Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Today is our last full day in Barcelona and with our girl. We are sad to leave, but we miss Johnny and are kind of ready to return to Arizona. Besides, we want to see what is going in with our kitchen remodel. I think we were pretty brave to leave it. Fortunately, our foreman (Kenny) is wonderful as are our designers (Kati/Bess) and we know we are in great hands.
Breakfast today will be at the Bicioci Cafe where Janel, Isam and I had dessert last night. Rich has been searching Barcelona for a great bike jersey and has come up empty handed. They have an awesome one in the cafe, but we fear it will be too small – they only have a medium. In any case, it is a cute little cafe and will be nice for a light breakfast.
Rich orders a cortado, croissant and a juice made of carrot, celery, ginger and who knows what else. I order a bocadillo de queso (baguette with cheese), a cortado and a strawberry/banana smoothie. While my smoothie is good, Rich’s juice is great! When he gets to the bottom of the glass he has to “chew” the remainder…
Today is our last chance to browse around for artwork. We head back to the poster shop hoping it is open. It is. There is one in particular that we both love. We are thinking that if the prices are reasonable we could purchase several items and play around with them. The prices are NOT reasonable. We will have to think about this one. We measure the chosen piece and will see how it could fit on one of our walls when we return home.
We keep walking down towards the water and make stops at both of the stores that I scoped out last week. I still love those trays that I posted online. Rich is starting to warm up to them, but we are not ready to jump.
There are always beautiful buildings to be seen
Rich spies an art gallery along our journey and we pop in. We are both taken immediately by one work in particular. I am not going to post it in case we do decide to purchase. Suffice it to say it is very unusual, but striking. The gallery worker was very knowledgeable about the artist and invited us to meet him, but we won’t have time. Measurements and photos were taken. We will ponder.
All of this art shopping has made us hungry (you knew that, right?) I am thinking that I would like for Rich to experience Pinotxo Bar at the Boqueria (Like I visited alone last week). He is down. When we are making our way through the throngs of tourists to get to La Boqueria, I spy a shop that I recognize from Janel and my trip to the Alsace – Pylones. It has so many cute, unusual items that Janel really loves. AND I know that is where we can possibly get the solar-powered “Queen” that we saw on the boat trip. We duck in.
No Queen – but the do have a solar powered Pope. Hmmm. We end up purchasing a cute set of two bowls for Janel and Isam that I know they will love.
We fight the hoards of tourists on La Rambla finally ending up at La Boqueria. I know from past experience that in order to secure a seat at the muy popular Pinotxo Bar you have to be a hawk. I have gotten very good at watching to see when someone will be leaving and soon enough secure two seats at the bar directly where the “man” (owner Juanito Bayen) will be serving us!
Do we like garbanzos? “te gusta garbanzos?” “Si!” I know we will be getting the same thing I had the other day but that is just fine. I know how great it is. Sorry. “Butifarr esta al fin” (sausage is finished). Ok. “Que mas?” What else? He suggests the “judias con chiparones” (beans with baby squids). I think I have had this before and know it is fantastic. “Si, por favor” (or “Si es plau” in Catalan). They are wonderful and we room the bread around the plate until it is clean. Why don’t we have this kind of place back home? Our awesome lunch with 2 plates of super goodnes and 2 glasses of beer each was about 22 euros.
Time for siesta. We walk back home instead of taking the metro. I feel like I have walked my legs off on this trip. Probably for the best given the way I have been eating. (must hit the gym immediately upon returning). On our way back we stop at a bodega and purchase a really nice bottle of cava for tonight.
We take a little nap, blog and catch up on the Brexit and Trump news. Those two topics are definitely hot buttons here and I expect they are that way back home as well.
Tonight’s dinner is being prepared by Isam. How lucky are we? Janel pings me and we agree to meet for a beer. She reluctantly agrees to go just to the local, local bar Tarbush. Janel says we can either go somewhere to sit inside and have awesome beer, go somewhere and sit outside and have non-descript beer. We opt for outside at Tarbush. Rich and I have actually been here before and think it is a great local spot. Janel has never been here and it is less than a 1 minute walk from her apartment.
Sitting outside on evenings like this is lovely, even if you have crap beer. Happy Hour is enjoyed by all.
Time for supper at Janel’s apartment. Isam has been working on it all day and everything is prepped and ready. That is the only way to go – very relaxing and no last minute flurry. The cava is popped and dinner is served.
Isam has made something very dear to his memory – Summer Cake. It is very hard to describe. It is a layered concoction made with bread stuffed with awesome tuna (from a friend), olives, rocket, tomatoes, etc and then topped with his homemade mayonaisse. Incredible. We are honored. He has also supplemented this with juicy tomatoes stuffed with his own creation inspired by Restaurant Koa in Mallorca – whipped olive oil with black olive tapenade then topped with caviar. OMG
After dinner we retire to the living area to dive into some of Isam’s musical creations. I have heard some of his music previously, but Rich has not and he is very interested. Isam plays pieces for us from when he was in a metal band to when he created music for his mom’s Easter Passion Play. It is phenomenal. Immediatley it makes us think that Isam and Johnny would be a fantastic team to collaborate on some kind of musical project. Maybe.
Janel treats us to one of her special warm “New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies.” Heaven.
The evening ends bittersweet with the inevitable parting of our ways. Does it ever get any easier? It has been a fantastic trip. We both feel like we got to see Janel in her element being super happy with where she is with work, life and love. No parents could be any prouder.