Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feliz año nuevo!

Happy 2015 friends and family! 

The last few days of 2014 and the first few of 2015 were filled with lots of old and new traditions, traveling, and family time.  Let's start with our New Year's Eve tradition trip I mentioned in my last post.  

New Year's Eve has kind of become Carles and I's thing. Here's why..

2 years ago (shortly after we met) we spent New Year's Eve day (2012) throwing pennies into the Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy.

That evening (New Year's Eve 2012) after flying and traveling all day, we rang in 2013 together at a party in Barcelona, Spain.

1 year ago, my mom and stepdad invited us on a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana as Carles was visiting the US for Christmas.  We spent New Year's Eve Day 2012 riding bikes, eating ginormous delicious deli sandwiches, and roaming the French Quarter.  

That evening (New Year's Eve 2012) we got dressed up and walked around with my mom and stepdad exploring New Orleans and ended the night with our New Year's kiss standing by the river, watching the fireworks, and waiting for the fleur de lis to drop. 

We decided that this year had to be no different.  We needed to spend it somewhere new and will continue to try and keep this tradition alive as long as we are able to.  

After many hours researching, comparing flight and hotel prices, and going back and forth with "where should we go", "how long should we go", etc.. We decided on Geneva, Switzerland!

It was both of our first time visiting Switzerland which means another mark in our counties we have been together list making it a total of 9 now! 

We decided to go from December 30th until January 3rd which gave us 5 whole days there.  Shortly after arriving to Geneva we became aware that it was not cheap.  And by not cheap I mean incredibly expensive.  We aren't the cheapest travelers out there but we also are not luxurious 5 star travel goers either and I would definitely recommend anyone going to Switzerland to be ready to pay big bucks.

Our first few days in Geneva were spent exploring the main touristy sites in the freezing cold, yet beautiful city.  

My first time in the Alps!

I love getting to use different currencies around the world.  The Swiss Francs were bright, bold colors and not to mention.. They don't last you very long! 

After a few hours of walking around we decided to jump on a bus (mostly to just warm up) and see where it would take us.  Much to our surprise we found this beautiful tree covered with ribbons, string, balloons, and little notes people could write about their New Year hopes and dreams.  Awesome! 

We also stumbled upon this frozen over pool, sand, and beach chairs and pretended to be gettin some sun in the 30 degree weather. :) 

Next up was the United Nations building and the infamous "broken chair"...

It was MASSIVE! 

Nothing like a delicious flight of Swiss craft beer to end our first day in Geneva. 

Our second day we got up bright and early and headed to Lake Geneva.

Wouldn't be a successful stop without a selfie!

A quick stop at the famous L'horloge fleurie (flower clock) which we found to be kind of boring and overrated. Oh well!

All of these photos were taken inside or at the top of the St. Pierre Cathedral in the old part of the city in Geneva.  Phenomenal views of a beautiful city!  

Our New Year's Eve 2014 was cold but so fun! We had some cocktails and champagne in the little flat we were renting and then headed down to the lake for fireworks!

The next 3 days we did more touristy things, visited museums, and became pretty familiar with the city.  We wanted to take a train to a nearby village to do more exploring but due to the ridiculous cost of the train ticket we decided to stay in Geneva.  We got to see the "jet D'eau" and a few other parts of the older area of the city.  

Because we were trying to save money on eating out.. we ate lots of sandwiches and pasta at our flat.  However, on our last night there Carles said we "deserved" a nice meal :) so we went for the typical Swiss mushroom fondue, escargot, salad, and some tasty wine.  The meal was so incredibly delicious.. I think my favorite was the escargot! 

Don't worry there wasn't a drop of the fondue left when we finished :)

All in all, it was a great trip but we both decided it wasn't one of our favorites for a few reasons.. Too cold.. Too expensive.. Too many days in the same city.  If you ever go to Geneva know that after 2 or 3 days, you have seen the sites and can move on :) Carles is the best traveling partner ever and I am so thankful we got to make this trip/tradition happen and look forward to many many more.  

The day after we got back we had a family lunch with his mom, dad, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparents, and cousins at a nice restaurant in Sabadell.  It was nice to meet his aunt and uncle and get to see everyone.  A few days later, January 6th, just so happens to be the 3 Kings Day.  This day is celebrated more than Christmas here in Catalunya.  No one works and it is normal to have family get togethers and open more presents that the 3 Kings brought you.  We headed over to Carles grandparents with the same side of the family we had the lunch with a few days before.  His grandparents gave each of us (including me, so sweet and generous of them!) money and then they opened their presents from Carles' mom and dad & his aunt and uncle. 

His grandpa in his new button down shirt and his grandma in her new apron.  Seriously though.. How cute are they?!?!?!

After presents, Carles and I went to his parents house for a yummy chicken and potato lunch.  My favorite part of the day was after we finished eating we sat and talked about a variety of different topics.. Anything from music to my family to Big Bang Theory with Carles' mom, dad, and brother.  

When Carles and I got home we had a nice long talk about our goals and dreams for the new year.  I'm not one to make big resolutions (ever) but this year I have.  We as a couple have a few very big goals and some smaller ones we would like to achieve together.  I think the most important thing about having resolutions are making sure they are realistic and attainable. 

My number one goal is to become fluent in Spanish! This is very very serious and important to me and my future.  I am going to be taking classes (at an academy) as well as studying with my personal teacher/boyfriend and having certain days where we only speak Spanish to eachother and the others in English.  I also need to get more confident in speaking.  Step by step. :)

Another goal I have is to improve and expand my blog and travel blogging ideas.  I may have become slightly obsessed with reading travel blogs and hope to evolve mine into a travel & advice based one more than a personal one.  Stay tuned!

As a couple we are making it an effort to go to the gym together which is a nice way to hold eachother accountable.  We joined a gym not far from our house which is great because it is right on the beach and only takes 5 minutes to get there if we jog.  We are also going to try to celebrate the smaller things in life.  Sometimes things get crazy and stressful and we just need to take a break, celebrate, and be thankful for what we have.

We also have big, BIG dreams for traveling (as always) and moving (to other counties) as well.  We know our time in Spain isn't going to last forever so we want to take advantage of everything while we are here and able to. 

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!  Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Love you so much! I'm so happy to travel "with" you via your words and photos! Miss you both lots!