TRAVELS & PLACES

Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona

Hola Bon Dia!

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been to Barcelona several times. I’m no longer a stranger to the city since it’s one of my European connection and my third home. Every year I visit this city, yet every time I come here it’s always different. There’s always something new and interesting to see in Barcelona. In fact, it seems like this city never runs out of anything new. Oh and I did I mention that there’s always this excitement in the air whenever I come here. It must be sun, or the friendly faces, or it could be just the beauty of this place. But I truly think that it’s all of the above.

 

passeig de gracia Barcelona

                                 

I’ve been to a lot of tourist spots in Barcelona and they’re all breathtaking. Yet there’s one place that I always visit. Can you guess it? Yes, the title says it. Passeig de Gracia, or Paseo de Gracia in Spanish. Take note that Catalans have their own dialect apart from Spanish, but they can definitely understand Spanish as well without a problem. And a lot of people around Passeig de Gracia can speak and understand English perfectly. It’s a very touristic place obviously, and don’t worry, there’s always Starbucks nearby. So if you get lost, just locate the nearest unofficial US Embassy and sanctuary for those who are lost in translation, “Starbucks”. Hahaha!. So back to Paseo de Grace as what I like to call it. (P.S. I know more Spanish than Catalan, so don’t be surprised). It’s the ultimate shopping place in Barcelona. A lot of upscale brands and some local or even Europe-only brands. From Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel to Stradivarius and Zara, this is the place to be if you wanna shop hardcore. Me, I like to look through the windows and glass walls of these shops and literally drool! So what? they don’t know me anyway, LOL. This place is posh and expensive but if you’re non-European, well, you can always get a tax-free. So it kinda soothes the guilt a bit, if it helps, hehehe.

 

shopping passeig de gracia Barcelona

Starbucks passeo de gracia Barcelona
If you get lost, don’t worry, just look for Starbucks. The unofficial US embassy and sanctuary for those who are lost in translation. LOL.

 

Apart from being a shopping haven, Paseo de Grace is full of countless authentic Catalan, Spanish and European Restaurants. Catalans love seafoods, so if you’re a seafood lover like moi, this is the place to be. Of course, there’s always gonna be the everlasting and eternally muy delicioso Jamon Serrano or Pernil. But I really suggest that you try their Crema Catalana for dessert. Oh and don’t forget their Paellas too. The restaurants along Passeig de Gracia can be slightly more expensive because it caters to “tourists”. Although I was hearing a lot of raves about “El Nacional”, an impressive and well-restored building that’s beautifully-designed with lots of different restaurant inside that caters different kinds of foods, whether Italian, Spanish, etc. It’s also frequented by locals, local bloggers and fashionistas-alike for selfie and smizing at their retro-style bathrooms. But there are very good and slightly cheaper-priced restaurants if you’re willing to go a bit farther or away from Paseo de Grace, which aren’t really that far anyway.

 

Barcelona architecture passeig de gracia

passeo de gracia Barcelona

With all the shopping and restaurants that Passeo de Gracia has to offer, I’ve always marveled at the beautiful architecture of this place. It’s grand and majestic, it’s well-designed and well-built. In this long and beautiful street, you’ll see the work of the famous Catalan Architect Gaudi in some of the buildings. I still wonder how he could create those fantasy-like designs and structures on his buildings while having such amazing details.

 

streets passeo de gracia Barcelona

It’s never a boring day at Passeig de Gracia. There’s lots of friendly people, lots of shops, lots of very mind-blowing architectures, lots of sun, and lots of very scrumptious unforgettable foods. I wouldn’t mind chillin’ here all day and all the time. Oh I can’t wait to come back soon.

Barcelona passeig de gracia street

For places to visit and things to do in Barcelona, click HERE.

For the review of El Nacional, click HERE.

 

Adéu moltes gràcies a tots

 

L.

 

For more trips and adventures and makeups, follow me on Instagram: @reviewsandotherstuff

 

 

Ulla Girona Spain

ulla girona catalonia spain streets

 

Last November, My family and I took a trip to Barcelona Spain. I’ve been to Barcelona several times before, so it’s definitely not my first time to the city. We have relatives there, in fact, a lot of them, so we usually visit them at least once a year. They don’t exactly live in the center of Barcelona, so from BCN airport, it would take around 45 minutes to an hour to get to where my party people are. From there, we usually visit different cities and villages outside Barcelona, like Besalu, Pals, and Girona. Take note that these are some of the places where several scenes of the HBO series Games Of Thrones were filmed. These places are known for their medieval sceneries. It’s as if you stepped back in time. Or just imagine seeing Dungeons And Dragons cartoon in real life. ???? I swear I thought I saw Drogon when I was there, Dracarys! Rawr ????

