Spain. The last time I visited was in high school, with my sophomore Spanish class. The purpose of the trip was educational, in theory: our chaperone, Mr. Svoboda, marched a dozen of us around to museums, to various palaces, and into situations where we were supposed to practice the subjunctive tense.
What I remember most about the trip: our sneaking out of the hotel to go to night clubs; Spanish boys with motor scooters, and being introduced to sangria on the Plaza Mayor at midnight. (I don't think Mr. Svoboda ever wanted to chaperone again.)
I wonder if this summer's trip will be as exciting? I need your help planning the itinerary. First stop: Barcelona, where I'll be looking for under-the-radar design trends, and then onto....well, where do you think I should go? Bilbao? Costa Brava? Madrid?
Everyone has a Spain story. I'd love to hear about your favorite places to eat, stay, visit, and shop. Would you spend two weeks in Barcelona? Or would you use the city as a first stop and then drive across Spain? Would you stay in paradores? What do you think about Madrid at the height of the summer tourist season—yea or nay?
I'll report back about all the places I visit—Julie has already given me her list of shops and restaurants and other design-worthy destinations to start the itinerary—and I especially want to visit gardens and food markets and your tucked-away favorites. I want to take some good walks and to see places that I've never heard about.
What's your favorite spot in Spain?
Above: The chef's garden at the Hotel Omm in Barcelona.
Above: A side street in Barcelona via Fbcbn.
Above: In Barcelona, Whotells rents stylish, utilitarian apartments furnished by Muji. For more information, see Hotels & Lodging: Whotells in Barcelona.
Above: A bookstore tucked away in a side chapel of the Barcelona Cathedral. For more, see Shopper's Diary: La Formiga d'Or in Barcelona.
What else should I add to the itinerary?
For more summer vacation ideas, see Top 10 Great Places to Travel This Summer.