La Pedrera and StartUpGrind Barcelona

(Reminder that Rusty doesn’t use capitals or punctuation.  Sorry)
We were pretty tired and slept later than we thought. We woke up and rushed out the door to experience Barcelona. It was hotter than we thought. Tara wore her cute blue and white dress and the best part was a built in bra which meant less layers! We walked out of our hotel and began to explore. Our first stops were some Gaudi houses. First was Casa Batlo, which we just saw from outside.

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And then was Casa Milo, or La Predrera. It was pretty good from the outside, but the best part was taking the stairs up 8 flights of onto the roof! Every chimney and air vent had beautiful decorations, including what looked like heads (which inspired George Lucas to design the storm troopers). There were beautiful arches which framed mount tibado and sagrada familia. We could only see Sagrada familia from a distance but we could tell it was going to be amazing. The shapes were round and moving like undulating waves. Tara was in heaven. I know she was excited about seeing the Gaudi architecture but I think it surpassed expectations.
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Spain is a very liberal place. As evidenced by the porch across from the crowded rooftop where a topless woman enjoyed her coffee.
The attic was amazing with over 400 brick arches.
And then we were starving. We had to trek across town and went to Brunch and Cake which we had heard from the Crapos was amazing for breakfast. There was a wait, but we were really glad we did. It was so crowded and busy. We sat at a tiny short table by the door. It was perfect.
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They were out of the smoothies and ham and eggs that Tara wanted, oh well I guess we’ll just have to go back. The Avocado toast had strawberries and granola and coconut and was covered in lots of avacado. Tara had a chicken nacho sandwich with a delicious sauce. And then was the nutella pancakes that really just tasted like cake. It was SO MUCH food. Good thing we didn’t order the extra cakes we originally wanted. I was finally getting my appetite back and just in time. I was starving and it did not disappoint. The waiter was so busy, there is like 1 waiter for the entire place. (Alex told us the service in spain is sh*t) We asked him if he played diner dash and he laughed at us.  (although he had time to flirt with the girls at the next table).
Brunch and Cake
Afterward we were walking through town to go see Santa Maria Del Mar and the streets are just so pretty. I remember one narrow street with these trees that they have everywhere that have orange blossoms so the blossoms were quietly raining down, it was beautiful.
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We went to the basilica Santa Maria to look around and we did and it was great and then come to find out that I took Tara to the wrong Santa Maria. This was del Pi and we were looking for Del Mar (by the sand).
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 Luckily, it wasn’t far away.  At Santa Maria Del Mar we hung out in the crypt to stay cool until it was our turn for a tower tour. DSC_0650DSC_0662DSC_0669IMG_7652
Another church, another nap
The guided tour was great and we got to hear a lot about the city and see panoramic views. I remember the most being surprised at how close the port was back then, this was the church that would great people as they would get off the ships.
Navigating was fun, only Tara had a data plan and so her phone could plot directions but what actually worked well is in google I could download a section of map for offline use, so that, coupled with GPS, I could at least get around.
On to Parc de la Ciutadella, which is the biggest park in the city. As a whole, it was beautiful, but not as beautiful as Retiro park in Madrid. But then we got to the fountain (Font de la cascada) and were blown away.  It was incredible. But so HOT! Luckily we found a rare water station.  Unlike Madrid, in Barcelona at least they actually have water fountains. they look more like fire hydrants and only point downwards so you either have to fill a bottle or duck your head. The fountain was amazing. Huge Chariot on top, like a Greek building with stairs leading up both sides. Pond in the middle. We called the kids from a bench near the fountain and showed each of them. Tara kept saying that every thing we saw was her new favorite thing in Barcelona.
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Then we walked from the fountain to the Arc De Triomf, which was a pretty walk. This is when we encountered our first firecrackers. It was Summer solstice so they were already letting off firecrackers on the street which was alarming. Sounds just like gun shots.  And then it was time to shower and finish my presentation and get to my speaking event.
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The event wasn’t far from the hotel, at the Mobile One center. And it was well done.  Startup Grind Barcelona.

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The format was fun, with an open mike at the beginning then announcements then my turn. I spoke on my top 3 tips of starting a company and tried to be real and not to sales. I was asking Tara how do I give a presentation without getting into the “sales voice”? It was good, talking with Tara later I think it could have been better. I think in a foreign country it needs to be even more polished so the words can be simpler. And I didn’t have enough time so I had to pack everything into 10 short minutes. But the screen was great and the venue was great.
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Afterwards Carolina from Atomico spoke and Tara says she was “riveting”. I didn’t love the interview format but it was still good. We mingled. And we met awesome people! Ivan from the “American Society”. He invited us to a party the next night. Then Fela from another startup called Buengo where you sell things around the house and donate the proceeds. He invited us to a party! Alex invited us to dinner. It was like making friends in a foreign country. And Tara was giving great advice to entrepreneurs who were asking great questions. We joked that everyone was looking for developers.

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You can see me, Tara, and Fele in the background

We ate empanadas and mingled for awhile and then we were ready to leave and go eat real dinner, but too bad we were locked in the building. After a good laugh, we found another way out.IMG_7724.JPG

We went down by the cathedral and found a tapas place (Bilbao Berria)
where you just go pick up your tapas from the bar and then you keep track of the sticks and that’s how they know how much to charge you. It was pretty good, but not our very favorite. I liked the Gespatcho. And there was lots of bread.
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We were exhausted! Another day walking all over barcelona.

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