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So there we were…starting to research our vacation for Mike’s birthday next year. It falls in March, and usually heralds our annual pilgrimage to Barcelona. We love Barcelona. It has a full, rich history reaching back to its origin as a Roman settlement named Barcino circa 15BC, a strong proud Catalonian heritage, a turbulent and bloody past, an amazing rebirth linked to its hosting of the 1992 Olympics, and an ongoing love hate relationship with Modernisme. We like to rent an apartment when we stay there – it gives us a great sense of freedom. We practice our Spanish in the fantastic local markets, shopping for fresh produce, then taking it back to the apartment to cook wonderful meals, enjoyed with a glass of great cava, xampanyet or one of many other fantastic regional wines, sitting with the windows open and listening to the sounds of the city.

As you can probably tell, I’ll be creating a separate blog for this place that holds a very special place in our hearts and souls.

We just couldn’t get it to work out this year though – we couldn’t find the right mixture of location, layout, and kitchen facilities that we wanted, with reasonably priced flights.

So we thought about going somewhere new – San Francisco. It’s a place we’ve talked about visiting for quite a few years. The thought of a 13 hour flight for a week’s holiday didn’t particularly appeal, so we’re saving that one for our Silver Wedding Anniversary trip in 2012, which we’re mulling around as more of a two week two centre trip.

Next, I started playing around with flight and hotel combo’s for a return to the Big Apple. Well, that’s not entirely honest… I haven’t stopped looking since we got back in June… We’d already said we’d go back December 2011 – there’s something magical about the Holiday Season in New York City – but that felt so far away!

(A bit of additional background would be good here. We’re both self-employed now, and the amount of ‘holiday’ days we take is something that starts to affect decisions about when to go. That’s because when I say ‘holiday’, I mean unpaid time off. Now next year, Easter is very late – almost May. We don’t have a choice when it comes to whether we work on Bank Holidays (For the non- UK readers out there, Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays, for us – ‘enforced’ – unpaid – holidays). This made us think of staying in New York around this time instead of March. May Day is the week after so that would give us an extra day to get over the inevitable jet lag – result! Even better, New York flight and hotel prices don’t spike because of UK school holidays!)

So, we’re not quite going away for Mike’s birthday, but hey! It’s pretty close to it and we’ll get to see New York in Spring! (That only leaves Fall to experience (pardon the pun!) )

As you can see, I’ve decided to create a new Blog dedicated to our trips to this amazing place, both past, present (I’ll post while we’re visiting of course!) and future, along with any interesting bits and pieces I find along the way!

Sorry – can’t write any more right now…gotta go and bargain hunt flights and hotels 🙂 See ya!