I suppose Barcelona will always hold a special place in my heart now, because this is where we got engaged! Plus, we visited in the summer, which is when the city really comes alive. I’d visited previously with a friend in November, and while it was a nice enough city, I didn’t get the hype of why everyone loves Barcelona so much. But in the summer, in perfect weather and palm trees swaying everywhere, with beautiful architecture everywhere you look, and delicious food to boot, I understood.
This was mostly a family vacation with M’s parents & sister, but we arrived first. We had some delicious tapas meals and M took me to the Palau de la Musica – a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site that hosts concerts the first night. We also wandered along Las Ramblas and visited La Boqueria.
Palau de la Musica
The next morning was a sailing trip that M’s mom had booked weeks ahead of time. I had a suspicion he would propose at some point during our Europe trip, but the actual proposal was a complete surprise! We all donned our swimsuits and left behind our valuables in preparation for a day on the water. The sail itself was beautiful, but the waves were quite choppy that day. The original plan was to sail a bit and stop somewhere to swim, but it looked too windy to do so. But Michael requested to stop, so we threw the anchor overboard in 200 meter-deep water, and he jumped out. The rest of us stayed onboard, as he was the guinea pig to test the waters. He immediately started to swim back after jumping in. At this point I had my GoPro, taking photos of him struggling in the water, trying to climb the boat. He struggled for a while, and said he could only use one hand to hoist himself up. It didn’t click for me then – I thought it was a weird sailing rule – and I got closer to watch him struggle/laugh at him/not help him up, sitting on the deck overlooking the water.
Finally he made it back up, and I saw he was holding a Kinder Egg in his hand. I thought he’d just brought it to play with in the ocean, so I (stupidly) asked why he had brought it.
He opened the Kinder Egg, and inside was the ring!
(He sat there holding the ring for a while, until his mom reminded him “do you have something to ask?”)
After he asked, I said okay. 🙂
End Proposal Story
That night we visited Montjuic, which we decided to visit because of all the cable cars running up the mountain. We took the funicular, then a cable car up the mountain, and walked all the way down after exploring a bit. All the flowers were so beautiful, and we had some delicious food in a random part of the city!
When we were at Montjuic, we noticed another neighboring mountain, and heard that Tibidado Amusement Park was on top of it. The park is perched on top of the mountain and is one of the oldest amusement parks still operating in the world, so being kids at heart we (the “kids”) dragged the parents to go! We basically spent all day here, and it was fabulous.
We also had some time to stop by Park Guell before sunset (note: the park opens for free after 8:30 PM). Since I’d just visited the city recently, I chose to forgo La Sagrada Familia and all the other touristy sites, but I would’ve loved to visit Gaudi’s Balto House again if we had the time. I also wanted to visit Monserrat (a monastery on a hill outside of Barcelona), but we didn’t have time – we spent a lot of time just spending quality time with the family and enjoying our engagement!
Thanks to my future in-laws + sister-in-law (omg!!!) for inviting me on ~family vacation~, it was such a memorable and fun time!