Back from Barcelona

Well I am back from vacation and the detox starts again.

I did pretty well the first two days, actually AWESOME day one.  Then it kind of derailed from there.  I managed to not eat meat or drink caffeine, but the rest, well the rest was unavoidable.

Wednesday I traveled.  I had grapefruit for breakfast.  I packed almonds, a salad, lemon-herb quinoa, and a salad to take on the plane.

I arrived at O’Hare at 9:30 for my 11:50 flight.  I was worried about traffic.  I ate a pear waiting for the flight.

On the flight to PA I ate my salad and some of the quinoa.  I landed in PA at 3:30 and had until 6:30 until we boarded for Barcelona.  I ate a Lara Bar.

I tried to sleep on the flight but was too cold and restless, and so I barely got 5 hours of rest.  I tried, but it wasn’t going to happen with ice-cubes for toes.  I had a blanket on them but it was COLD.  I awoke at 7:00 AM Barcelona time and ate a handful of soaked almonds and the rest of the quinoa.  As I watched the meals that were served on the flight I was grateful to have had the food with me.  I know the flight home will be a challenge since I will not be as prepared, so I was thinking how glad I was to have Lara Bars.

We landed and went straight to the hotel.  It was early and we were not able to check in, so we went sight-seeing.  I had the same clothes on for 27 hours.  Ick.  Oh well, sight-seeing was wonderful!

Casa Batilo

Casa Batilo

We saw a few of the Gaudi apartment buildings and toured Casa Batllo, and went past La Sagrada Familia.

Casa Mila

Casa Mila

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

We had tapas for lunch!  I was able to (as much as I knew) stay on plan.  I had water, no wine, grilled vegetables, marinated mushrooms, a tomato and mozzarella salad (I ate the tomatoes and walnuts) and olives.

Tomato and Mozzarella, Olives

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and a Variety of Olives

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

Then more sight-seeing until we wandered back to the hotel, very tired.  It was check-in, un-pack, an NAP time.  I got everything out and situated and then took 45 minutes to sleep.  It felt great.  I still had a headache and was tired, but I could keep going.

We went out for dinner to a great restaurant on the beach.  It is called CDLC (Carpe Diem Lounge Club) and has a Middle-Eastern theme and we shared a hummus, naan, babaganoush, falafel, muhammarah, and vegetable pakoras and I am not sure if it was vegan or not. I know the naan was not gluten free, so I was already off the plan.  It was delicious, though.  I loved the falafel and the pakoras the most.

Restaurant Cat

Restaurant Cat

I then had a couple of choices for dinner.  A vegetarian salad (Cucumber, avocado, tomato, red onion, carrot, scarlet glove radish and balsamic vinaigrette) or the potato gnocci (Potato gnocchi with vegetable ragout, shiitake mushrooms, basil pesto and parmesan cheese).  I was so hungry so I got both.  The salad would not have been enough.  I pulled the parmesan off the gnocci as much as possible) it was in long shavings) but I know there was parmesan in the pesto.  Oh well.  I also had a little red wine (maybe an ounce).  Everything was delicious.

View from the CDLC on the beach

View from the CDLC on the beach

We walked around the property at the hotel (Hotel de Arts, Barcelona) which was AMAZING.  I saw the pool and a great view out over the fountains at the entrance to the Olympic Village.

Olympic View

Olympic View

Then it was bed-time and I fell FAST ASLEEP.

Day two, Friday, was action packed.  We had breakfast at the hotel which was wonderful.  It was easy to eat.  I had fruit both fresh and dried, nuts, granola, a basmati rice and vegetables dish, a green salad, and my Good Earth tea (from home).

Breakfast

Breakfast

Then, more sight-seeing.  Back on the bus up to Bari Gotic, the gothic quarter.  This was my favorite part of the city.  I ate a Lara Bar at around noon so that I didn’t go longer than 3 hours between meals if I could help it.

We went though Santa Maria Del Mar, which was magnificent.

We also went to a great food shop in the Bari Gotic called Vila Viniteca.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

The tomatoes drew us inside to see more.

Really, so many things to see I may have to do a blog just about my love for this gothic area.  I really could have spent hours more here.

Veggies

Veggies

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Strawberries

Strawberries

Bananas

Bananas

We also walked up Las Ramblas past the artists to a great open-air market.  I got some great shots there!

Chilis

Chilis

The market is called La Boqueria.

What an amazing immersion into the local culture to wander about and hear the bartering an see all of the beautiful things for sale.  So worth the trip up Las Ramblas past the artists and mimes… an unforgettable hour.

Iberian Ham

Iberian Ham

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables

Eggs

Eggs

Olives

Olives

More Olives

More Olives

Fruits of the Sea

Fruits of the Sea

Shrimp

Shrimp

Nuts

Nuts

Dried Fruits

Dried Fruits

Amazing Displays

Amazing Displays

More Veggies

More Veggies

After Las Ramblas we hurried back to the hotel for the Pronovias lunch.  We almost missed it, getting back at 4:10 PM but they still allowed us to eat.  It was good, but I know I ate cheese and gluten in this meal as well.  And I also had a little wine again.  It was just such a perfect day out on the terrace in the sunshine… I wanted to absorb myself in it.  I did not have a full glass though.

We relaxed outside for a while then went to get ready for the evening’s activities.  It was a very formal night with a fashion show, dinner, and dancing.  I will be blogging about that later on another blog, but I will post a link here to that blog when it is ready.

Dinner was not until 10 PM and consisted of a salad that I was able to eat part of and then the veal was served with vegetables, so I ate those.  I also ate three rolls (gluten, gluten. gluten) and the magnificent chocolate  dessert (half) and drank a little wine and champagne.  I felt the sugar, but never the alcohol.  I was careful.  I am going to definitely be detoxing after this, I thought.

