Barcelona & Riviera Cruise: Days 1 & 2!  Andrew and I just returned from 12 days in Spain along with a Riviera cruise that took us to Italy, Monaco and France.  We had the very, very best time!  Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing some pics of our trip.  But let’s be honest…without my kiddos on the trip with us…it’s going to be a lot of selfies of Andrew and me.  
OK…let’s begin!
Day 1…me at the airport.  At this point, I know it’s going to be a fabulous vacation!  I have my latte, my novels, my magazines, my cookbooks and my hubby.  I’m in my happy place!  We flew from DFW to New York where we had a 3 hour layover and then took a 10 hour flight to Barcelona.

We arrived at 7:30 am in Barcelona and went straight to our hotel.  We felt so blessed because they had our room ready for us when we arrived!  Thank heavens!!  We stayed at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. I think we’ve decided this was the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in.  We had a huge window view of both the city (here) and…

…the beach.  The hotel was right on the water.  The room was huge and gorgeous and the bathroom was fabulous.   As seasoned travelers, our best advice is this…do not sleep when you arrive!  Even though you’re tired and have jet lag…if you sleep, you will never acclimate!  We showered, put on fresh clothes, had a cup of coffee and headed out to see Barcelona.  (I repeat, do not sleep!).

Our first stop was the famous La Sagrada Familia cathedral.  Beautiful!

After seeing the cathedral, we headed to the main shopping area in Barcelona called Las Ramblas where we proceeded to walk 6 miles over the course of the day.  We just love walking and taking in the city.  We stopped in shops, we ate ice cream, we really savored the day.

Walking 6 miles earns a girl 2 scoops!

We stopped in this cafe for lunch (pizza!) and a quiet spot to take in the city.

We walked back by the beach on our way to dinner.  The Barcelona beach is really beautiful and packed with people.

And here we are headed to dinner.  At this point, we had been up for over 36 hours and walked 6 miles…after we took this pic, we headed for cheeseburgers and fries!  A much deserved treat after such a busy day!

More vacation to come!  To see days 3 & 4 click here.

Happy Friday everyone!  Make sure you check this out below…

I’m celebrating my 100th Bundt Cake with a $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

You better run over to Mix and Match Mama and check out my all-time favorite Bundt Cake and enter to win that Visa gift card.
Monday, I’ll be announcing Bundt Cake #100!  Have a great weekend and I’ll see you soon!!
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  • Christene Demers-Rowland July 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I love the pink lemonade bunt cake, I am looking forward to making more of you're bunt cakes and other fabulous recipes. šŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing.

  • Danielle July 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Looks like such an amazing trip! I can't wait to see more of your trip. Barcelona looks amazing!

  • Jennifer Cannon July 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Love the pictures!!! It is beautiful! on a sode note, you and Andrew are SO tan! Jealous! Ready to see more!!


  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} July 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I am SO excited to get to see all of your pics over the next week! It looks like you guys had an amazing time, but I'm glad you're back!!!! šŸ™‚

  • Caravan Sonnet July 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I am so excited to see all of your pictures!!! šŸ™‚ Thanks so much for sharing with all of us! I TOTALLY agree with you about the "do not go to sleep" thing!! I have found with traveling that is DEFINITELY the best thing too!! šŸ™‚
    šŸ™‚ Have a lovely weekend!
    šŸ™‚ Rebecca

  • Calley July 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Would you choose this trip over London? I'm planning on doing my first international trip and have no idea where to start! How do you plan these trips so everything runs smooth? Any suggestions or help would be fantastic. Thanks Shay!

  • Mix and Match Mama July 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    For your first trip to Europe, you should contact a travel agent (like me!). That's what makes trips run more smoothly. And no, I would not do this trip over London!

    • Calley July 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks a ton! London it is….:) Not for another year or so but a girl can dream about it til then.

  • Jackie Joy July 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    So hard to what Bundt Cake to choose, but my favorite is going to have to be the Grasshopper šŸ™‚ Reminds me of Girl Scout Cookies šŸ™‚

  • Melissa H. July 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I love looking at pics of people's vacations! Thanks for sharing.

    We have been to London, Saltzburg, and spent several weeks in Germany for my husband's work. But there are many places in the US we would like to see. Have you traveled much in the western US? If so, do you have a favorite area to recommend?

  • Becky July 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I see that you were reading "Where We Belong" by Emily Giffin. Just finished it and loved it! What other books do you read? Did you already do a "50 Shades" on books?

