Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lisboa, Portugal, & a quick year wrap-up.

Here a few photos from Barcelona (well, Port Olimpic and one in Barcelona), and the beginning of the trip to Lisbon, which was our second European destination. I had hoped to get all of the photos up prior to the New Year, but I've been redecorating my apartment and trying to focus on what I want from this year to come--which really means I've just been neglecting the blog. It's been a crazy year, a crazy good year, and it's flown by. It was just under a year ago that I was getting ready to travel with one of my best girl friends, as carefree as they come. It's really crazy how things change change in just 12 little months... This past year, my best friend got married, another got engaged, and I got this guy.  I became a godmother. I dabbled in fashion photography. And engagement photography. I met new friends. My sister got accepted into college and my brother started high-school. I celebrated my mother's birthday back East, and my family came to LA. I added 3 new countries to places I've been. I traveled within California (including a girl's weekend in Palm Springs). The blog celebrated its first birthday. I learned to bake. I got a crockpot (!!).  2013 brought so may good things with it, that I'm curious to see what 2014 can do to compete. Here's to the New Year!

^^This is one of my favorites.

^^Fried eggs and french fries....yes.
^^Lisbon, Portugal.
^^A street fair on the day of our arrival.

^^The start of a new Christmas tradition: ornaments from different countries. (I took this one home!)

^^Buying chestnuts (for one Euro).

^^Missing tiles, which were probably sold soon after. I actually bought 2 authentic tiles (legally!) which I plan to frame. They were probably my favorite souvenirs.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

My mom sends out yearly holiday cards that are pretty hard to beat. The best part of our card is always our signature: "the MCBARREIDS," which is a compilation of all of our last names, a la "Brangelina," or "Bennifer." Everyone gets a kick out of it.

This year's card was taken at my favorite LA restaurant, Takami, which is on the 21st floor of a building just a few blocks from me (note the cityscape in the background). It can be tricky getting a good photo of multiple people, particularly if not all parties involved are in the best of moods. But hey, you can force a smile out of some ;)

Here is our family card from last year, which was one of my all-time  favorites:


And here was my personal card for 2012, from the "Barry" family (aka me and the dogs):
^^Nellie's smile in that first photo will never, ever get old.

If I do a personal card this year, it will be even more last minute than 2 days prior to Christmas-but I will surely post it if I figure something out. Happy (and safe) holidays to everyone!

*Note, the family holiday cards are done online through Tiny Prints*

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Barcelona, día tres!

On our next tourist stop, we knew we had to see the major works of Antoni Gaudi: Park Güell. The park contains amazing stone structures, stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. It is considered one of the most impressive public parks in the world, though never fully completed. 

^^It's a bit of a hike to get to the park, so we were happy to find a little cafe where we could take a "Guelly picnic bag" to go.We split a chicken sandwich, and ate it on a bench in the park. 
^^And the fresh, white walls were just waiting for us to sign them! I kind of loved this.

^^Locks of love everywhere when entering the park.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The man of the hour, my Papa.

My sweet Papa gets even sweeter with age, like a fine wine. I was thrilled that this year, for his big 80th 50th birthday, he and my grandmother were able to celebrate here in Los Angeles! My uncle (their son) lives here too, along with his wife and daughter (my only cousin on my mother's side, who I waited 20 years for!), so they generally try to make it out here a couple times a year to see everyone. But having them here for a birthday was extra special.

It was great to be able to celebrate my Papa with friends and family from LA. I mean, how many people can say they are so loved, from coast to coast? We had a wonderful Italian dinner with even more wonderful company, and I'd have to say, it's one of my favorite memories of having my family here.

^^A birthday toast, from my uncle.
^^And a birthday speech (which made me tear up a bit).
^^My Papa's leading lady, my Gram.

^^(Isn't he the cutest.)

^^Cheers to you, my Papa! Happy, happy birthday.
^^& Just because I really liked my outfit, and wasn't able to get a photo at dinner. Not a bad accessory on my arm, either ;)