent about 2 weeks with us, and we had a great time. About a week later, my brother took advantage of Thanksgiving weekend and endured 12+ hours of travel time to pay us a visit. He spent 4 days with us, and the time really flew by. We didn’t really do any sight-seeing, given that he had been to Barcelona before. Besides, the objective of his visit was to be with us and we did just that- spend quality family time together. The entire experience was a whirlwind that involved a lot of conversation, eating, movies and board games.
The Honey Bee is really big on board games, and I have grown to like them as well. Some of our all-time favorites include Taboo, Scattegories, Battleship, Scrabble and Jenga (I know it’s not really a board game, but its close enough).
Over the course of these visits, one restaurant we visited multiple times and that I strongly recommend is La Flauta. In fact, it is so popular, they even opened a second location (La Flauta II). I however, recommend visiting the original since it has been renovated. Also personally, I find the service and ambience to be far superior. The fare is authentic Spanish tapas (and some Catalan food as well). The food is rich, but the prices are really affordable. Although a lot of what they specialize in is non-vegetarian, my vegetarian friends will still find plenty of delectable options. They don’t take reservations, so be sure to get there early because if you don’t, you might end up having to wait more than an hour to get a table, like we did.
We also paid a visit to the Fabra Observatory located on a mountaintop near Barcelona. Belonging to Barcelona’s Royal Academy of Arts & Sciences, it is the world’s 4th oldest functioning observatory (1904) and still tracks asteroids and comets. Even though, it was a somewhat cloudy night we did get to use the impressive primary telescope to view a double star. Referred to as Albireo (Beta Cygni), the pair of stars orbit around each other and fall within the Cygnus (swan) constellation. One of the stars was bright yellow, and the other light blue. It was interesting to note that when we saw Albireo with the naked eye, it appeared to be a single star. Only when viewed through a sufficiently powerful telescope can the 2 stars be differentiated. If you do plan to visit, make sure to book in advance since spots fill up quickly. The viewing schedule depends on the day and the time of the year. Also worth pointing out that it gets pretty darn chilly up there, so make sure you’re really well covered up.
Every time my brother visits, it is like Christmas. He brings us our annual stock of American goodies. This time, for the Honey Bee that included Fruit Loops Cereal and Mighty Malts chocolates. For our pet bunny, that included a whole bunch of bunny specific treats & toys. For me, that included a delicious jar of dill pickles, 2 six packs of Berry flavored Propel energy water (both of which I haven’t had in more than 7 years) and my much awaited (drum roll) Dell Chromebook.
You see, apart from family visiting the main reason I haven’t blogged in the last month is that my laptop was destroyed. It’s a long and tragic story with a happy ending that I’ll share in the next post, but suffice it to say that for now, Vivemasblog is back in business.