  • {Hi Sugarplum!} July 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    So glad you had a great trip — and I can't believe you're already posting pics!! I haven't even finished posting about our trip in APRIL!! You are efficient!!!

  • Tracy July 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Barcelona looks so pretty! Welcome back.=) Any chance you could share your style of sunglasses? The Ray Bans I've tried on didn't look as cute as yours! Thanks!

  • Katrin July 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I am still a fairly new follower to your blog and I love to read your travel recaps. I came across your last trip to Belgium and Germany a few days ago. It made my day! Cologne is my home town and I loved to see a picture if the Dom cathedral ( we just got back from there last week). You are my kind of girl…..I love Schmitzel too! Next time you are in Cologne you need to go to Oma Kleinmans (its a little dive in the student district and is so good….I will shares picture of my Schnitzel the size of my head on one of my next recap posts.ha). I love Barcelona too. It is one of my favorite European cities. I live in the US now and I miss the European travel (and foods).

  • Mod Commonplace July 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    My husband and I read your post about traveling with kids – and it was good for us to talk about (we are pre-kids). Maybe someday you can compare traveling with and without kids!

  • mel @ the larson lingo July 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Welcome Back!!!! I have missed you šŸ™‚
    Can't wait to read more about your trip! Sounded amazing!!!

  • Anonymous July 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I love hearing about all your travels! I was wondering what shoes you typically wear when you travel to Europe? I'm headed to Italy with my husband in a few months and I know we will be doing A LOT of walking. Do you mostly wear tennis shoes, or do you have an alternate comfy shoe that's stylish? Thanks!!

  • Mix and Match Mama July 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I am going to recap my traveling clothes after the last post! I will absolutely list out my favorite shoes!! And I did a post last week on my favorite cities in the US…you need to check it out!! Thank you!

  • Amy F. July 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Looks like y'all had a great time. Can't wait to see pictures of the rest of the trip!!

  • 56853260-49c0-11e0-a300-000bcdca4d7a July 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I LOVE your blog! I love hearing about all your travels! Like the lady above, I will be traveling to Ireland in a week and I have been having so much trouble figuring out what shoes to wear since I want to look cute, but we'll be walking everywhere too. Please advise. Also, I have two little ones (4 and 14 months) and it will be the first time leaving them. Any advise?? Welcome home!

  • Paula July 20, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Wow! So much fun! Any apprehension leaving the kiddos that long? Is that the longest trip away from them?

  • Jaren July 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Yay pictures and details! Can't wait for more! Do you plan on doing a post for budgeting for the trip? I'd love to travel Europe, but I don't even have any idea how much a trip like that would cost.

  • Mix and Match Mama July 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Jaren! You need to contact me as a travel agent for planning and budgeting. Every trip is different but if you told me what you were interested in, I could give you a quote!!

  • Melysa B July 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I noticed you have read a few of the same books I have read too!!! In your picture I saw you had Emily Giffin's book "Where We Belong". Did you like the book?

  • Susan B. July 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I agree with staying up all day when you arrive!! Additionally, I'm a huge advocate of sleeping on your way over. I usually pop a Tylenol PM or Benadryl and knock myself out for the entire flight…then I'm ready to hit the ground running when I arrive!

    Also, Barcelona is known for amazing chefs and restaurants. I had some of the best meals there. I hope you got something other than cheeseburger and fries on Day 2 šŸ™‚

  • Mandy Rose July 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    You guys are inspiring me with all of your world travels! I have only left the country once…sad, but true. I want to be more adventurous so thanks for sharing your experiences! Looks like y'all had a blast!

  • Alison Chitwood Peters July 23, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Wow, no way could I leave my kids for 12 days. Wow. šŸ™ Wasn't that extremely difficult, even with your parents probably taking care of them?

  • One Crazy Blessed Mama/Boozer Bunch July 23, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Looks like y'all had a great time on your vacation!

  • Aubrey July 23, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Ahhhhh, me amo Espana! I'm so excited to hear about the rest of your Spanish experience!

    I love that we timed our vacations during the same two-week span this year. You and I are getting caught up on blogging at exactly the same time. šŸ™‚

  • Mix and Match Mama July 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

    You know I love my kids more than anything but I think it's ok to leave them with wonderful people to travel alone with your hubby. My kiddos spent the time with both sets of their grandparents and enjoyed every minute of it (so did their grandparents!). Of course I missed them, but I really enjoyed spending quality time with just my hubby.