From our latest Spanish sojourn, I’d like to take you to a village in Girona, called Ulla (Uol-lya). Now, the Catalans have a tricky way of pronouncing that place, but as a foreigner, I suggest you pronounce it with the best of how you can. Not a big deal. Ulla is a very small village which is 1 hour and 41 minutes from Barcelona Airport. It’s so tiny that most probably it won’t take you 30 minutes to roam around by foot. It’s like a one or two block neighborhood if I’m not mistaken. Getting there is tricky because there’s a couple of roundabouts, tiny streets, fields, turns, etc. You might need a local to get there, or have a map or GPS and rent a car. I’m not even sure if there’s any hotel there, but you can definitely find some around Girona. There are also no restaurants if I’m not mistaken again, and there’s very low cellphone coverage, especially when you’re in roaming mode for sure. Basically, it’s a place to unwind and disappear a la Gone Girl. Or let’s just say, to go off the grid or lay low for a while. But there are people living in this quaint village and they seem to live a stress-free life. My kind of life, our kind of life. ????

 

ulla girona spain Catholic Church sundial

 

From where I stayed, which is a family vacation house, (not really mine, I’m not that important ????) there’s an old but charming Catholic Church nearby and from what my relatives said, it’s still holding mass from time to time. I did hear the Church Bells ringing one early morning. But I didn’t see any churchgoers nor the priest inside. Too bad, I had a lot of sins I wanted to confess, LOL.. ???? (one of them is hoarding makeup and beauty products, for sure, ????)

 

ulla spain church

 

The Church’s ground is very pretty with simple plants and trees. It is in itself very medieval-looking, stoney, ancient and all. I particularly love the picturesque sundial located at the top side of the Church’s building.

 

ulla girona spain

Apart from the one and only Church that this village has, the tiny streets of Ulla are simply exotic and beautiful. You could sense the authentic and rich Catalan history while glancing at their ancient but tough-looking doors and terraces. The place is always sunny and simply breathtaking.

ulla spain street

Depending on where you’re looking at, you might be able to see some of the neighboring hills from Ulla. The houses and streets are of course also made of stones, cements, gravels, and bricks. As with any places everywhere in Spain, soccer is a big passion. So you might find kids playing it from time to time. As with the Catalans, it’s always Força Barça!

 

Restaurant Can Bach Sant Feliu de Boada

 

Since I mentioned that there’s no restaurant within Ulla, our relatives took us to the nearby Sant Feliu de Boada, another province of Girona but within 13 minutes drive from Ulla. We went to Restaurant Can Bach which serves Spanish, Mediterranean and European food. The restaurant itself has a very nice ambience, the food is affordable and delish. I recommend their Botifarras and Pan Tomaquet with Jamon Iberico de Bellota. I also suggest that you walk around the grounds of the restaurant because it’s so traditionally unique and romantic. There’s also a place for kids to play. P.S. I love the photo of the grandpa (not mine ????) sitting near the restaurant on a late afternoon siesta above. Such is the Spanish Life!

 

ulla spain residence

 

Ulla is a small and laid-back village with an old-world feel. It’s simple yet interesting and the houses and streets are well-kept and well-preserved. The weather is always exciting to behold, full of blue skies and lots of sunshine even throughout the winter. The people are low-key, kind and friendly. Not to mention the food which is always superb. You may feel like there’s not much to do in there because there’s not a lot of stuff around, but the village is already a sight to see, and you can always visit some other neighboring villages nearby, but if you visit Ulla at least once, it’ll be a visit worth remembering for a lifetime.

To visit Barcelona, click here

To visit Girona, click here

Too book a hotel in Girona, click here

For restaurants near Ulla, click here and here.

 

 

 

My Short NYC Trip.

How are you all? This post is all about a summary of my short NYC trip a couple of days ago. What I wore, what I shopped, where I stayed, what I visited etc… is all gonna be right here. It was a fun short trip that was fulfilling. New York is always a beauty to behold. In fact, it’s one of my favorite city, if not the most. Something about NYC’s energy that makes you wanna enjoy it even more. 

 

the lucerne hotel review

 

So, when I was in NYC, I stayed at the hotel called The Lucerne. Reviewed HERE. It’s a convenient hotel located to a lot of stuff around New York. It’s so close to Central Park and to a lot of museums and shopping areas around. 

When I arrived there, it was just the beginning of fall, so the weather was still temperate, sunny yet slightly chilly. A lot of people wore light sweaters or even t-shirts. As for my part, I knew I was gonna do a lot of walking while doing a bit of shopping, so I decided to look semi-casual. I also like muted colors when the Autumn season starts.

