Bar-the-lona: Day 1.

As many of you know, I am bilingual. If you don’t know what that means, it is when one speaks two languages. I speak English and Spanish. Recently I discovered that my first language was actually Spanish, of course, because mom talks to us in Spanish all the time. The cool thing is that once I started school, I caught up with English right away. Then as I grew up it was a little difficult to keep switching languages, but I had to learn because mom made every one of her children speak Spanish in the house. She did this for many reasons, one of them being to not lose touch of our culture and where we come from. I’m pretty grateful that mom did this because it comes in handy when looking for jobs and helping people out if they don’t speak English.

What did my childhood consist of? A ton of movies, which my dad got me into, and a whole lot of Disney Channel. My favorite shows were: Sister Sister, That’s So Raven, Lizzie McGuire,  and much more. Now if you’re from my generation you know that Raven Symone decided she wanted to be a star, not just in shows, but in movies too. I don’t know all the details but she somehow became the center of attention in the big hit, “The Cheetah Girls.” A Disney Channel original movie about a girl and her best friends who form a singing group in NYC. They go through a lot of struggles to try to get fame and friendships were challenged. Some time went by and since it was such a hit, the producers thought it would be a great idea to shoot the second Cheetah Girls movie in another country, Spain. The main spot? Barcelona. They called it, “The Cheetah Girls 2,” but everyone knows it by their hit single, “Amigas Cheetahs.”

So as I continue to tell you the details of my European adventure, I had to share these two things. One, because knowing Spanish came in handy while in Barcelona for both Sophia and me, and two, because we referenced a lot of Amigas Cheetahs while we were there. *fun facts yay!*

Sophia entering our connecting flight to Barcelona.

Sophia and I had a connecting flight to Paris before we arrived in Barcelona. On that flight, I saw a favorite movie/TV star, Tea Leoni!! I lost it. It was the first time I had encountered someone that famous. Sophia and I tried to sleep so that jet lag wouldn’t keep us from enjoying our first day, but alas we failed. We tried everything, sleeping mask, reading books, listening to music, etc. How can you contain your excitement? When we arrived in Barcelona it was so hard to get wifi, but somehow I managed to get a signal to connect with my cousin.

My cousin, Paola and her husband Alessandro, live in Barcelona and let us stay with them while we visited. (Thanks yall so much! <3)

It was great seeing her! Last time we saw each other was when she visited NJ and we were introduced to the caipirinha, a Brazilian drink from a restaurant called, Miss Favelas in Brooklyn (I strongly recommend this place). I translated for her and Sophia. I have to admit it was a little awkward at first because I’m so used to speaking English when friends are around and Spanish when family is around. Later on, I learned that Paola was learning English for her job so it was good practice. She is really good too! So throughout the trip, she and Alessandro would speak in English so Sophia would be a part of the conversation.

Another fun fact: People in Barcelona also speak Catalan, which is a combination of Spanish, French and Italian. Very confusing, but understandable considering bordering and nearby countries. I got a little nervous if I had to learn a little bit of Catalan while I was there, but Paola informed me that even though everyone speaks Catalan, they must also learn Spanish since it is the national language of the country. So if you ever visit, don’t get scared if you see many signs in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English.

Selfies at Miss Favelas with Paola ❤

First thing we had tickets for was a visit into Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s home stadium. When we sat on the seats of the stadium Sophia couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. When we stepped onto the field, it felt like I was in a dream. Was this real? Was I dreaming? Am I going to wake up in bed in New Jersey? No. This was real. I’ve been a Barcelona fan since I realized my family cheered for them when I saw one of their winning games on TV. Messi stood out for me and I truly believe he’s a legend. I was standing on the same field that the Barcelona players played on. I was standing on the same grass that Messi plays on. This was one of the most epic moments of my time in Spain.

Messi, Neymar Jr., Pique, and many more greats were on this field! #EPIC #ViscaBarca

Afterward, we tried to learn the transportation system and found our way to Parque Gúell. We wanted to take pictures in the same place where the Cheetah Girls sang in “Strut.” Unfortunately, the actual place with the incredible view of the city was open for ticket holders only. We bought our tickets for the next day. In the meantime, Sophia and I explored the rest of the park that we could for free. This is where my journey to falling in love with Antoni Gaudi began. He basically designed all of Barcelona. He lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. That’s about more than 100 years ago. Seems like a long time ago, but it also feels fairly recent. He gave Barcelona its uniqueness and beauty.

Me: “Stand by the rock wall!”

Sophia and I left the park about 4 pm and decided we wanted to explore the streets nearby. Our hearts were yearning for the exploration part of the trip. Unfortunately, we lasted about an hour and then decided we wanted to go back and got lost. We took the wrong bus and ended up in the outskirts of Barcelona. Thankfully with my Spanish skills and Sophia’s international phone we were able to find our way to a nearby train station (subway) and catch the correct train back to where my cousin lived. When we told Paola and Alessandro that we ended up in Roquetas, they said they even never went there. Talk about really exploring places people haven’t been to.

We were weirdly fascinated by a set of stairs we found nearby the park #Explorers

We ended our day with some delicious homemade pasta by Paola, and Alessandro treating us to some really good bread from his hometown, Sardinia, Italy. Sophia and I were exhausted. We literally were up for about 36 hours. Man did it feel good to sleep for about 10 hours that night.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s