We have arrived at the location of our tandem Storybook Adventure – Costa Brava, Spain!
This post is dedicated to random, journal-like thoughts as we navigate this epic adventure with our pals Captain and Clark.
Yesterday, after a day of flying, we arrived in Barcelona early in the morning, ensuring our zombie-ish existence for the rest of the day. We were troopers, though. The four of us hung out in the sunshine, enjoying the scent of jasmine as we got some working down. After dumping our stuff off in our rooms, we went to a nearby square for a round of tapas in order to further acclimate to the time zone.
Then, the two of us thought we'd really spark some energy by heading out on an exploratory run around the city. While the run felt good, we were nearly immobile the moment we returned to our room.
Today, on another run, we got a taste of what this charming city and the region have in store for us. Have a look at a couple early-morning shots from the jog.
Clearly, everything is staged for an ultra-memorable journey, and this will be a really unique and cool experience for us. The demands of our virtual business usually make it tough for us to travel with others, and we've never before been assigned the task of creating a fairytale trip.
We're really excited and fortunate to be able to have such a grand adventure and to be able to share it with Chris and Tawny. Follow along as things unfold!
This shot, from Instagram, pretty much says it all. When in the land of cava...
Yesterday, after a full day of touring our charm-loaded jumping off point, Girona, we toasted the start of our journey and cemented the rest of our plans.
One thing is for sure as we continue to clarify our jet-lag-clouded thoughts, it's nice to be in a place that feels right. Girona is a city with a modern edge but bursting with history. It has a casual, warm vibe that has made it easy to sink into.
Here we are getting the 411 from a local expert.
And that was just the beginning. Wait until you see what the rest of the day had in store (and what we had for lunch!).
Yesterday was a lesson in reality.
Sometimes, even when you have the ideally crafted plan for a day, real life gets in the way. We started out the day lost and running significantly behind schedule. Ultimately, though, that stressful start to the day was a reminder to try to enjoy every moment just as it is. So that's what we (eventually) did. Here's a shot from Instagram.
Later in the day, we did a lot of chilling out, enjoying the area we were visiting and having quality conversations. Finally, on our way back into Girona, we stopped at a beautiful wheat field for some video and picture taking.
It was what happened. So it's exactly what was supposed to happen.
Any good storybook throws a few curve balls in. The real intrigue is in how you respond.
Of course the term "chapters" is appropriate for a storybook, but it's also appropriate for this adventure.
We find ourselves moving from one once-in-a-lifetime moment to another, closing one chapter and moving on to the next. Yesterday, we were mostly down on the coast – Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar. Ancient towns, never-ending meals, beachfront drinks... we did it all.
We only wish we could have stayed longer to do more poking around the area.
However, as this mini-post suggests, that was not in the cards. It was time for another chapter.
This whole adventure has just gone into insane territory. We've checked into a castle for a few nights. It's been beautifully restored / maintained / transformed into an oasis. Our room sits at that wonderful intersection of rustic and modern. Of course the castle sits on a hill, so we find ourselves outside, turning in circles taking it all in.
Here is the view from our room.
And if that's not enough, last evening we had dinner in a small, medieval town and then went for a late night tour of another similar town nearby.
The only thing missing is sleep. Between all of the activities, we're hard at work pulling together all of the content that will convey this Storybook Adventure to you (and running our regular business). While you're seeing a lot of what we're up to here and on social media, we've got many surprises in store for the final product.
Today we did a coastal walk between two towns and ended up having lunch at a top tier restaurant overlooking the sea.
Before that, we hiked up a mountain to see a castle.
Tonight, we have yet another storybook quality adventure in store. It will involve a lot of food and cava (we hope!). Time for exercise.
Last night, we started to wind down at about 11:00 – it was an early night. Unfortunately, we were having one of the best nights of our trip but simply couldn't stay awake to enjoy it as much as we would have liked to.
We were on a tapas tour around the seaside town of Palamos. we only made it to two tapas bars, but we left with a stronger sense of the tapas culture and – more importantly - how to navigate it. We hit the jackpot with a warm, honest, welcoming guide whom we would have loved to have spent more time with. But... sleep was more important, as we have several days of storybook exploration left. Here's a shot of us just prior to calling it a night.
You can tell we're tired. That's okay – we wouldn't want to be bored on a Storybook Adventure.
Things our starting to wind down. More and more is happening (and we're getting more tired), so it's getting difficult to find time to post.
We've had a couple days staying in a rural farm house. Except for a mean dog and a weird dog, it's an incredible place. So well done. The best part is the location – rolling hills, mountains, poppies budding. Springtime in action.
Yesterday we were at cooking school in the region. A highlight was learning how to prepare Crema Catalon. It's very much like Creme Brûlée; it's only different in that it has lemon zest and cinnamon. Here it is.
This is the second time I'm writing this little blurb, as my crappy web connection was lost and my first attempt was lost with it. It's a little more painful than it ordinarily would be, as exhaustion is running high; small glitches seem a lot bigger than they are.
I considered skipping it, but it's gotta be said.... The four of us have been clanking glasses a lot over the last couple of weeks. It's become a sort of mile-marker activity on our Storybook Adventure. This journey that we crafted has officially exceeded our wildest expectations. It's one that will have a special place in our hearts and be remembered for a long time to come.
Just wait until you see the content that we're pulling together. Hopefully it will inspire you to dream big.
What's your Storybook Adventure and what's keeping you from going after it?
Expedia has charged us, as Expedia Viewfinders, with the delightful task of creating our own Storybook Adventure. We chose Costa Brava as the perfect destination to bring this dream trip to life. Down the road we'll be posting a lot more about this adventure. Visit Expedia to find out what our co-Viewfinders are up to as part of this Storybook campaign. Finally, a HUGE thanks to our amigos at Costa Brava Tourism for hosting, guiding, and enthusiastically supporting this journey.