For the love of itineraries

A month from now, P and I will be heading to Vietnam and Cambodia for vacation. I can’t believe that around November last year I wrote that it was our next travel goal…and it’s finally happening. Which brings me to my pre-vacation mode: getting all excited with the planning and the itinerary.

I like to plan. I’ve mentioned it here a couple of times. Whenever I travel I like to come up with a detailed itinerary (hello, control issues). However, as I have learned from the over-stuffed itinerary of the 2010 Japan trip, I don’t have to beat myself up when I don’t get to follow the plan (goodbye control issues?). When you’re traveling, there’s always something new to discover. BUT I still like to refer to something when I find myself wondering, where can I go next? And so, I still make my itineraries. (Making the Saigon to Siem Reap itinerary now.) I find joy making them. Even for other people.

When P had to go to Barcelona for work and I couldn’t go with him, my accommodating husband (knowing how much his wife loves making itineraries) asked me to plan his five free days post-conference. He gave me the names of a couple of places he wanted to see and I went about looking for his accommodations and making his itinerary for the beautiful city of Barcelona. (All photos and text in italics are by P)

Where to stay
When it came finding him a place to stay in, I booked him in two guesthouses  (Casa Diagonal and Residencia Eixample) in the Eixample District. From the guidebooks and online travel guides, Eixample is a beautiful and well-planned neighborhood where a lot of the cities’ famous modernist architecture can be found (including Sagrada Familia!).

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The magic hour

My favorite time of the day. A time of transition: right before the sun lights up the sky or bows out for the day in a brilliant display of colors from orange to pink to red.

When I’m working in the house, I often find myself stopping whatever work I’m doing and just looking out the window during that magical hour in the afternoon. I don’t get a view like the travel photos below–just our next door neighbor’s white wall getting a hint of orange, rooftops, and trees against a blue-pink sky–but it’s enough to make me stop and just look outside.

Sunset in Boracay Island

Sunrise in Siquijor Island

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From La Boqueria, with love (and jamon and Manchego cheese)

After attending a work-related conference in Barcelona, Spain, my husband is finally back home. It’s really good to have him back, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that he came back with loads of pretty pictures, lovely postcards for my collection, and mouthwatering Spanish goodies from La Boqueria market. Okay, maybe a little.

I’ve never been to Barcelona and I wish I could have gone with him, but his photos of almost every corner of the beautiful city made me feel just a wee bit (as cheesy as it sounds) like I was there. (And a wee bit jealous too.) I would have loved to see Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and La Pedrera, the neighborhoods and districts such as Barri Gotic and Eixample, and the marketplaces. Oh, the marketplaces. One of the best places to see the appetite of a city.

A day before heading home, P passed by La Boqueria, a public market in tourist hot spot La Rambla, to buy some salty slices of jamon and manchego cheese. I would have loved to see this colorful and bustling marketplace, which dates back to 1217. But for now these photos and his gift of ham and cheese are my little pieces of Barcelona. Thanks, P!

Find an entrance of Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria from La Rambla

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