After our AWESOME bike tour we decided to head back to Las Ramblas and visit La Boqueria,. one of the largest outdoor(ish) public markets in the world. It is HUGE! It has anything and everything food-wise that you can think of. All different types of fruits - normal and exotic, every single kind of vegetable, ice cream, gelato, gummy candy, chocolate, assortments of nuts, pastries, different types of breads, smoothies, steak, beef, pork, pig heads and pig hooves - yes pigs feet blech, lamb, fish, seafood, hot food, cold food, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, French, you name it they got it. It was so overwhelming but so amazing at the same time. I wanted some of everything! It was so colorful and amazing! After staring longly at the copious amounts of gummy candies, chocolate, and other goodies we spied ice cream. We were absolutely obsessed with the ice cream/gelato (yes gelato) in Barcelona. It wasn't exactly ice cream time in Paris yet because the weather had be so darn cold and the ice cream looked amazing that we had to get some! I mean, they put chunks of fruit in the ice cream, they layer on chocolate, etc. It just looks so pretty in the freezer case that we can't pass it up! In fact we had ice cream every single day, save for 1. Well I didn't, but the other girls did. It was our lunch one day...it was a major ice cream addiction. Remember this addiction for the future. Anywho, we spotted a really cool looking ice cream stand in the market and decided to get some. They let us try several samples and they were all so good. This is where it all started to go down hill. I had just placed my order and had pulled out the money to pay when suddenly I felt something splat on my hand and my bangs. I look in my hand and an broken egg was just chilling in my hand. I started getting really upset wondering who the heck throws things at a market when i turn to Beth. She is staring at my wide-eyed and was looking up. That's when she said those awful words "Erin... that is not an egg...I am pretty sure a bird just pooped on you." Sure enough, I look down and see the disgusting green a little bit on my shirt. I. Got. Pooped. On. By. A. Bird. I started freaking out, hey that is normal, and the woman behind the counter gives me a tons of napkins after seeing what happened. I then had to give her the disgusting, pooped on 10 euro bill, because I had no change, for my ice cream. She was NOT happy. But what was I supposed to do with pooped on money?! I am not putting that back in my purse! So we get our ice cream and beeline to the back for a bathroom for me to clean up in. It was not a good moment in my life. But, the ice cream was some of the best ice cream I have ever had in my life, so that made up for it. We walked around La Boqueria a little bit more then decided to go back to the hotel because I reallllly needed to change and wash my hair. We ended up falling asleep and taking a nap because the sun and bike ride took a lot out of us. We woke up around 9 and decided to get ready for our big night out on the town! The metro in Barcelona runs 24 on Saturday nights (GENIUS! Paris could learn a thing or two) so we didn't have to worry about transportation.
Several of Courtney's friends had studied abroad in Barcelona before, so they gave us a list of things to go to - and first up was The Black Sheep for really cheap sangria and free popcorn! It was actually kind of a cool place. There were tons of students there, lots of foreigners, and had a tavern-esque type feel to it. We sat there for awhile, chatting, and enjoying our popcorn. As you can see, I got a bit of sun from the bike tour - WOO! Earlier that day our 2 awesome guys Bubba and Jay told us about this really cheap bar called Ryan's Bar, so we decided to head over there for a bit since we were super close to the area. This quickly became our favorite bar. It is an Irish Pub, meaning they have pub food, aka cheese fries! These weren't normal cheese fries, but they were still soooo good, especially since we hadn't eaten dinner and were quite hungry. Well as the night gets later, there is an Australian boy, an Australian girl, and a Dutch boy by the bar with 26 mixed shots of the house special. TWENTY-SIX! Courtney and I being nosy headed over there to see what was going on - maybe a birthday or something. They were super nice and funny and gave us some shots (woo!) The guy Aussie was Rory, the girl's name was Natalie, and the Dutch guy...I don't know. It was kind of hard to understand him and once he rank more it got even worse. He was so excited when he found out I was from Chicago (I just say that to not confuse people) because he and his father are HUGE Bears fans. Or as he called them "The Behz" it took 4 tries but I finally realized "The Behz = The Bears." We talked about the Bears for awhile. It was really interesting hearing a guy from the Netherlands perspective on them. Unfortunately, as he drank more, it became a lot less easier to understand him. I just nodded and agreed occasionally and smiled. Rory and Natalie were just straight up hilarious. I have met so many Australians while abroad and they are just so awesome! They are always in a good mood and don't sweat the little stuff. I want to go to Australia, not just for the mean koala bears, kangaroos, and baby-stealing dingo's ( :( ) but the amazing people that live there. It must be a happy place. Ok, Australian spiel is over, but it will return in my Geneva blog. Later on in the night, their friend Enrico, who worked for the bar came an joined us. He was from Indonesia. Somehow we got on the subject of money and Rory pulled out some Australian money and Enrico pulled out Indonesian money. Foreign money is so much cooler compared to ours! I love the symbols on ours, especially the dollar, but foriegn money are DIFFERENT COLORS! Pinks, blues, purples, oranges, reds, etc. It is legit monopoly money. I mean, who doesn't like colored money?! It was just a lot, a lot of fun and we met some really nice people, But alas, much, much later in the night the bard had to close and our new friends walked us to our metros and we parted ways. It was a wonderfully fun night in Barcelona.
