A Weekend in Valencia.

dsc_0009Hey!  Look- I’m here!  I pretty much disappeared for the last couple of weeks because I have been out and about and running around.  I’m not really sure where the time has gone, but I have been spending a lot of time getting paperwork done (Spain and their visa process aint no joke), food shopping & prepping for my epic birthday party last weekend, spending time with L who is abandoning me in T-minus 6 days (not really abandoning….just leaving me hah….kidding….), teaching a few private lessons here and there, anddddddd I went to Valencia a couple weekends ago!  So I’ve been busy, to say the least.

L and I wanted to do one last trip before the year kicked into high gear, but we agreed that it needed to be close and short and not too ambitious, since we only had a few free days.  He suggested Valencia, I googled it, we bought tickets….dsc_0107

…and the rest is history.

We went from early Friday morning (via Renfe) until Sunday afternoon.  Short and sweet.  The first day, we found our AirBnb, which was one of those hotel-like AirBnbs, which has it’s pros and cons (always clean, relatively easy to check in…and cons: doesn’t have basic cooking things like oil, doesn’t have coffee (but has a coffee pot), doesn’t have toiletries you might have forgotten).  Then we went out and explored!  Valencia is small, but incredibly beautiful with it’s winding, small streets, cafes, bars, restaurants, and history.dsc_0002 dsc_0003 dsc_0005 dsc_0010 dsc_0011 dsc_0015 dsc_0017 dsc_0021

**These photos are all blurry because I didn’t realize the camera was in Manual Focus #bloggerFAIL

dsc_0018“stop taking pictures”

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As you can see, I realized my mistake somewhere in there and the pictures cleared up…dsc_0040

These trees were massive!  They were from Australia (but probably had the graffiti put on them later.  Bad bad…)

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Ok maybe we didn’t realize the manual/ automatic thing until much later in the day.  FAIL!!!!

dsc_0064Balcony goals ^^^^

After all that walking, we were ready for lunch.  It was already after 4:00 pm and while lunch here is much later than in the States, 4:00 is still pushing it.  We headed to El Mercado Central (lots of restaurants and bars in one hall) in search of some foood.dsc_0072

And found one place that was still serving!dsc_0079

After lunch, we went to the place with “really big swimming pools” (described by yours truly).  Before going to Valencia, I only knew that they had a place with really huge, blue swimming pools.dsc_0088

These “swimming pools” are actually “La Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias” (the city of the arts and sciences), a huge, state-of-the-art complex dedicated to art and science.  It was an amazing building and grounds, as you can see.dsc_0101

I was impressed.  We tried to take photos, but with the setting sun, this was no easy task.dsc_0107 dsc_0111

But then- success!dsc_0118 dsc_0125

Around the corner, we found a live, outdoor concert!  With Americans performing!  The first performer was okay…playing boring, slow music.  But the second group was so good!  Totally upbeat and fun.dsc_0131

What a venue, right?!

He liked it 😉dsc_0128

We sat there for awhile, chit-chatting away and by the time we left for dinner, the sun was setting.dsc_0133

Speaking of dinner, it was AMAZING (caps are so necessary).  Valencia is known for their paella (ie Paella Valenciana) and not only had I never had paella in Valencia, but I had never had paella in general.  “Isn’t it just arroz con pollo?”  No.  No no no no no.dsc_0139

The picture looks bad because the lighting was not very good, but it was so good.  The rice is chewier thanks to the shallow depth of the pan and the entire thing had such good flavor.  We traveled quite far to have this, but TripAdvisor says it’s the #1 place and it was!  In Spain, paella would typically be eaten as the mid-day meal, but we didn’t want to have to leave the beach the next day to go have paella, so late paella eating was going to happen.  We ordered paella Valenciana, which traditionally has chicken, but this one also had rabbit, peas, and SNAILS (if you agree to having them).  We agreed, as you can see.  I ate one!  I am good on the snail front for the next 75 years of my life, I think (they still had antennas!!!)

Before the paella, we started with a tuna and avocado appetizer since the waiter told us the paella would take 45 minutes (um, lie).dsc_0138

But the appetizer was good (albeit fishy) and held us over before that monstrous dish of paella arrived.  We also had a bottle of wine to wash it all down.

A delicious meal to end a great day!!  This post is too long so I’ll be back with days 2 & 3 shortly.  As always, thanks for reading 🙂dsc_0111

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