On Monday, the weather cleared up nicely. Still a little cloudy, but the sun was so desperately trying to break through that we got a few rays here and there. I was working during the day (I live for the lunchtime school runs) but we managed to get together for one last dinner before the Doks headed home.

We went to a darling little place called La Alcoba Azul - which came highly recommended by Ryan and Lauren when they popped in around New Years. It's a tiny little hole in the wall, with wooden furniture and bare stone walls, but it has a certain charm that makes it feel really cosy and pleasant.

After a free starter of mushroom pate on crusty bread, we indulged in tea, beer, wine, a plate of embutidos (cured hams and sausages), olives, coca amb tomaquet (stone baked bread with tomato), morcilla (Spanish black sausage) and some patatas bravas, which, unlike the traditional cubes, were baked hasselback potatoes with huge piles of sauce dolloped on top. Delicious. With the bill came some shots of cherry liqueur on the house, and then it was time to make like a cowpat and hit the road. It was a really lovely weekend, albeit a little too short, and I miss them like crazy already.

The week came and went, and brought with it lunches, chores, dance classes, Spanish exams, knitting, playdates, craft clubs, spinning, and surprise diarrhoea from Thing #1 (and that's why we never trust farts). Before I knew it, it was Saturday, and what better way to spend your day off with one of your favourite people?

It was a balmy 23c with a bit of breeze, which obviously called for ice cream! We wandered around Barceloneta, and ended up in Vioko, a swanky ice cream parlour with flavours ranging from normal (chocolate, mint chocolate chip...) to slightly crazy (rose and raspberry, blueberry and violet). Alas, they didn't have the pineapple and wild strawberry flavour I'd have liked to try, but the Kinder flavour more than made up for it. I also went for a scoop of mojito, but in hindsight it was an error in judgement: far too sweet! Q had a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of banana split. Now, banana ice cream is my favourite ever, as long as it tastes artificial. I hate real bananas and unfortunately this was the gourmet type of place that uses the real ones...Also, I use the term "scoop" very loosely - they were huge mounds of creamy frozen goodness and we barely finished them off. Q had hers dripping all over the place and we kept finding splatters of chocolate on her fingers hours later.

After ice cream, we went shopping. There's a great little cosmetics store in the shopping centre nearby, with regular brands that aren't upmarket enough to be housed in Sephora. I did my duty as official-lipstick-advisor and chose a deep shade of red that Q couldn't get enough of. Molt bé, Alekshhh. Then came a twenty minute wait for the toilets, and then a stroll up Las Ramblas, before again ending up in La Alcoba Azul for bravas, claras and vermut. Very different weekends, both equally wonderful.

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