The next morning was Easter and Beth diligently rolled out of bed somewhat early to go to Easter Mass. Courtney and I, on the other hand, decided to sleep in :-/ in all fairness I doubt there is a Methodist Church in Spain, but Courtney and I need some rest. We finally rolled out of bed as well, much later, and got ready to meet Beth for lunch. We went back to the harbor because Courtney and I had scoped out some amazing restaurants along it. We reallllly wanted paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish. We found the cheapest restaurant, that was still sooo expensive, but soooo good. In Spain, you unfortunately have to pay for bread (what a joke right?) AND you have to pay for water. Well, we paid for the bread, but I had a 1.5 liter bottle of water in my purse so we just snuck water out of that when we were thirsty. Illegal things in every country mom, every country. :) I ordered the vegetable paella and Courtney ordered paella with loads of different seafood in it. This has been on of the most delicious meals I have had in Europe. IT. WAS. AMAZING! I definitely want to learn how to make paella and make it all the time next year in my apartment. And, while it looks like only a little, it is soooo filling. I couldn't even eat it all! We were having such a good time, chatting and gossiping that next thing you know it is 3 hours later! AKA time to order dessert! At this point, it had really started to cool down and get super dark with what appeared to be a storm brewing, so I ordered some hot chocolate. The waitress didn't understand me, so we tried explaining it again. She gave us a weird look and said they didn't normally do that, but they will try. We all just assumed she meant they usually don't serve hot chocolate when it gets this warm or something. No. Definitely not. She came back with a steaming cup of hot chocolate = literally melted chocolate. It was like a cup of hot fudge sundae sauce. What am I supposed to do with that?! I attempted eating it, it was awkward. So we took the bread and started dipping it in there, which made a lot more sense. We could not get over what just happened, and it became the running joke of the trip! These things always happen to me (stay tuned for Italy!) So, note to self and others: be careful when ordering hot chocolate in Spain, sometimes it does NOT translate. As we are chatting, suddenly out of no where there is a clap of thunder and a monsoon hits! Literally, a monsoon. If you see the difference between the two pictures from when we started lunch to when near we ended, it was ridiculous! It literally poured for an hour. Barcelona doesn't really now how to handle rain either. People were running and screaming, traffic was at a standstill, and since we were at an outside restaurant, it started to flood, and they were literally filling up giant pots and buckets to try and prevent it. It was crazy! We even took a video (posted below) to sow how crazy it was raining! Beth really wanted to go, because at this point we had been at the restaurant for 4 hours, but Courtney and I thought she was crazy and we wanted to stay until it ended. It finally stopped and we left to walk around the city for a little while. It was getting late, and we were all so tired, so we decided to head back to our awesome hotel and hope in the hot tub, sauna, and steam room. It was so, so, so relaxing. We stayed in the rest of the night, gossiping and playing games, typical girls.
The next morning was Monday, our last day in Barcelona :(. Luckily, the hotel was willing to keep our bags for the day while we ran around one last time. We went to Las Ramblas one last time to see the ridiculous street performers and go to La Boqueria one last time, but alas it was closed :( so instead we walked around a little bit more and visited this giant fountain that is at the beginning of the street - yet we had no idea (oops!) It was swarming with pigeons, so needless to say I didn't like the place very much, and instead focused my time on trying to kick any pigeon that got in my way, and divebombing if a pigeon flew over me. After the fountain, we decided to head to our favorite street "Ferran" because it is a lively street full of shops, Irish pubs, and it leads to the street that Ryan Bar is on, which we headed to one last time to get some food and one last pitcher of Sangria. The sangria was absolutely awful, something we had not remembered from 2 nights before, but I ordered nachos (woo!) and Courtney ordered a burger so we were quite content nevertheless. After dinner, we ran back to the hotel to use up the last remaing half hour of internet we had bought that weekend, before heading off to the airport where we would be sleeping at until our flight at 5:30am...
Oh, right...yes we slept at an airport that night, at least attempted to sleep at the airport. The airport itself is actually a really, REALLY nice airport with guards all around. It was really entertaining watching the guards circling on Segways making sure everyone is ok and there are no problems. Since Beth didn't have class until 2am she was the one who had to stay up and keep guard of our stuff. Well, throughout the day we drank 2 liters of pop to keep ourself energized. So mix that with the fact that I am an insomniac and light sleeper, I obviously couldn't sleep. However, Beth did not know this, so she was sitting there singing to herself and I took pictures until she noticed, hehehe. I tried to go to sleep again, but alas, could not, so when I looked up, instead of singing, beth was now DANCING throughout the airport, Skipping, prancing, Irish-stepping, everything. It was so entertaining to watch, until she finally realized I was watching. It was 3 am at this point and I realized I was not going to fall asleep at all, so I relieved Beth of her duty, since she was dancing around trying to stay awake, and I stayed up until 4:30 when we went to wait in line for Courtney to check in her bag. They changed our flight to 6am, which we were annoyed, but other than that everything was fine. I slept a bit on the plane and we arrived in Paris around almost 8am and we waited for a bus for forever to take us from Orly to Paris. Poor Courtney had to work from 9:30 to 5 that day. I still don't know how she made it. I ended up going home and napping until Romantisme that day. I ended up not going to Cinema, because I had a meeting with Dr. Costello after I received a pretty interesting email from him about my host family.
I am going to stop there, since this is long yet again, but next blog will be about the move and other things... Until then, AU REVOIR!