Last week was a whirlwind! After Atlanta, I flew to Barcelona for my work’s annual festival planning retreat. I arrived super late on Monday night and went right into two solid days of planning. So many sticky notes! After our second day, we headed to a group cooking class. Along the way, we came across this church – I know, Europe and a church? Shocking! However, I thought the Cathedral of Barcelona was extra pretty – love the Gothic style architecture.

We all met at Cook & Taste Barcelona to prepare a four-course meal for each other (about 40 people in total). All the stations were laid out and I quickly figured out that dessert would be the most fun. I couldn’t have known by glancing at this table that we would be hand-squeezing 6 liters of fresh almond milk. It was a lot of work, but everyone loves dessert!

Here’s the vegan version of the meal – there was also a chicken and bacon dish for the meat eaters. I think we did pretty well considering most people were pretty jet-lagged. Plus, we’d had a long day of brainstorming and strategizing right before.

The next morning – we all had the chance to sign up for a creative option to continue to get to know our colleagues who will be working on this year’s festival. I signed up for the graffiti workshop. We learned how to make stencils, practiced free-hand painting, and made this fox together as a group of twelve. (For those of you not familiar, Mozilla makes Firefox, so foxes have a way of showing up on everything.)

After our creative morning, we headed back to SokoTech, where we were working for the week. The woman who runs the organization, Mariona, also lives there with her family. Her mother lives near the water and hosted us all on her amazing rooftop deck for dinner. This photo captures about a quarter of it. It was so lush and filled with amazing flowers and the views were breathtaking! The weather was perfect for our last night together.

Mariona’s family made us two incredible batches of paella – one with prawns and one veggie.

A plate of authentic Spanish paella – so good!

After dinner, people headed off to fly home or get rest before their flights the next morning. Since I wasn’t going home until Saturday, I stayed out with some of my co-workers and new festival teammates. We stopped in at Bacano for a cocktail. I had their delicious pisco sour.

We stopped by a couple more places, including this place – Madame Jasmine’s – which boasted fur-lined walls and glitter. The lighting was perfect to make Sarah, Sarah, Mariona, and Marc look like an album cover. We had a lot of laughs as we danced the night away at a club full of people young enough to be our children. Catch you tomorrow with more!

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