Saturday morning we enjoyed the same brunch buffet and then Dad and I went through Port Olympic and then the main Port of Barcelona, both the old and the new.  (My mom had to work).

Street Festival

Street Festival

On our walk though the city we passed 5 street festivals in Barcelonetta complete with dancing, live music, and costumes.  It was fantastic!  I was sure to eat a Macro Greens bar around 12 so that I was eating every 3 hours or so.

A ship in the harbor

A ship in the harbor

It was such a joy to spend time on the water, and while it was hot and sunny, the breeze off the sea made it all okay.

Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum

We walked past the Maritime Museum and then hopped on the Metro and headed back to help Mom with the work she was doing and then have lunch with her.  I was able to run around photographing the dresses she bought for her, so she was able to finish faster and I was able to help a little.  That made me happy.  I took 151 photos of about95 different dresses for her in about an hour.  Not a lot of work considering that she worked for 7 hours deciding which dresses to buy!

Lunch was on the terrace again, we ate about 3:45.  Again, I had gluten and dairy in this meal but no sugar or meat products.  I also had another 1/4 glass or Rioja.  It is one of my favorite red wines.  They had a MAGNIFICENT potato salad that I am going to try to make here.  Fingerling potatoes, small chunks of cooked asparagus, artichokes, olives, bean sprouts, pink peppercorns, and shaved truffle in a truffle oil aioli.  We LOVED it.  It was green, red, and chunky and did NOT photograph well (my husband said it looked disgusting) so no photo here.  If I can recreate it I will post the recipe!  I ate three helpings and that was that.

Next we had to pack.  Oh, how time flies.  We packed all but the evening attire and our clothes to travel home.  We got ready and then at 6:30 attended the Cava reception on the terrace which was followed by dinner at 9.  At dinner all I could eat was the goat cheese and wild mushroom terrine, and an apple tart that was served with the duck.  More bread and yes, I drank wine and had dessert.  This one I finished, I was starved.  We danced off dessert, though, at the disco where we partied until the wee hours. I got back to the hotel at 2:30 AM.

We got up at 6 AM for our flight.  I was beginning to realize while staying up late will help me sleep on the plane, the cheese, gluten-bread, alcohol, and dancing was not going to make for a fun trip home.

What a time in this amazing city!  I cannot WAIT to go back and spend more time.  I know there are places in the world to see before I return, but I cannot wait to go back and explore more.  I had the time of my life!

Then it was time to go…

We ate a good breakfast, and I had my Lara Bars and sunflower seeds ready for the flight.  Then it was off to the airport at 8.  We boarded on time but then we sat for over an hour waiting to take off.  Eight hours in the air later we landed in PA only to wait again before the rush of getting our luggage, clearing customs, rechecking our bags and going through security again to fly back to IL.  We got in to Chicago at about 5:15 PM (midnight in Barcelona) so we had a nice 16 hours of travel.

My husband met us at the airport, we dropped off my folks then went out to eat.  I had a taco salad with black beans instead of meat, and bruscetta.  Yes, more gluten.  I will go back to the diet tomorrow.  I was just too tired to try to figure anything else out.

My feet, ankles and knees were so swollen from all my travels and probably eating/drinking that I couldn’t bend my knees hardly at all to get back into the car so when I got home I took an Epsom Salt bath and went to bed, putting my legs up.  I slept soundly until about 3 AM then rockily until about 8.  I got up and the swelling was down so it was back to regular life.  I got myself ready for my week and travel next weekend.

I ate raw as much as possible but mixed in some cooked scared to shock my body too much.

Monday’s meals:

  • 1/2 cantaloupe
  • raw kale salad from Whole Foods
  • Artichoke, Edamame, and Fennel Salad from Whole Foods
  • Black Bean, Corn, and Jicama Salad from Whole Foods
  • 2 Sprouted Corn Tortillas with Daiya Vegan Cheese, guacamole, and blue corn tortilla chips (baked)
  • Greek Salad with “Feta”

After catching up on The Tudors and showing my husband 700 photographs, I went to bed.  I slept like a baby until morning then it was back to work, back to reality, back to life.

Tuesday’s Food:

  • Strawberries (1/2 pound) and blueberries (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 Lara Bar
  • the rest of the Greek Salad with 1 cup brown rice stirred in
  • 2 small Saturn Peaches
  • Black Bean Tacos with Daiya Vegan Cheese, Avocado, tomatoes, and onions, and chips and guacamole

I think the jet lag is lifting a little although I am still tired.  I have to work out this evening… next up is the Triathlon.  I have a lot of preparation to do for that and I haven’t been training so its time to swim, bike, and run.  It’s warm here, so at least the pool may be warm enough to swim some laps in this weekend!

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About amkaz

A Virtual Assistant is a highly trained and skilled administrative professional who works in a collaborative partnership with successful small business owners and entrepreneurs providing administrative support and personal concierge services, without having to be physically present in your office. Communication and collaboration is easily accomplished through phone, fax, e-mail, and the internet. True assistance is no longer bound by geography or nine to five, Monday through Friday business hours. I am an accomplished and versatile professional with 10 years management and entrepreneurial experience in retail sales, buying, and store operations and another 8 years experience with office operations management within the banking and merchant payment processing industry. I am a determined individual who consistently achieves desired results in challenging environments while building and maintaining strong relationships with clients and colleagues. My areas of expertise include document creation and management, process improvement, organization, and coordinating classes, meetings and events. Contact me for more information about how I can help you grow your business! Mission Statement: My mission is to create time, opportunity, and results by delivering the highest level of administrative services with integrity, diligence, and responsiveness. I am not successful unless my clients are administratively successful.
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