Am I the only who gets the chills simply driving past the airport?

Which reminds me… exactly four years ago, FatJ and I were on a three-week vacation in Spain and Italy. YES. You heard me correctly. FatJ and I VACATIONED, for THREE WEEKS STRAIGHT. In Spain and Italy. (sniff, sniff). Ah, the good old days.

So, exactly four years ago today, we were here:

Toledo, Spain

While in Spain, our home base was Madrid

Our plaza favorita- la plaza de Santa Ana, por supuesto:

Enjoying a jarrrrrrrrra de sangria:

We did two day trips to Segovia:

And then we went to Barcelona, which is a fabulously-European city, but does not fulfill my SpainLove like Madrid does. They say the third time is a charm, but for my travels to Barcelona, the third time was more of a flop. Mainly because we rented a flat online, which ended up being in the Pakistani ghetto of Barcelona, and we were scared to be out past 8:00pm. Oh, and it was the Feast of St. John, which is pretty much celebrated all night every night for a week surrounding the holiday. SO, there were firecrackers going off and screaming people partying all night long outside of our apt window (which looked out onto a homicide zone).

But anyway, here we are in Barcelona sitting on the world’s longest park bench at Park Guell:

We spent a day at the beach in Sitges

And from Barcelona we flew to Florence. This is my favorite picture of us EVER:

We managed to eat enough gelato while in Florence to put the capital “F” in FatJ. We also had a brush with fame. That ‘dude’ in the white suit there is Cojo, at a party at Salvatore Ferragamo.

We then made our way to Cinque Terre, and the quaint town of Corniglia. This is the view of the town from the window of our pensione:

(aaaaaah, loverly. If only I had my DSLR back then. And yes, I most certainly WOULD have lugged it around.)

Trying to work off those gelatos on a 5-town hike…

Boats in Riomaggiore– one of the five towns.

The end of our trip found us back in Madrid, with a final night at the Palace Hotel. Uh-huh, yup- the PALACE HOTEL. We used StarPoints. It ruled.

Now, I know keeping up a blog is meant to chronicle things that are happening NOW, but you see, I am not traveling NOW. And I like to travel. And I like to reminisce and be nostalgic for what ‘used to be.’ Even though now is very good. And it appears I also have a need to live vicariously through not only other people’s travels, but by own past travels.

So there ya have it- Europe, four years ago.