Lot 48: meet my bff caroline

December 26, 2014

meet my bff caroline

GUYS.  how. was. your. Christmas.  mine was wonderful.  just check instagram.  but it also felt weird.  we didn't do any of the Christmas traditions that i mentioned due to the children.  children throw the whole thing off which is totally fine, i just felt really thrown as nobody warned me that none of any of that was going to happen.  so i just had my own celebration and did the usual traditions with taran.  which was great.  after we helped clean up Christmas dinner on Christmas eve, i declared it "us" time and we watched elf and ate treats.  actual Christmas day i took a glorious 3 1/2 hour nap while the kids napped and we watched the nativity and i got to play with and be with allll my babies, which was absolute heaven.  and the usual Christmas tradition of going out to eat at Chinese?  yeah, the wait was 1 1/2, so that didn't happen.  we will do that today or tomorrow and instead, we ate tortilla soup that luckily, thankfully, my mom had made a huge batch that had been frozen.  thank you mom.  kids throw everything off, but they make Christmas a million times better too.  i hope you all had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!  

i have the biggest treat for you today.  well, maybe, not the BIGGEST (ttss) but a pretty darn good one.  i have been trying to get this girl to guest post on this blog for months but as she goes to stanford (stanford! i am insanely impressed by that!! that is such a good school and so hard to get into!! she must be super super smart. and she went to Oxford too, so, duh, she is) she has been super busy with school.  i seriously love this girl.  i feel like if we met in real life, we best be besties for sure.  i love that she lives this amazing life and is so real and funny and down to earth.  and she has so much personality!! that just is alll over her blog, i love it!! okay, so, deep breath because i am so excited, hereeeeeeesssssssss................ C A R O L I N E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi there, lovely Lot 48 readers! I'm Caroline, and I'm visiting from over at Perpetually Caroline. I hope that you aren't in too much of a post-Christmas funk, although if you are - go admire and pet all of your shiny new pressies, eh? I spent the first three months of this year studying abroad at Oxford, and simultaneously gallivanting around the UK, France, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. Don't worry - I hate myself just as much right now.
It's fitting that Lauren asked me to share a story from Europe with you guys today - I boarded the plane there exactly one year ago.
Oh, if I could only trade places with myself. Or, you know. Time travel.

 So, here I am going through all of my Europe memories. Crew-dating at Oxford (this ridiculous tradition they have, which is essentially the most outrageous game of Never Have I Ever ... but dressed up to nines), spending twenty-four magical hours in Paris with my best friend, playing charades with a French gentleman at a stoplight and realizing five minutes later all he wanted was a gosh-darn lighter, hiking up Arthur's Seat in Scotland, casually going for afternoon high tea, welcoming the New Year in Rome... as fireworks went off right in front of my face ... so many wild, amazing memories.
When my mind wanders to Europe, when I think of a favorite memory, when I recall the magic of the continent that everyone yearns to fall in love with ...

I'm in Barcelona. It's not warm, but it's far from rainy and chilly, which have been the only weather states I'd known for awhile. In fact, I didn't even need a jacket! The wonder! Fresh from sightseeing - Las Ramblas and the seaside and a couple beautiful plazas, my two beloved, beloved friends - Nick and Lauren - and I made our way over to this tiny little restaurant. I wouldn't call it a hole-in-the-wall. It's nice, with modern decor and a long line, lots of hustle-and-bustle. Nicole over at La Mia Vita had put it high up in her list of recommendations (thank goodness for bloggers!) that she had e-mailed over. We put our name down and made our way back to our hotel, which was conveniently the next street over. Serendipity. The one restaurant Nicole had said not to miss, and it was literally across the street! We settled down at the hotel bar, Nick ordered a manly Spanish beer, and Lauren and I asked for gin and tonics. Oh, boy. The best gin and tonics I've ever had, and I've had quite a few. They were huge and so very strong and we chugged the remaining third down as the restaurant buzzed us back.

Needless to say, the air seemed warmer, the world was just a wee bit ... spin-ny, and we were giggling like mad. We were seated at the very first table - right next to the bar, right behind the hostess stand. A charming fellow of a waiter stopped by with a wink, a pitcher of sangria, and a gorgeous accent. We ordered tapas plate after tapas plate. Pan con tomates, papas bravas, delicious little croquettes, cheese plates, ham plates - we went a little crazy. Ravenous, we ate and we ate and we ate, laughing all the while. Not a crumb left on the table, we decided hey! Live a little! So Nick nicked (ha!) a couple of menus from the hostess stand, and we ordered a whole 'nother feast. A caramelized goat cheese with roasted vegetables, a juicy steak, some more jamon.

After dinner (and this was a Spanish dinner, so it was like 11pm), we wobbily wandered around the corner to gaze at Gaudi's Casa Batllo, all lit up in its glory. A breeze through the air, an accidental stumble here and there. Adequately awed, the three of us made the short walk back to our hotel, arm-in-arm. 
...where I walked head-first into a glass panel in the elevator.
...and then not ten minutes later, we all fell off the bed from laughing so hard at playing 2048 and ripped napkins, and goodness-knows-what-else.

That evening, and our entire time in Barcelona, really, (the speechlessness at La Sagrada Familia! the beauty of Parc Guell! those cheap fruit smoothies in La Boqueria!) is something that I'll hold forever dear. And to all of you, I say - book a trip to that gem of a city as soon as you possibly can! 
see?? isn't she the best?? now go follow her blog right now!! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy you had an awesome Christmas! My family and I used to have a lot of Christmas traditions, and now it's all changed with us growing older and living so far apart. It's sad, but I love reuniting. Elf is such an awesome movie! Good choice!


Hearing from you makes my day!!