In the summer of 2009, I was an au pair for a family in Barcelona. And I think because I called this city home, even if just for a short 3 months, I’ll keep coming back again and again. I left a piece of my heart here, tucked within the sights and sounds of the vibrant city, but also with the mom and daughter of my host family. ❤️ (#CheesyButTrue)
My very favorite part of Barcelona (and that’s saying a lot) is always getting to see those two chicas again. And it was extra fun this time, because I brought Michael, who they’d never met! And we got to hang out with them three different times during our week in Barcelona, which made me ridiculously happy.
Each time, when we got back to our hostel, I realized that my face actually hurt from smiling so much.
During our stay, they kept asking me what I wanted to do. Michael and I had seen the major sites, and really I just wanted to catch up with them. I gave them three options: 1) Play board games at a cafe, 2) Go bowling, or… Yeahhhh, we never even got to the third option.
The daughter’s eyes lit up at the word “bowling” because she HAD NEVER BEEN BOWLING AND THAT SOUNDED SO EXCITING! I was shocked that she’s a teenager now (omgggg, she’s grown up so much – still hard to believe!) and she had never been bowling!!! The mom said she hadn’t been bowling in over 20 years. So the idea was a pretty clear winner.
I really love going to a faraway city and then just doing something so normal. It makes me realize that all humans are much more alike than we give ourselves credit for. Like, even across an ocean, 5,330 miles away from home, you go to a bowling alley and it looks like this.
Right? There’s something really beautiful about that to me. But then I also love the tiny differences! Like yes, bowling still looks like bowling in Barcelona, but here, they make you wear these little plastic lemon-scented baggies. They go over your feet (and socks) before you put on the rented bowling shoes!
(And while it’s probably a better and more sanitary idea, I could not get over how funny I thought this was.)
You get them out of this tissue box over on the shoe rental counter and they are pretty mandatory.
They thought it was hilarious that I had to have a picture of our feet, but seriously, how entertaining is this?
I do think bowling is really fun (for some reason, this activity automatically ups my goofy factor x10), but I’m not a very good bowler (maybe because of how silly I get). I usually end up with at least a gutter ball or two, and if I somehow make it to triple digits, it’s a small miracle.
But I got my all-time best score in Barcelona!
That’s right, 125 baby! (Michael got 128 in the next round, just to spite me.) But yeah, I was super pumped.
And I’m thinking it MUST have been those lemon-scented foot baggies. I’m going to see if I can find them in the US, and start a baggie feel bowling coalition of my own. 3-digit scores for all!!!