Spain Trip

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I am finally taking the time to write about my trip to Spain last October. I have been busy with life and would not stay on my laptop long enough to do it, but you have to be intentional.

Last October, my boyfriend, Mark and I went to Spain. It is funny how things evolve. The trip to Spain was originally supposed to be with my sister and brother-in-law. We were supposed to have a layover in Vancouver long enough to see Niagara Falls. Fly from Vancouver to Barcelona, stay a few days there. Then take the train to Seville, stay a few days there. Fly from Seville to Lisbon, stay a few days there. Then fly Lisbon home but layover in Dublin for 24 hours. By the end of June, my sister and brother-in law had to back out. Then the free tickets (using sky mileage) changed and Dublin was out of the trip. Mark thought trying to see Niagara Falls in 12 hours would be too stress-full, we decided to just go to Barcelona and Seville. We will save Ireland, Lisbon and Niagara Falls for another trip.

We booked our trip to Barcelona and Seville, spending 5 days in each. We used our sky mileage for our flights. With tax and insurance we only spent $55 each.So far we were staying frugal. We stayed in Barcelona at a hotel on La Ramblas, a very popular street in Barcelona. A friend of mines, family member owned the hotel and gave us a wonderful deal. This hotel was right in the middle of the city center. Everything pretty much was within walking distance. The marina was right down the street, with the statue of Columbus, Gothic quarters, Roman ruins, La Boqueria, Gaudi’s buildings and many restaurants. We booked our tickets to the Segrada Familia before we left the United States (highly recommend doing this). I talked Mark into taking the hop on/off bus for 2 days (I always take these, I always see something I wouldn’t have). We used the bus and the subway to get to the far away places.

Months before the trip we used http://www.tripadvisor.com to map out what we wanted to see. You can see the top 100 places in any city you are visiting. Under each description you can put a “like” button to add it to your favorites list. Each listing will have reviews, you can read these if you are unsure about visiting certain places. My favorites in Barcelona were, walking thru the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, Segrada Familia (naturally), renting bikes and riding thru the park with the waterfalls, all of the architecture, Gaudi’s Park Guell, Sangria and the food. There are so many places and things to see, I loved them all, those were the high lights for me. Of course, I went to Hard Rock Cafe to get my glass.

Barcelona also known as Catalonia is a very touristy city. They speak Spanish, English and primarily Catalan.Very friendly city, welcoming everyone.I loved the culture, vibrant color tiles, architecture, people, food and drink. It is a great city to wander around and take pictures. We met some amazing people. Some of them we are still friends on Facebook with.

After 5 days in Barcelona, we were on the train to Seville. We bought our train tickets before we left (you can book train tickets thru RailEurope, the link is right here on my blog). We rented a VRBO in Seville. This was one bedroom apartment with a great view. This was very affordable lodging. We quickly found out you can pretty much walk anywhere in Seville. The tiny narrow streets are easy to get lost in, but also a wonderful place to get lost in. We found so many interesting things that were not on our list, just by wandering around.

In Seville they speak Spanish and English. Communicating was not very hard. The colorful Spanish tiles seemed a little more predominate here. We also saw so many stores with the colorful pottery and flamenco dresses. There was the bull arena, a church on every corner, steeples everywhere and many architecture places as well. Another great city to take lots of pictures. My favorites places to see in Seville was the Mushroom, Giralda Tower, Plaza de Espana, and the Mercadillo de Jueves. We did not have the Mushroom structure on our list, we kind of ran into it. I was so glad we decided to go to the top. It had amazing views, even someone afraid of heights could probably handle. I did fine up there and at the top of Giralda Tower.

I loved my trip to Spain. I learned somethings a long the way. Helps with future trip planning. I think 5 days in any one city is a little too long. I think we would have been able to see everything in 3 days. We could have went to Lisbon or Madrid and experienced that too. Bring extra shoe inner soles. Mark had to buy some at the pharmacy. He said it was the best souvenir he bought. Make sure you travel with a credit card that does not charge international fees (knew that, but had to share anyway). If you have an ATM card from a bank that reimburses for ATM withdrawals, then use that for your exchange. This will save you the exchange fees. Do not order too many tapas. They can be shared even though they are smaller portions. You can always add-on to your order if you do not have enough food. Try the Sangria, local beer, and hot chocolate with churros. If you can become Facebook friends with the people you meet. You can message them about their trip and share tips along the way. My last tip: Enjoy every minute of it!

Selfie in the park in Barcelona, Spain

Selfie in the park in Barcelona, Spain

Boqueria

Boqueria

Fountain in the Park

Fountain in the Park

Mercado de La Boqueria

Mercado de La Boqueria

Stained Glass inside Sagrada Familia

Stained Glass inside Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

The Mushroom, Seville Spain

The Mushroom, Seville Spain

Seville Spain

Seville Spain

Giralda Tower, Seville, Spain

Giralda Tower, Seville, Spain

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

I Am Still Traveling, Frugally

I am still traveling and I am still blogging. It has been a busy year. I have spent most of my time working on Frugal Intentional Traveler Facebook page, working on travel decor, taking a few trips and living frugally. My plan is to post my adventures soon. Today I am home sick and my sewing machine is in Pasadena, so its time for me to update the blog. I am not one to sit back and let the grass grow under my feet.

Over the past months, my boyfriend bought a house. It’s in a great neighborhood, with amazing views. This house is a complete fixer upper. So now it is time to find the balance of fixing the house up (frugally as possible) and traveling to cool places. This is quite the balance. We live 2.5 hours apart. I have many ideas and plans but both of us work full-time and only see each other 3 weekends a month. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and have to slow down, on purpose, to not overwhelm Mark.

