{Birthday Weekend in San Sebastian}

First off, hello! Long time no… blog? This weekend, a good friend of mine asked me if I stopped blogging. I took a quick glance at my blog and realized why. No updates in 20 days, and spam comments running rampant on all my recent posts. Oy vey! The good news is, no, I haven’t stopped blogging – not intentionally anyways. Life has just been really nuts these days (although it feels like this is just status quo now…) with work and visitors and weekends away. I’ve been too busy living life to blog about life, which I guess is a good thing! But the truth is, I really and truly miss blogging and I hope to get back to posting more regularly soon…

I have so many posts to catch up on, but for now I just wanted to share some iphone snaps from our awesome time in San Sebastian this past weekend. We were there for my birthday and it was so incredibly special, fun and delicious (because we stuffed ourselves silly with pinxtos and rioja!). 

P.S. For those of you who’ve asked about what iPhone apps I use to edit my photos – I primarily use Camera+ and Instagram, but for the photos below I used a new-to-me app that is quickly become my favorite called PicTapGo. I highly recommend it! Hope this is helpful 🙂

{Madrid: Around Town}

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When we moved to Europe we made a huge list of cities we wanted to visit while we were living abroad. The list was long. Way too long to accomplish seeing all these beautiful places in two years. We’ve put a dang good dent in those cities, but there are still many on our list. One that wasn’t on our list? Madrid.
To be honest, as an American, you hear way more about Barcelona than you do about Madrid. And I remember a year and a half ago when we researched Madrid for a quick weekend away, we realized there really weren’t any notable sites we felt like we had to see, so we scratched it off our list.
Well, then Nicole moved to Madrid and she raved about how incredible it was – even saying it was more amazing than Barcelona. I trust that girl’s opinion, so a few months after she moved Corey and I booked a quick weekend visit. I am so glad we did. Madrid isn’t about any specific sites, it’s just about being a big beautiful city packed with charm, beautiful architecture and really good Italian food (What! I know, strange, but true.). We so enjoyed our weekend in Madrid and only wished it would’ve been a teensy bit warmer (but when do we not wish that?!). Hanging out with Nicole is always such a treat! And what’s not to love about having a personal city guide?! She showed us all the best parts of her new home. Here are some snaps from all around town. I hope they give you an idea of just how gorgeous Madrid is!
P.S. A few travel tips below the photos if you’re looking for Madrid suggestions 🙂
 {If you find yourself in Madrid – here are a few places we suggest you don’t miss (many pictured above!): Retiro Park, Mercado de San Miguel, Chocolateria San Gines (for the most amazing churros – be prepared to wait in line), Plaza de Oriente, al fresco lunch at Cafe de Oriente, Plaza Mayor, Vertical Garden at CaixaForum followed by coffee and a treat at the Vertical Cafe, Templo de Debod, and my biggest tip of all (thanks to Nicole), dinner at Piccolo Diavolo – get the pasta with pear and ricotta. I know it sounds crazy, and we were totally skeptical, but Nicole convinced us it was the best thing she’s ever eaten, and goodness was she right. We returned the next night to have that dish!}
{We stayed here. We found the location to be great, the price to be fantastic, and the place was comfortable and cute}

{Madrid: Retiro Park}

We started our first morning in Madrid with a run through Retiro Park. Clearly I had to go back so I could take pictures. It was pretty quiet in the earlier hours of the morning when we were running, but once we returned later that day it was packed with runners, roller bladers, dogs, strollers, you name it. It was chilly out, but the sun was shining, and everyone was out enjoying it. We even saw an adorable impromptu puppet show being watched by a huge crowd of kids – it was the most darling thing ever! We’ve noticed that almost every major European city we’ve visited has a massive city park (or two or three or four) right smack dab in the city center – something you don’t find much outside of New York City’s Central Park. Visiting all these parks has become one of our favorite things to do on weekend getaways.
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Barcelona: Parc de la Ciutadella}

Back in April when my Mom was visiting us in Europe we spent a four-day weekend in Barcelona. Nicole was living there at the time and let us in on the secret that Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the most beautiful city parks in the world. We spent an hour or so wandering around, hardly scratching the surface of it’s 70 acres. There were tons of locals lounging around reading, listening to music, dancing and just enjoying a leisurely afternoon. It was truly beautiful and absolutely worth a visit if you find yourself in Barcelona.
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}