Showing posts from September, 2015

A Spanish Birthday Celebration - Marques de Riscal (Day 5.5)

September 3rd, 2015 As we walked up the hill, we knew the Marques de Riscal was going to be a special hotel.  We don't stay in places like this.  It just doesn't happen.  I travel enough that hotels are a place to collapse into a heap at the end of the night.  I'd rather spend money on food and wine and experiences.  The hotels we choose needs to be just nice enough with just enough amenities.  After this hotel, my idea about hotel stays may have shifted a little. But first, we need to rewind a few years.  One day, Adele found a picture on Travel Channel's Facebook page and shared it to my wall.  The picture was of the Marques de Riscal , a completely random and beautiful hotel in a small town in Spain.  We both knew Spain was inevitable.  And most of the pictures we shared for Spain (or other destinations) were of things we had dreamed about, but would ultimately never consider.  This one though, this one was special. I was struck by the hotel being so wildl

A Spanish Birthday Celebration - On the Road in Spain (Day 5.0)

September 3rd, 2015 We knew today was going to be an early day.  The thing we had been looking forward to/freaking out over was finally happening. We were going to drive in Spain. Ok, so one of us was excited. The other...completely freaked out.  You'll soon be able to figure out who belongs in which camp. But we had to get to this moment.  First, we had to deal with the day.  And the day began as they all do.  The alarm rang, but neither one of us had any interest in getting out of bed.  This is the normal morning for both of us. Last night, we had to spend some time repacking our luggage.  This is something we knew we would have to do eventually.  And as we went along on our journey, it would get harder and harder to do.  We hate this part.  This never gets better.   Our taxi was coming early.  Because we had a new hotel to ultimately get to.  Honestly, we could have lingered.  But for many reasons, we wanted to get there as early as possible.  We had

Hotel Catalonia Plaza Mayor - Madrid, Spain

The biggest stress and research for any trip isn't about food or sightseeing.  Nope.  It's always about the hotel.  You never know what you're going to really get.  Sure, you can visit TripAdvisor and Kayak and and whatever.  But you see only the best and the worst stories about the hotels. Ooh, this hotel looks great.  It has free WiFi and Breakfast and...wait...this one guy said this hotel is the worst one he's ever been to.  We can't stay there!! Back to Square One. So the stress is on with the hotel. This trip is one of the big ones.  And apparently, I'm all for writing as many blogs as humanly possible (while trying to get this all done before my next trip, which is coming up sooner than I'm comfortable with at this point).  So, I'll be talking about our hotels as well as putting together the daily logs and various restaurants in Spain. I'm not the smartest person around. To be honest, I'm not entirely