My Thoughts · Spain · Travel

Barcelona: Our First Mediterranean Stop!

Barcelona: our first Mediterranean stop! The trip for our Mediterranean cruise started with an early departure. How I hate those early mornings because I can’t sleep, all exciting and anxious!

Here’s the first four days of our fifteen-day adventure!

September 29, 2022Not Yet Barcelona

The alarm went off early on September 29, 2022, at 3:30 AM. We left the house at 4:30 AM after doing those last-minute bag checks.

Our flight day to Barcelona, Spain via Atlanta, Georgia and Amsterdam, Holland took off at 7:15 AM. We had about three hours in Atlanta and thought we had enough time to eat at a sit-down restaurant, but the server charged the booth behind us with our bill, so it got dicey.

From Atlanta to Amsterdam, I slept a little, which is unusual for me and also enjoyed the great distraction of movies. Lin and I both watched the new Elvis movie but had trouble hearing it because of the cabin and engine noise, so we need to see it again, but what a great movie!

September 30, 2022—Destination: Barcelona, Spain

When we arrived in Amsterdam, we had to go through customs but had enough time to grab coffees and sweets. On the flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona, they required we were masks—the only time on the trip.

At the Barcelona airport, we gathered our bags—yahoo! After so much media hype about lost luggage, I bought AirTags for our checked luggage in case they disappeared. We both breathed a sigh of relief when we saw our bright blue and red suitcases appear on the carousel.

Then came our next concern—the transfer to our hotel. We immediately found the guy wearing the “Orange shirt,” we were supposed to from our paperwork, but he said we had a private transfer. After some delay and a helpful phone call, I saw a man go by with “Linwood Miller” handwritten on a sheet of paper. Relief!

Our hotel, The Corner Hotel, was a genuine treasure, but not in any tourist area. We rested a little, then found a neighborhood restaurant suggested by the friendly clerks at the desk. Eating outside thousands of miles away from home in Barcelona felt magical that evening.

On our walk home, we stopped at a market and bought essentials: water for both us, chocolate for Lin and prunes for me and my stomach!

That night before going to bed, I reviewed the settings on my new camera and experimented with it while Lin reviewed the map of Barcelona to get his bearings again.

October 1, 2022—Barcelona Sightseeing

We had been to Barcelona before in 2020 on an Insight Tour with AAA. This tour with Bradley Dick, as a tour guide, had shown us the wonderful highlights of the city. So, we knew we had a full day ahead of us—the alarm went off at 7:00 AM. First, we thoroughly enjoyed a leisure European breakfast at the hotel.

Then we caught the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus, one of our favorite ways to see a European city, weaving our way through the area closer to our hotel. We had a destination in mind: the Columbus statue by the sea and Las Ramblas.

Because I needed a bathroom, we found a Starbucks and had some coffee. Then we wandered through an outside market (that had been there in 2020) near the Columbus statue.

Salvadore Dali in Barcelona on Las Ramblas

From there we walked “Las Ramblas,” enjoying three mimes: Salvador Dali, Don Quixote and a mythological creature. We stopped, and I had a photo taken with Dali. We shopped at tourist spots and I enjoyed “dickering” with a salesperson over a Gaudi Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus and a solar Flamenco dancer.

Afterwards we hunted for a side street we had found in 2020 but never found it. However, we found another hidden jewel.

We ate lunch outside on the sidewalk. When we finished our time on Las Ramblas, we caught the orange bus to Montjuïc, which means Jewish Mountain.

We continued our bus ride, getting off at La Pedrera, Gaudi’s Casa Milà, an amazing building.

We hoped to tour one of Gaudi’s famous creations but decided against it because of time restraints, but we looked in the gift shop.

On our walk back to the hotel, we walked two extra blocks past our hotel and then back, probably because of deep conversation. I have Morton’s neuroma on my right foot, and it hurt terrible at this time. Those four extra blocks didn’t help.

When we arrived at the hotel, I checked email and received the notification of my book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? had won the 2022 New Mexico/Arizona Book awards in the body, mind and spirit category. What a delightful addition to our great day!

We ate dinner again outside and enjoyed the Spanish food and ambiance.

October 2, 2022—Left Barcelona on the ship

Our second morning in Barcelona went quickly. We packed up after another delicious breakfast and waited downstairs. The hotel staff helped us so much! The transfer to the port arrived on time. Pablo, the driver, spoke a little English, but I enjoyed speaking Spanish with him.

We easily checked in to the Norwegian terminal. As we passed the photographers that always station themselves for the passengers going onboard, Lin tried to avoid them, but I grabbed his arm and we took the picture.

We found our stateroom easily—we had upgraded to a stateroom and the extra space was great. We unpacked our carry-on bags, then went to the deck 15 and ate pizza and coconut ice cream out by the pool.

Later we saw the Epic Beatles show, a tribute to the Beatles! What a fantastic show with so many memorable songs!

Onboard the ship, we could finally relax and know that all the airplane rides and transfers worked and now the real fun would begin!


Barcelona continues to be one of our favorite cities in the world. We love cruises too. Next week I will share about our one day in France and then on to three ports in Italy.

Do you like to travel? Have you ever done a cruise? Traveled internationally? Any interesting stories to share?

News, News, News!

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

~My new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? WON the 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Body, Mind & Spirit Category. Have you bought your copy yet?

~Wish You Were Here: A Novel by Jodi Picoult, one of my favorite authors, deals with the COVID pandemic in fiction as opposed to my nonfiction book. Check it out! Interesting story!

~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story. I’m working on Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? but have gotten stalled with shingles.

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo

~Have you bought a copy of Flippo’s biography yet? Believe it or not—it’s been two years. Go here for your hardback or paperback: or at Amazon.

~For me, it’s Christmas all year long! Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”:

Hey, there! I would love to hear from you!

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