If you haven't heard yet, Diana and I have a (rented) home of our very own here in Barcelona! It must have been time as when I was talking to my friend Ruma, she said "I'm happy that you guys have finally settled...somewhere!". Without too many details, some things have changed recently and we've decided that home will be Barcelona for the foreseeable future.
Don't worry though, not that you were, but I'll still be updating whereisdarrennow since I still believe that if I don't have anything going on that's interesting enough to write about, that I need to change something. This blog is one measurement of that goal. Plus, it looks like I'll still be traveling regularly and should have some cool stuff to see and learn about.
So, some details... Our new place has a location that can't be beat right in the (very) center of town. I think that the only way we could be more central is if we were sleeping in a box in Plaza Catalunya each night! The apartment was a bit rough and our new landlords basically said take it as it is or leave it. Well, we weren't too scared off by the combination of dark and darker decorating and the price was right so we grabbed it.
A before view of part of the kitchen:
Actually, so much of the apartment was painted in royal blue that it seemed like some Smurfs had lived there before us. It really wasn't that bad though. And, like people in real estate say, the bones were good and it's all about location anyway.
We had already looked at about 20 apartments during our search. Some great places for way too much money and some not-so-great places as well. When we were checking out our new place with the landlords for the first time, Diana and I were standing on the front balcony. I pointed to the corner where there were THREE different tourists taking photos down the street at the same time. Diana wasn't as sure as I was about the place so I said to her, "look at all these people who have paid thousands of dollars to come here for a couple of days - we can LIVE here". She was sold. We got the keys a few days later. I still get a kick out of watching folks take photos of my 'hood...
Diana and I spent the next four weeks learning the layout of our local Bauhaus home center, running back and forth to Ikea, and having paint and/or grime under our fingernails but things have come together even better than expected. Our old roommate David, who hadn't seen it since before we started working and was a bit, no, very apprehensive, told us this weekend how impressed he is with the difference. Nice!
An in-process shot of the 150-plus-year-old (!!!) hallway while I was rescuing the bathroom from Gargamel:
It hasn't been all hard work. Diana and I have found plenty of time to enjoy our new home including having breakfast on the balcony:
True to our style, we've already had our first couchsurfers. Linda and Ralph napping on a recent weekend while our friend Gema was in Lanzarote:
Just this past weekend we had about 25 of our friends over for a housewarming. It was nice to have them help celebrate but, because so many had other plans (or, at least I'd like to believe that's the reason), we'll be holding a second housewarming in a few more weeks for those who couldn't come so it's not too late to join us!
If you find yourself in Barcelona, Diana and I would love to have you visit us. We've even got a second bedroom so you won't have to sleep on the couch - unless you'd like to of course. Hope to see you soon!
A nice cava cheers to our new happy home! Cheers!