 

what to wear in nyc fall

 

  1. Banana Republic Blazer: Similar to this. Since I was going for a semi-casual look, I opted for a slightly formal-looking blazer instead of a normal sweater to go around visiting some stores in NYC, especially the ones located at Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue.
  2. Chanel Boy: Reviewed HERE. A really handy and edgy yet classic bag that can be worn as shoulder bag or crossbody. It adds major style to your outfit while being so easy to pack.
  3. Banana Republic Silk Blouse: Similar to this. As you can tell, I love Banana Republic clothes, they just suit my age and my style. This blouse is great for layering, especially when you need something lightweight and airy for when you’re gonna be doing a lot of walking.
  4. J Brand Alana Crop Jeans: Oh… my favorite high-waisted jeans. These are high-waisted but not to the extreme that it’ll look like mom-jeans. It gives such a good support around the waist to prevent muffin tops while traveling or strolling. You can bend, sit or run around with this and it won’t let you down.
  5. $9.99 Cat-eye sunglasses: Cheap and beautiful. Found this sunnies at Amazon and it looks like a Celine-dupe cat-eye sunglasses for much much less. It’s also very durable as I’ve smashed this several times due to my carelessness and it still looks fine. It was still sunny in NYC, so I brought this. Who says you can’t mix high-ends with low-ends? It’s not really what it says, it’s how it looks, right?
  6. Nike Roshe Run Sneakers: These shoes are really comfortable and sleek. I could probably walk around the entire NYC with these. It’s great for people with wide feet as well. On top of that, it feels like you’re just wearing socks. LOL.

 

Now let’s move on to makeup. When I’m on short trips like this, I tend to not pack a lot. I only pack the basic stuff because I like to have extra space on my carry-on and I really don’t wanna be overwhelmed with the amount of makeup I had to choose for my eyes, lips, etc.. since I usually won’t have the time for that. I stick to products that are travel-sized and that I considered “reliable.” For this trip, I didn’t carry any contouring product, instead, I opted for strobing. Oooh, snap! 🙂

 

makeup products packed short trips

  1. BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Mini Travel Iron: Great travel iron to tame the frizz or flyaways. It’s heats up really fast within seconds.
  2. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua: I needed something more moisturizing than my regular matte foundation, so this would be a great option for when the weather starts to cool down, in order to prevent that dreaded face dryness. Reviewed HERE.
  3. Makeup Travel Pouch: Got this from CVS and it’s really cheap. It keep all your makeups together plus there’s space for more.
  4. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color: Convenient, well-pigmented, long-wearing and it makes your eyes beautiful. Reviewed HERE.
  5. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Oil Free: Great for someone with oily skin and it holds your makeup well. Primers do work. Period. 🙂
  6. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner: Reviewed HERE. I recently talked about this and wanted to test this eyeliner for this trip. Well, good news, this is already in my holy grail list. I love how blendable this is, plus it won’t budge.
  7. Too Faced Shadow Insurance: A reliable eye primer to hold your eyeshadow for hours and hours.
  8. Benefit High Beam Liquid Highlighter: Great for strobing and to create a nice highlight for your face. Reviewed HERE.
  9. Brushes: Mac 217 Blending Brush and Sephora Smudger Brush: These two are great for blending your eyeshadow and eyeliner.
  10. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer: Wearable concealer that covers blemishes without making you look cakey.
  11. MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer: Moisturizing lip primer that’s great for chilly season. Reviewed HERE.
  12. Anastasia Brow Definer: Easy to use and creates well-shaped brows. Read more HERE.
  13. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in #66 Bois de Rose: Gorgeous shade that’s also long wearing. Swatches HERE.
  14. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil In Stick #48 Smoking Plum: Highly pigmented and leaves lips stained for hours. Reviewed HERE.
  15. Smashbox Always On Liquid Matte Lipstick: Swatches are HERE. Long-wearing and lightweight with great wearable colors.

 

I only stayed a few days in NYC, so I decided to finally visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art. More photos HERE. It’s such a great museum, lots of things to see and indeed lots of things to learn. I spent a lot of time here and yet it I’ve never really seen everything. Would definitely be coming back soon. I recommend this place for anyone of you planning to visit NYC soon.

 

the met nyc

 

A visit to NYC would not be complete without a nice stroll at Central Park. This park is beautiful, even though there’s a lot of people around. It’s so wide and there are nice areas to sit and unwind or stroll around with nature in the background. The views are never the same. Sometimes you’d catch a glimpse of Manhattan peeking nearby, sometimes you’d see fields, statues, horses, lakes etc. One thing is for sure, this park is far from boring.

 

central park review manhattan new york

 

Also, when you’re in NYC, take advantage of shopping at some stores that may not be available in your area. It’s a fun way to end your short NY adventure.

 

things shopped in nyc

 

Lastly, when you’re in NYC, don’t forget to drop by at Laduree. I always do. This time I went again to the Madison Avenue location, even though I didn’t have a very good experience the last time I was there. But when I saw that they had a different attendant, oh well… I couldn’t resist and went in to order some delicious macarons. Hmmm… some things in life never change.

 

macarons laduree madison

Anyways you guys, this is getting too long. I had a really nice time with my short NYC sojourn. I hope to come back soon. Thanks for reading this verbal disorientation. But that’s it for me and my NYC trip. Until next time…

I hope you all have a great weekend. Happy Pumpkin Time!

 

Instagram: @reviewsandotherstuff

 

 

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