Besides working, traveling, remodeling, writing the blog and Facebook page, I am wanting to do a home decor online business. Years ago I sold Southern Living at Home. I loved all of their product and still use it every day. I miss selling that product. I decided to do a business of my own. Why not? I enjoy doing it and I get to travel around looking for product. Soon I will be listing items for sale. They will probably be travel inspired. I hope to have a successful business that will support my travel.

I took a couple of trips to Charleston again. I also traveled to Spain. We took a few day trips to some central coast locations as well. We are in the process of planning our trips for this year. The up coming blog posts will touch base on all I have mentioned. I will have plenty of pictures and references for my inspirations. Sometimes one thing or idea leads to another for me. Most of my inspiration is from travel (or shopping). Pinterest and Craigslist are two of my favorites.

I am excited to get all my thoughts on paper. I hope your excited to see the posts and my crazy adventures. Hopefully they will be inspiring to you and your crazy adventures.

Happy Summer Solstice

It is the first day of summer. An Exciting time. School is out, days are longer and the living is easy. I love this time of year. 

Most people use this time for travel ( maybe another reason I love it so much). These travels consist of all kinds of different things. Camping, cruises, hiking, road trips etc. Making memories is what is important. 

I started my summer out with a trip to Las Vegas, then a day of watching the whales and now a small road trip to Mammoth Lakes. There are more fun things on the horizon. It’s going to be great! 

I would love to hear about your summer fun and travels, wether that is near or far. Please share your expeiences and pictures.  

“One Step” (is his trail name) is walking the Pacific Trail.

  

Shell Beach, California

  

Independence , California 107 degrees out

  

Shell Beach, California

  

Avila Beach, California the whales are breaching in the harbor.

    

Mammoth Lakes (at least one of them)

  

Mammoth Lakes, California

  

Part of the gardens at the Bellegio Hotel in Las Vegas

  

Chuhuly glass at the Bellegio

  

The lazy river at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas

 

Happy Easter from Different Parts of the World

Easter is celebrated in many different parts of the world. It is very colorful and cheery. Enjoy pictures from Germany, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Israel, Costa Rica  Belgian and Italy.

Easter in Germany

Easter in Germany

Easter eggs in Germany

Easter eggs in Germany

Easter candy in France

Easter candy in France

Easter in Paris

Easter in Paris

The Pope at the Vatican

The Pope at the Vatican

Easter in Ukraine

Easter in Ukraine

Easter in Seville, Spain

Easter in Seville, Spain

Easter in Barcelona

Easter in Barcelona

Easter in Prague, Czech Republic

Easter in Prague, Czech Republic

Easter in Prague

Easter in Prague

Easter in Belgian

Easter in Belgian

Easter in Belgian

Easter in Belgian

Easter in Jerusalem

Easter in Jerusalem

Easter eggs of Japan

Easter eggs of Japan

Easter in Japan

Easter in Japan

Easter in Costa Rica

Easter in Costa Rica

Have any of you celebrate Easter in any of these places? What kind of traditions do they have?

 

 

 

Pretty Good Deal

I noticed in the Target weekly add a deal of $10 gift card after spending $50 on food. This does not include, baby food, pet food, alcohol and a few other purchases. Read the fine print to make sure you comply. You can use store coupons and manufactures coupons combined to maximize your savings. This is a 20% savings even without factoring sale items or coupons. Just ring your food up first and separately from any other purchases. Get the gift card and use it on your items not involved in that promotion. If you have a Target Red card, you will get an additional 5% off. Bring your own bag and get $.05 off per bag. All of these money saving tips really do not take extra time. 

Happy savings everyone. Enjoy it. Let me know how you saved. 

My Travel Decor

Every girl that has a travel blog should have a night stand made out of an antique suitcase.

I finally got my Prague pictures framed and hung next to my Italy ones. I was so excited my dad custom made me those frames. It cost me $25 in materials instead of $170 each. I am a frugal traveler and frugal decorator.

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Happy Birthday to Me, Frugally!

Last week was my birthday. Yes I am blessed to have been born December 30th. The frugal side of me thinks what a great tax deduction I was for my parents. Being born so close to Christmas and the day before New Years Eve has sometimes not always been fun. A lot of times I would celebrate it on New Years Eve. This year I found it was great to celebrate on my official birthday. Thanks to some friends, I got to celebrate frugally, my favorite way.

Did you know you can go to Catalina Island, California on your birthday for freeeeee??? Thanks to my friends, I found this wonderful news out the day before my birthday.I decided to go. I left out of San Pedro Harbor. I had to register there an hour before the boat left. You can do it online the day before or earlier too. They give you a birthday ribbon to wear, and a list of deals on the island for your birthday. This free trip included round trip boat ferry to/from Catalina. You have to leave on your actual birthday, and you can stay for up to 30 days. 16146067556_304922e0ea_m

While on the island I had a list of free and discounted deals. I took advantage of the free coffee, free meal, and free tour of the Wrigley Casino. It was a great tour of the theater and ballroom. Spectacular views off the balcony. It was too cold for the free ice cream and water sports deals. This island treated me like the birthday queen that I was. Everyone told me Happy Birthday all day long. It was a wonderful day!16171864655_61ef00ac3c_m

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There are other birthday deals for me at other places. Some I still have a few more days to take advantage of. Some you have to do on your actual birthday. I feel I chose wisely. It was a great birthday. Check around your area for birthday deals. I know a lot of local coffee shops (Starbucks too) give a free drink on your birthday, IHOP and Denny’s give free breakfast. Baskin Robins, Cold Stone and Farrells gives free ice cream. Register for Sephora and get a free gift. Red Robin restaurant offers a free burger. There are many more. Just take a look a month before your birthday and register when necessary. You can have a frugal, fun birthday too.

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