Honeymoon adventures in Espana

This is a primarily picture post about my adventure in Spain with my husband. We’ve sent out all of the pictures to friends and family at the wedding but wanted to share some adventure stories here too. Hopefully Mike will write a guest post (my first one!) about our adventures.

Here’s a rough outline of our itinerary on a map:
*Start in Barcelona, Figueres, Cadaques, Espot (in the Pyrenees), San Sabastian, Bilbao, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada Cordoba*

This is Day 1: We’re looking a little exhausted in Park Guell in Barcelona – fresh off the plane and already on adventures.

 Gaudi had an amazing way of manipulating materials to create natural images.
 La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
 Hiking at Montserrat, a few hours away from Barcelona.
 It was a long way up and we’re sweaty!
 We noticed that Spanish provinces view themselves as autonomous – not really a unified Spain
 The Dali Museum in Figueres – one of our favorite places we saw and one of the very few museums we went to.
 Mas Pau – a beautiful hotel outside of Figueres and our 2nd favorite hotel of the trip.
 Cadaques, where Dali spent his formative years. Right on the Mediterranean.
 One of the BAGILLION roundabouts we encountered
Many more photos after the jump…

 Hiking in the Pyrenees
 Other side of the Atlantic at San Sabastian (regionally known as Donostia); referred to as “mecca” for Spanish food.
 It was bright outside
 The Guggenheim in Bilbao
 Gorge in Ronda – outside of Sevilla
 Early EARLY morning at Alhambra in Granada

Preparation Blisters

This weekend, Mike and I took a lovely walk around the Baltimore harbor. We’ve lived in the city for a few months now and hadn’t made it down there yet.

Remember those shoes I bought In Preparation for Spain? I thought it was time to break them in….horrible idea.
Can you say “buyers remorse”. I ended up with blisters in three places on each foot. Ouch!

Glad I didn’t wait until we were abroad.

In Preparation for Spain

After the upcoming nuptials, Mike and I will be heading to Spain for two weeks.

Apparently, the only thing that rivals the expense of a wedding, is the honeymoon!

I have to say, I was not completely prepared for the sticker shock that came with planning this trip. I’ve always done past travels on a shoe string budget; it’s pretty easy to be cheap in Ghana. However, as I plan this new trip with my hubby, I find myself completely unwilling to shack up in dorm-style hostels and eat granola bars for 2 out of 3 meals.

So, certain expenses come with those choices:

Airplane tickets for two — This one was hefty but we bought them many months ago so it doesn’t seem like a financial burden now.

Two weeks worth of hotels ranging from $50-$150 a night –Roughly $1,500

Meals — Unclear as of yet. Probably a lot. Have I mentioned that we’re foodies? We’re budgeting $2,500.

Car rental — It was important for us to take these two weeks to go on lots of adventures which means that we want to travel all over. That also means, realistically, a car rental. Roughly $500 for the 2 weeks.

We’ve got some money set aside for museum tickets etc. but our goals aren’t really to see all the “guide book” sights. Mostly we’ll be hiking, meandering, figuring out the agenda day-by-day.

In preparation – I needed good walking shoes ($70). I do mean “need”. This wasn’t just a good excuse to buy some new cutsie shoes. I also bought a cotton dress good for walking around and going out at night too (less of a need, but still, I categorize it as a honeymoon expense @ $50). Luckily Mike has had fewer needs!

During my “OH MY GOD I”M FREAKING OUT ABOUT MONEY” phases Mike is wonderful and says, “you know honey, we can cancel  the honeymoon if we need to”

N-O, NO! That is not an option. One, we’d regret it. Two, we’ve already sunk money into the plane tickets. Three, I want to go!

We haven’t traveled abroad together before traveling is such a passion for both of us so I can’t imagine a world in which we don’t go on a honeymoon.

Obviously, all of those expenses add up – We aren’t going into any debt to cover them (or the wedding) but we will come back with significantly less in our savings.

Wedding Registries

When I first started thinking about the wedding and registries I cam across a wonderful article which unfortuantely I cannot find. Anway, the premise of the article was –

People really want what they put on their registry, otherwise, they wouldn’t have put it on there.

Mike and I were loathe to make a registry. I think the process is a little outdated. People are getting married at older ages (yours truly is an exception); they’ve acquired a lot of those household things that are commonly included on the registry. This means that most of what we want is on the expensive side of things; most of our family friends probably can’t afford that stuff anyway.

So here is our alternative:

We are planning to travel to Spain after the honeymoon — we have a travel budget but we know we could have a lot more fun with a bit more financial cushioning. We set up a paypal account so people could “donate” to our travel fund. Family can give us checks if they’d prefer. This way, people can control how much they spend on gifts and know that we really really want what they have to give.

I know that there are some people out there who aren’t comfortable giving money as a gift but I think people should rethink their hangup on this. I’ve heard too many stories of people getting absolutely AWFUL gifts (not on their registry)!! My goal with the paypal registry is to stop this practice and help couples (like Mike and I) get what we really want. In our case, that’s a fabulous vacation. Maybe you want new furniture? A giant television. Whatever!