To prepare for writing these, I like to spend time away from the computer brainstorming about a direction or a possible introduction.  This was going to be “Spain Part Two” but after a Google Search, I realized that “Spain:  La Segunda Parte” would be more appropriate.

None of that changes the fact that Marbella was the favorite part of my trip.  With the Sierra Blanca Mountains as a backdrop to the wide sandy beaches, marinas, luxury hotels and restaurants, it is no surprise that so many communities here are named after this incomparable, vibrant city.

One of the best parts for me was hanging out on the beach all day, playing in the water with my daughter and collecting seashells.  We stayed at the Nobu Hotel Marbella  and the Marbella Club Hotel, which is great for families because it has a large pool, gorgeous grounds, a kid’s club and lots of history.

At night, we took a quick stroll to La Plaza, where fine dining options such as Dani Garcia, Nobu and Serafina are located.  Nobu blends classic Japanese food with Peruvian flavors; Serafina delivers classic Italian fare with the beautiful and historic Puente Romano Bridge as a backdrop.  OK, now I’m hungry and a little bummed about so many restaurants being closed due to the coronavirus.

If nothing else, these memories are a great inspiration for meals to create at home or vacations to plan for another day.  It should not be surprising to hear the nightlife in Marbella and Spain was exceptional.  Barcelona also lived up to every expectation.  We stayed in The Cotton House, which was built in the 1800s and is located in the former HQ of Spain’s Cotton Textile Foundation.  Since it has a really cool, renovated interior that includes one of the most famous spiral staircases in Europe, plus a convenient location in the historic center of the city, I would highly recommend it.

What were some of my favorite stops in Barcelona?  Of course, the famous La Sagrada Família Basilica should not be missed.  Another masterpiece by the famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí that is worth a look is Casa Batlló, an architectural legend and a UNESCO World Heritage site.  With so much color and detail, it feels like something out of Dr. Seuss, so it is definitely worth spending lots of time here.

There are so many other great spots to name that this could turn into a list!  We found that the Dali Theatre Museum, though it is about a 1.5 hour drive away from the city, to be well worth the trip.  Some other favorite attractions, restaurants and places that should make your list of places to visit include Café Alfonso, Casa Leopaldo, Bar Cañete, Paco Meralgo and Spoonik

A common thread (or rather drink) that should potentially be sampled at many locations all over the country is the gin and tonic, as the Spaniards are famous for it.  Before I forget—don’t miss out on Sombrereria Mil.  Not surprising given the name, they have an awesome collection of unique hats.

Do you ever write or journal about your experiences?  What is the most important part of your process? Please share if you would like.  I would also love to hear about your favorite places to visit in Spain if you have ever been there, or if you have any questions for me, please reach out.

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