This morning I feel as if I've been run over by a truck. Lucky for you, I've arranged a few fantastic guest posts to share with you while I'm gone. Have you ever stumbled upon a blog you immediately fell in love with so hard that you became kind of like a stalker? Well, that's exactly what happened to me regarding the bloggers I've been featuring. Today, say hello to Fabienne of The House in the Clouds! I was drawn to her blog due to her eloquent writing and great personal style. I especially loved her show me your shorts compilation post - I was supposed to participate, but chickened out at the last minute. My loss.
Hi, I'm Fabienne and I'm visiting today from The House in the Clouds, a small style blog, in Elissa's absence. While I normally share outfits of the day posts, today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite vacations. That's easy, since I just returned from taking my honeymoon in June in France and Spain. We spent three weeks exploring, driving and flying between the two countries. The first leg started in France.
Paris is easily my favorite city in Europe, not unlike San Francisco being my favorite in the United States. It's full of history, charm, style and flavor. The French don't seem interested in having substandard experiences, therefore, it's not too difficult to enjoy a quality moment. Whether people watching in a cafe or window shopping, my fascination with this old city never ends. I feel truly lucky to have visited my father's birthplace four times, maybe that's what makes it feel like home.
After almost a week taking in the neighborhoods and avoid most tourist attractions we flew to Barcelona to pick up our rental car. Driving two hours north on the coast brought us to the most delightful sea town in Costa Brava, Calella. We stayed at a bed and breakfast run by the loveliest of British ex-pats. Between their hospitality and the beautiful water, I felt I could have stayed there forever. I grew up on the Mediterranean and I have an affinity for such coastal towns.
We took an afternoon to walk a trail and explore the beaches while a warm fine mist fell sporadically, keeping most people away. We practically had the place to ourselves.
Afterwards, we got some serious driving in as we made our way through the Spanish and French Pyrenees. It rained off and on through the week but that didn't stop us from hiking in Val de Nuria or at the Cirque de Gavarnie.
The Pyrenees were incredible and majestic. I have a newfound respect for those who cycle those mountain passes. Our drive through was especially nerve-wracking because of the rain and dense fog. I'm a very relaxed passenger when my husband drives, he's a car and driving enthusiast but even his advanced driving skills brought me no comfort as we drove blindly into the narrow and incredibly steep passes with sharp drop-offs.
Towards the end of a week of driving and hiking we settled in the Bas Armagnac country for a few days. We stayed in a charming former mansion that catered to Armagnac aficionados. Armagnac is a type of brandy named after the region, the flavors are complex and rich. We visited a couple small family run growers and were given personal tours of their facilities. Of course, the tours ended with tastings and socializing.
Sadly, our tour of this part of the country ended as we returned our car in Bilbao and caught a flight back to Barcelona. On the way to the airport we detoured slightly to see first-hand the Guggenheim museum. It had always been a dream of mine to see it in person, I'm in complete awe of this architectural marvel.
Our journey ended with four days in Barcelona. We walked through the Bar Gothic area, saw Gaudi's creations and spent time relaxing and taking it all in. We spent our last day in Barcelona at the beach, I think I could have stayed there forever. It was incredible. Alas, we had to return back to Paris to say good-bye to our friend and catch our flight back home. Even three weeks wasn't long enough, but I did start missing my friends and my bed!
Thank you, Elissa, for having me as your guest. And thank you, readers. I hope you enjoyed the tour of my honeymoon. If you like what you saw, come visit The House in the Clouds and say "hi!"